Two Harbors, MN (NNCNOW.com) - When Castle Haven Resort owners Jamie and Clint MacFarlane set out to brew their first batch of beer three years ago, they had humble intentions.
"It'd just be a great sideline project—have enough beer for friends and family," explained MacFarlane, standing in front of brand new, massive, stainless steel kettles in the future brew room of their latest location.
That small start in a fast–growing craft brew scene gave Castle Danger a chance to hone in on what was working with their recipes.
"...testing the market, and obviously the craft beer scene in Minnesota has really exploded in the last few years," said MacFarlane, crediting the "Surly Bill's" passing as a boost to the industry in-state.
From that start in a 700 square foot space, MacFarlane says the brewery is ready to expand and enhance its services.
At their tap house location in Two Harbors they'll be able to do everything they do now, plus get their beer into cans while locals and tourists alike can enjoy a pint on the patio.
"People can sit here, have a pint, look out at the lake, [and] check out the harbor," said MacFarlane, after a tour of the future outdoor patio.
Immediately, MacFarlane says the expansion helps them make a better product.
In Castle Danger, they have to draw a limited water supply from wells, which typically are out of brewing service until December.
"That's when the ground is really cold," added MacFarlane, "you're not getting any kind of leeching into wells."
For Two Harbors Mayor Randy Bolen, the expansion is a chance to boost the legacy of the brewery in his city, while breathing new life into the waterfront business district
"This type of specific business—a brewery—has such a wide range of different people that are just attracted to it," said Bolen, standing outside of Castle Danger's latest location along 7th St.
Bolen describes it as a catalyst business.
"You will see others spin off from it," he explained.
MacFarlane says the new location will be a great opportunity to test their latest batches on–site with immediate feedback.
MacFarlane says the tap house will most likely be open in June, with brewing beginning in a few weeks.