*This is the ninety-fourth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
14 on tap.
2) How long operational?
Opened 2004, moved to this location in 2007.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
“Location, location, location.” Close to Minneapolis, but with lax WI beer laws.
Bottles and kegs to MN, WI, IA.
5) What sets you apart?
“Product consistency” and a proprietary house yeast.
6) How did you get your name?
Started on the Rush River in Maiden Rock.
The long and winding road to River Falls ended at an inconspicuous culdesac in an industrial park with a small color-changing sign above the utility door of a large warehouse. It’s almost like Rush River Brewing Company is hiding out here, though the large crowd of partying beer drinkers inside clearly demonstrated that it’s a popular spot.
The space pulls quadruple duty as brewery, taproom, bottling line, and warehouse, all open to be viewed. The TVs tuned to sports mingled with the raucous game of giant Hammerschlagen in the corner heated us up on a cold night.
The bar is long, the beer list is tall, and the brews are fresh. We were able to make it more than halfway down the board.
Small Axe Golden Ale
Light and refreshing, ending with a honey tongue.
Unforgiven Amber Ale
A little nutty, a little hoppy. A burnt caramel taste lingers.
Bubble Jack IPA
Fresh, “lip-smackey” hops.
Scenic Pale Ale
Unfiltered with obvious orange and lemon peel notes.
Like a dark apple pie: sweet and salty.
Honey, bubbly, woody.
Apricot Berliner Weisse
An extremely sour liquid version of fruity Sour Patch Kids.
Classic, clean. “Makes me feel stout.”
Rush River’s reach is wide for a brewery this size, distributing bottled and kegged beer throughout Wisconsin and in parts of Minnesota and Iowa, especially considering that the bottling is done in-house. River Fall’s clear water and prime location, just over the border from the metropolitan Minneapolis, are vital to their success.
In addition, a proprietary house yeast that’s continuously cultivated and maintained may add complexity to the brewing process, but keeps the product consistent and unique in the craft beer world. Though now located nearer the (second) Kinnickinnic River than its own namesake, Rush River Brewing Company is still keeping quality beer flowing out to central-western Wisconsin and beyond.