After a visit to the Wildlife Resource Center, I made the extra half hour trek north to Three Twenty Brewing. Located in the 320 zip code of Pine City, Three Twenty is one of only two breweries off Highway 35 between the metro area and Duluth.
The taproom is unique by Minnesota standards given the lower ceilings. That feature, combined with the well-finished bar and homey decor, makes the open space feels small and friendly while remaining quite spacious.
I settled in at the bar with a few of the locals and ordered a flight:
- Chengwatana Copper – Amber Ale (5.2%, 18 IBU)
- Cubicle Fugitive IPA (6.8%, 65 IBU)
- Derby Smashed (using Azacca Hops) (5.2%, 44)
- 5th Street Stout (4.7%, 22)
I also got a sample of the Holiday beer off the bright tank—an oatmeal cookie amber made with vanilla and cinnamon.
All the beer was worth the drive, and I’m already making plans to stop by in the summer on my way up North.
I asked Nick and Cassandra, the husband-wife duo behind the brewery (and the bar) for advice. They told me, “There’s no right time to do something. That’s part of what got us here. We asked ourselves, can we do it? It’s a big risk, and we have jobs and kids. But, we had a path [to open a brewery] that fell through, and that inspired us to take the leap [with Three Twenty]. We never thought we could make this happen, but we had people along the way who showed us we could.”
So much of our greatest adventures happen outside the planning, beyond the big idea. The courage to not only begin, but also to continue pursuing a project is oftentimes more meaningful than any of the details. Whether it’s a quick flash of inspiration or a temporary blindness to potential failures, all you need is a blind moment to decide the right time is now.