I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer. Abraham Lincoln
Nothing beats a warm summer day in the woods being capped off with a cold beer and a sunset. Hell, nothing beats a stiff Porter, sitting by a fire watching snow settle on pines. Over the past decade, the North Shore has welcomed a handful of top notch craft breweries as Minnesota continues to become a beer lovers destinations. For those spending some time up nort’, any of the following breweries are worth a visit.
The newest brewery to make its home on the north shore, Voyageurs is nestled on Highway 61 as you pass through Grand Marais. With a fantastic rooftop view of Lake Superior and the Grand Marais lighthouse, Voyageur Brewing is a great summer visit. In the winter, the interiors are spacious, inviting and bright. A great place to hang out, play some cribbage and enjoy some live music from local artists.
When hunger eventually sets in, Voyageur has a menu of small bites. Not your typical bar food the pub pretzel made from the spent grain of the brewing process are the bomb.
Favorite Brew: Devil’s Kettle IPA
If you’re staying in Grand Marais consider yourself blessed by the beer gods. GM has been graced with two world class breweries and eating establishments. The Gunflint Tavern is also a relatively recent addition to the brewing scene but a long time resident of Grand Marais’s Main Street.
Another spot with impressive views of the harbor and lighthouse, the recent addition of their second level makes for another great summer hang out. For food, GF Tavern has a full, diverse menu. For a snack with your brew, the dry rub chicken wings won’t disappoint.
Favorite Brew: Northern Lights IPA
Located in Two Harbors, Caste Danger Brewing offers a great taproom with a dog-friendly patio. A great spot to watch freighter load in the Two Harbors … well, harbor. Brewery tours are available, the team at North Shore Experiences haven’t done one of those yet, but it’s a north shore bucket list. No food on site but the surrounding area offers a lot of good eats options that you can bring in. We recommend Louise’s place – epic sandwiches.
Favorite Brew: Castle Cream Ale
The taproom doesn’t share stunning views of Lake Superior like some of our friends up in Grand Marais, but it’s a pretty groovy space. Exposed brick, comfortable, everything you want in a tap room. What’s more important, there brews rock. The team at Bent Paddle have some serious brewing chops as well which is clear in their beers. The company takes a lot of pride in driving their mission around sustainability, which we think is pretty neat and worth supporting.
Like some of the others on this list, no food on site but you can fill some of your time with a tour.
Favorite Brew: Roof Rack IP – It’s a seasonal
The oldest brewery on the North Shore, Fitgers is like taking a step back in time. Located near Lake Superior and close to downtown Duluth in the Fitgers shopping complex just getting to the brewery and restaurant takes you through space that looks and feels like Duluth at the turn of the 19th century. Sure, there are other old buildings in Duluth, but are they all home to a brewery as iconic as Fitger’s? That’s what we thought. Fitgers has been in this historic space since 1995, but the Fitgers story goes back to the 1850s. Grab yourself some fish and chips, a brew and imagine Duluth circa 1850.
Favorite Brew: Starfire Pale Ale
Excellent views, as the name, suggests, right in canal park. Like Gunflint Tavern, Canal Park Brewing also offers a full menu. If you’re looking for a bite with your brew, the Superior fish tacos are a good bet. Brewery tours are also available, and some of the hops used, come from neighboring Wisconsin. If you can look past the Packers, gotta love local sourced.
Favorite Brew: Ankle Deep Pilsner
For additional consideration
We’re always trying to keep our content updated here at North Shore Experiences. Out recommendations are based on what we’ve tried. There are other breweries and new ones set to open; we just haven’t had the opportunity to grace the taprooms of all of these yet. For your consideration, check the following out too when planning your beer lovers trip.
If you have photos of any of the above breweries, we’d love to update the itinerary. Give us a shout on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #northshoreexp and we’ll update with a mention and cred/link to your profile. Thanks to the social community for helping us out. Follow our reviews on Yelp.