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Brady's Brewhouse opens downtown

Brady's Brewhouse opened for business on Oct. 10. Pictured above (left to right), Justus Miller, chef; Crystal Gibson, general manager; and Chris Polfus, owner, pose in the brew room.

When Chris Polfus opened the doors to Brady's Brewhouse on Oct. 10, he fulfilled a life-long dream of opening and owning his own restaurant/bar.

Why Brady?

"It was my great-grandpa's name, my dad's middle name, my middle name..." Polfus said.

"It's a family name," said Crystal Gibson, general manager.

Original plans for the former Wells Electric building didn't include a brewery, Polfus said.

After spending time at Fitger's Brewhouse in Duluth, Minn., Polfus said his plans for a simple restaurant and bar changed. Now, Brady's Brewhouse offers 42 beers on tap, about 50 different bottled beers and will eventually offer up to seven home brewed beers.

The brewery isn't fully operational yet, Polfus said. It will be about two months before the entire system is up and running. For now, staff is testing different recipes to perfect the five house brews -- a golden ale, oatmeal stout, IPA, Irish red ale and chocolate porter.

"We've gotten great reviews," Polfus said. "A master brewer from the Twin Cities came in day two. He talked the talk and gave us some nice feedback. He said it was better than his."

The brewery uses a seven-barrel system, Polfus said. Each batch can produce about 14 kegs of beer.

Brady's isn't only about beer, said Gibson. The full-service bar also features several specialty beverages along with an expansive wine list.

The restaurant side of the business offers a wood fire oven, wood fire grill and several local ingredients.

Polfus and Gibson credit Justus Miller, chef, and Corey Marti, sous chef, for the successful menu.

"We got a lot of input from the chefs," Polfus said. "We've been working on the menu since January."

Serving what Polfus refers to as "American Pub Grub," the business features certified Hereford beef, local cheeses from Ellsworth, Burnett and Bass Lake and Star Prairie trout.

"It's absolutely important that we use local ingredients," Polfus said. "When we built we used local companies as well."

Demolition to the interior of the building started in January, said Gibson.

Finishes were chosen after several hours of research and contemplation.

Unique features include a one-way window in the men's restroom that looks into the brewery, restaurant logos burnt into the woodwork; an exterior sign that mimics that of the old Johnson Motors building; and an upper level game room with windows overlooking the brew room and the stage, which will eventually host live music.

Old photos and memorabilia adorn the walls with only one thing tying them together -- they're all about New Richmond's heritage.

The building at 230 S. Knowles Ave. has a lot of history, Polfus said. Here's a breakdown:

• 1895-1925 -- opera house

• 1925-1970 -- Johnson Motors

• 1970-1972 -- printing company

• 1972-2009 -- Wells Electric

• 2010- present -- Brady's Brewhouse

Brady's is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m.-midnight. For more information or to make a reservation, call 715-246-9960 or visit