L-R: River Siren Head Brewer Tony Freeman, Co-Owners Harmony and Brian Carlson • Photo by Jordan Wipf

The space that once was Maple Island Brewing Company in Stillwater, Minnesota has been revamped, renamed and rebranded as River Siren Brewing Company. 

When Maple Island went up for sale, it caught the eye of Stillwater locals Brian and Harmony Carlson. With its high-traffic spot on Main Street and windows that look out to the beautiful Saint Croix River, the facility was the perfect place for the married couple to start their next adventure together. 

“Harmony and I have lived in Stillwater for nearly 20 years and when we found out Maple Island was for sale, we were definitely interested,” says Brian Carlson, co-owner of River Siren Brewing Company. “We had toyed with the idea of starting a brewery, but then during COVID, I had additional time on my hands, and I thought, if not now… when?” 

Photo by Jordan Wipf

The Carlsons put together a business plan, found investors for their brewery, and, approximately 15 months later in July of 2021, they officially closed the sale. The space previously known as Maple Island was theirs and the husband-and-wife duo became co-owners of their very own brewery. 

Brian and Harmony’s love for their local community and their awe of the Saint Croix River merged together to make their business come to life, and spark their brewery’s mission. 

“The name ‘River Siren’ comes from our passion for the Saint Croix. It represents the lure of the river. The brewery is an homage to the water that’s just steps off our back patio,” Carlson describes. “Our mission is to be a low-key, community focused brewery for both locals and tourists alike.”

Photo by Jordan Wipf

As Maple Island becomes River Siren and the Carlsons make the space their own, more than just the name will shift and transform during the rebrand. 

“Pretty much everything is changing,” says Carlson. “The beer has been revamped and we’re completely renovating the place. We added a large deck on the back facing the river and the inside really needed a facelift.” 

Tony Freeman, who assisted with brewing at Maple Island, will be head brewer for River Siren Brewing Company. 

“From grain to glass, he [Freeman] will have creative control over the recipes,” shares Carlson. “We just want to provide him with all the tools and resources he needs to be successful.” 

Freeman will be brewing with a 7-barrel brewhouse. The tap list will consist of something the River Siren team calls the “calibration series;” these are a set of beers that Freeman will continue fine-tuning the recipes and processes for. 

“If the spectrum is macro beer on one end and the craziest craft beer on the other, Maple Island was definitely on the unique side,” admits Carlson. “We’re trying to get River Siren’s tap list to the middle of the spectrum.” 

River Siren Head Brewer Tony Freeman • Photo by Jordan Wipf

The River Siren team hopes to brew beer that will please both the craft beer novices as well as craft beer enthusiasts. To achieve this, they plan on having an array of options available with an initial focus on ales, including a hazy IPA, an extra stout, a red ale, and much more. They will also have a house-made seltzer with different flavor shots available. 

River Siren has stayed open throughout the rebranding and renovation process. However, they plan on having an official grand opening on May 20 and 21, 2022. 

“We have a number of things planned,” says Carlson excitedly. “Like games, live music, and other activities. It’ll be fun.” 

River Siren will offer both off-sale crowlers and growlers. Although they may distribute in the future, they want to focus on serving quality beer in the taproom first and foremost. As for food, they currently have a partnership with local pizzeria, Victorniano’s, which delivers to the taproom; they plan on having food trucks on site as the weather gets warmer.

We love the location and we’re excited for what the future holds,” Carlson shares. “Whether you’re a tourist or a local, we just really hope people enjoy our revamped space and beer!”

Photo by Jordan Wipf

Brewer: Tony Freeman
Beers: Long Voyage Home Extra Stout, Apparition Hazy IPA, Sailor’s Destruction West Coast IPA, Arcane Maiden Pilsner, Dangerous Flame Red Ale , Calm of Chaos Pale Ale, Upstream Flow Blueberry Hefe, Divine Creature Lemon Peel Wheat, Her Presence Blonde Ale, Hard Seltzer (Various flavors available)
Address: 225 Main St N, Stillwater, MN 55082
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 3-9pm, Friday-Saturday: 12-10pm, Sunday: 12-8pm
Connect: Website, Facebook, Instagram