ST. LOUIS PARK (WCCO) — A brewer in St. Louis Park says the government shutdown is drowning his business before he’s even brewed a batch of beer.

Jason Schoneman is owner of Steel Toe Brewing in St. Louis Park. He says it’s taken him a decade to get where he is with his dream of opening up a brewery.

“I started thinking of the idea of brewing in the Twin Cities in 2001,” said Schoneman.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

He’s been brewing his own beer since 1997. Now he’s purchased a building in St. Louis Park, spent hundreds-of-thousands of dollars on brewing equipment, but he can’t fire things up until a state official gives him the OK.

The machine that’s holding him back is a low pressure steam boiler. It provides heat into the kettle to begin the process of brewing.

“We need a certificate of inspection from the Department of Labor and Industry,” said Schoneman. “They need to come out and inspect the boiler and sign off on it.”

However, the shutdown has left the Department of Labor and Industry shorthanded. Right now, their website says only “Critical services offered during the shutdown.”

“The only reason they would come out is if there was an emergency or eminent danger,” said Schoneman.

That means inspecting his machine to get things started is not a priority.

Schoneman says the longer the shutdown goes, the more endanger he is of losing his business before he’s even begun brewing.

“There’s a lot riding on this that’s for sure,” said Schoneman. “The construction took a few months longer than it should have, now this.”

Schoneman said once he’s up and running he can begin making up to 800 barrels a year. He also has room for additional tanks and anticipates he could make 3,000 to 4,000 barrels if needed.

In the meantime, he’s been keeping himself busy by designing his labels, finishing his tasting room and working on merchandise.

On Monday, he’s scheduled to meet with the St. Louis Park City Council to get his license to sell beer in growlers. He already has his state license to manufacture and wholesale.

“If this shutdown goes until January, we’ll be in real hot water,” said Schoneman.

Comments (15)
  1. Netta Johnson says:

    they cant go till January, i would sue them if they let it go that long!

  2. Bud says:

    Thanks Dayton for not keeping the lights on?

    How many more lives is your stupidity going to affect?

    1. jimmy says:


      Dayton gave the legislature a balanced budget they refused to pass it. To this day no balanced budget has been passed by the GOP.
      Just look at what the bonding companies said about the GOP budget.

      “The credit agency faulted Minnesota’s use of so-called “one-shots”, or nonrecurring revenues,”

  3. al kowalczyk says:

    Talk to Dayton now Now & all in capital

  4. al kowalczyk says:

    Call all concerned at the capital now
    every day Dayton & others

  5. Matt says:

    I LOVE how Dayton and the DFL will keep every important service for their base but NOTHING for the rest of the tax payers. What a scummy govener.

  6. jan says:

    Hey J. Schoneman,
    Post your State and Federal congress representatives names / address(s) here .
    They will hear from everyone on your behalf .
    Do it !

  7. Geoge says:

    There is one man, just one man, in all of Minnesota to blame:

    Sign a lights on bill, then go have fun traveling around Minnesota campaigning.

  8. jewels says:

    its the gop. they will take our money and get their paycheck but wont work on helping anyone get theirs.

  9. DARREN says:

    Wow, how many llicsenses do you need to open a business. More BS Red Tape from the Government.

  10. Alfred says:

    You own a business and Liberal Democrats hate businesses.

    Too bad you don’t live in a Red state.

  11. Eloise Butler says:

    Democrats say Tax Tax Tax and then wonder why they get laid off from their cake jobs. I got laid off from my job and my boss said he cant afford me anymore because his taxes are going up. Thank you Mark Dayton for costing me my job

  12. Walter Monstross says:

    If you are one of the people that is always on a smoke break or playing video games on the computer at work, you will soon be laid off because Dayton is taxing your boss so much that your boss can no longer afford your lack of effort.

  13. Laura the 3rd Grade Teacher says:

    I like Daytons Plan that every citizen can go on welfare and make more money than a cop or a teacher. Tax the Rich, Tax the Jews, Tax the Blacks, Tax the Mexicans, Tax the Poor, Tax the Crippled……Make us all targets of your Tax Mark Dayton. I wish you had some skiills!

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