Island City Brewing


After successfully setting up a tent in the dark and rain, we deserved a beer. So, it was off to Island City Brewing in Winona.

The brewery is located in an old transfer station, the remaining brickwork of which lends to a cozier industrial vibe. Despite the warm natural light and varied seating. I chose to enjoy patio while listening to a talented live musician and browsing the local artisan market.

My beers included one of everything. When in doubt, order them all; right?

  • High Frost Red Lager (5.1% ABV)
  • Lost Compass IPA (5.2%)
  • My Kingdom For a Pint Hoppy English Red Lager (5.2%)
  • Moonlight White Berliner Weisse (5.5%)
  • Pool 6 Pils (5.2%)

I solicited advice from a young beertender named Elli. She asked for some time, eventually producing a list written on receipt paper. I plan to keep it in my wallet next to the only other advice I’ve received via receipt.

It read, “Be good to people. Let the assholes be assholes. See live music and dance with soulful friends. Eat good food. Don’t be afraid of your darkness. Soak in the moonlight. Always.”

I like to think Elli is somewhat like me. She’s listened to the advice the rest of the world bestows upon 20-somethings and taken it to heart. Screw learning by mistakes when other people are willing to let you learn from their own.

Instead of throwing away some of the most liberating years of your life (easy hangovers, no diapers to change, and no mortgage to pay), indulge in it. I’ve never heard a 50-something brewery owner wish they’d stayed in their cube a couple extra hours last Monday.

Buying the avocado toast and $6 beer doesn’t make you a terrible millennial; it makes you a good listener.

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