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Duluth Pipe-smoking Trend

While my data collection process might be flawed (data gained mostly by conformation bias) there sure seems to be a recent uptick in Duluth pipe smokers.

I am talking about the briar pipe, burley and latakia type of pipe smoker not the glass and green type. While pipes are a distant third to cigs and cigars, I have run into 6-8 pipe smokers just in the past two months and many more over the past year. Usually 35-45 types, all who appear to have penises.

While this might be borderline PDD topic material I am interested if anyone else noticed or is paying attention. Duluth in general has been a pretty bare place for pipe tobacco since the shop on First Avenue West shut down. Buttes in West Duluth is the only shop that sorta has real pipe tobacco that I know of. Maybe add it to your business plan to make a buck or two.

Any smokers the way of the briar out there in PDD land?

25 Comment(s)

  1. Yep, I received my Grandpa’s pipe when he passed away. I enjoy smoking it now and again.

    Pipe-smoking is certainly a current trend, but probably has more to do with hipster-ism than geography. Nothing like a good pipe while riding your fixed gear. With your ironic mustache.

    I wouldn’t mind a classy tobacco shop in town.

    Snaglak | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  2. There is that kinda skanky place up by the mall (unless it has moved again). I don’t smoke much at all, am not a hipster by any definition, but am between 35 and 45 of the male gender and the only tobacco I do consume is via pipe, three to four times a year. This has been going on about 15 years, so the trend has finally bent to my arc I suppose.

    edgeways | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Mr. Udarnik, who is between 35-45 and very much not a hipster, started smoking a pipe about 10 years ago when we quit smoking cigarettes. He indulges about once a week, and I occasionally partake. He gets his tobacco via mail-order, but I can’t remember from where.

    udarnik | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  4. The Northern Briar Blokes is a group of briar puffers founded by Aaron Molina, and has about 10-15 solid members thus far.

    We usually have a session every month or so, weather permitting. The style is akin to a whiskeyjack session, wherein we bring what we’re smoking at the time and share around. There tends to be a bit of discussion and maybe a little edification to share along with the burley flake.

    This is my third go round with a briar. I picked it up while stationed aboard Nimitz back in 1991 or so, then again after Halloween 1996, and this time back in January…

    in.dog.neato | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Damn you hipsters!!! The only ironic thing you do is turn whatever you touch into the passé which is truly ironic because of your mindset. I was hoping they would just stick to hookas.

    The smoke shop I think you are talking about, Edgeways, is still in the mall area and since it moved by Chico’s and Sproutlings the cigar stock went from terrible to decent, but as far as pipe smoke goes I think they just have that vacuum-package cheap stuff that people use to roll cigs with.

    I smoke about one day a week in the summer and cut to once a month in the winter. I mostly get mail order from a few different sites but like the blends pipesandcigars.com has even if a bit pricey their customer service is good stuff. Call them up and tell them what flavors you like for both pipe and cigar tobaccos and they will hook you up. I also hit up the Golden Leaf shops in the cities when I can. Their bulk house-blends can be tasty. Their customer service is mostly good but depends on who is working.

    Come to think of it, the old smoke shop wasn’t on First Avenue West, it was like on Third. The yellow awing thing is still up. I went their almost monthly with my father but was under 18 when it was around so I mostly sat in the car only going in once.

    Conrad | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  6. There are no decent tobacconists in Duluth. The cities has the Golden Leaf and perhaps a few others.

    I usually order from a tobacconist in Homewood, Alabama and a nice outfit out of New York. My next briar is going to come from a retired army sergeant from Missouri.

    in.dog.neato | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  7. And I am by no means a “hipster.”

    in.dog.neato | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  8. Are the Briar Blokes up for new members? I can’t find any traces of the club online and have been looking for a pipe club the past few years.

    Conrad | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  9. My next pipe will be one of the art ones from grant batson. His work is slick. I inherited my fathers collection and need a trophy piece.

    Conrad | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  10. Duluth Tobacco and Gift was indeed on First Avenue West just up from Cooper Engraving. The proprietor was Josh Zerlin. When he passed, the business changed hands and moved to Third or Fourth West before going under. Yes, you are all hipsters.

    TimK | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  11. Hear, hear!

    baci | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  12. “I’m not a hipster.” — All Hipsters

    Barrett Chase | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  13. Northern Briar Blokes on Facebook.

    in.dog.neato | Dec 3, 2012 | New Comment
  14. This feels like something Souptown should have…

    rhetoricguy@gmail.com | Dec 4, 2012 | New Comment
  15. “Hooka Bloke” sounds odd. BTW, Calling people “Hipster” is sooo OVER!

    baci | Dec 4, 2012 | New Comment
  16. Ahhh Hipsters.

    By default, nobody in Duluth should be called a hipster unless they are from out of town. Hipsters tend to try to dress like those from Duluth, while Duluthians just dress like they always have.

    Just because the two looks are similar does not mean they are the same.

    We wear flannel out of necessity. Thick plastic glasses do not stick to your temple when they freeze, our jeans are well-worn because we work in them and they are somewhat tight because loose fabric is a hazard around power tools.

    We carry Duluth Packs/Frost River packs because they are made in Duluth and are durable, not because they are the “in” thing.

    We like obscure bands because we have a bunch of them that play regularly through our vibrant music scene.

    We are eco-friendly because we always have been.

    Facial hair is more a local culture than hipster culture.

    We dressed and acted like Hipsters before it was cool.

    Dorkus | Dec 4, 2012 | New Comment
  17. I hated hipsters before it was cool to do so.

    Swan | Dec 4, 2012 | New Comment
  18. jessige | Dec 4, 2012 | New Comment
  19. Friends don’t let friends meme.

    in.dog.neato | Dec 5, 2012 | New Comment
  20. I feel partially responsibly for this cliche slide into hipster hate. How, Conrad, to get it back on topic?

    Favorite widespread blend would have to be Captian Earl’s 10 Russians, out of a tin, smoke within a week. Nothing better than freshly open Latakia out of a tin. I like Velvet as a tin to. Pinch slowly from.

    I have a few pipes and access to about 30 as my father recently quit. I am very slowly researching where they come from. Like I said earlier, saving $5 a month for a big purchase.

    Conrad | Dec 5, 2012 | New Comment
  21. In the United States, the government standard for a product to be labeled “tobacco,” it must contain a minimum of 55 percent actual tobacco. The rest can be whatever. I am sure there are pipe tobacco manufacturers in the US that exceed the standard, but I’d do a little research on what’s actually in it. Or you could smoke tobacco that’s been imported from just about any other country on the planet where the standard is 100 percent.

    TimK | Dec 5, 2012 | New Comment
  22. I’m currently hooked on McClelland’s blends.

    Frog Morton, Deep Hollow and Grey Havens. I also picked up a nice burley blend and a latiaka from the Golden Leaf.

    I also have some virginias and a really nice J.F Germain blend of perique and latiaka, blended in the Isles (British).

    Check out the Blokes on Facebook, Conrad, if you’d like some camaraderie with your puffing.

    Aaron has quite a few nice blends he just got in from a mutual friend down in the Cities.

    in.dog.neato | Dec 5, 2012 | New Comment
  23. Jesus, InDog, you better lay off that shit. God only gave you so much flesh to go around. Baby Jesus granted you the miracle of eyes and lungs to enjoy the short amount of time you’re here. Maybe go down to once a month like the rest of these guys. Chortle. Me, I love the smell, but taking on a whole new addiction would be too much work, even though I’d love me a Zuessian alabaster pipe.

    Save your vices for food and drink, sex and THC, they’ll kill you fast enough.

    Herzog | Dec 5, 2012 | New Comment
  24. I have a scant few vices, and I exercise them with great discretion these days.

    Admittedly, there is a certain percentage of an end run around quitting the sticks … and I’m bipolar just enough that the nicotine tends to counteract my behavioral neuroses just enough to make my family tolerate my presence.

    A larger percentage is an aesthetic with regard to the palate: beer, wine, coffee … tobacco falls in line.

    in.dog.neato | Dec 5, 2012 | New Comment
  25. I opened the fridge just now for some dessert and a hidden bottle of cherry whiskey fell out and hit the floor spraying the sweet sticky all over. I keep a pretty tight ship, so I got down on all fours and started slurping. What could I do? It was just days ago I’d been in Super One, staring at the Tom and Jerry’s thinking about how that bastard Lundgren has Brandy and Rum at his place, and I only had tequila and vodka to mix? So I passed. The whole time I had some fine Michigan cherry whiskey in the freezer, yet there I was licking it off the floor. Might’ve been prevented if I’d used it for TJ’s. Know your inventory is the moral of this story I guess.

    Herzog | Dec 6, 2012 | New Comment

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