This past weekend, Mrs. Hopped Up Brewer and I road tripped to Duluth, Minnesota for the second annual All Pints North Summer Brew Fest organized by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. The 4 hour event is set in Bayfront Festival Park along the shore of the inner harbor at Duluth with the iconic aerial lift bridge in the distance.
Duluth is a fantastic setting for a beer event like All Pints, which is perhaps best described as the most laid back beer festival you’ll ever attend. The breeze coming off Lake Superior keeps the temps tolerable on even the sunniest of days, and the festival grounds are spacious enough to park a couple lawn chairs in front of the stage and take in some live music while you enjoy generous pours of some fine Minnesota beer. If you’re into something more active while you rest your lupulin-weary taste buds, you can always challenge some fellow beer drinkers to a game of giant bean bag toss!
As usual, the Surly tent was swamped, but some newer breweries boasted impressive lines as well. Dangerous Man was pouring a couple variations of their excellent Milk Stout. I didn’t get a chance to try the Session Pale, but I heard good things, and their coconut milk stout was surprisingly refreshing, reminding me ever so slightly of the island where I vacationed in January.
New to Duluth, Bent Paddle took home the award for Best Brewery, and tied with Town Hall for Best Beer with their cold press Black Ale served on nitro. Their branding work is top notch, and it’s great to see the beer holds up to the same standard.
All in all, this was a great festival, and I definitely plan on attending next year. Attendance this year was double what it was last, but things seemed to go quite smooth. Four hours was the perfect length of time. Not so long that you feel like bailing early, but not so short you feel rushed to get through the tents, either. Couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day to sit outside and drink some beer!