What’s In a Name
Thousand Lakes Brewing is named with pride for the beautiful, lake-filled county of Otter Tail that we call home. Many people know Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. What many people are not aware of is that Otter Tail county has more lakes than any other county in the United States. Otter Tail County alone has over 1,000 lakes and a full 11% of the surface area of the county is water. Welcome to the county with a Thousand Lakes!
Matt and Kevin, along with a few other brothers-in-law started home brewing 10 years ago and formed the Woodside Brew Bros homebrewing club. Brew days were often family events with everyone getting together for an afternoon. The brewers went through many common bumps in the road from a few failed experiments and exploding bottles to contention with spouses over dishwasher space for sanitizing bottles, water/beer covered floors and having fermenters all over the house to maintain optimal temperatures. Over the first couple years, lessons were learned, processes were refined, equipment got better and the resulting beer started becoming something they were proud of.
The Woodside Brew Bros soon gathered a following of family and friends and Matt and Kevin eventually began entering competitions and regularly winning awards for their beers. Like many homebrewers they started to think about the possibility of opening a brewery. With full time careers and growing families, the process was slow but the idea was tough to shake. After research and business planning over several years, Matt, his wife Amelia and Kevin were able to actively pursue the dream and start Thousand Lakes Brewing Company.
Meet the Brewers!
Matt Harren was raised on a dairy farm only a short distance away near Eagle Bend, MN. He met his wife Amelia in college and were married shortly after graduating. After college, he worked for Polaris in the Twin Cities doing Software Design/Development and Project Management for several years. In the last few years, Matt, his wife Amelia and four kids were able to move back to rural Parkers Prairie to be near to family and enjoy their favorite activities outdoors.
Kevin Siepker Jr. was primarily raised in the small southwestern Minnesota town of Jackson. His wife Amanda grew up on a small dairy farm in eastern Otter Tail county, a short distance from Parkers Prairie. Over the years as Kevin spent more and more time at Amanda’s family’s farm, he developed a strong connection to the area – especially when it comes to hunting. Kevin and Amanda have two teenagers and currently live in the small town of Winsted, MN. For the past 15 years, Kevin has worked for Element Fleet(formerly GE Fleet), managing a variety of fleet vehicle accounts. He has also worked in sales and customer service around the Twin Cities.