Big Axe Brewing


Nisswa is a small town in the Brainerd lakes area with enough thirsty boaters to support two breweries. The first I visited was Big Axe. The small building housed both a restaurant and the taproom, and happy post-Memorial Day visitors nestled in easily.

I needed an entire flight considering I spent the previous evening sleeping in a tent during a thunderstorm. Thank goodness the beer was good enough to (mostly) get me out of that funk. My patient camping buddy might argue otherwise, but I’m painting a rosy picture of myself for historical records.

My beer lineup:

  • Bildad Blonde (5.0% ABV, 14 IBUs)
  • Amber Ale (5.0%, 30 IBUs)
  • Blood Warrior IPA (6.2% ABV, 53 IBUs)
  • Imperial IPA (7.9% ABV, >100 IBUs)

A beertender threw his coworker under the bus to offer me advice. “She’s a teacher; she’ll have something better than me,” he reasoned. Well, she did offer me something that cut right to my core: “Get out of the Midwest. It’s a great place to live and to grow up, but leave and then come back.”

Minnesota is very dear to my heart; it’s where all my best memories and people are. But, I suppose there’s something to be said for leaving, for growing, for new experiences. You do have to leave in order to┬ácome home.

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