Our Town: New owners at Millstream Brewing in Amana have ties to KCRG

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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AMANA, Iowa (KCRG) - The state’s oldest operational brewery has new owners, and longtime viewers of KCRG-TV9 might recognize one of them.  Millstream Brewery makes 16,000 barrels of beer a year.

“We have eight-core beers that have been around forever and those recipes have slightly changed with malts and things like that but essentially we do German-style brewing through and through,” said Justin Cohanim, co-owner of Millstream Brewing Co.

Justin Cohanim is a Cedar Rapids native who has a background in business. He took a leap into the brewery business when he bought Millstream along with Steve and Susan Charlier.

“It really is a dream come true – I’m the sidekick to my husband Steve and Justin, this was a dream for them to find a brewery in their hometown or home area,” said Susan Charlier.

The Charliers most recently lived in Chicago. But they both worked at KCRG in the 1990′s.

“The last time Steve and I worked together in Eastern Iowa I sat on the anchor desk next to Bruce Aune and Steve was my intern,” said Susan Charlier.

March 1st the new owners took over and they kept the staff at Millstream, including the brewer with more than 30 years of experience.

“The previous owners and Millstream in its entirety have a core set of really good beers. We’re keeping those and then we’re adding much more to it throughout the year using the same German-style brewing,” said Cohanim.

Keeping the tradition of the oldest working brewery in Iowa is priority one. And they’re adding new elements to the growing business, too.

“We will be able to not just bottle beer which we’ve done for many years but to can beer which is awesome. People have really gravitated toward the cans rather than the bottles,” said Susan Charlier.

No matter the vessel, or whether the beverage is beer or pop, Millstream Brewing will continue to thrive in Our Town Amana.

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