HammerHeart Brewing Company is located in the outer reaches of the Twin Cities suburbs, far enough north to draw a following from the rural communities outside the suburbs. Co-founders Nathaniel and Austin had a vision for HammerHeart based in Norwegian brewing tradition after Austin landed a position with the Norwegian brewery Haand Bryggeriet. Minnesota’s strong Scandinavian heritage makes this a great spot for the idea.
New visitors will struggle to pronounce HammerHeart’s beer names, but they will take solace in the fact that they have largely escaped the typical urban craft beer scene. The brewery is located in a rustic-looking log cabin that hangs the flags of Norway, Sweden, and Scotland. Inside, honest craftsmanship has created a fortress focused on the flavors and the friends. There are no TVs and the only alternative is the heavy metal over the speakers.
The whole tap list is a testament to Scandinavian brewing styles, but a few stand above the rest. HammerHeart’s Gesik is a Sahti beer, which is originally from Finland. To incorporate the typical piney flavors of a Sahti, the brewers used a tree from northern Minnesota. After cutting it down and drilling a through down the length of the log, the beer was forced through the log to absorb the desired flavors. This Finnish recipe is unique to HammerHeart. Throughout their entire listing, they represent the northern European traditions.
HammerHeart is also well established in their barrel-aging program. Directly behind the bar, the barrels are distilling below traditional Nordic shields. Most of their barrel recipes will age for between three and six months before going on tap or going into bottles. Regulars at HammerHeart have visited the place and accidentally experienced the unadvertised release of many selections. These recipes go up for sale and are gone before most of the Minnesota beer community hears about it through the internet.
HammerHeart encourages a focus on the beer and your friends. With a clear emphasis on Nordic tradition, they remain focused on their founding ideals. The crowd at this brewery is there for different reasons than your hip downtown brewpubs. No one is there to be seen. Instead, they are there to enjoy time with their closest friends and neighbors. Taking a trip out to the northern reaches of the city will highlight more of Minnesota’s storied ethnic heritage. Stop by HammerHeart if you are ready to take a new perspective to the craft beer movement.