Enki Brewing’s New Tap Room Brings Community Together ‘Two Beers at a Time’

Enki Brewing’s new tap room signals community growth and good beer.
John Hayes, left, and Dan Norton at Enki Tap Room in Victoria.

Set among the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Deer Run Golf Club and Carver Park Reserve is Enki Brewing. “We like to think of Enki Brewing as the fourth key attraction of Victoria,” John Hayes, co-owner of Enki, says.

Enki hosted the grand opening of its 20,000-square-foot brewery and tap room last October, which marked the beginning of a new relationship between Enki and the residents of Victoria.

“We had no idea how much activity there would be,” Hayes says. During the grand opening, the staff served 4,000 beers.

In the months since, the response to the new tap room has been overwhelmingly positive. Residents who frequented the former Enki building felt at home in the space, joining with their friends and family. Hayes and co-owner Dan Norton wanted to carry over the feeling and bring enhancements. “We have achieved what we wanted to do,” Hayes says.

The tap room is a unique space. It’s set on the second floor of the building, attached to a two- story parking garage for easy access. Inside, an enormous opening in the floor accommodates a tank that was too tall to fit on the first floor alone. A drink rail, where patrons gather to socialize, surrounds the opening. There are also televisions for watching sporting events and a Jenga table to entertain the younger set with board games while the adults socialize over a beer. Hayes compares the atmosphere to a vibrant family Thanksgiving.

This spring, Enki is collaborating with at least six other breweries west of the Twin Cities to craft a Minnesota barley wine made with ingredients that include Minnesota hops and barley. Enki’s award-winning brewer, Jason Davis, is an “integral” part of the collaboration, which ultimately reflects Enki’s mission—“Make the world a friendlier place—two beers at a time.”