From a classic American lager and a Belgian ale, to a marshmallow fluff cocoa stout and a mango milkshake NEIPA, Tilion Brewing Company has a brew for anyone.
Tilion Brewing Company is located on the corner of Veterans Lane and Mill Street overlooking Little Cannon River and the town’s namesake falls. The brewery opened their doors to Cannon Falls three years ago this March, with only three beers on tap, and have expanded to 14 beers and an in-house seltzer since then.
One of the most popular brews is the Mango Milkshake. Without giving away their secrets, Larson said they took the hazy New England style IPA, an already fruity beer, and added lactose sugar, copious amounts of madagascar vanilla and mango puree to get the milkshake flavor.
The Mango Milkshake is not the only “fun” beer they make. Currently, Tilion has two pastry stouts and a Blueberry Lemon Graham Cracker Sour.
“I think we know our customers and try to create an experience for them that they enjoy,” Larson said. “We try to create fun and interesting beverages that they can share and talk about with friends.”
The brewery also has their own twist on a hard seltzer, which they began making two years ago. Larson wanted it to taste more like sparkling moscato, and for it to have no artificial flavors. To make it, they do not ferment the seltzer all the way out, which makes the end result less dry. Then they add food grade acid, afterwards they let the seltzer, “do its thing” on their seltzer is gluten free and contains no grain or wheat. Tilion uses a yeast propagated on a gluten free medium, Larson said. The end result is a seltzer that has hints of green apple and lime.
“There’s like this fun side of it where you’re looking at what’s happening within the crafter community,” Larson said. “Things like seltzers, milkshakes and sours. We think, ‘How do we fold that into our repertoire? How do we take either existing recipes and modify them, or just experiment with a new style altogether?’”
There is no specific brew that customers prefer, said Larson. If they have a new beer on tap, that is the new in-house favorite. One of their classics, which had been removed from the menu for the first time since they opened, is what they are known for. Loyal fans will be happy to hear it will be back on the menu the first week of February.
The brewery had their best summer on record in 2020, even with COVID-19. Currently, they are open at 50 percent capacity and offer large space heaters for their patio. Tilion also offers many of their beers to-go in a growler or crowler, which are bottles and cans that keep your draft beer fresh.
“The community has been so open and kind and generous to work with,” Larson said. “All of our colleagues on Mill St. and in town, the rest of the chamber members, are just so supportive. We work together...and the people are great. We couldn’t have survived COVID without such a wonderful set of customers.”
Customers should be on the lookout for four new beers that will be added to the menu soon. The Little Cannon, Helios, Tilion Blonde and German Maibock. All of the beers will be available by March 13, the brewery’s third anniversary.
Clarification: A previous version of this article noted that Tilion Brewery's seltzers was gluten free but still contained wheat. The article has been updated to reflect Tilion Brewery's seltzer making process.