Collaboration Brews With Purpose

Meaningful Collaboration Brews in The Twin Ports

Collaboration among brewers is part of the fabric that weaves the brewing community together and sets the industry apart from other types of businesses.

When we started The Duluth Experience back in 2013, a lot of our excitement came from the amazing sense of community that we experienced as the relationships with our local breweries developed. We discovered a community of breweries that were working together on multiple levels and establishing connections with the greater community.

These meaningful partnerships crafted an authentic sense of community and became an important part of the story that we include in our tours and it’s definitely something that our guests connect with.

What Are Collaboration Brews?

Over the last couple of years,”collabs brews” have become a popular tool for showcasing the relationships between breweries and highlighting the community building that makes the local craft beer scene unique.

duluth experience collab brew

Mark and Dave discuss the grain bill for The Duluth Experience – Ursa Minor collab brew. Image: The Duluth Experience.

Related: The Lillydipper Pale Ale – The Ursa Minor & Duluth Experience Collab Brew!

Typically, collaborations bring together two or more breweries that will develop a recipe, brew their creation as a team, and launch it into the marketplace. It’s savvy marketing, no doubt. Collaborations create an environment for creativity and experimentation, so it’s also an opportunity to learn and grow as brewers.

I’ve always been a big fan of collaboration beers and will usually give them a try right away. There’s a story behind them that I find compelling.

From my perspective, collaboration brews are most exciting when they are tied to a community event or organization. Breweries have become an important source of support for local non-profits and a force for positive change. When I can sip a brew and learn about how my purchase is contributing to a better quality of life for others… that’s a win.

Luckily, The Twin Ports Brew Scene understands and embraces the idea of community-focused collaboration and there are a bunch of great examples:

  • Earth Rider Brewing teamed up with Barley’s Angels Duluth-Superior on International Women’s Day to brew The Roller Derby IPA which helped raise funds for the Twin Ports’ and Northern Minnesota’s original women’s flat track roller derby league. Pretty cool.
  • Hoops Brewing crafted a special Hartley Park Pale Ale in collaboration with Duluth Running Company and DLH Clothing to raise awareness and make focused investments in Duluth’s parks! A portion of the proceeds from each pint of Hartley Park Pale Ale went to support Hartley Nature Center’s field trip and summer camp scholarship funds. Cheers to that!
  • Castle Danger Brewing released their White Pine Project IPA in collaboration with The North Shore Forest Collaborative with proceeds from the sale of this fantastic IPA helping to fund efforts to enhance white pine recruitment by distributing and planting white pine seedlings at targeted locations on The North Shore. Talk about going green!
  • Blacklist Artisan Ales and Bent Paddle Brewing Company partnered with Portage Brewing Company whose downtown Walker, WI facility experienced a catastrophic brewery fire that has left them without a place to make beer. As a collaboration, Portage has been able to continue their brewing as they work to rebuild their brewery. Like a good neighbor, breweries are there.
  • Ursa Minor Brewing Company and The Duluth Experience teamed up to raise money for The Northland Paddlers Alliance, a local non-profit that is working to expand peoples’ access to paddle sports in the Twin Ports. All of the net proceeds from the The Lillydipper Pale Ale helped to support this awesome mission.
  • Canal Park Brewing crafted The Veterans Tribute Triple IPA with members of Lake Superior Warriors to support their mission to help disabled military veterans reintegrate into civilian life by building a sense of community, camaraderie, and self-confidence. 25% of the proceeds from The Veterans Tribute Triple IPA will support this local non-profit.
  • Fitger’s Brewhouse and The Duluth Experience crafted the Legitimate Hustle Pale Ale to provide much needed support to Life House and their mission to reconnect homeless and street youth to their dreams. The funds were used to help complete the construction of a classroom and retail space for Life House’s Legitimate Hustle Program which gives youth an opportunity to safely earn money while learning entrepreneurial and employment skills.
  • Duluth Cider and The Duluth Experience collaborated on the Blueberry Maple Cider whose proceeds supported The Minnesota Prison Doula Project and their important mission of nurturing healthy relationships and increasing parenting confidence and skills for incarcerated parents.

You can see why we get excited by these brews. They have a story. They have a purpose.

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