ST. CLOUD -- The craft brewing industry remains wildly popular with no signs of slowing down, and in the next few weeks, you're going to have one more option to choose from in St. Cloud. After months of work, and a lot of eager anticipation, the Pantown Brewing Company is almost ready to open their doors.

Co-owner Marty Czech says one of the first things he and his business partner Noel Johnson did was meet with the owners of the other local breweries in the area.

One of the first things that Noel and I did when we came up with this idea was to sit down with a couple of the other brewery owners in town and just have conversations with them.  Everybody was just really excited about another brewery coming to town and making St. Cloud a little bit more of a brewery destination for people to come and try more than one place.  Really the best advice or warning I got was, "whatever you do just don't make bad beer."

They've been brewing beer for about a week now, and they'll have four options for you when they first open.

We wanted to have a nice middle of the road IPA so we're going to call that "1917", we wanted to have a dark beer so we're going to have "Drop Forge Milk Stout", and we wanted to have something a little bit malty a little bit hoppy, kind of middle of the road, and that one we're going to call "Flat Iron Amber".

Czech says they'll also offer a cream ale. They would also eventually like to add a sour beer to their tappers.

Pantown Brewing Company co-owner Marty Czech, photo by's Alex Svejkovsky
Pantown Brewing Company co-owner Marty Czech, photo by's Alex Svejkovsky

They have the capacity to brew up to 80 barrels a month, but they won't be making that much beer to start with.

Their head brewmaster is Nick Flies who previously was working as an assistant brewmaster in the Twin Cities.

The Pantown Brewing Company will have about 70 seats on the lower level, which includes a long bar for you sit at.  There is also an upper level overlooking the brewery with another 30 seats.

Pawntown Brewing Company, photo by's Alex Svejkovsky
Pantown Brewing Company, photo by's Alex Svejkovsky

One cool feature in the brewery, Czech says they acquired the brewing equipment that was used by the former O'Hara Brother's Brew and Pub, and it is that same equipment that will be used to make the beer.

O'Hara's is where I discovered craft beer, so being able to use that equipment to work in my own brewery is really exciting, I love that part.

Pantown Brewing Company has about 4,200 square feet of space and is at 408 37th Avenue North in a space that was formerly occupied by Muggy's Beans.

They plan to open to the public after holding a couple of private events first.  You're asked to watch their Facebook page for a specific opening date.

To start, with their hours will be Thursdays and Fridays from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon until 11:00 p.m.

The name Pantown, of course, comes from the Pan Motor Company which produced cars here in St. Cloud from 1917 until 1921. The homes where the factory workers lived are known as the Pantown neighborhood. They plan to have a large mural when you first walk into the brewery featuring the Pan cars and homes.

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