Brewing & Beer Steward grads and family starting first microbrewery in Rosemount
In early June 2020, the Rosemount City Council unanimously approved plans for North 20, the first microbrewery in Rosemount, Minnesota. The project is the idea of David Schmitz and family, longtime Rosemount residents. David’s sons, Christian and Jordan, are 2018 graduates of the Brewing & Beer Steward Technology program at Dakota County Technical College.
Along with their extensive brewing expertise, Christian and Jordan each have a B.A. in Economics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. That additional knowledge has been exceptionally valuable in starting a small business while looking forward to future operations.
“Our family is from Rosemount, and we still live in the area,” Christian Schmitz said. “We have enjoyed visiting breweries throughout the Twin Cities for years. However, there are no breweries in Rosemount and very few in the surrounding area, so we figured our microbrewery and small taproom would work out perfectly to fill the void.”
Christian added that the family decided on the rural location to create something unique to the Twin Cities.
“Most breweries are in warehouses or urban areas,” he said, “and the rural setting we have chosen will allow patrons to take in the beautiful scenery and outdoors while enjoying our beer.”
“The city of Rosemount has seen substantial growth in the last 10 years so it’s only fitting we will soon have a brewery owned and operated by two DCTC graduates. It’s an understatement to say the DCTC community is excited for North 20 to open, giving us opportunities to support the SCHMITZ FAMILY’s business!”
Dakota County Technical College
North 20 construction phase gallery
North 20 Brewing grand opening
North 20 Brewing will be opening for business in late May 2022. Currently sailing through the construction phase, the establishment is located along Bacardi Avenue just south of the 16-acre Wiklund Wildlife Preserve near Rosemount’s border with Eagan.
“Our brewery is housed in a barn-style building to fit in with the rural setting,” Christian said, “and there will be ample space to enjoy the outdoors and our rural setting.”
Christian and his brother, Jordan, are sharing responsibility for brewhouse operations along with general oversight of the business.
“In starting a business that includes a construction phase, our biggest recommendation is to plan for the unexpected,” Jordan said. “Particularly with current supply chain shortages, there are many time delays and unexpected cost increases. To have the ability to adapt to these changes is critical.”
North 20 Brewing
North 20 Brewing started out as a gift to one of our founders, David Schmitz. During the 2015 holiday season, the Schmitz household gifted David a homebrew kit. It didn’t take long for David and his two sons, Christian and Jordan, to realize how much they enjoyed this weekend hobby
The Schmitz family quickly developed the dream of one day opening a brewery. Realizing this would take more than some simple homebrew knowledge, Christian and Jordan decided to attend Dakota County Technical College’s Brewing and Beer Steward Technology program.
As for the name ‘North 20 Brewing,’ this is a testament to a grandparent of the Schmitz family, who referred to the beautiful property where the brewery is located as the “North 20.” We are sentimental when remembering how Grandpa enjoyed driving up the dirt road on his John Deere to mow the North 20.
Our goal is to provide a location where people can gather to socialize while enjoying a locally brewed beer. We believe drinking craft beer is more than simply tasting a well made drink. To us, it is about the time you get to spend with the people around your. Our goal is to give our community a space to meet, have fun, and drink fresh beer, all while enjoying a unique, refreshing, and relaxed setting.
— Courtesy of North 20 Brewing
North 20 Brewing
12266 Bacardi Avenue West,
Rosemount, MN 55068
You can follow North 20 on Facebook.
North 20 Brewing • Q & A
DCTC News: When will North 20 be opening?
North 20: We are currently looking at opening up in late May.
DCTC News: When do you anticipate hiring staff?
North 20: We will be hiring taproom and kitchen staff toward the end of March.
DCTC News: What will distinguish North 20 from other local microbreweries?
North 20: What makes North 20 Brewing unique is definitely the rural setting in which the brewery is located. The brewery is housed in a barn that includes a large patio overlooking a scenic prairie.
DCTC News: How many beverages will North 20 have on tap?
North 20: We plan on starting out with six beer styles, kolsch, cream ale, pale ale, hazy IPA, double IPA, and a chocolate milk stout, as well as a hard seltzer and house made root beer. We will add in a couple rotating beer styles as we go to increase the variety. We hope to have a large enough variety that anyone can find something they enjoy.
DCTC News: What will the atmosphere be like?
North 20: We are trying to create a space where people can enjoy good beer while experiencing a unique, relaxed setting and having a place to interact with the community.
DCTC News: What food will be offered on the menu?
North 20: We will be offering large soft pretzels, brats, chicken strips, and fries.
DCTC News: Will North 20 have an outdoor patio?
North 20: Yes! We are very excited to offer a large patio where patrons can enjoy the beautiful views the location has to offer.
DCTC News: Will dogs be allowed?
North 20: Dogs will be welcome on the patio.
DCTC News: Do you have special events planned?
North 20: We are currently in the process of putting together a mug club for those interested in having a larger part in the brewery. We will also plan on having trivia nights and will put on other events throughout the year that take advantage of our rural setting.
DCTC News: Will there be a ribbon-cutting ceremony?
North 20: Yes, details of this are still in development.
Learn more about Brewing & Beer Steward Technology at DCTC by contacting:
Brewing & Beer Steward Technology Faculty
Academic & Financial Aid Advisor
Brewing & Beer Steward Technology Faculty: Jeff Merriman
Jeff Merriman is the Brewing & Beer Steward Technology instructor at DCTC. Jeff brings more than 15 years of experience in home brewing beer, along with making wine, mead and cider, to his classroom and brewing lab.
Jeff earned a Brewing Science and Engineering diploma from the American Brewers Guild in Middlebury, Vermont. He’s also a Certified Cicerone®, the beer equivalent of a wine sommelier.
Jeff’s industry experience includes his current position as regional retail manager for Northern Brewer, the largest home-brewing and wine-making company in America. He oversees two highly successful retail stores and supervises a staff of 25 retail team members. Jeff has a track record of implementing strategies for training, customer service and salesmanship.
“I’m excited to be a part of this program for DCTC,” Jeff noted. “It’s a great opportunity for those interested in being a part of a fast-growing industry of passionate craft beer enthusiasts.”
In his free time, Jeff likes to frequent some of his favorite tap rooms with friends. He enjoys cooking and pairing food with beer and wine and is always dreaming about his next trip to Europe to continue his search for the world’s greatest lagers.
About the program…
The DCTC Brewing & Beer Steward Technology program is designed to prepare those interested in an entry-level position within the brewing industry. We stress the importance of safety, regulations and quality control, as well as topics in brewhouse operations, microbiology, raw materials handling, and draft system design and maintenance.
The success of our graduates has been astonishing and the beer industry is frequently reaching out to me for their next hire.
Brewing & Beer Steward Technology 21 Credit Certificate
About the industry…
Minnesota craft beer is flourishing. Even with the slight reduction in growth of new breweries, I still avoid the word “saturated.” Well-managed breweries with high-quality products, culture and community involvement will continue to thrive.
While tap handles and shelf space are becoming harder to secure, most craft beer consumers are still more than a walk or a bike ride away from their nearest brewery or craft-centric liquor store.