Craftsmen Interviews are designed to introduce you to dedicated, hard-working local makers that are cultivating local culture. Short, easy reads that impart valuable knowledge and inspire you to explore and support authentic endeavors. Stay ahead of upcoming trends and get recommendations from those helping to build their community. (-Learn more)
“At our brewery, it’s important that staff are drinking and enjoying the beer along with you”Matthew Belz, Head Brewer – The Nordic Brewing
The coolest thing in Monticello, MN is The Nordic Brewing. With a fun taproom designed for everyone and staffed by some of the nicest Minnesotan’s in the industry. The space offers a small pinball hall, event space (with live music), and hand-crafted bar top.
Matthew Belz – The Mini-Interview
We had about 2 hilarious hours to talk beer, cultural roots, and get other recommendations for the area with Matthew Belz, head brewer (and all-around local personality). Specifically, what makes the Nordic such a fun, notable place.
This Taproom has everything. What’s your favorite part?
“The Staff. I love everyone we work with. Everyone comes from all different backgrounds, but I love each and every one of them…
It’s mostly the personality that they each bring to the mix. At our brewery, it’s important that staff are drinking and enjoying the beer along with you and we make sure that we’re supporting a fun and social vibe; the staff are so key to that.”
OK, you’re rubbing your belly and wearing your suspenders and putting smiles on our faces (we’re 2 beers in now). Clearly you love your beer, how did you get into brewing?
“I’m just trying to grow into role and my clothes (he says while showing off his Nordic brewing T-styled as retro 90’s hard rock vibe).
I was a rocker in the Twin Cities and have a degree in music as a contemporary bass musician. I came up here to raise a family, work at the local print and design shop, and teach music. I came from a packaging and manufacturing background and those skills are put to regular use at the brewery…
Our beers are all dry and crisp. They’re either going to be right along the style guidelines or completely different.”
(Try the Smoked Pineapple “My Pandy” – a Ween reference, as common with most of the Nordic’s beer names).
How is the Monticello community coming together? Is there anyone you really love or can recommend as a personal favorite?
All the breweries in the area have their own little different vibe. We have a good mix of regulars and people coming to visit. People do this whole little circle… I love the guys at Hayes (Public House – Buffalo), Rustec, Spilled Grain Brewing (Annandale)…
And especially Aegir. Man those guys are cool and they put their brewery in the perfect place right in downtown Elk River.
Lots of people do this tour for breweries and make the rounds. It’s cool to be a part of it and you can easily do them all in a day.
If you like biking, Monticello’s Bertram Lake Single Track is bonkers. I spend a lot of my time fishing at the damn.
A Map to Matt’s Recommendations
(click on the layers filter and select Matt Belz of The Nordic Brewing)
The Nordic Brewing, Monticello, MN
Beer Recommendation: My Pandy – View tap list
Brewery and Taproom with a long list of eclectic beers and entertaining staff. With BBQ offered most nights on back patio, the space also features a large events room for trivia and live music + a large pinball room for all you wizards out there.
Passport to The Nordic Brewing
The Nordic Brewing is featured in Craft Notes’ all-beer edition – MN Craft Brewers Guild Collaboration MN Craft Brewers Guild Passport and on our Mobile App. Additional photos and video tour on instagram.
Minnesota’s Official Craft Beer Passport (All Breweries Combo)Product on sale