We've been visiting Beaner's Central for about a decade. We love our coffee, and Beaner's was, and still is, a great coffee house, which is certainly reflected in their name. Over the years Beaner's has evolved. Initially owner Jason Wussow offered a couple of bottled and canned beers, and featured the "Head Lock" a can of Guinness with two shots of espresso. A great pick me up. Eventually, about five years ago, Beaner's introduced three taps of craft beer including Lake Superior Mesabi Red, Special Ale and South Shore's Nut Brown Ale. Jason also experimented with some more commercial offering like Molson, but soon discovered that his customers preferred craft beer.
From that point on, Beaner's exclusively offered craft beer, and as the local craft beer scene began to boom, Jason was the first to introduce Borealis, a high quality, local (Knife River) nano brewery specializing in a line of Belgian style brews back in April of 2012. As recently as last August, Beaner's doubled to three more taps for a total of six all local beer offerings. In celebration of this recent expansion, Beaner's kicked off with a hugely successful private party, this is a great place to host a private event, with a stage for live music, a solid wine, food and of course craft beer options to offer. The customer appreciation event for Bent Paddle distributors which we were honored to be invited to, was a blast, and huge success. Big Wave Dave & The Ripples, rocked the place with their big, Chicago Blues sound. The horns were blowin' and the craft beer, conversation, and the taps where a flowin'.
We find it striking how the changes we've witnessed at the neighborhood coffee bar mirror in so many ways what we see taking place in our home town of Duluth, in the state, region and much of the US. This trend is indicative of the craft beer movement nationally and the consumer trend of local is moving from fad to mainstream. Beer drinkers also want to support local companies that employ their neighbors; they want to support their local growers through the food they eat, and, where possible, the agricultural products in their beer. As long as the local movement continues to grow it is a pretty safe assumption that craft beer sales will also continue to grow.