Northland Craft Beer

Bolstered by Beer

Lee Witte - Sunday, March 25, 2018


We’re very excited for Bent Paddle’s new taproom opening April 12th at 1832 W Michigan St. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Duluth, MN. They have moved into a refurbished historic space a ½ block to the east of their present location. There’s a farewell to the old taproom celebration the weekend of April 6th.

We want to point out how much of an impact we’ve seen the BP Brewery make in this community. The same neighborhood, where we happen to live. The Lincoln Park neighborhood has been considered by many locals for some time the armpit of Duluth. To be fair, we recognize that many people have been working hard improving the neighborhood, like the folks at Ecolibrium3 and the non-profit Lincoln Park Business Group. However, we write about craft beer, so we will focus on the impact Bent Paddle has made. They came to the community in 2013, at the inception of the turn-around. We then began to see other complementary businesses pop up, like Frost River Outfitters, OMC Smokehouse, and Love Creamery. We’re also seeing local artist studios like Duluth Pottery and the Duluth Folk School moving in. All this new activity is helping a number of the existing adjacent businesses bottom lines. Bent Paddle is the cornerstone.


Here are some of the highlights:

    • • The plan is to have 18-20 unique brews on.
      • • Three serving stations / 60 taps total.
        • • 7 bbl pilot system that will allow for more experimental small batch brews, headed up by brewer Neil Caron.
          • • Much larger taproom at 5,500 sq ft.
          • • Games area.
          • • Kids nook.
          • • 40 ft Maple Bar with two growler filling stations to expedite flow.
          • • Three 12 ft. openings with folding accordion doors between the inside and out.
          • • Event space for up to 70.
          • • Outdoor area with seating for 75.
          • • A greatly improved retail space.
          • • Local food delivery, 3 to 4 options.
          • • Outdoor deck seating for 75.
  • • Live music space with state of the art sound equipment.



We love that they crafted the new digs with local connections with taste and feel of place in mind. Check out Bent Paddles press release & website for the extensive list. Our favorite local connection is the rescue of timbers from the 4th street construction project. We use to live across the part from 4th street and passed by these majestic giant silver maple trees every day as we headed to work each day, biked and walked to the store. The huge old silver maple trees arched overhead forming a canopy. When they were cut down it made a shockingly stark change to appearance and feel of the street and neighborhood. So when we heard that some of those trees were being rescued and being put to good use it made us feel warm and fuzzy.





Craft Beer Roundtable

Marissa Saurer - Monday, March 24, 2014


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

April 13th:

“Crafting the North Shore Beer Scene” – The Brewers Roundtable

Dave Hoops – Fitger’s Brewhouse

Dale Kleinschmidt – Lake Superior Brewing Co.
Jason Baumgarth – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewery
Jeremy King – Canal Park Brewing Co.
Brian Schanzenbach – Blacklist Brewing

May 18th:

“Riding the Wave of Beer” – Craft Beer Related Business

Marissa Saurer –

Paul Riordan – Brule River Hill Top Hops
Brad Nelson – Star Creative
Carolyn Jones – CMT Farm
Paul Helstrom – The Duluth Experience

June 22nd:

“Women of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene” – A Candid Discussion on the State of Women in Brewing

Allyson Rolph – Thirsty Pagan Brewing

Jamie MacFarlane – Castle Danger Brewing
Liz Gleason – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewery
Laura Mullen – Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Melissa Rainville – Fitger’s Brewhouse


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Created by M•Saurer Creative aims to promote and support local craft beer and microbrew related businesses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan,

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