New Brewery in Superior Expected to Make Big Economic Impact

SUPERIOR, Wis. —

Superior mayor Jim Paine has a lot of hope for his city.

His enthusiasm comes with the official announcement of the city’s first production brewery in more than fifty years.

As he gazes at the old warehouse that, when renovated, will become Earth Rider Brewery, he reflects on the impact it will make on the city.

“It’s important to remember as fun as it is to drink the beer at a pub, this is a manufacturing plant,” Paine said.  “That’s what a brewery is.”

The brewery will operate in the north end of town.

From the building you can see the grain elevators where thousand-foot ships come to load up.

The hope is that Earth Rider will become a part of the industrial culture that Superior is known for.

“The history and the culture of Superior is a working class community, based in the harbor that we’re right at the foot of here,” Paine said.

Government leaders say they’re not just excited about a new brewery in the city of Superior.  They’re excited about the economic future for this area.

At a press conference earlier Tuesday morning, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch announced a grant worth more than $109,877 to the city of Superior.

“We want Superior to be economically competitive,” Lt. Governor Kleefisch said. “One of the ways that you attract millennial to your city center is by having cool developments and an invested city, like you see Superior today.”

Kleefisch says the investment isn’t just for the immediate future, but for the future of Superior for many years to come.

And she knows there are a lot of beer lovers in northern Wisconsin.

“When you have a large consumer base like that, all of a sudden you’re starting to attract more retail, more restaurants, more hospitality,” Kleefisch said.

Earth Rider founder Tim Nelson got into the craft beer industry in the 1990s, at the Fitgers Brewhouse in Duluth.

“In business I’ve always dreamed of having a factory, I guess, of some sort,” Nelson said.

Nelson says he understands the responsibility and the high expectations the city has for him and his company.

And he’s ready for the future.

“Nationally breweries have been a part of a resurgence,” Nelson said.  “They are an economic engine that a community gathers around.”

That is exactly the plan.

Nelson’s other business venture in Superior is the Cedar Lounge, a bar with a distinct nostalgic Midwestern vibe.

The Cedar Lounge will serve as the tap room for earth rider’s beers, when they start brewing in the fall.

“Our heritage, as a whole, likes beer,” Nelson said.  “We are pretty confident that people are going to enjoy our beer here; they’re already drinking beer.  This will be one more flavor to put in their mix in their refrigerators.”

Superior’s legacy as an industrial town is secure.

But its leaders are optimistic that this new brewery will not just add to that legacy, but put Superior, Wisconsin, back on the map.

Earth Rider Brewing is still in the construction phase at it building.

The brewery is expecting the equipment to arrive in August, and they plan on brewing beer by sometime in September.