Cold Spring Brewery

Filling tall orders and frosty pints as one of Minnesota’s oldest breweries
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Sean Barr

Cold Spring Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Minnesota and among the top 50 nationwide. The company traces its roots back to 1858 and has been family-owned for most of its history. The original brew house was built on a site discovered by French Canadian trappers traveling west along the famous Red River Trail. The story goes that the trappers and early settlers discovered a natural spring with remarkably refreshing water. Cold Spring Brewery set up shop on this site and the fresh spring water became the basis for its award-winning beers.

“The Lenore family has owned the business since 2000,” says Larry Williams, vice president of sales for Cold Spring Brewery. “We currently produce roughly 2 million cases of beer and 30 million cases of nonalcoholic beverages a year. We’re a unique entity because our production lines are versatile and we’re able to fill alcoholic and nonalcoholic orders.”

New name, same tasty pint

Today Cold Spring Brewery is still the manufacturing side of the business, but the company now brews all of its beer under the Third Street Brewhouse brand name. “We did a reintroduction of the brewery about three years ago,” says Williams.

“We now recognize the brewery side as Third Street Brewhouse, where we produce a number of craft beers, mainly sold throughout Minnesota,” says Williams. “We also perform contract manufacturing for several national craft brands that choose us for the quality of our staff, our brewmaster knowledge and the state-of-the-art equipment we have on-site. We’ve made a serious investment in equipment upgrades and food safety initiatives over the last five years.”

Cold Spring Brewery and Third Street Brewhouse now employ more than 250 people, including many award-winning, creative brewmasters who have nearly perfected the craft. “We can do anything from a small, 150-barrel batch to … well there’s really no limit on the size of a batch,” says Williams. “Our brewmasters have won many accolades for their accomplishments in the craft beer world.”

A thirst for unique flavors

The state-of-the-art craft brewery produces year-round profiles, including its signature Minnesota Gold Lager, a classic dry-hopped golden lager that pairs well with many food items; the Three Way Pale Ale, a traditional pale using dry hops and three different malts with hints of citrus; and The Lost Trout Brown Ale, a deep brown ale that pairs well with roasted meat, smoked sausages and rich desserts.

The company’s creative brewers will be producing a number of limited release and specialty beers throughout 2016, including Hunny Do Wheat Beer — available May through July. This wheat has a crisp honey dew melon flavor that’s subtly sweet. “We’re introducing a new Hop Lift IPA and Minnesota Gold Lager in early 2016 as well,” reveals Williams.

Through fall and winter months, Third Street Brewhouse rolls out more seasonal flavors, such as the Jack’D Up Autumn Ale incorporating pumpkin spice and six different malts for a hint of spice that speaks to colder weather. From November to February, the Sugar Shack Maple Stout is a unique beer made with local maple syrup. The full-bodied stout has subtle hints of roasted and specialty malts. While dark in appearance, the sweet taste of maple is present in the slightly creamy stout.

Diverse production lines

There’s plenty brewing at Third Street Brewhouse to keep the company busy, but Cold Spring Brewery has also become a prominent player in nonalcoholic beverage manufacturing, especially in the energy drink market. “We’re among the top 50 craft breweries in the country and in the top 10 when it comes to energy drink contract manufacturing and private label bottling,” says Williams. “We have three high-speed production lines that allow us to pasteurize and carbonate products in a number of different package configurations. The different types of products — both alcoholic and nonalcoholic — that we manufacture in-house set us apart from others in the industry.”

With a new take on a century-old name, the contract beverage business is booming for Cold Spring Brewery and the craft-beer business is just as busy at Third Street Brewhouse. “We’re proud of what we do and create here,” says Williams. “There’s an emphasis on quality and attention to detail in everything we do.” With this philosophy always in mind and a newly rebranded brew house, Cold Spring Brewing is serving up tall beverage orders and the same great tasting beer that’s made the company one of the best in the business.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Graphette International
RJM General Paper
Stinson Leonard