Lino Lakes is the proud home of HammerHeart Brewing Co., a beloved local brewery and legit heavy-metal bar. (The name is a nod to Swedish band Bathory, whose first Viking-metal album included such fearsome epics as “Shores in Flames,” “Valhalla,” and “Baptised in Fire and Ice.”)
While it’s similar in spirit to Asheville’s Burial Beer Co., Denver’s TRVE Brewing Co., and Munster, Indiana’s 3 Floyds Brewing Co., HammerHeart sets itself apart with a smoky lineup of barrel-aged beasts and Scandinavian-style ales that push even experimental palates to the breaking point. From Thor’s Porter to faithful riffs on the old-world recipes of Finland (Löyly), Norway (Stjørdal), and Germany (Weltenwanderer), head brewer Austin Lunn clearly learned a lot at his last gig: an internship at Haandbryggeriet in the Norwegian city of Drammen.
Lunn and his brother-in-law, HammerHeart co-owner Nathaniel Chapman, keep things kvlt with their taproom’s log cabin good looks — antlers and evergreens aplenty! — and memorable special events. The pics you see here were taken at HammerHeart’s sixth anniversary soiree in September 2019, which trotted out rare pints and filled the brewery’s front yard with a “Viking village” showcase of traditional foodstuffs, carved drinking horns, and blacksmithing techniques.
The party continued a couple days later with a multi-course dinner co-hosted by chef Daniel Serra (author of An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook and Culinary Odyssey) and Potter’s Pasties owner Alec Duncan, as well as a Traditional Beer Fest at the lakeside Nowthen Threshing Showgrounds. For that, HammerHeart partnered with the Anoka County Historical Society to pour old-world beers from Junkyard, Klockow, Fair State, and nearly a dozen others.
If you couldn’t make it — well, there’s always “The Vikings Begin” exhibition at the American Swedish Institute, which ends its five-month run on October 27. Maybe down a bottle of Von Winterherz Verhasst in the parking lot beforehand for the full metal experience? 🖤🤘🖤
HammerHeart Brewing Co.
7785 Lake Dr., Lino Lakes, MN; 651-348-2654.