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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Bluenose Gopher Brewery builds upon history

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  • Today, the era that gave rise to gangsters and speakeasies arouses a broad intrigue and inspires the playful wit off of a history that is deeply rooted right in Granite Falls.
    “Bars all over the world are named “Volstead,” there is even one in Athens, Greece,” said Mary Gillespie of the Bluenose Gopher Brewery.  
    With the exception of Bootlegger’s Supper Club, it would seem that Granite Falls has been slow to build upon this unique local aspect – until now.
    “Granite is really fortunate in that it has such a rich history … the person who brought the enabling legislation for prohibition, Andrew Volstead, also brought the Capper-Volstead Act which helped spread the use of the cooperative business idea in the United States,” said Andrew Hodney of the Bluenose Gopher Brewery.
    For Sarina Otaibi, the initial spark behind the Bluenose Gopher Brewery was the history combined with a love for the city of Granite Falls. Coupled with a desire to see the downtown thrive and succeed made the having a co-op brewery seem to be a pretty rich idea, one in which she found strong support for amongst a willing team of friends that are doing their part to help propel the idea forward.
    “We all have very diverse backgrounds and come from different areas and it all works together in a great way,” said Ryan Meehan of the Bluenose Gopher Brewery.
    The Bluenose team credits such diversity for their plans to include a restaurant.  
    “We want to be local and sustainable and we want to use the locally grown produce and the locally raised livestock in our food … and once we narrow down our beer we’re going to be using that in our recipes also,” said Ricky Maynard of the Bluenose Gopher Brewery.
    “We’re looking forward to getting good food out on plates to people in town,” said Meehan.  
    Tim Beckman of the Bluenose Gopher Brewery was fascinated with the brewing process and  with a scientific background was well suited to fill a role in this capacity.
    “I wanted to learn how it’s done and then also figure out what it takes to go from small hobby scale and scale it up.” Adding, “I naturally gravitate toward learning new things and just discovering the ins and outs of certain processes such as brewing.”
    But, it doesn’t end with craft beer and a sustainable menu. The Brewery will also serve as a live music venue featuring musicians from the area as well as around the State.
    Ultimately, says Otaibi, “The Bluenose team envisions an atmosphere that newcomers to the area can enjoy as well as people that have been living here … it’s a great way for people to meet new people.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The goal, says Beckman, is to open their doors in late 2015 – early 2016. “The process moving forward is pretty dependent on meeting our financial goals.” This will include a mix of grants, loans and memberships. The Bluenose group would like to boast four hundred member buy-ins by the time the door opens.
    And with a successful first community event and member drive under their collective belt its evident folks feel this is an effort worth tapping into.
    For more information about becoming a member of the Bluenose Gopher Brewery cooperative, please visit their website at www.bluenose.coop.

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