After toying with the idea of leaving the city where it made its name, Lift Bridge has found a new home that will keep it in Stillwater.
It seems unthinkable, doesn't it, that Lift Bridge would leave given that its very name couldn't be more Stillwater.
But the dearth of land options forced it to look elsewhere for its expanded taproom, production and distribution center, including the St. Croix Valley and – heaven forbid – western Wisconsin.
Fortunately, a parcel a land became available at the southeast corner of Orleans Street West and Washington Avenue, just a block north from its current home at 1900 Tower Drive West.
It has secured the purchase of that 5.5 acre piece of land from HealthPartners, and will start construction in August on a 35,000 square-foot facility where it will brew and distribute its popular beer.
It will also be the home of its new taproom, patio and outdoor area for fans of the brewery, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Work will start on the facility in August, with a view to it opening in May 2019.
A Stillwater success story
Expansion was necessary because the company, best known for its "Farm Girl" beer, has gone from strength to strength.
What started in a residential garage in 2008 is now a major operation, and it's expecting a further annual 20 percent growth over the next five years.
It's now producing 19,000 barrels of beer a year, compared to just 8,000 in 2014.
Co-founder Brad Glynn is delighted the brewery is staying in Stillwater, saying: "As we continue to expand into new markets across the Midwest, this will ensure that we are remaining true to our roots and our community by brewing and distributing everything from Stillwater.”
"Lift Bridge Brewing Company has been a tremendous addition to the City of Stillwater’s economy and tourism, and we are pleased with their decision to continue to be a part of our community,” said Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski in a press release.
"With an iconic name symbolizing one of our city’s most historic landmarks, the brewery has established itself as a landmark in its own right that we are proud to call our own."
Leslie encouraged anyone with possible information or concerns to call a sheriff’s office recorded TIP line at 651-438-TIPS (8477).