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Kasson’s Chaotic Good Brewing Co. moves out of founder’s backyard – Post Bulletin

Kasson's Chaotic Good Brewing Co.  moves out of founder's backyard - Post Bulletin

KASSON — Scott Stroh improves his brewing business.

The Century High School teacher leaves his teaching job to grow his one-year brewery. Stroh moves the operation from his backyard in Kasson to the location of the Ocean Mist Car Wash in Kasson.

The car wash is a good place, Stroh said during an impromptu tour of the future brewery. The building has a 2 inch water mains, reverse osmosis water filtration system and floor drains.

“It has everything a brewer could wish for,” he said of the former car wash.

Well, soon former car wash.

A man briefly interrupts the tour of the building looking for a place to drive his truck and trailer through the car wash.

“Do you have change here somewhere?”

“Yeah, right on the wall,” Stroh replies.

Owner and founder of Chaotic Good Brewing Co. Scott Stroh describes the renovations he plans to make to the truck space of the Ocean Mist Car Wash on Second Street Southwest in Kasson, Minnesota on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Stroh is renovating the building to become the new home for his brewery that he will be opening in January 2021. opened and operated his backyard.

John Molseed / Post Bulletin

The self-serve laundry will continue to work until construction begins, Stroh said. It will be a temporary source of income for the duration of part of the construction.

Although the Minnesota Department of Agriculture granted Stroh a permit to begin construction on the project on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, he cannot apply for a state permit to begin brewing until the project is complete and the equipment is in place. It is an expensive leap of faith for any starting brewery.

In addition to the two three-barrel tanks he now has, he plans to add two more seven-vessel digesters – more than tripling his production capacity in the first year of operation. Stroh said he hopes to open in time for Kasson’s Festival in the Park in mid-August, but admits this is an ambitious timeline.

Meanwhile, Stroh jokes that he has plenty of car wash equipment for sale.

“Cheap,” he said. “You just have to drag it.”

He jokes that air fresheners are becoming part of the taproom merchandise line.

“I’ve had cases and cases of that,” he said.

Stroh opened Chaotic Good Brewing Co. in January 2021. However, since the brewery is in a former garden shed in Stroh’s backyard, “opened” might be a generous term. Stroh would fill and sell crowers — cans that typically hold about 25 ounces of beer — as its primary means of distribution.

Most orders were requested online or over the phone. Stroh would hand out the beer from a folding table in his backyard.

He also sold kegs to a number of area restaurants and craft beer bars, including Pete’s Repeat on Kasson’s Main Street. Until 2021, Chaotic Brewing sold about 30 barrels — more than 900 gallons — of beer.

“Which is pretty good to get out of my backyard,” Stroh said.

Chaotic Good Backyard.JPG

The current location of Chaotic Good Brewing Co. in Kasson, Minnesota is in Scott Stroh’s backyard, pictured on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

John Molseed / Post Bulletin

How did Stroh embrace the chaos of brewing? He has been an enthusiastic homebrewer since his studies. For more than two decades, he has cobbled together and improved his homebrewing rig. Most of his equipment has been recycled from other equipment.

Stroh’s brew kettle was a tank of distilled water from a chemical company. His mash tun was a brew vat at the turn of the 20th century and was used for multiple other purposes before coming full circle in Stroh’s lineup. While Stroh has never had a lot of money to invest in equipment, he does have the skills to build what he needs.

The stand his brew kettle stands on is made from an old bed frame.

“I didn’t have $6,000 for a custom brew stand, but I did have a welder,” he said.

The compressor of his refrigeration system has recently failed. He used the cooling coil of a mini fridge. The result? With that quick fix, he was able to cool more beer in less time with less energy.

This kind of effort epitomizes the name of the brewery.

In role playing, the alignment of a character is their guiding philosophy. For example, “lawful good” is someone who follows the rules with the intention of doing the right thing. Someone who is “chaotic evil” ignores rules and intends to do evil. Between those extremes is “chaotic good,” someone who ignores the rules to do the right thing.

A fan of Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing and fantasy games, Stroh named his brewery after how he managed to do things.

“Do the right thing in whatever way you can to get there,” he said.

Many D&D games begin with a similar setup: a group of adventurers encounter a mysterious stranger over a pint of beer in a pub who hires them for a dangerous task.

“Every good adventure begins with a token brown beer in a tavern,” Stroh said. “This one included.”

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