Explore Duluth Beer City
Welcome to Duluth Beer City!
By Dave Grandmaison – Brewery Tour Guide
If you’ve ever visited, you know it… Duluth is one of those towns you’ve got to experience. It boils down to this: we’re a rugged Northwoods community known for world-class outdoor recreation, a vibrant music and arts scene that spawns bands like Trampled by Turtles and Low, and an award-winning craft beer scene. In fact, Bent Paddle Brewing Company just brought home a gold medal for their 14° ESB at this year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Their community involvement and unique “bending traditions” approach to craft beer has helped catapult Duluth to the forefront of the regional beer industry.
Fueled by the crisp, clean waters of Lake Superior, this quaint port city of 86,000 residents boasts nine breweries whose craft creations reflect a wide variety of styles, a passion for artistry, and a community-based philosophy of collaboration. Visit Hoops Brewing in Duluth’s Canal Park, for example, and savor the cocoa and marshmallow notes of their No. 13 Nitro UK Pale Ale while local food vendors dish up amazing grub during their restaurant pop-up nights in the historic beer hall.
Then hop over to Canal Park Brewing Company and enjoy a pint of their Nut Hatchet Brown Ale – a silver medalist at the 2014 World Beer Cup – before making your way into Downtown Duluth’s Historic Arts & Theater District (and assuming you’re still hungry… “CPB” as the locals call it… has the best reuben sandwich in town). Here you’ll be able to explore Fitger’s Brewhouse – the brewpub that put Duluth’s beer scene on the map in the 1990s… do yourself a favor and order up the Harvest Moon Wild Rice Burger paired with their signature Starfire Pale Ale. It’s a local favorite. Food and beer… beer and food. Noticing a trend here?
But wait! There’s more! Downtown Duluth is also home to the Belgian-inspired Blacklist Artisan Ales where head brewer Brian Schanzenbach showcases big, bold flavors in his Spruce-Tipped Imperial IPA. Or celebrate an endless summer with his Classic Wit – a bright Belgian wheat ale with hints of citrus and spice.
Venture to Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and pay a visit to Duluth’s oldest operating brewery – Lake Superior Brewing Company. Their thirst-quenching Kayak Kölsch is true to style with its clean pale malt flavor and floral hop finish… a perfect brew for a summer day in Duluth. Important note here: if you happen to be in town in September or October, don’t miss out on their award winning Oktoberfest – always best on draft from the taproom or one of their local accounts in town.
If you want to explore Duluth’s craft beer scene in style, I definitely encourage you to hop aboard The Duluth Experience Brewery Tour and experience our behind-the-scenes approach to craft beer sampling, brewery exploration, and sightseeing in Duluth Beer City. We’ve figured out the perfect recipe for a fun night on the town that combines beer sampling, entertainment, and learning – a combination that earned us the award for Best Multi-Brewery Tour Company by Growler Magazine’s Readers and (more importantly) puts lots of smiles on lots of faces.
If you got this far into the article and you’re more of a craft cocktail aficionado, congratulations! Duluth also has an award winning micro-distillery at the foot of the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge. Vikre Distillery crafts their own gin, aquavit, vodka, and whiskey using locally sourced botanicals and… you guessed it… Lake Superior water.
It’s time that you visit Duluth and explore for yourself.