Expansion opens new markets for Revelation Ale Works
By Anna Jauhola
Through the last year, Hallock’s own microbrewery has been growing way faster than its owners ever imagined.
When supply simply couldn’t keep up with demand, brothers Josh and Ryan Evenson, along with their wives, made the decision to expand Revelation Ale Works’ brewery sooner than expected.
In February 2018, they started retrofitting the former Suzanne’s building on Second Street. At the time, water was seeping in and they had to update all the electrical and plumbing. The expansive work was worth it as the building perfectly fits six of the original brewing tanks and five new large tanks. They also installed a huge walk-in cooler capable of holding batches upon batches of canned beer and kegs.
“It took about a year for us to get in here and get running,” Ryan said. “But we’re able to store a lot more finished product and we have the canning line.”
When they were operating the brewery portion in the main taproom location at the corner of Second Street and Highway 75, they could only brew a maximum of two days per week.
“Now we have eight tanks we can use for storage, so we can brew seven days a week,” Ryan said, adding that the tanks are cooled to allow for proper storage.
The canning machine they have purchased allows them to can 35 cans of beer per minute, which opens up a new market for Minnesota’s northern most microbrewery.
They started offering cans of their craft beer over the last year or so, but had been making those cans one at a time on a much smaller machine. But they began using the new machine in April, and it’s slick.
“At the Red Barn (liquor store in Hallock) we were dropping off five cases every few weeks. Now we can do 20 cases a week if they needed it,” Ryan said.
Although Red Barn Liquors is their top priority when providing canned beer, they also distribute to liquor stores around northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, including at Grand Forks, Crookston, Roseau, Thief River Falls and Warroad.
Revelation Ale Works beers are also now available in a Canadian liquor store in Winnipeg.
“It took a long time, all the paperwork, but the owner was insistent on getting our cans,” Ryan said.
The cans have also provided another form of marketing for the brewery. Ryan said just having their cans on the shelves around the region and into the outer portions of the state might spark more interest. The larger tanks have also enabled the Evenson brothers and their brewmasters to make double batches of beer. The plan is to eventually be able to brew enough where Revelation Ale Works has enough beer on hand to fill orders quickly.
“We aren’t quite to that point yet in the process,” he said. “At this point, when we make beer, it’s sold. Then the next beer, it’s sold. We have to try to get ahead of that, but not too far ahead.”
Ryan said the brewery and taproom success has been largely due to community support.
“The community got behind us way more than I ever thought they would,” Ryan said. “I thought it would be way more difficult to convince them that this beer we make is pretty good.”
He added they’ve had many requests to offer brewery tours as well. They don’t have definite plans yet, but hope to start out with tours one day a week in the future.
The Earlier this year, Ryan and his family bought a farmstead in Bathgate, N.D., a 20 minute drive from Hallock.
He doesn’t like being so far from work, but said the deal was too good to pass up. Despite their move, and Josh living in Grand Forks, the Evensons have zero plans of moving the brewery out of Hallock.
“There’s no way we’d ever leave. We’re stuck to Hallock,” he said. “We love the community, the people are great and we feel like we know everybody already.”