Tim Nelson, one of the co-founders of Fitger’s Brewhouse and brewery consulting firm Bev-Craft, announced plans today to open Earth Rider Brewing Company in Superior, Wisconsin. The brewery will be located near the High Bridge at 1617 N. 3rd Street (the former home of Leamon Mercantile Co.), with plans to service the Twin Ports, and the South and North Shores of Lake Superior.
According to a press release, redevelopment of the building and construction of the 20-barrel brewhouse is planned to begin in the spring with the first batch of beer brewed in late summer. Earth Rider’s brewing operations will occupy a 16,300-square-foot facility, with a project budget to exceed $2.5 million in private investment with support from the City of Superior and other public and private sources.
Earth Rider is the second brewery to be announced by Bev-Craft after Hoops Brewing in Duluth. Bev-Craft’s team includes 22-year industry veteran Nelson along with Frank Kaszuba and Dave Hoops, both formerly of Fitger’s, who will each be involved in recipe creation for Earth Rider. The brewery has yet to hire a head brewer.
Earth Rider’s taproom will be located across the street from the brewery in the historic Cedar Lounge, which was originally built as a tied house in 1912 by the last regional-sized brewery to call Superior home, Northern Brewing Company. Renovations to the Cedar were completed in August and it is currently operating as a beer-centric tavern. Nelson said they plan to add 16 tap lines and a keg cooler to the space before re-opening as the taproom. An outdoor beer garden and event space will provide a lively connection between the brewhouse and the taproom, according to a press release.
Left: the future location of the Earth Rider brewhouse
Right: the future Earth Rider taproom
Nelson said the Twin Ports have numerous benefits for brewers including a strong workforce, pristine Lake Superior water, and a growing number of craft beer drinkers.
“The head of the Great Lakes have a strong and growing indie beer culture, the best brewing water anywhere, and several outstanding breweries,” Nelson said in a press release. “We’re excited to produce a local product that bolsters the economy and culture.”