With nearly 200 breweries in Minnesota, it’s increasingly rare to find a city in the Land of 10,000 Lakes without one. Savage, Minnesota, was one of those rare finds. That is, until Scott Johnson, Amy Johnson, and Paul Ough, three craft beer aficionados with a love for Minnesota lake life, came together to create Loons Landing Brewery.
Loons Landing began how many craft breweries do: with homebrewing. About 10 years ago, married couple Scott and Amy Johnson received a home brewing kit as a gift. The Johnsons started by brewing a brown ale—little did they know that brown ale would be the catalyst for their craft beer journey.
“Honestly, I wasn’t a beer drinker back then,” admits Amy Johnson, co-owner of Loons Landing Brewery. “But that brown ale was one of the best beers we’d ever had at the time.”
To ensure that their auspicious brown ale wasn’t a case of beginners’ luck, Scott and Amy tried another recipe, then another, and another. The couple eventually upgraded their homebrewing equipment and began creating recipes of their own.
It was early on during the COVID lockdowns that the Johnsons and Ough got serious about starting their own brewery. Once they found the location on Eagle Creek Parkway in Savage, the idea became a reality.
“We all help with the brewing process,” says Johnson, “But Paul and Scott are the head brewers. We also have a brewing intern who goes to Dakota County Technical College for brewing. This is his first brewing gig, and he is our first hire!”
[Since this interview, brewing intern Riley Dingman has graduated from Dakota County Technical College and was promoted to the position of assistant brewer at Loons Landing.]
The team will be working in an 1,800-square-foot production area that is temporarily equipped with a used, 4-barrel system.
“We ordered a 7-barrel system that hasn’t arrived yet, so we’re making do with the 4-barrel system for now,” says Johnson.
The production area is accompanied by a large, Minnesota-themed taproom, a quaint kids play space, and VIP private rooms (which can be accessed through the Loons Landing VIP Program). The taproom is approximately 9,000-square-feet and is filled with locally made furnishings, including a 30-foot bar top with wood from 612 Milling built by hand by Scott, Amy, and Paul.
“We want Loons Landing to have a lake and cabin feel,” explains Johnson. “My family and I went to Hackensack for fishing trips growing up and I fell in love with being out on the lake. My aunt would imitate the loons on our trips and it always stuck with me.”
Loons Landing’s diverse tap list includes a porter on nitro, a blonde ale, an imperial stout, an IPA, a brown ale, and many more. Their beer will be available on tap and in Crowlers to go during their anticipated opening in July, which is still to be announced.
“We’re going to be selling reservations for our grand opening,” shares Johnson. “It’ll get you a couple of free beers, a T-shirt—more to come on that when the day gets closer!”
During their grand opening, they also plan on having table-top games and food trucks available—and plenty of beer, of course!
Folks interested in supporting Loons Landing’s opening and buildout can check out their crowdfunding campaign at Honeycomb Credit to learn more.
“We’re really excited to interact with the local community and the brewing community,” says Johnson. “I’m looking forward to getting to know all our customers and our VIPs.”
Brewers: Scott Johnson & Paul Ough
Beer: Smoking on 36th Street English Porter (Nitro), Autumn’s Early Arrival Blonde Ale, Damned Squirrel British Brown Ale, Red Sunset Red Ale, Bier Czech Premium Pale Lager, Dobroy Nochi Russian Imperial Stout, Anti-Scurvy Elixir American IPA, Blues Don’t Bother Me Cream Ale with Blueberries, Seltzer
Address: 12925 Eagle Creek Parkway, Savage, MN 55378.