By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — If you haven’t been in the Colfax Arts and Antique Mall lately, you might be surprised to find a newcomer.
Or maybe it’s better to say — you might be surprised to find a familiar face.
Lynn Sampson Schneider, the owner of Lynn’s Brewed Awakenings, has moved her coffee business from the southern part of the building next to the Farmhouse Cafe to the north side of the building among the antiques.
The location is not the only thing that has changed.
Schneider has obtained the appropriate licenses and has added beer and wine. The beverages can be sold in the original container for off-premises consumption or can be consumed on site by the glass.
The Colfax Village Board approved the licenses for Schneider about a month ago and all the bartenders have obtained their licenses.
Schneider says she is working with local vineyards and microbreweries to offer a variety of wines and beers.
To start out, Lynn’s Brewed Awakenings will offer O’Neil Creek wine and microbrewed beer from Valkyrie Brewing in Dallas and Sand Creek Brewing.
“It’s not your usual Bud and Miller. It’s microbrewed specialties. Eventually we will have a deli case with meats and cheeses, and we’ll do a wine and cheese pairing and beer and cheese pairing. It’s been fun learning about it,” Schneider said.
Schneider plans to hold regularly scheduled wine and beer tasting once a month or once every other month.
“You can come in and taste, and we’ll have a local artist to provide music and make it a little event. Late afternoon, 4 to 7 p.m., and you can try the meats and cheeses and beers and wines and relax. It’s going to be fun, I think,” she said.
“There are so many interesting little vineyards and wineries popping up. O’Neil Creek does not make wine from grapes. They make wine from different fruits. And he has a dandelion wine and a beet wine. We’ll have those toward next fall. Something different. Dandelion wine is an old wine that people may remember having (homemade) years ago,” Schneider said.
O’Neil Creek Winery is located near Bloomer.
The O’Neil Creek beet wine, Schneider noted, is especially good for marinating wild game, such as venison.
The wine flavors include rhubarb, cherry, strawberry, and blackberry, as well as hard apple cider.
According to the O’Neil Creek Winery website, the winery does not have a vineyard, but instead, has an orchard and a garden. The rhubarb, for example, is grown on site.
“It’s a little something different that we’re adding to town. We wanted to add something different to bring people to town. Bringing people in will help everybody. Whatever we can do to bring people to town, the more places they will stop while they are here. It will help the flower shop. Annie’s (Little Italy). Mom’s. All of us. We actually have quite an interesting array of little businesses in town,” Schneider said.
“I know sometimes there’s a feeling that we are competing against each other in this community, but we’re not. We’re competing against the other communities. Eau Claire. Menomonie. Whatever we can do to make ourselves a little bit different will help all of us,” she said.