Northland Craft Brewers Talk Future At Roundtable in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

April 13, 2014 Updated Apr 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)

From 1881 to 1972, Duluth Brewing, Peoples, Northern and Fitger's were big names in the Northland's brewing business.
Now most of them are gone; remembered only by antique collectors.
In the last 20 years, though, locally brewed beer is back with names like Fitger's Brewhouse, Canal Park, Carmody's, Dublin's and Bent Paddle among several others.
And, these brewers are seeking public input with a series of round tables like this.

"They're fun. We have a bunch of brewers at the table and a moderator asks us questions about the local scene." said Dave Hoops of Fitger's Brewhouse.

The local scene is making waves around the world.
Canal Park Brewing just earned an award at the World Beer Cup.

"The judging just happened in Denver, Colorado and our Hatchet Nut Brown just brought back a silver medal." said Jeremy King of Canal Park.

The Brewers Association states there are more than 24–hundred craft breweries in America.
At least ten are in the Northland.
Over the last 30 years, beer fads like light, dry and draft have come and gone but our region's craft brewers say their products will be longer lasting.

"There are fads and there are trends. I firmly believe that craft beer is a trend of resurgence. That's the way beer used to be." said Dale Kleinschmidt of Lake Superior Brewing.

At this roundtable, the craft brewers talked about potential new flavors, marketing campaigns and their growing boost to the local economy.

"Yeah, it is definitely a growing industry and we are continuing to employ more people." said Kleinschmidt.

Dave Hoops of Fitger's Brewhouse tells us he thinks the nation could support at least four thousand microbreweries and brewpubs.
That makes Jeremy King of Canal Park Brewing confident our Northland market is not yet saturated.

"If you like the brewers that exist here, they all have their different niche. I think there's more space to fill." said King.

"As much as the brewers love to promote their locally made products, they also like to promote moderation." said reporter Dave Anderson amid a collector's prized signs from the old brewing days.

"Drink less, drink better, drink water between each brew. There's no reason to over–consume." said Hoops.

In Duluth, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

There will be two more craft brewer roundtables coming up at Teatro Zuccone in Duluth.