Local brewery giving back to community and planning expansion

(ABC 6 News) – South x SouthEast Minnesota Brewing Co. has a unique way of giving back to the community.

This brewery is taking recycling and waste management to a whole new level.

Tuesday morning, Senator Amy Klobuchar even stopped by to check out just how well the business is doing.

The Pine Island brewery, which opened in 2020, is dedicated to leaving a green footprint on the environment.

“I’m having this, okay it’s a morning beer, breakfast of champions,” Klobuchar said.

South x SouthEast is a woman-owned brewery that plays a major part in giving back to the community.

“We recycle everything, We recycle everything,” Co-owners Tessa Leung and Ann Fahy-Gust joked.

And they mean it – nothing here goes to waste. All of their solid waste like their spent hops and yeast are given to local farmers for free to feed their livestock.

“It’s free it helps it’s nutritious feed for the animals so you get delicious animals and nice grass,” said Leung said.

The environmental protection agency has given them the green light to even turn their liquid waste from rinsing and cleaning tanks into fertilizer.

“We can spread it on our vineyard that’s what waters our grass,” Fahy-Gust said.

“That’s what makes out new grass grow,” said Leung.

“I gave them all the science that they needed and they were blown away. They were like why don’t all breweries do this,” said Fahy-Gust.

But above all else, South x SouthEast owners Tessa Leung and Ann Fahy-Gust say it’s about representing the community they serve and giving people a chance to reconnect with one another.

“We don’t have TVs, we don’t have wi-fi, we want people to come here and interact with each other,” said Fahy-Gust.

The business has been so successful that after only two years, it’s expanding.

A second brewery is in the process of being built and it’ll hold triple the capacity.

“We’re hoping we will have the brewery put together next week and we’ll start brewing the following week,” said Fahy-Gust.

South x SouthEast Minnesota Brewing Co, is open Tuesdays through Sundays. For more information on the brewing, click here.