A little bit off of Interstate 94 in Northwest Minnesota sits a hidden gem in 22 Northmen Brewing. Why the name 22 Northmen? It symbolizes the 22 Northmen that traveled thousands of miles from the land of Vikings to Alexandria, as described on the Kensington Runestone, which was discovered in the area of Alexandria in the late 19th century.
The 22 shields represent the people who help make 22 Northmen Brewing possible
Not only does a brewery sit there, but a winery does as well, so if you're with a group, and somebody doesn't like beer, they can go next door, get a glass of wine, and join you again.
There's a lot that stands out about the place. The outside is very spacious, and they even have lawn games for you to play. Outdoor seating ranges from picnic tables to Adirondack chairs, and everything in between . The building itself is big, and Viking themed, as Norwegian culture is big in Northwestern Minnesota. Inside, the taproom is spacious, with plenty of seating, and you can also enjoy a stone fire pizza while you drink, and they also have a food truck on weekends.
You'll generally find some sort of Scandinavian influence in their beers. For example, their Norse Lager highlights Finland grown barley. Their Norwegian Farmhouse uses Finland malts and a yeast strain originating from Scandinavian brewers. But they also have your typical variety of lagers, ales, IPAs, stouts, barrel aged beers, and sours. It's a good variety for everybody.
In general, 22 Northmen is a really cool place to drink at. We recently visited there, and were blown away by the atmosphere, and the beer. We also enjoy Viking culture and history, and this was a great place to get a piece of that. If you're ever driving through Alexandria, this is a must stop.