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Hop and Barrel is first brewery in downtown Hudson

Owners Brian Priefer and Justin Terbeest and head brewer Chad Forner officially opened Hop and Barrel Brewing this month. The first brewery in downtown, the business had to get a city ordinance changed to open. Rebecca Mariscal / Rivertown Multimedia

Opening up a business always requires a list of work, but for Hop and Barrel, the process was a little more complicated. In addition to finding a location, hiring staff and buying equipment, founders Justin Terbeest and Brian Priefer also had a unique item to check off their list — change the law.

A 2014 Hudson city ordinance banned breweries, as well as wineries and distilleries, within the downtown area, with concerns about potential size and the manufacturing process. In May, the current council approved changing the ordinance.

"We were certain that we'd get the law changed," Priefer said.

With the law on their side, Terbeest and Priefer along with head brewer Chad Forner were able to open up Hop and Barrel this month, with a grand opening on Dec. 16 and 17.

The effort all started from a love of beer. Terbeest has been a homebrewer for three years, Priefer and Forner were both in production brewing. Though owning their own brewery means a lot of work, Terbeest and Priefer said that's their favorite part.

"I've always done better when there's a certain level of chaos" Terbeest said.

"There's always something different," Priefer said. "Literally from minute to minute, hour to hour."

Now they are happy to have their own brewery open, and doing it in the Hudson area was always part of the plan.

"Really it was never a question we'd be in this area," Terbeest said.

"We've been told there was a need for us," Priefer said.

The location at 310 Second St. was a good fit for them.

"It was the perfect location for a brewery," Terbeest said.

Now open, the brewery will have three sections for guests including the outdoor patio, which will have heaters to be as year-round as possible. Behind the scenes, the space has room for the full brewery process from the microbiology lab to canning.

Hop and Barrel's focus is on hoppy and barrel-aged beer, its owners' personal favorites. They have 16 taps, and plan to have a new beer weekly.

"There's always going to be something new," Terbeest said.

Though beer is about the only thing on the menu, that includes root beer, plenty of food options are available from the wide variety of restaurants around the brewery, about 20 within a the surrounding four blocks. Terbeest said they want their brewery to be an extension of their other businesses in the area, and welcome people bringing outside food.

"We want every restaurant to have an opportunity to get their food in here," Priefer said.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

(715) 426-1066
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