"Take 16” is the official name of Luverne’s craft brewery opening soon on East Main Street.
The business name was unveiled just as truckloads of brewing equipment were delivered to the former Connell Car Care and Sturdevant’s buildings Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to Luverne Brew Partners president, Kirk Bloemendaal, Take 16 is named partly for Old Highway 16, now known as County Road 4.
The highway connects communities from Detroit to Yellowstone and is Luverne’s Main Street right in front of the brewery.
It was the primary transportation route before Interstate 90 opened in the early 1960s.
“When we went to pick a name, we wanted it to reflect the community — not just Luverne, but the surrounding area,” said Bloemendaal, a 1983 Luverne High School graduate.
He said references to 16 don’t stop with the local highway.
“Personally I learned a lot about Luverne that I didn’t know before,” he said.
When Luverne founder Philo Hawes first came to the area in the 1860s, he built a cabin that was 16-by-16 feet, and the original city plat was 16 blocks by 16 blocks.
“The number 16 kept coming up,” Bloemendaal said. “It makes for an interesting story.”
The first four craft brews to roll off the production line will continue to tell the story of Luverne and Rock County.
“Stormy Jack” stout, for example, is named for a Pony Express driver who delivered mail along the route that included a stop at the future site of Luverne.
Other original Take 16 brews include Country Mile Kolsch, Hayloft Hefeweizen and Kick the Can IPA.
Blomendaal said these craft beers will be available as early as this summer — even though construction on the brewery is behind schedule.
He said his group learned last month that construction must wait until the state approves an engineer’s plan for plumbing — which was complicated by the discovery of old, out-of-compliance underground drainage below the building.
“It’s been a very long process,” Bloemendaal said. “It’s been one that requires patience and diligence to get done. … There are so many parts to it, and we need federal and state licensure, in addition to meeting city codes.”
So, even though the brew house equipment arrived this week, it will be months before the first craft beer is brewed on Main Street.
Meanwhile, Bloemendaal said Luverne Brew Partners is contracting with Brau Bros. in Marshall to produce Take 16’s brand using its locally developed recipes.
“We hope to have our product available locally within 60 days,” he said. Local distribution points for Take 16 craft beer will include The Bluestem restaurant in Luverne.
Despite being under construction, Take 16 is moving forward with plans to participate in community celebrations this summer.
For example, Luverne Brew Partners will host an event with live music in its southeast parking lot as part of Hot Dog Nite on July 17.
“We can use the space in the tasting room, and there can be tents in the parking lots,” Bloemendaal said.
He said Luverne Brew Partners formed as an offshoot of the Luverne investors involved in the GrandStay Hotel and Suites, which opened last year.
In addition to Bloemendaal, the Brew Partners board includes Gary Papik, Tim Gust, Larry Lanphere, Verlyn Hoff, Dan Dobson and Rollie Miller.
“The original idea came from Larry, Dan and Rollie talking over coffee,” Bloemendaal said. “By chance, the group had connections with experts in the industry and the more it was talked about and investigated, the more it made sense.”
Take 16 has grown into a community project with over 50 local investors.
“We’re very proud of the way the community has come together to make this project a reality,” he said.
“One of the great things about a brewery is that all of the ingredients can be produced locally. The four basic ingredients in traditional beer are water, hops, yeast, and barley.
“They can all be grown locally,” Bloemendaal said.
Interested investors can email LuverneBrewery@hotmail.com or call Bloemendaal at 605-271-8250.
Know your brews:
Stout – Dark beer with toasted malt and roasted barley flavors that appeals to the coffee drinkers.
Kolsch – German-inspired ale that is pale in color and crisp in flavor. The popular American beers are descendants of Kolsch-style beers.
Hefeweizen - Bavarian inspired, unfiltered wheat ale with a subtle aroma of clove, banana and bread.
IPA - Subtle malt sweetness with citrusy American hops. Notes of grapefruit, citrus zest and pine followed by a firm bitterness.