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On the northern edge of Wisconsin's driftless region, Joseph Alton is acclimating to the farm life. 

After all, he'd been looking for a change of pace when a Facebook comment led him to visit the former Dave's BrewFarm in Wilson, Wisconsin last winter. 

Alton, a lifelong Twin Cities resident and veteran in the hospitality industry, spent the day walking the 35-acre farm. Soon, he'd closed the deal and farmhouse brewery — where he now resides — became his. 

Last week, Alton introduced his concept to carry the farm into the future while maintaining the elements that drew him there in the first place. 

Botany BrewFarm, which he plans to open fully by summer 2023, will offer beers, ciders and wines and non-alcoholic beverages like homemade sodas and teas. 

Make-your-own frozen pizza, a tradition of Dave's BrewFarm, will continue on and Alton said he's also planning charcuterie and other grab-and-go foods. Mornings on the farm are envisioned to feature a market, coffee and locally-made cinnamon rolls.

"A love or a passion for craft beer is not a pre-requisite for coming out here and enjoying yourself," Alton said. 

Although, craft beer lovers will likely not be disappointed. 

Alton has recruited friend Brett Bakko, who is currently the head brewer at Rush River Brewing in River Falls, to help get the brewing equipment back up and running. Bakko will moonlight as Botany's head brewer until it's time for Alton to grow the new team. 

Farm chores these days include making repairs on the property's iconic windmill, which, at full capacity, is able to provide up to 60% of the property's electricity — hence, the former slogan of Dave's BrewFarm: "Wisconsin's Wind-Brewed Beer". 

Offering a host of wild fermented beers that'll feature seasonal botanicals grown at the farm is another way to reduce Botany BrewFarm's carbon footprint. Apples, plums are other fruits are grown at the property, in addition to hops and barely. Alton said he hopes to take Botany BrewFarm fully off-the-grid in the future. 

With seven months on the farm so far under his belt, Alton is still finding inspiration from the culture of the Twin Cities. His career has included time at Brasa Premium Rotisserie and Alma, in addition to founding other ventures, including co-founding the Beer Dabbler and Growler Magazine

"I've been fortunate throughout my entire life to spend a lot of time in urban settings and in woods and water and the outdoors," he said. "I believe people kind of need both." 

At Botany BrewFarm, he said he hopes to offer a place for visitors to slow down, reconnect with the land and walk around on uneven ground. 

"This place is nothing with just me and two dogs," he said. 

While he returns often to his hometown of St. Paul, his new chapter at Botany BrewFarm is looking bright. 

"No looking back," he said. "It feels great." 

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