What began in the Northern Pacific Center in Brainerd has evolved and moved to Nisswa, MN
At Roundhouse Brewery, we craft superior beers in a uniquely historic setting. Starting with the highest quality ingredients and a passion for the pursuit of an exceptional pint – we aim to brew and distribute unsurpassed beer to Nisswa, the Brainerd Lakes area and beyond. We believe deeply in this community and strive to provide not only a great beer but an enjoyable experience. We want this experience to allow our guests to connect with our brewing methods, the history of this area and each other.
Well, take a look at these pics from up above. A Roundhouse was used in these (and many) old rail yards as a place for trains to enter onto a turntable, yes, like your parent’s old record players. The cars were detatched and rotated to line up and enter a specific garage stall for repairs or maintenance. The black and white pic is of the original roundhouse here in Brainerd. Iconic at one time, the building was demolished and the footprint remains right ourside our front door as is seen in the color pic.
“Why did you move?” you ask………
We basically outgrew our space. As much as we wanted to stay in Brainerd, the demand for more of our product meant we needed a larger facility. We saw an opportunity to move in to the old Gull Dam Brewery location and make it a little more “Roundhousey” With an expanded taproom, a huge outdoor seating and entertainment facility, along with a private event space and soon to come kitchen and Wreck Room (where you can throw axes at targets) Roundhouse has become a destination for all sorts of events.
The Roundhouse Story:
Roundhouse was born from the idea that Brainerd needed a brewery that served the community. And the location was decided upon based on the history that the old Northern Pacific Rail Yards provide, and their historical connection to building the city of Brainerd.
Dan Meyer and Mark Lelwica dreamt up the idea of Roundhouse, and have a history that goes back many years. They were both raised in Staples, just down the tracks. Having some basic home brewing experience, and knowing they wanted to run the brewery, they reached out to an old friend and fellow beer lover, Chuck Martin, also from Staples, to see if he would be interested in being the brewer for Roundhouse. Like most brewers, Chuck got his start home brewing and had been brewing in Ohio for a small brewery there when he was invited to come back and brew for Roundhouse.
Roundhouse opened its doors in April of 2016. We have a 7-barrel brew system with 4- 7 bbl fermenters, a 7 bbl Brite tank and a 15 bbl Uni tank (that’s a fermenter and brite tank in one). Our taproom is 3000 sq, ft and can house 150 people as it is currently set up. The brew system came from Quality Tank Solutions from Oconomowoc, WI. Local contractors were used in the construction for the brewery. Hy-Tec Construction was the general contractor and built the bar, cooler and helped install the rustic tin, as well as locating the brewing equipment.
The taproom is furnished with tables made from lumber Dan and Marks’ dads had collected over the years, again from Staples. The square tables with chairs came from Culver’s as a result of a remodel.
The history of our location has many chapters to it. Our specific site has been used for tooling, clerical and machining work in the past. We continue to work to put together a more complete history of our space and the role it played with regard to the railroad.
Roundhouse looks to serve the community of Brainerd with a fantastic product and service. Roundhouse is a gathering space for anyone interested in a comfortable setting, a relaxing environment, and a superior product. We also offer Non-alcoholic beverages and cater to families of all ages.
Remember, it’s beer! Of course, it’s going to be good.