By Bill Hudson

ELK RIVER, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesotans have long celebrated their Scandinavian influence. It can be seen as the faithful cheer on their vaunted Minnesota Vikings as well as interest in rune stones and Helga horns.

So it should come as little surprise that in downtown Elk River, two brothers are literally tapping into the Nordic culture.

“So Aegir is the brewer to the gods in Nordic mythology,” Tim Jones explains.

Jones and his brother, Jeremy, have turned a former cake shop on downtown Main Street into a craft brewery.

Step under the runic lettering above the front door into Aegir Brewing. Pronounced “eye-year,” the brothers’ Aegir Brewery holds firm to a simple guiding principle.

“Come in and we’ll keep brewing beer as long as you’re kind to each other and treat each other with respect. It’s a great environment,” Tim said.

From their beer’s iconic label featuring a commanding Norseman, Aegir’s decor screams all things Nordic. There are Viking battle shields along the walls, as well as images depicting Viking ships and legends.

But what customers here come for are the 11 delicious and unique brews.

“It’s just been incredible – the outpouring of support. And people are just loving the beer and the atmosphere,” said Jeremy Jones, head brewer.

Still, in the search for even greater authenticity in their brewing, the brothers recently traveled to Iceland to participate in the Icelandic Beer Festival. There, they conspired with another brewer to compare recipes and brewing methods.

Yet mostly to return stateside with ways to satisfy the most discerning beer drinker’s taste.

“So the goal over the next year is to expand our facility in every way so we can accommodate all the people who are coming, but also to give them more options to get our beer off-site,” Tim said.

So lift up a glass to our region’s legendary Nordic past, where these brothers of brewing are celebrating success.

Hoisting their beer glasses, Tim and Jeremy can cheer their hard work and success with a traditional, “Skal I Nord!”

Bill Hudson