Breweries of the North Shore
Part 1: Duluth Breweries
Like virtually everywhere else in the country, the North Shore has seen numerous breweries and micro-breweries spring up in recent years. This is your guide to the North Shore Breweries, Duluth Breweries!
Listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to listen to the Exploring the North Shore Breweries of the North Shore podcast series!
Bent Paddle Brewery
Arguably the most well-known of the North Shore breweries, Bent Paddle Brewery is also the largest. This 30-barrel brewery has been serving delicious craft beers to North Shore visitors since 2013.
Located at 1912 W Michigan Street in Duluth, Bent Paddle has played a huge role in the revitalization of Duluth’s west end Lincoln Park neighborhood. Along with Ursa Minor Brewing, Duluth Cider, Wildstate Cider, OMC Smokehouse, and Duluth Grill, all located nearby, this area of Duluth is now known as the Crafter’s District thanks to the many wonder and unique crafters in the area.
As for the beers, they are well-known around the state and even the country! Bent Paddle’s goal is to produce beers that “Bend the Tradition” of the classic style. According to their website, they strive to make drinkable, balanced beers with an edge of inventiveness for all beer lovers to enjoy. Their fun and uplifting brews appeal to a wide audience and the playful can designs add to the fun aesthetic of the brewery.
Flagship beers include the Classic American Cream Ale, Venture Pilsener Lager, Bent Hop Golden IPA, Black Ale, and the Black Coffee Ale (featuring coffee from local roaster Duluth Coffee Company). They also offer a rotating selection of specialty beers and infusions, amongst other options.
Since the legalization of THC in edible foods, Bent Paddle has created a line of CBD and THC sparkling waters and gummies. In their new Cann-A-Lounge and market, guests can enjoy their CBD/THC line and others in a funky, smoke-free 21+ lounge.
Their taproom is open all year and they also offer tours. If you plan to do a North Shore Brewery Tour, you simply cannot miss Bent Paddle Brewing Co.!
Blacklist Brewing Company
While not as well known as some other North Shore breweries, Blacklist Brewing Company has been around longer. Started in 2012, “getting Blacklisted has never felt so right”!
Located at 120 East Superior Street in Duluth, Blacklist Brewing is just a quick hop across Superior Street from the Fond-du-Luth Casino and within walking distance from Canal Park. The brewery offers a variety of microbrews, some available all year round and others seasonally.
Enjoy the Or De Belgique “ODB”, one of their signature bears. Or, sample the Duluth Golden, Sour Tangerine Wit, or the Imperial Cocoa Hefeweizen. Not a beer fan? Blacklist’s Craft Hard Seltzers are delicious and not to be missed. Try the Hibiscus Kill Shot or the Blueberry Basil. The brewery also offers a small line of CBD and THC seltzers.
While they do not serve food, Blacklist Brewing Company is known for its lively taproom, which includes axe throwing. Yes, I said axe throwing. Popular for birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, or even a fun time with good friends. Pick up an axe and try your hand at hitting the target, competing against your friends.
So, have some beer, throw some axes, and have yourself a great time at Blacklist Brewing Company.
Canal Park Brewing
Canal Park Brewing combines amazing craft beers, a larger dining menu, and great views of Lake Superior from Duluth’s Canal Park. Located at 300 Canal Park Drive in Duluth, you simply cannot beat this beautiful location.
On the tap at Canal Park Brewing, you’ll find a rotating selection of unique beers. From the Nut Hatchet (a brown ale) to Foggy Jack (a porter) to Stoned Surf (an IPA). You’re sure to find a beer you love.
Want to pair your beer with some yummy eats? Their menu offers one of the widest varieties of food in any North Shore brewery. With a full lunch and dinner menu, choose from salads to appetizers to burgers to sandwiches. They even have a kids’ menu making this a great, family-friendly option for your next trip. Dietary needs are also met with limited (but growing!) Gluten-Free and vegetarian options.
Enjoy the upbeat ambiance in this full-sized restaurant and brewery in Canal Park. The brewery also offers live music and events throughout the year.
Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub
No brewery tour would be complete without a traditional Irish Pub! The Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub has that covered in our North Shore breweries line-up! This is a more traditional pub with a full menu and a full bar, in addition to being a brewery.
Located at 109 West Superior Street in Duluth, Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub is located in the heart of downtown Duluth. Enjoy a night on the town and kick things off at Dubh Linns before enjoying Duluth’s fabulous nightlife.
Dubh Linn calls itself a boutique nano-brewery. They have two 40-gallon kettles that allow them to experiment with exotic flavors and unique brews with an Irish flare. Since they brew only in small batches, not all beers may be available at all times. But, you can usually find their Double Hop IPA, Maple Amber, Hermon’s Killer Brew, the Pub Ale, the Raddler, the Wandering Druid, and the Castlebar Dark Brown on tap. Other seasonal brews will vary. And, don’t forget, they have a full bar!
Yes, in addition to the brews and the full bar, Dubh Linns also has a full menu. Their menu includes gluten-free and vegan options.
So grab a bite to eat, have a drink, and then head out on the town!
If Bent Paddle is the most popular brewery in Duluth, then Fitger’s Brewhouse is the most iconic. Fitger’s has been brewing beer long before brewing beer was trendy. Its history dates back to 1857! Fitger’s Brewhouse survived prohibition and the near destruction of the building. For many years, it wasn’t a brewery at all. But, in 1995, the brewery once again sprang to life.
You can find Fitgers Brewhouse in the Fitgers Brewery complex located at 600 East Superior Street in Duluth. You simply cannot miss the classic stone building with “Fitgers” still proudly displayed on the smokestack and water tower.
Their beers include the Superior Trail IPA, the Big Boat Oatmeal Stout, Summer Lightning Saison, Lester River Hefeweizen, Park Point Pilsener, Apostle Apple Ale, Gooseberry Gose, and more! Literally their line up includes dozens of brews! You’d have to make many, many visits to be able to try them all.
In addition to the brews, Fitger’s Brewhouse offers a large menu to accompany your beer. Enjoy appetizers, salads, burgers, and a kids menu. Vegetarian? No worries here, Fitger’s has you covered!
So grab some food, grab a brew, and enjoy this family-friendly brewhouse in one of Duluth’s most historic buildings.
Hoops Brewing is another lesser-known brewery that is often overlooked by beer fans. However, it’s a great brewery that is worthy of a visit from the beer aficionado.
Hoops is located at 325 South Lake Avenue in Duluth inside The Suites Hotel in Canal Park. This ideal location puts you near some great restaurants, which is ideal because they do not have their own menu. But, since you can bring in your own food, you can enjoy some craft beers along with your food of choice! They also have a variety of awesome snacks from local eateries in case you just want some simple munchies with your beer.
Their unique lineup of craft beers are numbered, rather than named. This includes the No 10 Extra Pale Ale, No 15 Pale Ale, No 88 Stour, No 1120 Peach Pear Wheat, No 42 Pineapple Chili Ale, and more. Known for their German beers, you’ll want to try their No 935 Kristallweizen or the No 65 Munich Lager.
In addition to good beer and a fun atmosphere, Hoops Brewing has weekly events to keep you coming back from more. From Trivia on Mondays to Ping Pong tournaments on Wednesdays. They’ve also been known to host speed dating events for all the lonely hearts who enjoy a good beer.
Lake Superior Brewing
Lake Superior Brewing Company has changed a lot in recent years. From unexpectedly closing late in 2019 to reopening in the middle of a pandemic in 2022. When it moved from Duluth’s west end It also became the only brewery located on the Eastside of Duluth. Located at 5324 E Superior Street, this upscale brewery is just getting started!
Their high end food menu (or, at least, higher end than you’d expect at a brewery) is highlighted by their delicious fresh baked bread. The brewery has almost completed the licensing process and they are expected to start churning out custom brews in the summer of 2023. Until then, the brewery features a rotating guest breweries on tap, as well as a full bar with custom cocktails.
Need a place to stay during your next trip to Duluth? Lake Superior Brewing offers a unique “Brewtel“, three beautiful renovated vacation rentals located near the brewery. The brewery is located right along the Duluth Lake Walk, giving visitors easy access to the Canal Park area via the Lake Walk.
Ursa Minor Brewing
Although not as well known as its neighbor, Ursa Minor Brewing is quickly building a name for itself locally. Ursa Minor Brewing isn’t just a brewery- it’s a family-friendly dining experience!
Ursa Minor Brewing is located at 2415 West Superior Street in Duluth.
Their signature North Shore brews include:
- Agate Hunter: A Boysenberry Cherry Lactose Sour
- Intergalactic Face Slap: A Hazy IPA
- Badass Warrior Goddess: A Hazy IPA
- Bear Hop: An American IPA
- Cultivating Mass: A Chocolate Stout
- Landlord Special: A Fruited American Weh
On the menu, you will find a simple menu of apps, pizzas, paninis, and desserts. It’s nothing fancy, but a great pairing for a delicious Ursa Minor Brewery beer. So head in for some great beer, a yummy pizza, and a great atmosphere.
To draw in a regular crowd they rotate hosting trivia night and Bingo night on Wednesdays, and have live music options most weekends.
Warrior Brewing Company
Warrior Brewing Company is another brewery located in Duluth’s west end. Located at 2711 West Superior Street in Duluth. The brewery started brewing their beers in May of 2021, making it the youngest brewery in Duluth. Warrior Brewing was started by Matt Caple and Ben Gipson, two disabled veterans working in the homebrew and microbrew community in Duluth. They got together and decided to try their hand at opening their own Brewery and Taproom.
According to their website, Warrior Brewing specialized in “unique and high gravity offerings that aren’t typically found in the local area”. These offerings include “barrel-aged Imperial Stout, Lactose Double IPA, and Golden Ale brewed with locally sourced wildflower honey”.
But what makes Warrior Brewing Company unique is its commitment to serving the military and first responder community through the non-profit Lake Superior Warriors. Other local non-profits serving veterans and first responders are also given opportunities to take part in the brewery’s operations, either through special brewing events or through employment.
Their warrior-themed line of beers includes the Valkyrie (Honey Beer), the Barbarian (Imperial/Double Stout), Patriot: Lactose Double and Patriot: American (IPA), and Spartan (Strawberry Honey Ale).
Duluth Tap Exchange, 7West TapHouse, Etc.
Want to experience a wide variety of Duluth and other regional beers in one place? Tap Houses are designed for just that, and Duluth is home to several. Two of our favorites are the Duluth Tap Exchange and 7 West TapHouse.
The Duluth Tap Exchange is Duluth’s first self-pour taproom. They offer over 40 craft beers, ciders, hard seltzers, and even wines to pick from. Plus, a full bar for those wanting more variety. They have a small menu plus you can carry in (or have delivered) your favorite food options. Located at 1905 West Superior Street, the Duluth Tap Exchange is another Lincoln Park Craft District business.
Meanwhile, the 7West TapHouse has a broader reach with locations in Duluth, St. Cloud, and Mankato in Minnesota, plus a location in Superior, Wisconsin. The location at 7 West Superior Street is the original (hence the name).
While 7West TapHouse has a smaller variety of beers on tap, they have a great menu so you can enjoy lunch while enjoying a flight of local brews.
Part 2: Bent Paddle Brewing Co. and Lake Superior Brewing
Part 3: Hoops, Ursa Minor, and Duluth Tap Houses