More Details About Earth Rider Brewery
Earth Rider Brewery Update & Interview with Founder Tim Nelson
By Dave Grandmaison
If you’ve been paying attention to the Twin Ports Craft Beer Scene, you’ve probably heard rumblings about a new brewery in Superior, Wisconsin – Earth Rider Brewery. Details about the $2.5 million, 16,300-square-foot brewery were announced in a recent press release and people are stoked. Supported by the Bev-Craft Team – including Fitger’s Brewhouse co-founder Tim Nelson – this new production brewery will be an exciting addition to the Twin Ports Craft Beer Scene.
I had a chance to exchange a few emails with Tim last week to get some more information on the new brewery.
DG: One obvious question is who your head brewer is going to be. Have you picked a head brewer yet?
TN: The head and assistant brewer positions will be filled in the coming months. The right candidates will enjoy working with Bev-Craft brewers on process and recipes designed with [Frank] Kaszuba and [Dave] Hoops.
DG: What will set Earth Rider apart from the other breweries in the Twin Ports?
TN: Every brewery in the Twin Ports has its own flavor profile. We’re excited to serve Northwest Wisconsin with its own beer, and be able to export that throughout the Western Lake Superior region. Earth Rider is on the Wisconsin side of the bridge on the working waterfront, that alone will evolve the brewery in its own unique direction. The brewery will be defined by the monolithic grain elevators, ships, and trains in our back yard. Earth Rider will have a large outdoor event area attached to the Cedar Lounge, where the brewery can host events and gatherings. What happens there will help define the sense of place. Along with that, the Twin Ports’ outdoor community are our long time friends, that always influences what we do.
DG: What is Earth Rider’s brewing style/philosophy? What types of beers should we expect to see from your team?
TN: With my background owning a pub brewery, I was able to feature a wide range of house-brewed styles, more than 100 recipes per year at one point. Earth Rider will be outfitted with a 20-bbl brewhouse, allowing us to brew often enough to release single-batch recipes to select draft accounts. This will keep our juices flowing creatively and taste buds jumpin’. Our flagship beers will be developed from our – and our fans – favorites. Stay tuned.
DG: Here’s another one that folks are wondering about: will Earth Rider distribute to Minnesota?
TN: Yes. We plan to distribute Earth Rider Beer in the Twin Ports proper. Initial operations will seek out key accounts to feature the beer. With all of our friends who live (and brew) in Minnesota, we’re excited to be able to be a part of the greater brewing scene surrounding this corner of the Lake.
DG: I’ve been wondering when more breweries would open in Superior. It seems like a great place to start a brewery but Thirsty Pagan has been its sole brewery for quite some time. Why do you think it has taken so long for a second brewery to open in Superior?
TN: I’m not sure why Twin Ports / Thirsty Pagan has been the only brewery in Superior for all of this time, but I’m really happy to be able to be a part of bringing this amenity to Superior. The re-localization of beer production will continue into communities that are yet to boast their own brewery. The Twin Ports have a fantastic brewing history and I believe that brewing at the head of Lakes will continue to expand.
DG: Given your history as a craft beer entrepreneur here in the Twin Ports, what do you think are the biggest lessons you’ve learned when it comes to the business of craft beer?
TN: Building beer around community should be looked at with a long view, one of craft and passion for place. Giving back to our cities, while supporting the individuals that dedicate themselves to the beer, are the critical ingredients to make Earth Rider beer a singular beverage.