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At some point, Badger saw us drinking fairly seriously at the bar and he graciously offered us a behind-the-scenes tour of the shiny new place. We were ushered into the room where all the magic happens.
Things start here with the grain that automatically gets weighed as it passes through to the mill.
I absolutely used this picture of Badger at right from the Canal Park website since I was way too shy to get my own.
The brewhouse is fully automated with some fancy tricks that increase the efficiency of the operation. One of which is that the tanks are warmed sequentially based on the amount of liquid present. Also, the water that is used to cool the beer (which, in turn, warms up) is funneled into the next tank for further use rather than discarded. So cool!
Badger explained that his vision was to create a brewery on par with a large-scale commercial operation in terms of precision and repeatability, all within a brewpub setting, an idea that really struck me.
Everyone we met was gracious and committed to the place, including the owner, Rockie Kavajecz, who you may have run into at the Beer Dabbler in St. Paul!
After another beautiful day in Duluth, Kevin and I looked at each other, both realizing what we really wanted to do was return to Canal Park. I’m glad we did, too, because the vibe with the dinner rush was completely different than our relaxed afternoon.
I ordered the Stone Surf IPA and Kevin got the Greedy Bastard Black IPA. Also, we split an amazing brownie sundae.
Many of their menu items feature beer and, if I had my way, I’d add some of their stout to the chocolate sauce pictured (sort of) at right.
If you visit Duluth, Canal Park Brewing Company is not to be missed. Their knowledge and hospitality is inviting whether you are unsure about craft beer or know exactly what you are looking for. I know that it will be a regular spot for me as often as I can make it to Duluth, and it will be a motivating factor to venture northward. According to Badger, upcoming brews include a Porter and a Scotch Ale. I can only imagine how glorious the place will be in the summer!