[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. In recognition of Thirsty Pagan Brewing’s recent move from its longtime location on Broadway Street to a newly renovated home at Winter Street Depot, we dust of this drunken report from 2007, when the business was in its first year of operation after taking over Twin Ports Brewing Company. This story originally appeared in the Feb. 12, 2007 issue of the Transistor.]
Like the word “Christian,” the word “pagan” makes me vaguely uncomfortable. It’s not that I don’t want to think about the gods when I’m drinking; it’s that I don’t want to think about bearded guys in wool stocking caps who smell like a sheepdog. Unfortunately, as I walk into Thirsty Pagan Brewing, it’s difficult to think of anything else.
The TPB, located on the corner of Broadway Street and Ogden Avenue in Superior, is the brewpub formerly known as Twin Ports Brewing Co. Walking inside is a lot like walking into some stoner’s basement grow-room. The main reason for this is the hoard of thickety furbags slumping over tables and drum kits. Tonight, however, the grow-room mood is enhanced because one side of a Hamm’s beer sign on the ceiling seems to be out for repairs, leaving its exposed fluorescent rods to blaze with retina-searing intensity. While one side of the room enjoys the classic sign, naked bulbs shine down on all the shadowless, drunken truth on the other side.
I spent part of Wednesday in front of a bonfire setting marshmallows on fire. There is really no point to slowly toasting them when you can set them on fire, after all. It was a meeting of the Lake Superior Shark Watching Society.
This week we feature work that you’ve probably seen around town recently, but may not know who was behind it. Designer Shawn Stigsell has been busy with some fun projects, and he tells us a little about his story, and the stories behind these designs.
SS: I have been working with digital print since 2002 when I attended UMD. A few years ago I lost my job as an editorial designer due to budget cuts. Needless to say it was the best thing that has ever happened to my career. I have grown as a designer since then. Being a freelance designer is challenging because you have to be able to take on the valleys of the grind and time between each project. The biggest reward is seeing that the handwork is paying off by the satisfaction of clients.
Options for the new Duluth city flag have been narrowed down to nine. Finalists were selected by the city’s volunteer flag committee with consideration of input received from an online survey, flag design principles, artist descriptions of the meaning, and overall sense that the flag represents Duluth.
Thirsty Pagan Brewing entered its 14th year of business on May 1. There was no fanfare, simply because owner Steve Knauss was so busy he forgot. Knauss and his staff have been working around the clock to ready the brewpub’s new spot at 1615 Winter St. for opening.
The owner of a well-known Duluth restaurant and several other Canal Park properties has purchased a historic building in a Lincoln Park neighborhood booming with new breweries, eateries and art galleries.
Check this out. I came across this article in The Guardian written by a cycling advocate from Winnipeg. It’s a few years old now and you’re probably done with any mention of winter but it seems timely what with it being just a few days after National Bike to Work Day.
Duluth birder Richard Hoeg captured this video of twin great horned owls in the Lester Park area. On his 365 Days of Birds blog, Hoeg named the parent owls Les and Amy, after Lester River and Amity Creek. Hoeg wrote that the happy owl couple started dating last fall and would often sing back and forth, sometimes in his yard. “Over the course of the winter the relationship grew stronger,” according to Hoeg, “and the couple cemented the bond in early March!”
This old photo shows two men standing in a grocery store. The back of the photo indicates it’s in Duluth, Minn. and gives the names of the men. Unfortunately, the photo of the back side of this photo is blurry and difficult to read, but it looks like Gust Hjelm is one of the names.
This is the third chapter in my quest to hike the North Country Trail across Wisconsin, but logistically it probably should be the first. As I’ve explained in previous chapters, the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota and the North Country Trail in Wisconsin aren’t properly connected yet at the border. The best thing a purist can do to fill the gap is hike on Minnesota State Highway 23 and a pair of county roads to get to a trailhead. So that’s what I did. Because I’m an annoying purist. Sort of.
It’s not so much that I’m determined to be annoying and pure. There are basically three reasons I wanted to hike on the roadways. 1) I know from experience that having a somewhat methodical goal inspires me to stay active. 2) If the pieces don’t all connect, it’s easy to lose track of where I’m at in the process, thereby thwarting reason #1. 3) Hiking on a trail in May is less fun anyway because of mud and ticks, so roads might be the best option anyway. (And if I were a true purist I’d strap on a backpack and hike across the whole state in a few days instead of breaking it up into numerous easy hikes.)