Fitger’s Brewhouse Owner Finds Way Around Law To Distribute Brewpub’s Beer
Rod Raymond Gives Brewhouse's Beer Recipe Rights To Son To Create 'Duluth Brewhouse'
DULUTH, Minn. – It’s no secret the craft brewing industry is continuing to explode in the Twin Ports. Microbreweries, like Bent Paddle and Lake Superior Brewing can now be found everywhere — in liquor stores, bars and restaurants. But there’s a law still on the books in Minnesota preventing brewpubs like Fitger’s Brewhouse from doing the same. Brewpubs can only sell growlers on site.
But the owner of Fitger’s Brewhouse, Rod Raymond, says he and his son, Beau Raymond, have found a way to work around that law – legally — and finally bring Brewhouse beers to the market come June 1, as FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports.
“Our customers have been asking for nearly 20 years, when can I go to the liquor store and pick up a six pack of Apricot Wheat, Star Fire, Superior Trail?” said Rod said.
To break it down simply, Rod is handing over the rights of his secret beer recipes to Beau who is creating a separate company in the Twin Cities called Duluth Brewhouse, which will produce, can and keg the same quality beer found at Fitger’s Brewhouse before distributing the product throughout the state and Twin Ports region — with dreams of distribution across the country.
“People have been drinking Star Fire pale ale for nearly two decades. And they live in Minneapolis and they can’t get it. Well guess what? You can get it now,” Rod said.
“We’re actually the first brewpub in Minnesota that’s ever distributed their product. So we are kind of treading a new path here,” Beau explained.
Beau, 26, grew up in the Brewhouse, has seen the changes to the industry and hopes lawmakers in St. Paul will see more changes are needed to what he believes are outdated laws and regulations.
“We’re hoping to restart the conversation to get other excellent brewpubs that make their own beer in house to allow them to distribute as well,” Beau said. “So we are hoping this sparks a little bit of a political conversation.”
It’s a father’s passing of the baton that Rod says won’t bring him a dime but will bring him satisfaction of having Brewhouse beers outside of the pub — with his Beau leading the way.
“In essence, I’m giving the inheritance to my son before I die. And now he is going to take this magical brand that everyone’s come to love and he’ll go out and do it,” Rod said.
“We’ve gotten awards, nationally recognized awards for our beer, so I think the sky is the limit for how we grow nationwide,” Beau said.
The Apricot Wheat pale ale is one of the first Brewhouse beers to hit the shelves June 1.
A Duluth Brewhouse launch party in will be announced for some time in July.
As for Fitger’s Brewhouse, Rod says the establishment, beer and authentic food as customers have come to love will remain the same.