• Trinity Gruenberg

Local man brewing craft beer in China


Long Prairie native Benjamin Brown resides in Chongqing, China where he owns and operates three craft beer bars. Locals and tourists alike stop in and enjoy a glass of his flagship flavor sezchwan pepper beer.

by Trinity Gruenberg trinity@inhnews.com

A small town Minnesotan is making craft beer in China. Benjamin Brown, 45, was born and raised in Long Prairie. Now, he and his family reside in Chongqing, China where he owns and operates three craft beer bars. A student exchange program first brought the small town Minnesotan to the Chinese city of 30 million people in 1994. He was an undergrad at St. John’s University, studying English. “I came over here and I loved it. I met some friends who said when I got done with college I should come back and teach English,” said Brown. He graduated in 1997 and returned to China to teach English, while also learning Chinese.

The Brown family, Benjamin, Can Li (Eva), Joseph, 4, and Carson, nine months.

The first Chinese phrase he learned was “Hello, my name is Ben,” which translated to “Hello, my name is stupid.” Ironically, his brother’s name, Dan, translated to “idiot.” “My mom had three boys so I tried to give her a hard time. I said, ‘How could you call me stupid and him idiot,’ and without even thinking about it she said, ‘when each of you was born I prayed to God for an appropriate name’,” Brown chuckled. He worked for a real estate company in Shanghai as a negotiator with huge businesses. Brown would set them up with housing options and give them a tour of the town. . . .


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