Beer: A Love Story

Woman holding glass of beer over her head

Woman holding glass of beer over her head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not my love story; I’m more of a wine person. But I did meet someone who loves beer. A group I’m a member of met at the new Canal Park Brewing Company in Duluth a few days ago. In addition to our group meeting, we got a tour of the on-site brewery by Jeremy, one of the brew masters.

Jeremy is just four days into his job and it shows. Bright-eyed and bushy-faced (he has a sparse beard), he spoke with true enthusiasm. He comes to northern Minnesota from Milwaukee, which, of course, is known for its beer. Jeremy has a good pedigree; he’s done college work in biochemistry and almost has a doctorate in it. It sounded like the only thing standing in his way was some impatience with academic bureaucracy.

He’s done a lot of work with yeast and home brewing, and he worked as a volunteer for a well-known brewery in Milwaukee, the name of which I can’t recall because I was drinking wine at the time. And I’m drinking a nice zinfandel as I write this, which is not helping.

Anyway, this is Jeremy’s first paying job at an official brewery. He showed my group around the temperature-controlled vat room (a cool 53 degrees) and the warmer room where they store the hops. We also got to see the fancy computer panel that he uses to cause various mysterious things to happen to the brews, and the hopper that dispenses the grain so vital for the operation.

So it was the lure of this job that brought him to Duluth, and also . . . you guessed it . . . a woman. His lady friend happens to work for the competition: Fitger’s Brewhouse , just up the shore of Lake Superior a bit.

Seeing someone so obviously well-suited to their job was fun, and it was nice to think that love was an important side-benefit of Jeremy’s move north. Being a fly on the wall during one of his conversations with his lady friend about brewing and what their respective work places are up to would be so interesting. Do they share trade secrets with each other or keep mum for fear of giving the other an advantage?

Although I didn’t drink the beer so can’t comment on it (and you wouldn’t want me to), the food was notable, the wait staff attentive, and they were patient with someone like me who had questions about which entrees are best to eat for someone who can’t tolerate wheat (yet another reason I don’t drink beer, besides the taste). I had a Jaeger burger, which features smoked gouda cheese, black forest ham and sautéed wild mushrooms (without the bun), along with some garlic mashed potatoes.

And Jeremy answered all the questions we threw at him. I could tell he loved the topic of beer and I’m sure he’ll do credit to this profession. So, if you’re ever in Duluth, stop in at the Canal Park Brewing Co. And no, they are not paying me to say that!

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