A fun, hip place that people will want to come to and have fun.
That’s what Pete Espinosa, Luther class of 1981, plans to offer when he opens the Pulpit Rock Brewing Company behind the Bottle Tree laundromat on College Dr.
Espinosa recently opened the Bottle Tree because he wanted to invest in Decorah. In addition, he and his wife, Karie (Tollefson), Luther class of 1985, have purchased three homes on the West side of Decorah.
Espinosa, who has a permanent residence in Edina, Minn., said when he was looking for a second business to open behind the Bottle Tree, he wanted to create something that was different than anything that exists in Decorah today.
“Craft brewing and breweries are on fire throughout the U.S.,” he said.
“I have three brothers-in-law who are craft beer nuts and I told them this would be a dream place for a brew pub,” he said.
He said while his brothers-in-law were already sold on the idea of opening a craft beer place, they weren’t necessarily sold on Decorah.
“I just think Decorah is the most special, unique town to do this in,” he said.
In addition, Espinosa thought it was important to involve people with a local connection to Decorah, so he offered investment opportunities to people he was already working with. 

He recruited five local investors who are excited about the project. 

“If we’re going to be part of Decorah, I didn’t to just be some out-of-town guys doing this,” he said. 

The name

“In addition to the local Pulpit Rock, which gives us a local feel here in town, my mother’s family is from near where the original Pulpit Rock is in Stavanger, Norway,” he said. 

“It’s one of the most famous edifices in the world and we’re really excited about the name and logo,” he said.

What they’ll offer
Pulpit Rock will serve food in addition to local wines, hard cider, gluten free selections and more.
They plan to be open from Thursday afternoons through Sunday, and tap in to the local music scene.
“We’re just hoping to create something here that will bring more people to Decorah,” he said.
To craft just the right beer, Espinosa has hired two experienced master brewers, who will help with the brewery’s recipes.
“The thing we’re finding is that Decorah offers things like organic products and a lot of the things you need to make great beer,” he said, adding the company has no plans to distribute beer outside Decorah at this time.
“We want to be making great, cool, special, unique beers,” he said.
“It’s all about Decorah,” he said.

The location
Espinosa said while he considered the possibility of a different location for the business, he likes the “funky, behind-the-laundromat thing.”
Another bonus is that he already owns the building.
“There is room here to convert the back to a brewery, complete with a tap room and cooler in back. We’ll also have a courtyard with outdoor patio seating,” he said.
“We won’t be a restaurant, but we will have some food. We know we already have great restaurants in towns,” he said.
“Hopefully this will be the place where people can come and say, ‘I’d like to go drink a great beer,’” he said.
Espinosa and his partners plan to have Pulpit Rock open in the spring, prior to Luther’s graduation.