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Is Duluth the Beer Capitol of Minnesota?

Frank Kaszuba, Keith Hefley, Dave Hoops of Fitger's.

In light of the Growler Magazine beginning distribution to Duluth on February 8, I have to ask if we’re becoming the brewing capital of Minnesota. By my count, we’ve got ten microbreweries open or nearly open:

Fitger’s Brewhouse, Castle Danger Brewery, Borealis Fermentery, Canal Park Brewing Company, the Thirsty Pagan, Carmody Irish Pub and Brewery, Lake Superior Brewing Company, Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub, Dubrue, and very soon Bent Paddle.
Based on a population of 86,277 people, that’s one brewery for every 8,627 people. Is that a lot?

By the way, the Growler launch comes with its own mini-beer festival of EXCLUSIVELY local brews. (Perhaps for the first time in Duluth?) Fitger’s, Castle Danger, Borealis, CPBC, Carmody, and Dubrue are all offering 3-ounce pours at Tycoons starting at 9pm. A $6 admission gets you six three-ounce pours. Silverback Colony and the Black-Eyed Snakes are playing.

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23 Comment(s)

  1. It sure looks like Duluth IS becoming the beer and brewing capital in Minnie to me. Based partly on the fact that with several of them all being within stum, er, walking distance from one another this has to be a killer brew destination!


    woodtick | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  2. I agree with the sentiment, but I have to get all geeky and dispute the numbers.

    Castle Danger is in Castle Danger, Borealis is in Knife River and Thirsty Pagan is in Superior — all close to Duluth, but you have to add their populations into the equation before the brewery-per-person number makes sense.

    Of course, it’s less fun to say Duluth/Superior/Castle Danger/Knife River are the combined brewing capitol of Minnesota, with a combined population of 113,854; one brewery for every 11,385 people.

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  3. All I can say is that Dave Hoops has a tremendous beard. Wow.

    w.dizzo | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  4. There’s also Bret’s Basement Brew, but that’s a secret.

    Bret | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  5. Well, I don’t know about beer, but that photo is certainly evidence that Duluth is the beard capitol of Minnesota.

    Lawrence Lee | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  6. Having moved here from spending a year in Utah, let me tell you, Duluth is a beer Mecca!

    I homebrew, all grain, and the local brewers support us hobbyists in a great way.

    Lake Superior Brewery will even sell sacks of grain to us homebrewers. And they are never too busy to stop what they are doing and chat for a minute.

    All hail the hops! barley! and yeast!

    Joel | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  7. Crop that Frank guy out of the photo and you’d have an “Upset in Duluth.”

    TimK | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  8. I sent this link to my brother-the-beer-lover in Omaha, and he is extremely impressed with the quality of the mathematical breakdown as computed by woodtick and Paul. If the beer won’t entice him up here for a visit, maybe our mathematics will.

    emmadogs | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  9. TimK, you’re totally right!

    emmadogs | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  10. We’ll do the brewing. You guys can do the math.

    brewhouse | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  11. According to our mayor it’s official.

    nicolai | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  12. Traverse City MI, 5 for a population of 12,000. 1 per every 2,400. Like Duluth they service many from outside their border, but math is math. Be well.

    Thomas | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  13. Traverse City is for the very best cherry turnovers on the planet!

    Duluth, now Duluth is for BEER!!!


    Joel | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  14. Proving how well traveled some Duluthians are. Beer here is nice. Capitol of the Midwest? Not so much, but room to improve.

    Thomas | Feb 9, 2013 | New Comment
  15. Thomas, he said it was the Beer Capitol of Minnesota, not the entire Midwest.

    My question: What other cities should be in the running for Beer Capitol of Minnesota?

    Barrett Chase | Feb 9, 2013 | New Comment
  16. Having been to nearly every State in the U.S. and some forty countries, I feel this Duluthian is well traveled. And Duluth has one of the better beer scenes by far.

    Bret | Feb 9, 2013 | New Comment
  17. Marquette has a very strong beer program and one of the hottest/nicest filipino waitresses of the 21st century, but the downhill is nill, and you need nice skiing if you’re going to have good beer, unless the skiing sucks, then you’ll need good beer. I somehow doubt Hancock has decent beer. Certain locations are begging for a little entrepreneurialhoodmanship.

    Herzog | Feb 10, 2013 | New Comment
  18. +1 Bret.

    Given that a lot of us are also from somewhere else…Thomas’ remark seems rather shallow. | Feb 10, 2013 | New Comment
  19. If Duluth was the beer capital of MN, awesome US micros and special global brews would be distributed in our area-not just the Twin Cities.

    I have traveled at least as much as Bret and respectfully disagree with his assessment. Drive 2.5 hrs south to witness a thriving beer scene. For really great beer towns, go to San Fran, NYC, Chicago, Portland OR, Denver, Seattle, Philly, etc. OK, those are all big cities. How about Portland ME, Anchorage, Boulder, Bend?

    digit3 | Feb 10, 2013 | New Comment
  20. Midwest being the operative geographic descriptor … why are people missing that? | Feb 10, 2013 | New Comment
  21. Agreed dog neato. There is no mention of quality here, just # of breweries. Good clean brews, good prices and a discerning local population signify a beer mecca. It’s true I got spoiled in other towns, but we’re talking about Minnesota here, so the point seems moot. If the Twin Cities take the prize, and Duluth comes in second, that means it beat out St. Cloud, Rochester, big deal!

    smellsfish | Feb 14, 2013 | New Comment
  22. One could make the case that Milwaukee is the beer capital of the Midwest … but that speaks nothing of quality … frankly, I’d rather drink water than the “beer that made Milwaukee famous.”

    Perhaps … the craft beer capital of the Midwest. | Feb 16, 2013 | New Comment
  23. For Christ, let’s just give it to them! These guys earned it. Yes goddammit, Duluth is the beer capitol of Minnesota. That ain’t asking for much.
    Midwest? I’d say Marquette is hot on your tails boys. I could drink cat piss served from that waitress would make El Nino taste like the back of a donkey.

    Herzog | Feb 16, 2013 | New Comment

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