Letter from the Mayor

Welcome to Duluth from Mayor Don Ness

Greetings from Duluth!

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome The Growler up north.  Duluthians will love The Growler’s insight on all of the people and places that make up Minnesota’s vibrant craft beer scene.  It’s especially appropriate that The Growler will be distributed up here now that Duluth has been proclaimed The Craft Beer Capital of Minnesota (CBC of MN)™.

Oh, sorry, what?  You weren’t aware that Duluth is the CBC of MN?  No worries.  In fact, this column serves as the first public announcement of this exciting news.   But there it is – congratulations to Duluth!

Oh sure, the competition was stiff – there are so many great craft beer cities in Minnesota: cities with talented brewers, great breweries and pubs, and a progressive culture to match.  I mean, Northeast  alone has something like 238 breweries, a few of which I visited last month – including Dangerous Man – outstanding!

So, how did it happen?   Well, you see, I called dibs on it.  I was the first mayor in Minnesota to proclaim my city the CBC of MN.   Chris or R.T. could have done it, but they sort of missed their window to be the first city to do it.  That’s pretty important.  Sure, there’s nothing that would stop either of those guys from becoming the second mayor in Minnesota to make that proclamation.  But, I think we can all agree, that would be pretty lame.

Plus, you guys all know that Duluth is still struggling to recover from the massive flash flood of last summer, right?  Contesting our claim of CBC of MN would surely compound our troubles and could quite possibly increase the likelihood of another natural disaster in the future.  Do you have any idea how painful that would be to us?

But wait, there are several other Duluth-specific attributes that support Duluth’s new CBC of MN distinction, just to name a few:

1)     Lake Superior – the best source of fresh brewing water in the world.

2)     Craft breweries in Duluth: Fitger’s Brewhouse, Lake Superior Brewing, Canal Park Brewing, Dubrue, Carmody Irish Pub, DuhbLinn’s, Tycoons Zenith Alehouse, Bent Paddle Brewing, and more to come!

3)     Dave Hoops and his Starfire Pale Ale

Truly, Duluth is excited to contribute to a vibrant craft beer movement in Minnesota and across the upper Midwest.  Portland has Bend.  Denver has Boulder.  The entire south-east part of the country has to share Asheville.  The Twin Cities has Duluth.

We all know that the craft beer ethic goes well beyond the beer itself – it’s about outdoor recreation, access to natural beauty, enjoying four full seasons, an authentic arts scene, and bluegrass music played as fast as humanly possible.   It’s about impressive beards, wind-burned cheeks, and a Wellstone sticker on an old pickup truck.

It’s about quality over quantity.  It’s about finding something authentic when the world gives you conformity.  It’s about connecting with something real and appreciating the talents and craftsmanship of your neighbors.

That’s what we’re trying to do in Duluth.   That’s what we strive to offer our residents and our visitors.  Whether craft beer, growing our local economy, or building a 100-mile single-track mountain bike trail system across our beautiful city, it all comes down to offering an authentic quality of being.  Not everybody needs that, but for those who do, Duluth is a pretty great place to find it.

Thanks to The Growler for helping us celebrate this cool thing happening in Minnesota!   We in Duluth are excited to welcome The Growler and we hope to see you all in Duluth in the coming year.





Don Ness, Mayor

Duluth, Minnesota



  1. […] That’s because back in 2013, Duluth Mayor Don Ness proclaimed Duluth the craft beer capital of Minnesota in an open letter published in The Growler. […]

  2. […] like “baked blueberries” (and so forth.) A look at Canal Park Brewing in Duluth, and a letter from that city’s mayor welcoming the Growler to town. A taste of 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. from […]

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