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Thank you for Portage Brewing Crew

Thank you from the Portage Brewing Crew

In the early morning of Jan. 6, Portage Brewing Company had a devastating fire that totally destroyed the entire building. The owners and entire staff would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all the volunteers who assisted at the fire on that dreadful Sunday.

To the entire crew, with the Walker Area Joint Fire Department and Hackensack Fire Department who fought the fire, thank you! Everyone did an amazing job!

We would also like to thank Jed Shaw, SuperOne Foods, Hardee’s, Walker Bay Coffee, Holiday Gas Station and Zona Rosa’s for providing coffee, doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches to the fire fighters, first responders and various volunteers assisting us that day. We would also like to thank our numerous friends from the community who stopped by to provide hugs, warm blankets, words of encouragement and for shedding a few tears with us.

The very next day, Paul Nye, Jeff Menten and Cory Medina put their heads together and created a celebration for Portage Brewing Company that was held at Bluewater Lodge Jan. 11 — just five days after the fire! More than 500 people in attendance enjoyed great music, great beer, great stories, some tears and a lot of laughs!

We’d like to thank Chase on the Lake for donating the use of Bluewater Lodge and staffing for the event; Paul Nye, Jeff Menten and Cory Medina and Brothers for donating their music; Lucky Moose Bar and Grill for providing food, Benson’s Emporium for the Pizzas and the Piggy BBQ.

Also springing into action was Bryana Cook of Northern Namaste Yoga. She organized a yoga class and silent auction benefit for Portage Brewing Company held at Chase on the Lake Jan. 13. Again, all were entertained by the great music, stories, tears and laughs!


Silent auction donations from businesses and individuals:

Pam Veilleux, Northern Namaste Yoga, Melanie Rice, 513 Mainstream, The Piggy BBQ, Green Scene Organic Market, Deli & Catering, Mineer Signs, Tianna Country Club, Empowered Fitness, Heartbeat photography-Northern MN, Lifestyle Imagery, Jacqueline Hanson Photography, Pederson Family Dental, Dan Ryan Guide Service, Her Bunnies Three, Trapper’s Landing Lodge on Leech Lake, Lucky Moose Bar & Grill, Cuyuna Brewing Company, Duluth Running Co., Frizzell Furniture Gallery, Margie Richardson, Klockow Brewing Company, Andersen Log Homes, Turf Technology LLC, First National Bank North, City Sanitary Service, Benson’s Eating and Drinking Emporium, Peculiar Painter, Threads By Meesh, Fitger’s Brewhouse Brewery and Grille, Common Grounds of Longville, Iron Horse Bar & Grill, Bemidji Brewing, Brightwell’s Boathouse, Inc., Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon, Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, Homestead Doula, Mara Loomis with Shores of Leech Lake, Rebecca May, Roundhouse Brewery, Paul Karpen, Walker Home Center, Steve Reiter, Village Square, Northern Exposure, Jim and Shirley Dowson, Vino de Shingobee, Front Porch Quilts, Kristan’s Baked Goods, Chase on the Lake Resort, Dan Godwin, Susan Krupp, Maxine’s, Steven Pitzen, Wooly Chickadee, Leech Lake Autoworks, Lakes Area Powersports, Bill and Karen Sellner, Vern Black, Forestedge Winery, Michele and Neal Deville, Erin Hickey, Heritage Arts, Gifts and Antiques


Event donations

Yoga class: Bryana Cook of Northern Namaste Yoga and Pam Veilleux Yoga

Music: Steve Reiter and Lynn Mineer

Photography: Sarah Miller of Whispering Willow Photography

Venue: Chase on the Lake Resort


Event Volunteers

Silent Auction: Dawn and Jay Mahon

Event set-up and operations: Lori Muller, Ada Muller, Mara Loomis, Margie Richardson, Micki Trinkle, Beth Andersen, Bob Veilleux, Pam Veilleux, Dan Ryan, Mary Kay Cook, Sue Jacobson, Valari Skinness, Jody Jenstad


Last, but certainly not least, we want to thank Kaffe Havn for providing us with storage for some of our items, as well as Reed’s Family Outdoor Outfitters and Bemidji Brewing for helping us remove these items.

We know that we have probably missed some people and businesses. We do apologize. It has been a crazy two weeks!

When we first started creating Portage Brewing Company three years ago, we knew Walker was the right location for this business. Walker was home for us. We loved the area and we loved the community. What we didn’t realize is how much this community would embrace us, our business and of course our beer. This is absolutely the best community anyone could ask for.

All of us at Portage Brewing Company would like to thank everyone for their business, support and most importantly, friendships! It’s been two weeks since the fire. All we can say is that we lost a building, a building that will get replaced. Portage Brewing Company will be back bigger and better than ever!


The Portage Team


Friends of Portage create GoFundMe page  


A group of supporters called “Friends of Portage Brewing Company” has created a GoFundMe page to help Portage Brewing’s owners recover and rebuild after the Jan. 6 fire that destroyed the brewery.

The GoFundMe page is at and has a goal of $25,000 that will help with costs not covered by insurance.

A message on the page reads as follows:

“On Jan. 6, 2019, Portage Brewing Company experienced a catastrophic fire that destroyed their downtown Walker facility. Portage will “pick up the pieces and rebuild,” said one of their owners in this post from last week. A lot of people have been reaching out, asking the brewery about ways to help, and a few of us who are Friends of Portage came up with this.

“As the Portage Team navigates the insurance process and rebuilds, we have learned that many expenses beyond what’s covered, relating specifically to the design and rebuild of the facility, will be needed. Architecture and investments relating to better facilities, for example, for Portage fans and staff to enjoy, will help them in designing their dream brewery.

“Portage Brewing Company, to many of us, wasn’t just a place where you went to drink unique beer, but a space that fostered community and culture, offering customers a safe space for open-mindedness, collaborations, creativity, and a welcoming atmosphere. It is our hope as a community, to see them return with their dream facility, so we can all continue enjoying a little Portage Beer. For this reason, and for many who have requested it, Friends of Portage created this GoFundMe page, to help pick up the pieces and build that dream brewery. You can be an important part of their rebuild by helping to fund their redesign efforts!

“With your help, Portage will rise up from the ashes, and rebuild better than before. On ahead, Friends of Portage”



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