Duluth’s Craft Beer Renaissance – A Taste of Minnesota’s Microbrewing

In the 21st century, beer is a nuanced art form – and Duluth, Minnesota, is leading the way with its burgeoning micro-brewing scene. The creative regional brewing methods coupled with the historic art of beer making allowed us to turn this into a booming industry. A record number of breweries in the state are locally owned and handcrafted – most of them capable of propelling the growth and popularity of craft beer in the region.

In recent years, the craft beer scene has taken off in Duluth – a vibrant taproom culture now exists in the city, with an ever-growing number of craft breweries popping up all over town.

How It All Started

Minnesota has been brewing since the late 1800s, while pioneers like Fitger’s Historic Brewery started it as early as 1857. Fitger’s has survived and thrived through prohibition when many breweries and distilleries had to close their doors, pioneering the launch of mini-breweries across Minnesota.

The historic Fitger’s Brewery in Duluth, Minnesota, is not only a significant part of the state’s rich brewing history but a major player in the city’s history as well. Established in 1881, Fitger’s Brewery quickly became one of the most successful breweries in Minnesota.  After a long and storied history, including a stint through prohibition the brewery was reimagined as a hotel and shopping complex and it remains a beloved institution in the city today. From its early days of production to its current status as a popular tourist destination, Fitger’s Brewery has seen success in a variety of ways over the years.

Rapid Expansion

By the time the 21st century rolled around, the craft beer industry in Minnesota had already grown tenfold – with breweries in just about every major city in the state. The industry continued to gain momentum, with small-batch brewing companies popping up everywhere.

Today, with over 250 breweries in the state, we’re still going strong! The growth of the brewery scene has seen tremendous success. It continues to bring tourists to Minnesota and boost its economy.

The Craft Beer Evolution

In the last few years, craft beer has gone through a revolution in Duluth. The city now boasts a range of excellent breweries offering a wide selection of distinct and unique beers. In particular, Duluth has become known for its IPAs, prominently featuring in many of the city’s breweries.

Diverse Brewpubs

Many small, local breweries and large-scale operations carry an incredible range of beer to suit any taste and palate for brewpubs in Duluth. One of the best brewpubs in Duluth is Fitger’s Brewhouse, which produces a range of flavorful, full-bodied craft beers.

Events on Tap

Duluth also plays host to an array of entertaining events and beer-related festivals. For instance, the upcoming events at Fitger’s, like the “Christmas City Parade” and “Santa and His Live Reindeer,” are held annually and feature a range of activities entertaining couples and families alike. Moreover, Duluth Beer Week is a beautiful festival to explore the city’s craft beer scene – there are tap takeovers, unique offerings, and so much more.

How the Scene is Changing

Minnesota breweries are now experimenting with different techniques like barrel-aging and hazy IPAs. A lot of us are also expanding our reach from the confines of our locales to outside of the state to increase their distribution. That’s exposing us to a whole new world for craft beer fans, and we’re sampling new and exciting flavors from every corner of the country.

Many breweries in Duluth, Minnesota, have also begun to collaborate with other local businesses. Some are pushing the boundaries of beer design and opening the doorway for larger-scale projects in the future.

Fitger’s Reborn as a Tourist Destination

In the decades since its revival, the Fitger’s Brewery has become a popular tourist destination in the Twin Ports area. The brewery was renovated and reopened in 1991, and we now feature a restaurant, brewery tours, and a variety of special events. Our guests can sample some of the brewery’s traditional beer styles or check out one of our brewery’s innovative seasonal offerings.

A Time-Honored Legacy

The craft beer revolution has undoubtedly taken hold in Duluth, and the city now offers a range of fantastic breweries and brewpubs. Today, Fitger’s has one of the oldest brewing traditions in the state which started with August Fitger. The Fitgers Complex has become a symbol of Duluth’s deep brewing heritage.

From its earliest days of crafting local beers to its struggles during prohibition to its modern-day status as a popular tourist destination, the brewery has long been a source of pride for the city. The quality of our brews and our commitment to community involvement have earned us many awards and recognitions.

The legacy of Fitger’s Brewery is a proud one, and it continues to be celebrated by both locals and visitors.