Annual Duluth-area beer production hits one million gallons

At the end of 2016 there were seven craft breweries in Duluth and nine more across the region. Another six are in the planning or soon-to-open stages in 2017. In the two years since Perfect Duluth Day conducted its first tally of the region’s beer production the total barrel output has grown from roughly 20,000 to nearly 35,000. That equates to more than one million gallons of craft beer locally brewed in 2016. By other measurements, it’s about 70,000 kegs, more than 8 million pints or more than 11 million 12-ounce bottles and cans.

The largest contributors to the recent growth were Bent Paddle Brewing and Castle Danger Brewing. Bent Paddle doubled its output over the past two years while Castle Danger grew six fold. Meanwhile, Moose Lake Brewing launched operations, Blacklist Artisan Ales opened a taproom and started canning, and South Shore Brewery opened an additional brewery and tasting room in Washburn.

In the year ahead, the brewing landscape is set to shift dramatically with the opening of a half-dozen new operations in the region. Newbies in the immediate Twin Ports area will be Hoops Brewing in Canal Park, Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery in Midway Township and Earth Rider in Superior. The Iron Range, home to only one brewing business in 2016 — the Boathouse in Ely — could soon welcome three more. Rapids Brewing Company and Cantankerous Brewing are in the works for Grand Rapids, while Boomtown Brewery plans to open at the former Zimmy’s Bar and Restaurant location in Hibbing.

Below is a breakdown of the 2016 stats.

Bent Paddle BrewingBent Paddle Brewing
30-barrel brewery and taproom, founded in 2013
1912 W. Michigan St., Duluth
Colin & Laura Mullen + Bryon & Karen Tonnis, co-founders; Charles Brodell, head brewer; Brent Rowe, regional sales manager; Pepin Young, taproom manager
2016 production: 15,700 barrels 

Castle-Danger-BreweryCastle Danger Brewery
30-barrel brewery and taproom; brewery founded in 2011, taproom opened in 2014
17 Seventh St., Two Harbors
Clint and Jamie MacFarlane, owners; Lon and Mandy Larson, owners
2016 production: 9,200 barrels (est. for 2017: 14,000 bbl)

Fitger's BrewhouseFitger’s Brewhouse
10-barrel brewery supplying six pubs and a retail store, founded in 1995
600 E. Superior St., Duluth
Rod Raymond, owner; Ted Briggs, master brewer
2016 production: 1,862 barrels

LSBC1Lake Superior Brewing
15-barrel brewery founded in 1994 (oldest in Duluth); taproom opened in 2014
2711 W. Superior St., Duluth
Don and Jo Hoag, John Judd III and Karen Olesen, owners; Dale Kleinschmidt, head brewer, operations manager, owner
2016 production: 1,600 barrels 

South-Shore-Brewery-LogoSouth Shore Brewery
Founded in 1995; 10-barrel brewery in Ashland; 15-barrel production brewery, tasting room and event center added in Washburn in 2016
808 W. Main St., Ashland; 532 W. Bayfield St., Washburn
Bo Bélanger, president, owner, production manager; Justin Bohn, head brewer; Joe Bélanger, brewer; Lori Hall, office administrator; Will Krift, brewer’s assistant; Krik Frerking, brewer’s assistant
2016 production: 1,440 barrels

VoyageurVoyageur Brewing Co.
20-barrel brewery and taproom, founded in 2015
233 W. Highway 61, Grand Marais
Mike Prom and Bruce Walters, owners; Anders Johansen, head brewer
2016 production estimate: 1,300 barrels

CBBC1Canal Park Brewing Co.
15-barrel brewpub, founded in 2012
300 Canal Park Drive, Duluth
Rockie Kavajecz, owner; Ryan Woodfill, head brewer; Dan Aagenes, brewing advisor
2016 production: 1,200 barrels 

AngryMinnow1Angry Minnow Brewing
10-barrel brewpub, founded in 2004
10440 Florida Ave., Hayward
Will Rasmussen, general manager; Jason Rasmussen, brewer (both are owners)
2016 production: 958 barrels 

ThirstyPagan1Thirsty Pagan Brewing
2 and 7-barrel brewpub founded as Twin Ports Brewing in 1996; became Thirsty Pagan in 2006
1623 Broadway St., Superior
Steve Knauss, owner; Allyson Rolph, head brewer
2016 production: 620 barrels 

BoatHouse Brewpub & RestaurantBoathouse Brewpub & Restaurant
3.5-barrel brewpub, founded in 2012
47 E. Sheridan St., Ely
Mark Bruzek, owner; Ben Storbeck, head brewer; Joe Colarich, assistant brewer
2016 production: 275 barrels 

BLBBlacklist Artisan Ales
Founded in 2012 as a 3.5-barrel brewery; upgraded to a 20-barrel system with taproom in late 2016
120 E. Superior St., Duluth
Brian Schanzenbach, partner and head brewer; Jon Loss, partner and marketing director; TJ Estabrook, partner and general counsel
2016 production: ~250 barrels (est. for 2017: more than 2,000)

Gunflint2.0Gunflint Tavern & Brewpub
5-barrel brewpub, restaurant founded in 1998 with beer production starting in late 2014
111 W. Wisconsin St., Grand Marais
Jeff and Susan Gecas, owners; Paul Gecas, head brewer
2016 production: 200 barrels

DubhLinn1Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub
2-barrel brewpub; bar opened in 2006 with beer production starting in 2011
109 W. Superior St., Duluth
Mike Maxim Sr. and Mike Maxim Jr., owners; Seth Maxim, head brewer
2016 production: 150 barrels 

Carmody_goodCarmody Irish Pub & Brewing
5-barrel brewpub; bar founded in 2006 with beer production starting in 2009
308 E. Superior St., Duluth
Liz Gleeson, brewery owner; Ed Gleeson pub owner; Rick Sauer, brewer (Rick Boo owns the Two Harbors location, Carmody 61)
2016 production: 115 barrels 

Moose Lake Brewing CompanyMoose Lake Brewing Company
3.5-barrel brewery and taproom, founded in 2016
244 Lakeshore Drive, Moose Lake
Shawn Wigg, partner and head brewer; Paul Christensen, partner and assistant brewer
2016 production: 56 barrels

Borealis2Borealis Fermentary
2.5-barrel brewery, founded in 2012
P.O. Box 130, Knife River
Ken Thiemann, head brewer and owner
2016 production: 26 barrels

Source: Individual breweries.

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