Noel Johnson, Founder
The corporation was formed in 2013 with the idea of creating a local brew in the city of St. Cloud.
Noel has always been fascinated with the history of Samuel Pandolfo and the Pan Car! 735 cars were produced between 1917-1919 on 33rd Ave North in St. Cloud. That area is referred to as "PANTOWN".
When the time came to chose a name for a company, it was an easy choice! Noel was already known as a successful local entrepreneur & remained patient while waiting for the right partner to come along and help with his dream of making great beer, while keeping the history if the Pan Car alive!During the day, Noel has an office job overseeing the areas #1 Independent Real Estate firm. If he's not in the taproom when you visit, you can usually find him hanging out at a local hockey rink coaching the AAA Junior Jacks or the Storm'n Sabers U10 hockey team that his daughter plays on. He loves coaching & teaching kids the game of hockey!
Marty Czech, Owner
Marty Czech came to St Cloud in 1996 from the beer Mecca of America, Milwaukee Wisconsin, to get an education at St Cloud State University. Knowing nothing about beer despite his origins, SCSU provided a starting point. During his college career he was introduced to craft beer by his parents who bought him his first home brew kit (at age 20, we promise not to tell). He was introduced to GOOD craft beer at O'Hara's Brew Pub when he moved to the Pantown area with friends from the SCSU rugby club. After college, playing rugby with the St Cloud Men's Rugby Club (Go Feeders) he made many friends and contacts in the craft beer industry. While working in his primary day job as a REALTOR, Marty met Noel Johnson. Soon after moving his real estate licence to Noel's company Premier Real Estate, Noel asked him to join him in the craft beer venture that has become Pantown Brewing Company and to bring things full circle, Pantown Brewing Company uses the brewing equipment from the former O'Hara's Brew Pub. (Not Marty's homebrew kit, which we're all excited about)
Nick Flies, Head Brewer
Nick's love for craft beer started when he was 10 years old. Listening to a late night radio show called the Mischke Broadcast, he’d lay in bed and listen to the host, Tommy Mischke, do commercials for Summit Brewing. He knew then and there that a Summit beer was the first beer he wanted to have when he was a grown-up. Nick’s first craft beer was a Summit Pilsener.
One rainy day, Nick and his best friend Mike got a wild idea. "Let’s make our own beer!" "Sure!" He said. "It can’t be that hard." That same day they bought the necessary equipment and brewed their first extract batch, an IPA. After his mom bought him an all-grain system for Christmas, the future was pretty much sealed for Nick. Over the next few years he did a lot of home brewing with Mike, and eventually with his cousins Zac and Jake.
One day, Nick's dad told him to "make your own opportunity." Nick took it to heart and knew that someday he wanted to be a pro brewer. In Spring 2013, he got word of a brewery opening in Victoria, MN, called Enki Brewing. He contacted the owner and a few months later became employed, selling beers to thirsty patrons and doing some packaging and keg deliveries. But he knew this was not the road that would lead him to his goal.
In early 2015, Nick learned that another brewery nearby was looking for an Assistant Brewer. Always looking for the next opportunity and knowing that he was at a fork in the road of life, he went for it. He got the job. Over the next 2+ years at Waconia Brewing he learned everything he knows about professional brewing, under the outstanding tutelage of Tom Schufman, Head Brewer at Waconia Brewing. Tom is truly a great mentor.
Nick left Waconia Brewing in June 2017, and started working at LynLake Brewery in Uptown Minneapolis, going back to his roots in the area he grew up. Nick honed his recipe development skills at LLB for a year, and after meeting Noel and Marty, he knew his next step was St. Cloud. A city and brewhouse with such history instantly attracted him. Nick came onboard at Pantown in June 2018, and he is excited to give the people of the St. Cloud Metro some quality brew!
Nick now resides in Sauk Rapids. He loves to travel, play poker, play disc golf, and stargaze. He’s a huge music fan, with his favorites being classic rock (especially The Rolling Stones), and classic country music. If you see him say “Hi!”. He loves talking about Science, Music, Movies, Sports (Go Pack Go), and of course, BEER!