Roets Jordan Brewery is located in an old bank building right in the middle of the old downtown area of Jordan. I enjoyed my walk down the street, taking in the old buildings and details of a bygone era, this town has a very old-school German feel to it. What better to add than a small local brewery in the pre-prohibition style of every small town having their own purveyor of fresh local beer?
Walking into the taproom, I was struck by the comfortable vibe right off the bat. Colors of mellow green, white, and supplemental dark woods dominate and give a sharp and finished feel to the space. Old fashioned mirrors with the Roets name show up behind the bar and other walls, evoking the pubs of the 1950’s. A few banners of blown up turn-of-the-century black & white photos of the old Jordan Brewery add some more “classic” to the walls. The bar-top is of shiny copper coated in epoxy and, with the afternoon light shining into the place, suffused the servers and patrons with a friendly orange glow. The place is an interesting mix of modern and retro without being a typical hipster haven of many a Nordeast taproom. I really like the Roets logo and respect Tim for being one of the only people in the local craft beer boom to name a brewery after himself.
When I arrived I discovered Lakeville friends Brett and Lynette Glenna already in place at the end of that beautiful bar. What luck! I pulled up a stool and joined in the fun as Tim passionately told us tales of his trials, tribulations, and expectations for the future.
I think at this point I need to talk about Tim Roets. Tim is one of the friendliest, vocal, ebulliant people I’ve ever met. He’s never met a stranger, and it is quite difficult not to let his infectious good will affect you! I’ve been friends with Tim for years now, meeting originally at Minnesota homebrew events. Tim joined our local Jack Of All Brews homebrew club and helped host and organize a bunch of events for us during that time period. He’s had a long and storied past as a journalist, salesman, father, and general ne’r-do-well–but has been homebrewing since the early 1980’s. He once showed me a newspaper article he wrote on homebrewing from back then…things were pretty grim for the beer scene back then!
When I discovered that Tim was going to open a brewery in the old 1800’s Jordan Brewery building I was simultaneously shocked and also not surprised at all! He had been nearly ready to start brewing in that amazing historic building when in the spring of 2015 a mudslide destroyed part of the building and put the brewery on seemingly infinite hold. At that point Tim could have moved his brewery anywhere, but the city of Jordan wanted him to stay (again, how could they not be excited after spending some time with him?) The city council encouraged Tim to stay in Jordan in the current historic bank building and really helped out to make the process as easy as possible.
Back to the taproom! While Tim stood by us at the bar, slinging an endless supply of samples, his excitement and zeal veritably washed over the three of us in waves. I took some amusement in how the bar staff (Tim’s son Dylan and another of my friends Jeff Malek) would effortlessly dodge Tim’s expansive gesticulations while delivering armfuls of beer glasses. We were there on a Saturday late afternoon and the place became more and more packed as the evening came upon us.
Tim took us downstairs to show us the 3 barrel electric brew system and all the small fermenters named after family members. Tim’s son PJ was also lurking around down there, keeping the place running from below.
But Eric, enough about the place and the people! I want info on the beers!
Here’s my impression of the beers I tried that night–now keep in mind that Tim is still tweaking recipes and trying new things with the system so things may have even changed since I tried them 2 weeks ago. Tim can serve up to 12 beers but will typically have 7-8 on tap. He has the potential to add more taps and possibly have some non-alcoholic options as well. I rate beers on a 0-5 scale: 0 is garbage water, 3 is a decent beer I’d drink a pint of, and 5 is Ahab’s rarest whale.
- Juicy a 6.6% ABV Northeast Style IPA: Aroma is chock full of Citra hop tropical fruit and citrus madness. The beer is poured a very hazy mid-gold color with a fine white head. And the flavor! This is a great example of the newly popular NE IPA. This is a tropical fruit fest but has a nice balance with bittering hop and near perfect finish. Hoppy beers have never been Tim’s specialty but he’s well on the way with this tasty treat! 4.5
- Hoppy is a 7% West Coast IPA: Trying to straddle the IPA coastal variations this beer is focused more on bittering than tropical fruit. Strong citrus hop and candy sweetness in the nose. Taste is a bit sweet at first, then BOOM some firm bitterness sets up shop and hangs on for dear life on your palate. Not bad but could tone down just a twitch. 3.75
- Superfruit: This is the type of beer I expect from Tim! This is a 12% ABV mutant of a mead/beer hybrid with a ton of raspberry added. Sweet, tart, mellow and downright dangerously drinkable. This one is perfect for those who aren’t sure they like craft beer since it has more in common with a sweet wine. They have done or plan to do several variations on this like ginger, blueberry, and more! 4.25
- Mocha: This is a dark beer and is apparently their best seller so far. So much for small town folks only liking Bud Lite! I get a ton of chocolate and coffee in the aroma. This is smooth and has excellent body with a hint of lactose. Caramel, toffee, dark roast coffee all wrestle on the tongue for dominance. I love it. 4.5
- Bearded Lad a 5% ABV Scottish ale: Named after Dylan Roets, this mellow beer comes off malty and off-dry at the same time. Excessively drinkable amber beer. 3.75
I came to the brewery expecting to try a few samples and hang out for an hour. I left 3 hours later after hanging out with Tim, Brett, Lynette, and some new friends. I met a Jordan city councilman who was palpably excited about the venture. I ran into even more of Tim’s family. I got to spend time on the newly opened patio on this unseasonably warm evening. This became a…well…a Three Hour Tour!
People who know me and my reviews know that I almost never review a place until it has been open for at least 6-12 months. I actually went to Roets Brewing to support a friend, figuring I’d get a preliminary taste of the beers to be able to judge how they change with time. However, I was really impressed with the location, the staff, and the beers! So I’m breaking my general rule and doing this review early in the hopes that my readers will take a chance and head out to Jordan to check the brewery out. Make a day of it and check out u4ic and Badger Hill while you’re out in the hinterlands! I’m really proud of Tim Roets and his family for what they have finally created here.
At this point the brewery is only open Friday-Sunday, and growler sales are not likely until closer to May or so. If you want Roets beer, you’re just gonna have to make a trip out to try it! Tim is already working on his second phase of expansion–with refrigeration, kegging equipment, and temperature control for the fermenters.