Tips for Tasting Beer in Duluth

Because Beer in Duluth Makes for Great Adventures

There’s a heck of a lot to do here in Duluth and one of our favorite adventures takes us on the beer trail. Luckily, we happen to live and play in Duluth where the local breweries create delicious concoctions made with the crisp, clear waters of Lake Superior. It’s the #1 reason that we’ve got so many award winners here in the craft beer community and it truly defines the North Shore Style.

1. Order Flights

If you’re looking to take in the local flavors your best bet is ordering up a sampler. All of our local breweries offer flights of beer – 3 to 4 ounce sampler glasses representing 4 to 7 different varieties (depending on the brewery). This is a fabulous way to explore a variety of styles and can help you hone in on your favorites. Most breweries will also offer “half-pints” and “10-ounce pours”. This is a great strategy for the long haul and a great way to pace yourself.

Tip: Brewpubs and restaurants typically have table service. However, in a brewery taproom you walk up and order beers at the bar.

Here’s one additional bit of advice for flights: it’s a good idea to start with the lightest “mouthfeel” and lowest alcohol by volume (ABV) beers. Start light, finishing each beer before moving on to heavier and stronger brews. You’ll avoid fatiguing your palette with big, hoppy beers and missing out on the subtle flavors of the lighter ones.

Duluth Experience Beer Samples

There’s a lot of great beer to sample here in Duluth. Image: The Duluth Experience.

Related: Explore Duluth Beer City

2. Encourage Recommendations

If you’re not quite sure what to order… don’t hesitate to ask for advice. Tell your bartender or “beer-tender” what types of beer you like and what they’d recommend. If you reference a style or a brand that you enjoy, they should be able to provide a recommendation from their taps. Believe me, folks in the taproom will be happy to provide recommendations.

Duluth Beer Recommendations

It’s easy to make new friends over a beer. Image: The Duluth Experience.

Related: A Brief History of Craft Beer in the HART of Duluth

3. Take A Brewery Tour

Brewery tours are the best way to experience the local craft beer scene when you’re visiting Duluth. Not only do you get a taste wide variety of beers, but you also get behind-the-scenes access to the brewery and a chance to hang out with the cool folks who make the beer! Local guides add a lot of value to the brewery experience because of their knowledge and connections.

Tip: A guided brewery tour with The Duluth Experience makes for a fun evening on the town. With local guides and a comfortable bus to transport you around town… you’ll be treated like a VIP at all the breweries you visit.

Duluth Brewery Beer Tasting

Guided tours are a fun way to sample the craft beer scene. Image: The Duluth Experience.

Related: Check out our Local Breweries

4. Don’t Over Think It… Unless You Want To

Sampling craft beer can get as nerdy as you want it to be… but the most important part of the experience is having fun! Go outside your comfort level and try styles that you might not normally order. The beauty of sampling is that there are lots of options and you don’t have to commit to a full pint. If you try something and don’t like it… move on to the next one.

5. Plan a Sober Ride

This one is pretty simple. Duluth has Uber and Lyft and even old-fashioned taxis. Phone a friend. You get the picture.

Well there you have it. Next time you’re on the craft beer trail in Duluth you’ll be sampling like a pro.


Explore Duluth Beer City and go behind-the-scenes with The Duluth Experience Brewery Tour Team and start sampling amazing local beers brewed with Lake Superior water!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *