beertrailOk, no surprise here, I like beer and I like my beer with plenty of hops. A recent trip to Duluth, MN was dotted with several stops at local craft brew pubs.

First off was Bent Paddle Brewing. We hit this one on the way into town. It’s located on the South side of Duluth, an area you might not ever have thought about lurking. This small tap room was filled with Saturday tap hunters looking for a great pour. We bellied up to the bar and ordered a Bent Paddle Black and a Bent Paddle Golden IPA. Both were tasty in their own special way. Their IPA packs a nice punch with a 68 IBU and a 6.2 ABV. It’s a pretty traditional American IPA with lots of golden flavor. Sold in cans and growlers, best give this one a try.

Next up we hit the Thirsty Pagan. We had to cross the bridge to seedy Superior WI for this one. Known for their deep dish pizza and folky stage, the beer here plays second fiddle. I had the India Pagan Ale which was pretty straightforward, but nothing to write home about. I also did a sampler of the India Pale Lager and had to ask myself why. It tasted something like a hops infused Miller Genuine Draft.

We found ourselves dining at the relatively new Canal Park Brewing where the food was better than average and the beer was pretty darn good. Their Stoned Surf IPA, while not a powerhouse, was balanced and tasty. It’s not overly hoppy, but full of flavor.

The last stop of the weekend was at a family favorite, Burrito Union. This place is owned by old time brewers Fitgers. The burritos take center stage here, but with a full tap line of great guest taps and house craft brews that are unique to BU. Superior Trail IPA was my pick, as it has been for the last half dozen times I’ve been there. It’s a hop forward traditional american IPA golden, chewy and lingering.

While I can debate all night how Minneapolis is the really the craft brew capital of Minnesota, Duluth has claimed it first. No doubt they have some great brews and It never gets old looking at Lake Superior.