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Castle Danger Brewery, Two Harbors

#3 of 12 in Things to do in Two Harbors
Brewery · Food & Drink
We have been brewing dangerously good ales on the North Shore of Lake Superior since 2011. After out-growing our 3-bbl brewhouse in Castle Danger, we opened a new location in downtown Two Harbors with a much larger brewing system, allowing us to brew enough beer to expand further into Minnesota and add a canning line. We distribute our beer in Minnesota to bars & restaurants to enjoy by the glass and to liquor stores to buy canned beer. Our taproom is open year-round, with a fantastic patio overlooking Lake Superior.

Castle Danger beers are all designed with a flavor profile in mind. We may start with a base style, but expand upon it to create something unique. There are hundreds of great beers that are true-to-style available in the beer market. We prefer to use traditional brewing practices to produce unique, flavorful beers. In our minds, this is the only way to approach brewing.

Clint & Jamie MacFarlane started Castle Danger Brewery in 2011 as a small 3-barrel production brewery in Castle Danger, Minnesota, 12 miles northeast of Two Harbors off of Highway 61 at their small resort, Castle Haven Cabins, on Lake Superior.

Homebrewing is how it all began. Castle Danger Brewery was an early thought when Clint first got into the hobby of homebrewing in 2006. He started developing his own original recipes in 2007. These recipes would eventually become what they are today.

Clint fell in love with the process and learning aspect of brewing, which sparked the idea of starting a small brewery to occupy his time during the slower winter season. After a few years, some good original recipes, and much research on brewing equipment, he decided to take the plunge. He ordered a 3bbl system with 2 fermenters and set to work on putting up the 700 square-foot building that would house the nano-brewery.

For three years, Clint & Jamie sold growlers out of the Castle Danger location, fondly referred to as the shed or garage. Our long-time friend Mason Williams joined us in 2012. Clint trained him in as a brewer, as well as taking a few courses from the Siebel Institute of Technology. Our 3 bbl system allowed us to experiment with different ingredients, such as juniper, spruce tips, and maple syrup. It also limited the amount of beer we could produce, as well as only supplying 12 local bars & restaurants.

Soon realizing that 12 taplines and selling growlers only 2 nights a week couldn’t meet demand, we started work on our expansion into Two Harbors. Mandy (Jamie’s cousin) and her husband Lon Larson joined Clint & Jamie as business partners as the expansion project began. By the end of 2013, we were soon knee-deep in construction during the coldest winter on record. Our steel building frame even showed up on a 26-below-zero day in January.

We are now happy to be brewing in downtown Two Harbors on a 30-bbl brewing system, complete with a canning line and taproom that seats 130 people. The move into Two Harbors has also given us the opportunity to be brewing with the finest water available: fresh Lake Superior water.
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Castle Danger Brewery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
241 reviews
  • Stopped Memorial Day weekend. They were busy but not too crazy. The younger girl taking names for wait list was ignoring everyone that came in the same time as us and we lined up waiting to be...  more »
  • My friends and I went here twice during our visit to Two Harbors and really enjoyed the beer variety! The staff was friendly and helpful, the inside was nice and had a very clean restroom. Then...  more »
  • Nice, spacious taproom close to the lake. We stopped here on a road trip up north and enjoyed sitting on the outside patio. I'm not a huge beer connoisseur but I enjoyed everything I tried (and had multiple so I guess that's a positive recommendation). They don't have food here but you can order from some local places, several other people I saw were having pizzas delivered. We opted for the chips and salsa they were selling behind the counter and then promptly devoured them all. I really enjoyed this place and will definitely be stopping by again on my next trip up north!
  • Wish I had liked this better because it looks like it should be a fun hangout. 1) the service was not good. Not that it was rude; just non-existent. 2) They have 2 pre-set flights of beer and you cannot choose alternates to try. I can't say I've tried flights of beer at a ton of places, maybe 15, and this is the first time I have had it limited. There was one decent dark beer and the rest were water & beer or fruit juice and beer. Didn't work for me. Went home and had a good local cold press.

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