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Answer Man: Mantorville brewery plans to roll out more barrels

Dear Answer Man, what's going on with Stagecoach Brewery in Mantorville? I've seen some work going on there but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

It's a good thing. Stagecoach Brewing Co. , at the east end of Main Street in lovely little Mantorville, is doubling its brewing capacity to about 1,000 barrels a year and hopes to finish that work next month. Owner Tod Fyten says they'll also roll out new packaging for their three beers -- Honey Golden Ale, Amber Ale and Smoked Porter -- and they plan to keep riding the immense wave of interest in craft beer.

"We're coming up on 20 years next year, so it's time for us to freshen up the place" and make plans for growth, says Tod, who with his wife Madeline has two other brewing companies, in Stillwater and St. Paul. He's also co-publisher of Brewers Digest , an industry mag first published in 1933.

"Once we're up and running again, we'll make our keg beer there and might add some 750-milliliter production, as well as growlers," Tod says. Most of the company's beer is bottled at Lake Superior Brewing in Duluth, and though it's only distributed in the Rochester and Twin Cities areas currently, they may add the Twin Ports as well.

Stagecoach was started by six home-brewers and investors in 1996. Tod became a co-owner in '99 and took full ownership in '02. His other companies are the St. Croix Brewing Co . in Stillwater and Fytenberg Brewing in St. Paul.


Tod says he initially got involved as a "consulting brewer" to the Mantorville business, "and the next thing you know, you own a brewery." Though he lives in St. Paul, "Mantorville is kind of a second home for me. I love the town" and its history. Pioneers were brewing beer on Brewery Creek in Mantorville as early as May 1857, when the Hubbell House was just three years old.

Dear Answer Man, I've heard there's a new Moroccan or North African restaurant in Rochester. Where is it?

Good tip -- I didn't know about this and neither did Mr. Four Stars , our ace restaurant writer. It's called Casablanca and it's in the Northgate Shopping Center, 1208 Seventh St. N.W. It opened about a month ago. The menu isn't Moroccan, though -- it's a wine bar with an eclectic mix of tapas, tacos, paninis and flatbreads. For details, call 288-0274.

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