Over the past few years our local craft beer market has grown considerably. In 2010 alone, our market produced 386 brewing jobs—providing 23.5 million dollars in wages. With this growth, opportunities have opened up for understudies to take their skills to the next level.
Where are these new brewmasters coming from? Take a look around—many of them are coming from local breweries and brewpubs. Here are just some of the examples:
Indeed brewer, Josh Bischoff, cut his teeth for years behind Mike Hoops at Town Hall Brewery.
Also coming from Town Hall is Jamie Robinson, who recently opened Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub where he is the brewmaster and creative mind behind their offerings.
Bob DuVernois left Great Waters Brewing Company to take his talent to Excelsior Brewing where he is making waves with some quality brews on the lake.
Formerly with Summit Brewing Company, Horace Cunningham is now with Third Street Brewhouse out of Cold Spring, MN.
Colin Mullen of Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth came from Barley John’s Brew Pub and his business partner, Brian Tonnis, put his work in at Rock Bottom Brewery in Minneapolis before heading north.
Also coming from Rock Bottom was Todd Haug, who went on to become head brewer of Surly Brewing when they opened in 2005.
Since 2005, the following breweries have opened right here in Minnesota. In no particular order: Surly; Fulton; Lift Bridge; Harriet; Olvalde; Boom Island; Northbound; Indeed; Carmody; Dubrue; Canal Park; Bent Paddle; Third Street; Staples Mill; Pour Decisions; Excelsior; Borealis Fermentary; Flat Earth; Lucid; Badger Hill; Leach Lake; Mankato Brewing; Jack Pine; Vine Park; and Steel Toe.
Coming soon are: Dangerous Man Brewing (January 25th); 612 Brew; NorthGate; Bad Weather Brewing; and Wolf Brewing out of Stillwater, which will be re-opening. That’s 30 new breweries in 8 years with no end in sight.
One thing is certain: if you have quality brewing experience it is a good time to be living here in Minnesota.
Ryan Tuenge is an avid home brewer and craft beer lover who
is not afraid to spend his last $5 on a pint of beer at the local pub.
As a member of the Minnesota Home Brewers Association, Ryan has tried a wide variety of beers and has toured many of the local breweries. He also has a blog about craft beer in Minnesota. He likes to read, write and travel with his wife. Follow him on Twitter @lodgefather.