Couple Returns to Fillmore County to Open Brewery

July 20, 2018 11:15 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The little town of Fountain proudly claims its title of "Sinkhole Capital of the World."

"This entire town is just covered in sinkholes," said Eric Luoma.


But for Luoma and his wife Sandy, this southeastern Minnesota town of 400 has become home to something else entirely ...

"I've been a home brewer for a long time, since the 90s, and it's always been kind of a fantasy to have our own brewery," he said.

After ditching their career, Sandy as a youth services librarian in Carver County, Eric in the service industry for laboratory instrumentation, the couple opened Karst Brewing in 2017.

"You know, starting a new business when you're in your 50s, and changing careers and moving, all at the same time -- it tests you," Eric said.

"And I think sometimes, what are we doing?" Sandy said.

But their customers know the Luomas are doing something right.

The brewery draws locals and visitors alike.

Whenever they can, the couple uses local ingredients, like hops from a farm near Chatfield and malt from Shakopee.

Eric and Sandy are locals, too: They went to high school together in Chatfield, just down the road from Fountain.

"She was voted the biggest partier, and I was most likely to succeed -- I don't know why -- so we opened a brewery."

They're fulfilling those destinies at a brewery named Karst, after the rock responsible for the sinkholes, that gives Fountain its claim to fame.


Alice Keefe

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