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Active Beers: 96
Beer Ratings: 812
Beer Avg: 3.91
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
600 E Superior St
phone: (218) 726-1392
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I dropped by the Brewhouse, located in the historic Fitgers building yesterday for a drink and a bite to eat. I had last tried the place way back in the early 90's but somehow never made it back for another taste until this tuesday.
The first thing you need to know about the place is that Fitgers is a retail, hospitality, and hotel complex located in what was Fitgers, a gone-but not forgotten Minnesota brewery that went out of business in the late 70's. The sprawling building, located on the shore of Lake Superior, has long since been renovated and it is gorgeous. On the outside the familiar silhouette of the building is preserved- the smokestack with FITGERS painted on the side, and the bright red watertower that used to feed the copper brew kettles (one of which is preserved in the museum on-premises). The exterior is the dark brick typical of local architecture of that vintage, covered in engelman ivy, which is just now coming into it's fall colors. Inside, the building is of lighter red brick and dark old wood. It can be a little daunting getting around, but luckily there are "you are here" map kiosks located throughout the complex. As I said, there are many retail and other shops within, but my interest was the Brewhouse, which happens to be just inside the main entrance and to the right. There are large glass windows set into the hallway, where you can look at the stainless steel kettles and tanks. I was pleased to see that there were also wooden aging tanks. The brewmasters were hard at work within (there are several other clubs in the complex that use their beer as well). I think it's always a plus to be able to drink absolutely fresh beer and to see the actual people who made it. To the side of the brewhouse was the Brewhouse Bar. The decor is all dark wood and brick, very much like I imagine an English pub might be like- wooden columns all covered in placards and booths and tables off to the side in the restaurant side of the pub.
If you sit at the bar, as I chose to do, you can see into the kitchen area and watch the cooks at work. As it happens, one of them (Hi Jessy!) was an old acquaintance from Brainerd, so we visited a bit between orders.
The Brewhouse has 12 beers on tap at any one time- I imagine there are others that rotate in and out as well, but the active ones are displayed on several chalk boards- you can also get growlers of most of them as well, just ask your barman. I had the Big Boat Oatmeal Stout (6.6%), the Hair O' the Monk triple (10%), and the El Nino Double-Hopped IPA (7%). All were good and fit into their respective styles, though I was particularly taken by the wonderful apricot and grapefruit nose of the IPA. Also, even though they were all just 10 oz pours, I was slightly bent- but that's what a lack of sleep an an empty stomach will do for you. Luckily, the Brewhouse has a big menu- with a bewildering selection of the usual bar food and appetizers, as well as a surprisingly large veggie menu. Jessy made me a chicken sandwich with chutney and blue chips. Tasty. All told, with 3 pours, dinner, a growler, and a ten dollar tip, it came out to about forty bucks- a bargain.
To really get the most out of the Brewhouse, plan on getting a room there as well. As it happens, there are several big music festivals and other events in Duluth- it seems like just the place for a short vacation.
09-05-2007 23:27:07 |
More by shadow1961
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped by for a birthday dinner as its the best beer place I've found in the Duluth area. They have a fairly high number of house brews available, around 10 including cask, and they're pretty much all delicious.
The service and food was pretty good, though at some times our food and drinks came really quickly and other times they didn't. I enjoyed the black bean burrito with tuna. I recommend that or the wild rice burger.
Overall, this place reminds of Town Hall Brewery of Minneapolis. I've heard the brewer is Mike Hoops's (of TH) brother. The El Nino IPA is the one must-have for hop heads. Everything else is an excellent example of their style for the most part.
05-30-2007 00:14:28 |
More by tempest
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This place was a nice find in Duluth. I was there on business and staying down the road at the Raddison. On a Wednesday night, it was busy which is a good sign. The barroom is loud but there were families there. The beer selection was great with 8 or so taps going and one cask. I had the porter, the ESB and the oatmeal stout. All were excellent example of their style. My friend had a pale which was also good. I had a burger which was pretty good and had great fries. The service was great wich seems to be the vibe in Minnesotta. I will go back if I ever make it back to Duluth.
04-29-2007 12:29:28 |
More by citrusjim
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Fitger's Brewhouse occupies prime real estate in the Fitger's complex, which once housed Fitger Brewing Company, a regional brewery that closed in the early 1970s. Given it's history, it's no surprise that the atmosphere in the Brewhouse is quite nice, with lots of old wood, exposed brick and brewerania on display. The quality of the beer is top-notch, and the guys working in the brewery are constantly churning out new brews for both the Brewhouse and the Red Star Bar. There's always a range of styles on tap... Belgian-style beers... lagers.... IPAs, etc. Lots of seasonal offerings... They also have a cask beer each week. I've always had great service and many of the servers seem to have a solid understanding of the various beer styles. As I mentioned, the beer selection is great... definitely diverse. The food selection is quite good too, with a variety of choices and price ranges. And though I'm not a vegetarian, the veggie options are pretty tasty as well. Great bar, great beer, great people, great brewers. Thumbs WAY up.
02-19-2007 07:00:16 |
More by bucko
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Probably my favorite place in Duluth. The food is incredible, and the drinks are very well priced during happy hour. Every time I fork out $2.50 for a pint of stupendous beer, I can't help but feel sad for all the people I know are paying the same price for a 12 oz. bottle of macro swill.
One line that I've heard here a few times that always brings a tear to my eye, is "Sorry sir, we don't carry that" after someone tries to order a Bud Light. ::sigh::
Any ways, the beers on tap rotate quite frequently, and I find I rarely get to enjoy the staple brews that are always on tap, since I always want to try the rotating ones before they go away. Can't say that this is a bad thing though, for it has been a great, affordable way that I got introduced to many styles of beer that I've since grown to love.
Atmosphere is decent, very small and cozy. Sometime the live music that is playing can dominate too much for the noise levels I prefer, but during the non-music hours, its always a nice place to just go an talk. Every time I've just sat at the bar, the others doing the same that I've talked to have been interesting and intelligent people capable of holding a good conversation. Never have I encountered a drunken jerkface that I just want to get far away from.People seem to come from far away to this place, and I often get to converse with others from around the nation.
Enough with the beer, lets move onto food. I can't say that I've ever eaten here and been disappointed. Everything I've ever had has been excellent, but four words really sums it up for me. Those words are "Wild Rice Pub Style." I'm not a vegan or vegetarian by any means whatsoever, but I won't shy away from saying that this meat alternative may just be my favorite thing to eat in this city. Everything I've ever ordered has been great, but are available at other places, and often done very well at those establishments. The pub style wild rice burger, however, I've never seen anywhere else. Delicious, healthier, and cheaper then its meat-made alternative. Definitely worth going for, even if you aren't a avid beer drinker.
12-01-2006 04:11:52 |
More by Sjixxxy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Along with Town Hall Brewery, Fitger's might be the best pub in the state. Always a wide variety of beer, and if you get on the email list you will always know what's on tap at a given time. Also, the website seems to always be updated and accurate. Which, for me living in the St. Paul, in great--I know what's going to be there when I make the effort. And the quality is always great and the creativity a driving force, much of which is probably already noted in other reviews.
An added bonus is a great vegetarian menu. The wild rice burger (pub style with mushrooms/onions is my favorite) is a unique and delicious meal compared to most pub grub. Also, the veggie chili is my wife's favorite. Blue corn chips came with the artichoke dip during the last trip. Going up north or small town can sometimes doom a veggie to pizza, fries or an overcooked gardenburger, but not at Fitger's. I'd stop for the veggie burger even w/o the great beer, but since I get both--I always stop.
Another great stop at the fabulous pub. Service was a bit slow, but friendly and helpful. Took my niece to dinner, per our tradition, and had the Lake Huron Smoked Dopplebock and the Misty Mountain IPA, both excellent. Wild rice burger was awesome as usual. Great place that's still a great place. Must stop in Duluth.
10-11-2006 03:26:30 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I visit Fitger's Brewhouse every time I get up to Duluth. This is another place I can't believe it took this long for me to review.
Atmosphere is great with a mix of dark wood and natural stone walls in the cozy bar and interior dining spaces. Service is decent, but can occasionally leave something to be desired.
Beers are very good, with 8-10 selections available at any one time; my favorites are the El Nino IPA and the Big Boat Oatmeal Stout.
Food is very good and shows some imagination. Overall, the Fitger's Brewhouse experience is not to be missed.
09-17-2006 21:14:34 |
More by slyke
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This brewpub has the distinction of being in a building that once was a regional brewery in Duluth(Fitger's). The brewery complex is actually an upscale mall with many shops and restaurants. The crown jewel is this brewpub.It's always crowded and for good reason-the selection and quality of their beers is exceptional. The interior is modern, with a small u-shaped bar adjoining the grill(the brewing equipment is visible from the hallway outside the pub but not from inside the brewpub itself). The walls are festooned with brewery signs and beer memorabilia. There is limited outdoor seating on a small patio.
In an arrangement unique in Minnesota at least, an adjacent bar and dance club, The Red Star, across the hall(with the same owners)also serves Fitger's Brewpub beers, including some that aren't available in the brewpub proper. So, as to selection, there are 10 different styles in Fitger's and 6 in the Red Star(there is some overlap).At Fitger's I drank samples of an IPA, an American pale ale, a British pale ale, a Belgian farmhouse saison, and an oatmeal stout. In the Red Star, I drank a beer unavailable at Fitger's, a double IPA. There were also a Belgian tripel and an apricot wheat(untasted). All tasted were authentic to style and of exceptional quality.
The food is good and filling and includes a variety of salads, sandwiches and burgers. There is a decent selection of vegetarian fare, including a very tasty hummus platter.
This is one of the premier brewpubs in Minnesota with an unrivaled variety of beer styles. If you visit Duluth, or are just passing through, this is a must-visit destination. In fact, it's worth a trip in and of itself.
07-31-2006 15:11:32 |
More by edbeered
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is as near to beer heaven as one can be. The list of expertly crafted brews always on tap is long, with lots of diversity and always one brew to really write home about. Prices are fair for the quality. My only complaint is the lack of proper glasswear.
The food is great pub food (try the Wild Rice burger). The service is quick, friendly and warm. The ambience is classic. Growlers are available in glass or nalgene for $6 refills!
I nearly lived here during my time in Duluth and now I miss it dearly.
Hoops is a masterful brewer, with great innovation and execution. Their recent expanse has been nothing but successful and talking to him at festivals is great. The whole brewing crew are a real good bunch.
07-22-2006 17:52:02 |
More by CharlesDarwin
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I've been to Fitgers many times, but only once since I started reviewing beers and place s on BA. The brewhouse is located in the old Fitgers Brewery, which has been converted into a shopping complex, hotel, and microbrewery.
Last time I was there, I noticed a sign that says that the brew pub offers tours, although I don't know the details.
I was there at dinner time, and the joint was hopping. A few spaces at the bar, but the tables were all full. I was there for food and to sample a beer. I was faced with a 2 hour drive afterwards, so it was just one beer. Too bad, because they had many available. I had an IPA or a DIPA, either way, was excellent. The friend I was with had the same, and was quite happy.
I took my dinner at the bar -- I had a burrito and my friend had a burger. We both enjoyed the food, which ran us around $8-10 per entree, if I remember correctly. Although busy, we had good service at the bar, and the food arrived promptly.
07-18-2006 12:16:23 |
More by pweis909
Fitger's Brewhouse in Duluth, MN
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