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6.5-million Bottles of Beer on the Wall: A tally of annual craft brew production in the Duluth area

Schlemiel Schlimazel

The Arrowhead region of northeastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin boasts 14 craft breweries and brewpubs, producing nearly 20,000 barrels of convivial suds annually. For perspective, that’s about 600,000 gallons or 40,000 kegs or 5 million pints or 6.5 million 12-ounce bottles and cans.

When it comes to craft beer, of course, it’s a game of quality over quantity. So although the list below is stacked by order of the largest producers, obviously it is taste that matters most (though the latter is clearly subjective and difficult to rank). Some of the production numbers below are fairly precise, while others are estimates and subject to caveats, so our 6.5-million bottles/cans figure is the result of a lot of rounding off.

It should also be noted that while the 2014 production figures might seem impressive, it is a far cry from the amount of beer produced in this neck of the woods back in the good old days. In the 1940s, for example, the old Fitger’s Brewing Company was producing about 100,000 barrels all by itself — and it was far from the only brewery in the region. (Zenith City Online notes numerous defunct Duluth breweries in its feature “Commercial Beer Brewing in Duluth (1850s–1970s).”) With that perspective stated, here is Perfect Duluth Day’s list of craft breweries/brewpubs and their stats.

Bent Paddle BrewingBent Paddle Brewing
30-barrel microbrewery and tap room, founded in 2013
1912 W. Michigan St., Duluth
Karen Tonnis, vice president of operations; Laura Mullen, vice president of outreach and events; Bryon Tonnis and Colin Mullen, co-brewers (all four are owners)
2014 production: 7,850 barrels 

Fitger's BrewhouseFitger’s Brewhouse
10-barrel facility supplying five pubs and a retail store, founded in 1995
600 E. Superior St., Duluth
Tim Nelson and Rod Raymond, owners; Dave Hoops, master brewer
2014 production: 2,600 to 2,900 barrels (estimate) 

Mickey Smith – Harboured

https://vimeo.com/123377903

BuckeyeDuluth native Mickey Smith discusses her art exhibit, Harboured, which was on display in February at the Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand.

Smith currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. The work in her exhibit centered on shipping-industry imagery from both port cities — Duluth and Aucklund. The photographs, presented as large-scale textiles, came together with live video feed to negotiate the distance between Smith and her father, a former merchant marine still living in Duluth.

The video was produced by Andrew Matautia, with Emma Ng conducting the interview.

Selective Focus: Sanctuary

Kip Praslowicz

Kip Praslowicz, “Basement- Silver City”

I would have found this week’s theme of sanctuary difficult, because to me the idea involves something more comprehensive. How do you take an image of an intangible concept like a community, comprised of myriad people and places where you feel secure and able to be your best self, and supported even when you occasionally fall shy of that measure?

In case anyone is wondering how we do things around here …

How we do things at Duluth

Duluth Band Profile: Feeding LeRoy

Feeding Leroy PPD ThumnailFeeding LeRoy mixes the songwriting and vocal abilities of Lee Martin and Sonja Bjordal. They explain how traveling across the country lays the foundation for the song “Desert Air” and their future plans. Click on the image above to hear the interview.

Superior Siren – “Leone”

https://vimeo.com/122206429

As a sort of companion piece to the recently published band profile, here is the new video from Superior Siren.

Jeff Galloway run/walk/run training group in Duluth

If you’re looking at running Grandma’s and/or Whistlestop half or full marathons this year, there’s a new training program available for both races. It’s a group using the Jeff Galloway method of run/walk/run. This is a great method for beginning runners as well as people who are injury prone but want to continue to run the longer races. Visit active.com to register and find more information and details.

What happened to that poster from R. T. Quinlan’s men’s room?

Having spent several hours at R.T. Quinlan’s Saloon on Sunday, I was reminded of the framed poster that used to hang outside the toilet stall in the men’s room, next to the urinal. I thought there was a good chance an image of it might be available on the Internet somewhere, but my searches for “classic bathtubs, breasts” yielded only distractions.

Tenancy Questions: Pets, etc.

A friend of mine is in a state of post-graduation flux. He’s been asked to renew his lease. He has days to decide. He might be relocating, so renewing is committing before he knows what his job prospects are.

1. He may know within a few weeks. How does one sweet-talk a landlord into extending a lease for a few months?

Duluth Band Profile: Superior Siren

Superior SirenLaura Sellner works under the alias Superior Siren. In this interview she opens up about the story behind her song “Leone” and her plans to take Superior Siren into bolder directions. Click on the image above to hear the interview.

The hunt for a wireless provider in Duluth

We’re ready to ditch Dish and are looking to go wireless-only at our house (no cable package). Are there any good companies providing wireless (besides Clearwire) in Duluth these days?

This Week: Bigfoot, Little Big Town and more

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Here’s a bit of what you’ll find on this week’s PDD Calendar:

The Zodiac Trio hits Mitchell Auditorium, the Duluth Public Library is throwing a Lego party, Duluth MakerSpace wants to introduce you to the Electric Imp, Bigfoot may or may not be out there, the famous modern-country act Little Big Town is at the Amsoil and Love, Loss, and What I Wore opens at the Underground.

As if that wasn’t enough, Mason Jennings is at Sacred Heart, Sleeping Beauty is at the DECC, there are derbies of the roller and puzzle variety and Mentor Duluth is throwing a music festival.

2015 NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship

2015 NCAA Division Men’s Hockey Championship

The UMD Bulldogs drew the Minnesota Gophers in the first round of the NCAA National Hockey Championship Playoffs. The ‘Dogs have faced the Gophers four times this season, winning three and losing one. They play 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., on ESPNU/WatchESPN.  Go Bulldogs!

The Boomchucks – “Antidote”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=868D_e4nCw0

Presenting the title track from the new album by Duluth band the Boomchucks, set for release later in 2015.

“I thought I got this at a wrestling convention in Duluth”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owQ1Iz4AYUU

The Duluth reference here is likely intended to be Duluth, Ga., since the Chris Stevens character on Northern Exposure is a native of Wheeling, W.Va., and any wrestling convention he attended would probably have been during his years at Wheeling Central Catholic High School. (Assuming “convention” means “tournament” — it could also mean a gathering of popular wrestlers signing autographs or some other thing.) The distance from Wheeling is great in either direction, however — 650 miles to Duluth, Ga., and 950 miles to Duluth, Minn.