Duluth’s Bent Paddle Brewing has announced a partnership with Dean Distributing of Green Bay. The relationship will expand the availability of Bent Paddle’s beer into the Wisconsin counties of Ashland, Iron, Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade and Price.
Distribution to those areas will begin this week with events marking the expansion. On Wednesday, April 12, representatives from Bent Paddle will be offering samplings in Rhinelander at Trig’s Cellar from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by a tap event at Bucketheads Sports Bar & Grill from 6 to 8 p.m.
There will be more samples in Hurley on Thursday, April 13, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Town and Country Liquor and at the Ashland Super One Liquor from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 14.
The United States now boasts over 5,000 craft breweries as the thirst for quality beer continues. The Twin Ports are clearly part of the trend. Duluth and Superior are home to eight breweries, with two more planning to launch in 2017. Several others dot the north and south shores of Lake Superior. The great news for beer aficionados: there’s no shortage of local beer and opportunities to taste the latest batches. The next three major swillfests are highlighted here.
Hoops Brewing founder Dave Hoops and Head Brewer Melissa Rainville pose in front of recently installed equipment. Hoops Brewing plans to open in late May or June.
Seven stainless steel tanks and a catwalk preassembled with pipes and pumps were lifted off flatbed trucks and squeezed through the stone doorway of a former Canal Park restaurant on March 21.
The equipment, including four huge fermentors and two beer tanks, was hauled inside on heavy duty carts and laid on a new custom-built floor like tipped-over beer bottles. The massive move, which stopped traffic outside 325 S. Lake Ave., was a major step in plans by longtime Duluth brewmaster Dave Hoops to open Hoops Brewing, a beer hall that will match the largest in Minnesota.
Via WDSE-TV, enjoy the sounds of this Old English 600 ad. Peoples Brewery in West Duluth developed the recipe for Old English 600 in the 1940s. The company sponsored a radio show with old-time music and several pitches for Regal Supreme Beer and Old English 600 Malt Liquor.
Tim Nelson and his company Bev-Craft have announced plans to build Earth Rider Brewing Company in Superior. The new craft brewery will service bars, restaurants and liquor stores throughout the Arrowhead region.
The brewery will reside on the north end of Tower Avenue at 1617 N. Third St., just across Ogden Avenue from Bev-Craft’s offices above the Cedar Lounge. The building being redeveloped for the brewery is the former Leamon Mercantile Co.
Nelson expects redevelopment of the structure to begin in the spring with the first batch of beer brewed in late summer.
Earth Rider’s brewing operations will occupy a 16,300-square-foot facility, with a project budget to exceed $2.5 million in private investment with support from the city of Superior, Superior Choice Credit Union, Wisconsin Business Development, Douglas County Development Association, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Northland Foundation, Northeast Entrepreneur Fund and APEX.
Back in the day it was sometimes tough work just to get a drink. Above is an undated stereoview reproduction from an 1875 McKenzie original. The reverse reads: “Duluth, Minn. in 1875. Mammoth Saloon, Jake Liedel, Prop. Lake Ave 2 blocks north of canal.”
Ted Briggs, the new brew master at Fitger’s Brewhouse
Just Take Action announced Ted Briggs as the new master brewer for Fitger’s Brewhouse this week. “Mr. Briggs will continue to build on the great legacy of quality Lake Superior craft beer first initiated by Dave Hoops and later, Frank Kaszuba,” the company stated in a news release.
South Shore Brewery was founded in May 1995 with brewing facilities in the basement of the Deep Water Grille in Ashland. It was northwestern Wisconsin’s first microbrewery and the state’s seventh. Bo Bélanger, South Shore’s original brew master and president, bought the business in 2004.
In February he expanded operations into Washburn, opening the Lake Superior Tap House, a satellite tasting room and retail outlet. The recent move of the brewing facilities to the Washburn operation was done with the goal to make the brewery more efficient and competitive while increasing output.
In addition to the expanded brewing facility, the Lake Superior Tap House features a tasting room with a variety of South Shore beers on tap, windows that look into the brewery, and a shuffleboard table handcrafted from a piece of bowling lane preserved from the old Super Bowl Lanes, which previously occupied the building.
“I’ve always wanted to build a boutique brewery and I’m doing this the way I dreamed of doing it,” Hoops told The Growler magazine, which broke the story before Hoops Brewing issued a news release. “I don’t have any aspirations of being real large. I want to be a destination beer hall, really servicing local, very limited distribution.”
The news release from Hoops Brewing notes the brewery will operate a small system geared toward serving the on-site 250-seat beer hall. In total, Hoops will occupy a 9,000-square-foot space inside a historic brick-and-exposed-timber space on the water’s edge of the Duluth Harbor.
The Waterfront Plaza, also known as the Meierhoff Building, was designed in two sections and constructed in 1900 as headquarters for the Marshall-Wells Hardware Company, one of the world’s largest hardware wholesalers. In its prime, Marshall-Wells produced 40,000 products and had annual sales of nearly $100 million. The company liquidated in 1958 and the building sat vacant until the Meierhoff family bought it in 1966.
Hoops Brewing will share the first floor with Suites Hotel, which also occupies the second, third and fourth floors. The sixth floor and part of the seventh floor are condominiums. The Duluth branch of Barr Engineering occupies the fifth floor and parts of the seventh floor.
Prohibition has finally ended. Amity Coffee became the Lakeside neighborhood’s first seller of over-the-counter alcohol today. In June the Duluth City Council repealed a more than 125-year-old neighborhood liquor ban.
At left, barista Nate Pykkonen pours a Bent Hop Golden IPA, one of two Paddle Paddle Brewing tap beers at Amity. Bottled and canned beers are also available, as well as wine.
A distinctive brewery is under construction a few miles southeast of Duluth in Midway Township. Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery specializes in mixed fermentation, a method of brewing that yields a class of beers commonly referred to as “sours.”
Frank Kaszuba announced recently on Facebook he is leaving his position as head brewer at Fitger’s Brewhouse. His new employment is with Bev-Craft, a Superior-based consulting firm that helps new breweries by providing “development assistance, brewhouse planning, recipe formulation, ingredient selection, brand creation, and sales planning and assistance.”