Loons Landing Brewery, a new establishment preparing to enter the Twin Cities beer scene, plans to put down roots in the south metro.
The new brewery and taproom, planned to open in Savage in January, is nearly a decade in the making.
Scott Johnson, who co-owns the business with his wife, Amy Johnson, and friend, Paul Ough, said it all started when his aunt gave him a home brewing kit for his birthday in 2012.
The first batch turned out good, Amy Johnson said, and the rest is history.
Over the years, the couple continued honing their skills at home and enlisted the tasting expertise of their beer-enthusiast friend, Ough.
“We’ve done a good 40-50 batches together already,” Ough said.
The couple’s craft beer hasn’t yet been for sale, but they’ve held parties to celebrate their creations, Amy Johnson said. They’ve even had party-goers complete anonymous surveys to gather feedback on their brews.
With positive reviews and recognition in regional and national awards, they seemed to be heading the right direction.
This month, the trio signed a lease in the Eagle Creek business park with plans to transform the former Southwest News Media headquarters at 12925 Eagle Creek Parkway into Loons Landing Brewery and Taproom.
Savage’s first brewery
A change to Savage’s zoning ordinance adopted in August cleared the path for Loons Landing to become the city’s first brewery.
The Savage City Council amended the city’s ordinance language to add brewpubs, breweries and micro-distilleries to the list of businesses allowed in some commercial and industrial areas.
“We’re really excited to be in Savage,” Scott Johnson said. “It’s the perfect community for what we do.”
Ough, a Savage resident, and the Johnsons, who live in Burnsville, have a history of sharing their interests with the community.
Scott Johnson and Ough put their martial arts black belts to use opening Sinking Moon School of Kung Fu in Burnsville a few years ago.
Scott Johnson, also a computer scientist and software engineer, continues to serve as Sinking Moon’s head instructor. Amy Johnson and Ough teach as well.
The brewery’s name is another nod to shared passions — Amy Johnson holds an aviation degree and Ough is a pilot.
The loons, Amy Johnson explained, represent Minnesota and childhood memories up north.
Scott Johnson said opening a brewery is a new opportunity to continue learning and connecting with others.
“Owning a brewery isn’t just about selling beer,” he said. “It’s also about meeting new people and getting to talk about your history and the history of others.”