Parr’s Porter Back on Tap

February 16, 2015 JTA Marketing

For over a decade Charlie Parr has been gracing the Brewhouse stage with his music. To commemorate his recent signing with Red House Records,  Fitger’s Brewhouse has brought back Parr’s Porter- a beer brewed in tribute to the hardest working musician in town.  We’ve been brewing this beer for years to say thank you. Full story here.

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Black Beer Friday 2014

November 26, 2014 JTA Marketing

Once a year on Black Friday, Brewhouse Master Brewer Dave Hoops builds an enviable tapline of some of his favorite dark brews for the Tycoons Alehouse’ Rathskeller. Black Beer Friday is the penultimate break (or hideout) from holiday shopping. The black gold starts pouring at 2pm on Friday. Buy two brews and get ½ off your third.


The 2014 lineup of delicious dark brews is:

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Edmund Imperial Stout. 11.2%

$5.30 / 10 oz pour

Our Edmund Imperial Stout was aged in Woodford Bourbon Barrels for seven months. Expect this beer to be black as night with a dark brown head. Complex aromas of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate are evident. The flavors in this full-bodied beer are as complex as the aromas: chocolate, bourbon, licorice. This beer won Gold in 2010, silver in 2008 and bronze in 2007 at the Barrel Aged Beer Festival in Chicago


2013 Bourbon County Stout 15%

Goose Island, Chicago, IL

$ 6.00 / 10 oz pour

This imperial stout is the first Goose Island brew to be aged in bourbon barrels. Heaven Hill barrels are used for an eight-month aging period. Vanilla, chocolate, roast and coffee without alcohol burn or acidity. A special expression of stout.


2014 Bourbon County Stout

Goose Island, Chicago, IL

$6.00 / 10 oz pour


2013 Surly Darkness 9.9%

Brooklyn Center, MN

$6.00 / 10 oz pour

This massive Russian Imperial Stout brings waves of flavors: chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee. This stout is one of the toughest beers to find on tap.


2014 Barrel Aged Surly Darkness 10.3%

This version of Darkness has been aged in Rye Barrels from High West Distillery in Utah.

$6.00 / 10 oz pour


Alaskan Smoked Porter 6.5%

Juneau, AK

$6.50 / pint or $4.75 / 10 oz pour

Alaskan Smoked Porter pours to a jet-black color with a creamy tan head and a chocolaty, phenolic nose laced with hints of smoke. The palate is rich and full with a thick mouthfeel that coats the tongue with deep dark notes of bittersweet chocolate. Of course, a decided smokiness permeates the beer, and like the nose, imparts more of that phenolic character. There are hints of espresso and green olive here, too. The finish is smoky, and along with a grassy, herbal hop bitterness and decided roast character makes this a dry, satisfying brew of great character.


2012 Deschutes The Abyss 11%

Bend, OR

$6.00  / 10 oz pour

A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate.


2012 Deschutes Black Butte XXV 11.3%

Bend, Oregon

$5.30 / 10 oz pour

Dates, figs and chocolate. Black currants, barrel-aged in bourbon casks. The result is an Imperial Porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma with luscious layers of dried fruit, oak and vanilla. A fitting tribute to the 25th Anniversary of this legendary brewery’s flagship beer.


Goose Island The Muddy 9.0%

Chicago, IL

$5.30 / 10 oz pour

Brewed with molasses, brewer’s licorice, and Belgian dark rock candy sugar, The Muddy is an imperial stout with amplified sweetness for a taste as distinctive as the Chicago blues that inspired its creation.



Odell Mountain Standard

Double Black IPA 9.5%

Fort Collins, CO

$6.00 / 10 oz pour

As the Colorado hop growers prove they can produce world-class hops, Colorado craft brewers want to showcase what the state offers. Mountain Standard Double Black IPA features the homegrown hops our Brewers helped pick from farms along Colorado’s western slope. MST pours dark with a light tan head and a slightly roasted hoppy nose. An ephemeral bitterness, the result of combining roasted malts with an assertive American hop profile, contributes to MST’s act of balance and harmony.


Bent Paddle Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Black Ale 10.4%

Duluth, MN

$6.00 / 10 oz pour

Aged in Jim Beam Bourbon barrels for six months, this full bodied ale walks the line between deep, chocolate coffee notes, and vanilla and stone fruit flavors. A warming bourbony finish rounds this great beer out.


Odell Gramps Sweet Stout 6.4%

Fort Collins, CO

$5.30 / pint or $4.00 / 10 oz pour

Inspired by our small-batch pilot system, the Roots Release series honors our experimental brewing roots and invites you to sample some of our favorites.  Flaked oats and roasted malts give Gramps a full body and creamy smooth mouthfeel. Hints of chocolate, coffee and cream combine for a complex yet familiar taste of breakfast back home.



Bells Cherry Stout 7.0%

Galesburg, MI

$6.30 / pint or $4.00 / 10 oz pour

Tinted ruby-black, Cherry Stout gains its signature tartness from 100% Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan’s Traverse City region. Rather than doubling up on sweetness, this tart cherry varietal serves as a counterpoint to the warm, dark chocolate notes from the malt bill.



Sociable Cider Werks Spoke Wrench 6.8%

Minneapolis, MN

$5.30 / pint or $4.00 / 10 oz pour

Spoke Wrench is crafted using a blend of the Midwest’s best apples and a hearty stout brewers wort that’s then fermented using a traditional English ale yeast.  When you take your first swallow of Spoke Wrench you will immediately taste the spicy chocolate and roasted toffee aromas typical of a stout style beer. Those flavors quickly transition to the crispness of a cider.

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Tycoons Holiday Concert Series

November 13, 2014 JTA Marketing

Tycoons Alehouse will be hosting holiday season concerts every Monday night beginning November 24th. Tycoons is an ideal setting for warm gatherings with friends and family, with a Charles Dickens-esque Old Duluth atmosphere, fantastic comfort food, and a full bar featuring seasonal drinks. Ask about our large-group dining options too.


Tycoons Holiday Concert Series:

All performances begin at 7pm

Nov. 24 Todd Eckart’s Vintage Holiday Show

Dec. 1 Adam Booker’s Jazzy Holiday Singalong

Dec. 8 Sing! A Women’s Chorus: Hibernation Kick-off

Dec. 15 Russ Sackett Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Dec. 21 Coventry Carols: Holiday Music for the Disenchanted with Joru

Dec. 28 DSSO Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert


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Bring Brewhouse Beef Home for the Holidays

November 13, 2014 JTA Marketing

The holiday season is best paired with craft beer and craft meat. Now you can bring Brewhouse Beef home—in one-pound packages from the Brewhouse or as custom orders of quarter, half, or whole cows.

Brewhouse Beef comes from our fold of Scottish Highland cattle. Scottish Highland is a heritage breed, originally brought to Scotland from Norway. We utilize this breed due to it’s positive impact on the land, heartiness in the cold of the Duluth area, and ability to defend itself from wolves and other would-be northwoods predators. These free-range cows have their grassy diets enriched with spent grain from our brewery (nutrient-rich grain left after the sugars for beer making have been extracted).

Brewhouse Beef can be enjoyed as the “Butchers Choice” at Tycoons Alehouse or as the Cowboy Burger at Fitger’s Brewhouse. And now, in your own home!

One-pound ground beef packages can be purchased at Fitger’s Brewhouse.

For custom bulk orders, go to or call Tycoons Alehouse at (218) 623-1889 to place your order.

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Hops To It Beach Sweep

October 8, 2014 JTA Marketing

Our Hops To It volunteer society was back at it this fall with another beach sweep! Last year we took part in our first beach sweep with the Great Lakes Aquarium and the Alliance for the Great Lakes for their adopt-a-beach event. We were happy to be able to take part again this year with the help of 25 volunteers!

With free orange Hops To It shirts for volunteering, our group could be seen up and down the shore picking up trash that has been washed up or carelessly left. Keeping the beach clean along Lake Superior helps us to be able to ensure a more safe and enjoyable place for our community, as well as a cleaner lake! In all, we picked up over 60 pounds of trash during our beach sweep.

After spending a couple hours doing some great work, our volunteers were able to enjoy a free pint at Endion Station and half-off a meal. Thanks again to everyone that was able to join us!

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Beer lover heaven appears once a year in Denver, Colorado when the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) makes its appearance. Widely considered a Mecca for amazing beers, this three-day festival and competition brings 40,000 people to try more beers than they could even imagine. For the 600+ breweries that are attending this year, their biggest goal is often to win a medal for even just one of their beers. But less than five percent of the breweries that enter into competition will win a medal.

“It’s remarkably difficult to win a medal. Last year they gave out 198 medals for 5600 beers,” said Dave Hoops, master brewer at Fitger’s Brewhouse.

Hoops has been attending the GABF for a long time, but for the last 8 years he has attended as a judge of the competition. In order to become a judge at the GABF, a brewer must be certified, receive three letters of recommendation, as well as have around 10+ years of experience plus the now average three-year wait to become a judge. Even after going through the process to become a judge, they must continue to work hard at it because each year they are judged on how well they do judging the beers. If a judge does not do a good enough job, they will not be invited back. Hoops is the only professional brewer from Minnesota that is on the GABF panel of judges.

“You are surrounded by literally the royalty of brewing. The best and the brightest, the most famous, the most gifted, the most veteran,” said Hoops. “It’s a huge honor and I take it as that. It’s fun too, but you have to have the right palate.”

During the judging, beers will go through different rounds of judging depending on how many beers are in the category. During the blind judging of the beers, each beer is examined for 22 different categories and the judges must write comments for each of those categories. In each round of judging, 12 beers are grouped together to be looked at. Judges go through these beers in teams of three to determine the three beers that are good enough to go on to the next round.

According to Hoops they “are looking to throw out the beers that have flaws.”

Beers will continue to be judged in groups of 12 until they get to the last 12 and from there determine gold, silver, and bronze. This will take different amounts of time depending on the category. Some categories of beer have only 40 entrants, while others have around 300! This year’s GABF will see a record number of beers entered into competition as the amount of breweries throughout the U.S. continues to grow.

Fitger’s Brewhouse started attending the festival in 2000 and since then has won two medals. The first was a bronze medal won in 2004 for the Farmhouse Saison, the second was another bronze won in 2012 for the Fitger’s Framboise.


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Hunting For Hops

October 8, 2014 JTA Marketing

It’s harvest time. In the Yakima Valley in Washington, one of the biggest crops being harvested is fresh hops. Fitger’s Brewhouse brewers recently traveled to the region to hand-select the hops that will be used in our beers.

Seventyfive percent of the nation’s hops are grown in this area and in the 40-day window of the hop harvest, brewers from around the country travel to get the best pick of hops for their beer.

This year we were able to send Master Brewer Dave Hoops, Head Brewer Frank Kaszuba, Brewer Jason Krause, and Brewhouse Principal Tim Nelson to select our hops for the coming year. While there, they were also able to learn more about hops and new hop varieties as well as tour the farms and meet with the hop farmers.

“We know exactly where our product is coming from and we have a relationship with the grower,” said Hoops.

The group also visited a hop processing facility where they were able to choose from different lots of hops from individual growers. To choose which lot of hops they would like, they depend primarily on their senses. By rubbing the hop cone in their hands, oil from the hop is released, and from this the brewers are able to judge the flavor quality of the hops. This creates a great advantage, as we are able to create the exact product we want to by being able to have the premier choice in ingredients. Smaller breweries are often not able to do this and must instead work with the hops that are sent to them.

Before being sent to the brewers, the selected hops are often pelletized. Most modern breweries choose to get most of their hops pelletized rather than whole. Whole hops absorb much more water and create for far more trub (extra material left in the boil kettle) than the pelletized hops.

Contracts with these hop growers are made about three years in advance. These contracts give the brewery a predetermined amount of hops that they will buy from the grower. The amount of hops reserved varies between different hop varieties. For example – this year we bought 1100 lbs of Cascade hops, meanwhile some other varieties were only purchased in amounts of 140 lbs.

Although about 75 percent of the hops we use are sourced from Yakima, we still buy hops from around the world. Other places that we buy hops from include the Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

While on this years trip, our brewers were able to meet up with some of their friends from other Minnesota breweries such as Bent Paddle, Town Hall, Summit, Surly, and Indeed.

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Beach Sweep

September 2, 2014 JTA Marketing

It is time again for another Hops To It event! Last year we took part in our first beach sweep with the Great Lakes Aquarium and the Alliance for the Great Lakes for their adopt-a-beach event. Last year our group was able to pick up 10 garbage bags worth of trash and damaging materials such as syringes, glass, and even tires!

We are happy to be able to bring this event back this year so that we can continue to give back to the community and keep our lake clean. We are hoping to get at least 15 volunteers to help us in our efforts this year on September 27th from 12pm to 2pm. Volunteers will meet at Endion Station Public House at 11:30am and will help clean the beach from there to Fitger’s. Volunteers at the event will receive a free Hops To It T-shirt and a free pint at Endion Station after the clean up along with half-off a food order. If you would like to volunteer with us this year, feel free to sign-up on our Google doc!


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September Events

September 2, 2014 JTA Marketing

We have a busy month ahead of us and want to let you know where you can find us over the next few weeks!

On September 9th we will be serving up food and root beer at the Downtown Farmers Market in the Minnesota Power Plaza. Starting at 11am you can stop by to grab lunch and check out the great things our local farmers have brought with them.

September 23rd we will be pouring beer at the Lake Superior Zoo’s Uncorked and Tapped for Conservation Wine and Beer Tasting Event from 5:30-7pm. You can find tickets to the event in advance online at the Lake Superior Zoo website.

The next day we are also happy to be able to pour our brews at the fourth annual Lake Superior Fish Classic, a judged chef cook-off focused on Lake Superior fish. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8pm on September 24th at the historic Glensheen Mansion Estate.

That weekend on September 27th you can also find us in the Twin Cities at the Autumn Beer Review! We will be bringing 8 special beers down to the festival to show off to some of our favorite beer geeks.


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