Brew it yourself

Rochester / U-Brew

Company offers on-site or at-home convenience

By Emily Colbenson Ties

With the cold months upon us, it can be tempting to hide inside. However, the great wine and beer that you can create at U-Brew is the perfect excuse to get out and about.


Located in southeast Rochester, U-Brew is a unique business that not only sells wine and beer kits, it also boasts the only brew-on-premises location in southern Minnesota, offering patrons a place to make their own wine or beer.

After paying a small on-premise fee, customers can be as involved in the process as they want, either making their own or having one of the experienced wine or beer masters do the work. Not only does this allow patrons the convenience of not purchasing all the necessary brewing equipment, it’s also a no-mess, fun experience.

Wine collections vary from the light and refreshing Orchard Breezin’ variety to the full-bodied and hearty reds in the Winery Series. The grape juices used to create such flavorful options come from vineyards in California, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Canada and France. Plus, "homemade wine is better for you," said Dan Karau, one of U-Brew’s owners. "Our wines are produced with a fraction of the sulfites that are used in commercial winemaking."

Not only does U-Brew offer a healthy alternative, it’s also easy on the wallet. Brewing your own costs about $3 to $10 per bottle.

Though wine is U-Brew’s specialty, their beer kits offer a homemade microbrew for about $5 to $8 per six-pack. With flavors from Irish Stout to Oktoberfest — minus the additives or malt extracts — the beer you brew will quickly turn into a new favorite.

For a truly unique experience, attend one of U-Brew’s special events. Variety Night gives wine lovers the chance to show off their talents while brewing with their friends. "We like to get together with friends and do the brewing and bottling together, splitting the different wines we make," said Mike Miller, a U-Brew customer. "It’s a fun social activity that is pretty inexpensive. And we get to enjoy what we make at home."

For a fun alternative to the traditional holiday party, bring your friends to U-Brew for a brewing party, or give the gift of a personalized bottle of wine.

If stopping in to buy a wine or beer kit to brew at home or on-site is not an option, U-Brew offers the convenient alternative of purchasing products online at From delicious blends to bottles or books, you can find anything you need to brew your own wine or beer at home.


Besides being a fun date idea, U-Brew will allow you bragging rights the next time you pop the cork to your own creation.

Emily Colbenson Ties is a Rochester freelance writer.

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