On January 6th, 2019, our brewery was destroyed in fire. Thanks to the thirty some volunteer firefighters in the Walker area, the loss was limited to our property and no one was injured. #rebuildportage is now underway, with help from 400+ donators, Indiegogo backers, breweries, and beer stores that have stepped up to help us raise the necessary capital for our rebuild. Our planned return is this Fall.
Portage Brewing Company is comprised of lake dwellers, bikers, fishermen, hikers, and home brewers who share a strong connection to the outdoors, and craft beer. Being situated within Chippewa National Forest, off the banks of Leech Lake, we are focused on providing a unique, destination taproom experience. Whether coming from a far for our events or rotation of small batch experimental beers, we'll always guarantee you something creative and complex.
Our taproom is normally open year round, so whether you're into biking, boating, or some winter adventuring, we've got things covered on the beer end of things. There are numerous camping and resorting options available within our extended Leech Lake area - feel free to search it out or email us if you ever need guidance.
Co-Owner and Head Brewer
On our quest to get the brewery rebuilt, the biggest day since the fire is in the books, NEW TANK DAY. Due to insurance, crowdfunding, and from what we were able to salvage from the fire, our new brewhouse is now onsite. From here, we can begin process piping in the system, for a hopeful first brew day in the near future.
Construction is in full swing - with all structural items completed. Thank you Hidden Paradise Builders for helping us with a rapid rebuild. As of now, our proposed reopening is around the 1st of November. Stay tuned on all social media and via our email newsletter for updates.
Our Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign is nearing completion, as we’ve just reached 78% of our fundraising goals by 262 backers. There’s only 13 days left and we’ve just released new perks and discounts to existing ones. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us thus far - please consider backing and sharing our campaign.
Into the dirt we go, Portage 2.0 is officially underway. The past three months since the fire have gifted us with time and headspace to intentionally redesign our organization, space, and vision for the future. Portage will return with a refined focus on efficiency, traditional farmhouse and experimental brewing, and an overhauled tasting room experience.
Our architects from Linden Group in Chicago fly to Walker for a final drawing review and a tour of the old site. Within weeks, our final push for permits and preparation for construction, will begin. Linden Group has helped breweries such as 3 Floyds Brewing Co., to build out their space. This crew has been an integral part in helping us get ideas down on paper. They are family friends and doing some of the best work in the business.
Our pals to the North, invite us in for a first-ever collaboration, barrel fermenting a traditional saison recipe, inside French red wile barrels. Look for this to release in cans and on draft at or around the Rare Beer Picnic.
Our good friends at Blackstack Brewing Company host us, to kick off a mole pastry stout. In this recipe, we took a rich and malty grain bill, and added pounds of ancho chilis, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, vanilla bean paste, and cinnamon. Look for this release around 4/15.
Double Sun Protection Factor hit shelves. Among the better beer projects we’ve been apart of, we, alongside Modist Brewing Company brewed up an absolute tropical fruit punch getaway. Printed with the now famous #stupidfire tag on the bottom of the can, this was our very first custom designed beer to hit shelves. 100% of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to #rebuildportage. Learn more here.
Demolition begins and some of our tanks are salvaged from the fire. Alkaline cleaning foam and acid passivation chemicals are used to help restore the stainless steel damaged in the fire. From here we will pressure test and sell some of our equipment.
The minds behind our beer.
updates / adventures / beer
updates / adventures / beer