Norsemen Brewing logo with containers for brewing

Small Business Feature - The Norsemen Brewing Company

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Small Business Feature - The Norsemen Brewing Company

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From experimenting with home brewing in their garage to a full-fledged micro-brewery and kitchen, Jared Rudy and Adam Rosdahl, co-owners of the Norsemen Brewing Company, turned their vision into reality when they opened their brewery in 2016.


Located in the North Topeka Arts & Entertainment District, also known as NOTO, the Norsemen Brewery has a Nordic-inspired menu, an extensive craft beer list and plenty of Viking-themed lore.


You can thank Rudy and Rosdahl for having two different, albeit inspired, taste buds for craft brews, too.  Rudy, a more traditional brew master, was continuously trying to replicate the best examples of a traditional beer, while Rosdahl was more of the experimentalist. This is why the brewery has such a wide selection to choose from. “When we initially got started, Adam was creating those crazy-type beers, and I was more of a traditionalist. I think, in the end, we worked well together and that is why we have such a big selection at the brewery.”  


“I was initially turned on to craft beer when my wife surprised me with a special tour of Boulevard Brewing Company 18 years ago,” said Rudy. “We got to try a whole bunch of beers that I had never tasted before, and it really opened up my mind to the different flavors and styles that beer could be.”


After being laid off from his job soon after the tour, he wondered if he could start making beer cheaper than what it cost to purchase, so he began home brewing with his buddy Adam. They joined a few craft beer clubs in the area and started networking with other brewery owners. They quickly realized that Topeka didn’t have many micro-breweries in town. After discussing their vision with their wives to open a brewery, it was time to go into business together.


Having no experience whatsoever in starting a business and securing funding, they teamed up with a small business development center in Topeka who helped them with their business plan. While working with the center they asked for recommendations on what lenders were small business administration (SBA) friendly. The center recommended they speak with Ben Tenpenny, Regional Commercial Lending Officer, at CapFed®.


“We approached Ben and told him we were completely new to running a business,” said Rudy. “We showed him our business plan and worked through the numbers from beginning to end. Ben was very receptive and believed in what we wanted to get done. In October of 2016, we had our official grand opening.”


When the brewery initially opened for business, the sole focus was on making the best examples of craft beer.  They started noticing their customers wanted the full experience, so three years into the business, they approached CapFed again to talk about adding a full-service kitchen. “We went back to CapFed and talked about expanding and of course, they helped us through that entire process and made it happen.  Without them, this dream wouldn’t even be a possibility, and for that we are very thankful,” said Rudy.


One thing they knew early on was that they wanted to be a part of NOTO. NOTO, according to Visit Topeka, is the vibrant heartbeat of North Topeka that offers fine art experiences, unique shops, and all the mouth-watering food you could ever need!


Rudy, having lived in North Topeka the majority of his life, said that he felt the area got left behind on cool places and things to do because everyone wanted to be out west on the Wanamaker corridor. With Norsemen, they wanted to bring something cool not only to the North side, but more specifically the NOTO area. Rudy believed it made sense to move into the area because it was just starting to take off, and craft beer would fit perfectly into the art scene.


It also made sense to carry on a name with history to that side of town. The Norsemen name came from Northern Hills Junior High School’s mascot, which was a public school established in 1963 before the district decided to re-name it Seaman Middle School in 2008. Emily Rudy, Jared’s wife, part-owner and school teacher in the district, knew the history and told the group about the name. They thought with the feel of their building and love for the television series Game of Thrones, the name fit perfectly.


So, next time you visit Topeka, stop in NOTO for a beverage and great eats at Norsemen Brewing Company. Mortal Brewed, Odin Approved!

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Categories: CapFed® News , Community and Events , Just For Fun
Tags: Topeka

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