Fire at Ursa Minor Brewing temporarily closes taproom and patio

Fire damage to Ursa Minor Brewing Company // via Facebook

Ursa Minor Brewing announced the temporary closure of its patio and taproom following a fire that destroyed an outdoor storage area. The fire broke out around 1:30am on July 26—the cause of the fire is currently unknown.

The fire consumed the wood-framed storage area on the exterior of the brick building, and destroyed a forklift, glycol chiller, firewood for their pizza oven, garbage and recycling receptacles, and other miscellaneous supplies. It also damaged a company van in the adjacent parking lot.

The fire destroyed everything in the storage area, as well as causing damage to nearby vehicles // Ursa Minor Brewing via Facebook

“Luckily our building is made of brick. It didn’t breach into the building, which is amazing,” Ben Hugus told The Growler on June 26. “So we’re counting ourselves really lucky there. We’re also counting ourselves lucky because no one was hurt.”

“We have a video of the flames,” Hugus continued. “Our neighbors have a security camera—the flames were like 50 feet in the air. It was incredible and I cannot believe it didn’t breach the building.” Brewing operations at Ursa Minor will be shut down until repairs can be made to the glycol system—Hugus expressed hope that they’d be brewing again as soon as next week.

“Our whole staff has been here since 7:30am bustin’ butt,” Hugus said. “We’ve been cleaning, we’ve been sweeping, we’ve been tearing stuff down, we’ve got a big dumpster already. We’ve already got the roofers here fixing up a hole in the roof, we’ve already got the plumbers and electricians here. We’re trying to be back on board in one to two days. Because it didn’t breach inside, we really didn’t have to do a whole lot of the taproom—it was more or less just cleaning.”

The Lincoln Park brewery opened in late 2018 and has become well regarded for its cream ale, New England IPAs, and wood-fired pizzas.

“While this is a big hit to our little brewery, we will keep pushing through and work towards getting back to normal,” the company wrote on social media. “We are so grateful for all of the support we have received thus far. If you would like to support us in this tough time, the best way to do so is to find some Ursa Minor beer at your local liquor store, or find us on tap.”

Ursa Minor currently distributes beer in Duluth-Superior and locales further north, including Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Ely, and in towns along the North Shore.

The storage area to the rear of their patio, as captured in September 2019 // Google Maps


About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.