Four lakes area homebrewers have begun scouting locations for a potential brewery and taproom in the Detroit Lakes area.

During the Homebrew Tasting event as part of the 85th Northwest Water Carnival on Saturday, July 17, 2021, Chuck Fritz, Henry Vanoffelen, Chris Kaml and Dan Branstad showcased 17 different beers under the name Bucks Mill Brewing. They said they are confident in their recipes and will feature everything from strong IPAs to sours and seltzers.

"I've been a homebrewer for 12 years, I've lived here for seven years, I met Dan, and we started brewing, and we just grew," said Kaml. "Henry and Chuck have been homebrewers for at least five years and I met Henry through a community event and I got invited over to brew one day and it's just developed, it's just kept growing."

Vanoffelen said they've used much of the pandemic year perfecting their recipes so they can be recreated every time consistently for potential consumers. Currently, the group said they are confident in around 25 different recipes to be able to recreate them perfectly each time.

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"We would like to open a tap house and we've been talking about it for about a year," said Fritz. "And it's getting to the point where we're going to have to make some decisions."

The group said the brewery may not be built within the Detroit Lakes city limits, but it would certainly be close enough to attract local residents and nearby beer fans.

Chris Kaml, homebrewer, serves a sample of Bucks Mill Brewery beer to an attendee of the Homebrewer Tasting event during the 85th Northwest Water Carnival in Detroit Lakes, Minn., on July 17, 2021.
Chris Kaml, homebrewer, serves a sample of Bucks Mill Brewery beer to an attendee of the Homebrewer Tasting event during the 85th Northwest Water Carnival in Detroit Lakes, Minn., on July 17, 2021.

"It'll be a Detroit Lakes brewery," said Fritz. "It'll be something that the community and the area can say, 'that's our brewery.'"

The brew masters were excited to take part in the water carnival directly this year. In past years, the brewers would have to hand over their beer to the event volunteers to serve to the public, but, this year, the brewers were able to serve customers directly and talk up their new brewing brands with everyone who stepped up to their booth.

They said they were also happy the homebrewer's event featured smaller regional brewers instead of Minnesota's larger craft breweries like, Surly, Castle Danger and Disgruntled.

Feedback from their consumers during the tasting was also a big part of why they wanted to serve their own customers during the event, Fritz said.

"We want to hear from people," said Fritz.

The group is also encouraging anyone interested in their new potential brewery to follow them at Bucks Mill Brewery on Facebook for more updates.

"We think establishing a nice, relaxing place to have a beer would probably be a good thing to have in this community," said Vanoffelen. "Quality beer and friendly environment."