Husband and wife duo Aaron and Ashley Schram’s first business, Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery, blossomed into its newest extension, Schram Haus Brewery, which opened in May.
The brewery fits in perfectly with the downtown Chaska community, since it is housed in the old Carver County public works building. The Schrams’ aim was to blend in with the historical aspects of Chaska and reflect the character of the community, so they worked closely with the Chaska Historical Society. They introduced special touches to the space, including using Chaska brick for the walls and having an area dedicated to showcase pictures and memorabilia that commemorate the city.
Chaska was one of the most prominent beer brewing towns in Minnesota before Prohibition, and the Schrams wanted to showcase this important part of Chaska history when opening their brewery. “They wanted to bring brewing back to Chaska and expand the beer side of their business,” says Tara Mulkey, marketing and distribution employee.
The beer selection is unique. Not only does it offer a vast assortment of homemade brews, but it also maintains the mission of celebrating Chaska’s history. Many of the beers have German-inspired names, which celebrates the town's German ancestry. Some favorites include, Brickyard Blonde, a blonde ale; Cane Fighter IPA, described as a fruity IPA; Nacht Nacht, a Schwarzbier, which is a dark lager that originated in Germany; and Schram Haus Red, a classic red ale. (Pair the beers with locally-made snacks, such as Von Hansen's seasoned pretzels and Red Head Creamery cheese curds.)
“Our vision is to tie together old and new to create a community-based brewery, German-inspired in style, using elements of Chaska's brewing past with a modern twist. In addition to a line of flagship brews, we will also feature small-batch craft and cask lagers, using Chaska artesian water,” Aaron Schram says.
While seated in the bar, customers can see through glass windows into the taproom, so they can watch the beer brewing action. The brewery also has larger recreation rooms, which can be rented for parties, get-togethers and meetings. And don't miss the Instagram-worthy view of the Minnesota River. During the warmer months, the beer garden and patio will be open to the public. (Both spaces are dog friendly.)
Not only does the brewery offer a space to sit back, relax and enjoy conversation over good beer, but it also provides entertainment. Every Friday night, as well as some Saturdays and special occasions, live music performances are featured. The spot also offers games, such as corn hole, cribbage and a game originally called Hammerschlagen, which they have cleverly renamed "Schrammerschlagen.”
Staying true to its community mindedness, Schram Haus hosts different events that benefit the city and its residents, including Pint for a Pint, a Red Cross event that encourages people to donate blood in exchange for a pint of beer. It also has a charity tap program, partnering with a different charity every month to donate a portion of the tap sales to that entity, which must directly benefit Chaska residents.
Look for Schram’s beer clubs. The Schram Beer Club (annual membership), offers members a 20 oz. pour for the price of a 16 oz. pour at every visit, poured in a members-only stein. (Transferrable at Schram Vineyards) The Schnitzlebank Club features all the benefits of the Schram Beer Club in a lifetime membership with added benefits, such as a personalized brick displayed on the Chaska Brick feature wall, complimentary small pours at every visit and more.