The Duluth Experience has created a great new forum, “The Craft Beer Roundtable” where those involved in the Twin Ports craft beer scene discuss this exciting and growing industry. I was in attendance at the first of four such discussions, “The Drink of Opportunity”.
Represented on the panel and moderated by Paul Helstrom were:
Eddie Gleason – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewery
Tim Nelson – Fitger’s Brewhouse
Steve Knauss – Thirsty Pagan Brewing
Rockie Kavajecz – Canal Park Brewing Co.
Bryon Tonnis – Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
This cast of business leaders shared their craft beer history, thoughts and expectations in a loose, casual and light-hearted atmosphere where conversations flowed as freely and easily as the beer they sell. Topics included current and future beer laws, the reasons that this is a great area to brew beer, the tight-knit supportive nature of the craft beer community, and the surging growth potential of the market both here in the Twin Ports and nationally.
The part of the discussion that I found most compelling was the personal stories of the panel, and what motivated them to start their various craft beer businesses. The common thread that all of these entrepreneurs seem to share in that regard was their love of the area, and doing whatever they could to carve out a niche in order to “buy a job” and make a living in the Twin Ports. I found this part of the discussion very inspiring as this is a subject that I can personally relate to. To know that these hard working entrepreneurs did what they needed to do, to create their own opportunity should be encouraging to anyone looking to start a business of any kind in this area.
If you care about the economy of the Twin Ports, small business and craft beer, I would highly encourage you to attend the three remaining Craft Beer Roundtable forums
“Crafting the North Shore Beer Scene” – The Brewers Roundtable
Dave Hoops – Fitger’s Brewhouse
Jason Baumgarth – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewery
Jeremy King – Canal Park Brewing Co.
Brian Schanzenbach – Blacklist Brewing
“Riding the Wave of Beer” – Craft Beer Related Business
Marissa Saurer – Northlandbeer.comPaul Riordan – Brule River Hill Top Hops
Brad Nelson – Star Creative
Carolyn Jones – CMT Farm
Paul Helstrom – The Duluth Experience
“Women of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene” – A Candid Discussion on the State of Women in Brewing
Allyson Rolph – Thirsty Pagan BrewingJamie MacFarlane – Castle Danger Brewing
Liz Gleason – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewery
Laura Mullen – Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Melissa Rainville – Fitger’s Brewhouse