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Two BSU Alum Look to Start Brewery in Bemidji

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Jan. 3, 2012) — Bemidji State University alumni Tom Hill and Justin “Bud” Kaney, along with Tina Hanke, look to return to their alma mater town of Bemidji to start a brewery for northern Minnesota called the Bemidji Brewing Company.

The group is hoping to raise $15,000 through a Kickstarter campaign that is set to finish Jan. 23.

The Kickstarter campaign allows community members, local businesses, and people around Minnesota to get involved by donating funds to the project.  The three chose this form of fundraising so the Bemidji community and Minnesota would have a part in bringing a brewery to Bemidji.

“We love the idea of being in downtown Bemidji and have a collaboration with the downtown businesses,” Hill explained.

Those who donate can receive Bemidji Brewing Company shirts, bottle openers, pint glasses and complimentary dinners featuring the company’s beer.

The three hope to reach the $15,000 mark in order to purchase equipment for a pilot brewing system capable of producing approximately 25 gallon batches, approximately enough beer to supply one or two bar accounts in Bemidji.

Hill, Kaney, and Hanke will be hosting a beer tasting on Jan. 13 from 6-10 p.m. at Keg N Cork in downtown Bemidji.

For more information about the Kickstarter campaign, the Bemidji Brewing Company, or the beer tasting event visit

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.