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Castle Danger Brewery celebrates six years

Castle Danger Brewery will hold its sixth anniversary celebration Aug. 18-19. (News-Chronicle file photo)1 / 2
Castle Danger Brewery will have specialty brews available at its taproom during its anniversary celebration Aug. 18-19. (News-Chronicle file photo by Adelle Whitefoot)2 / 2

It's been a busy six years for Castle Danger Brewery since its 2012 founding 11 miles north of Two Harbors.

The brewery has gone through enormous growth since it was started by Clint and Jamie MacFarlane as a three barrel brewhouse next to their resort in Castle Danger. They built a taproom and much larger brewery in downtown Two Harbors that is now undergoing construction to expand it even further.

To celebrate the growth of the brewery, Castle Danger will host its sixth anniversary celebration Aug. 18-19 at the Two Harbors taproom with bands, food trucks as well as some community partners.

"It's free and we just like people to come out and celebrate us being around in the Two Harbors community for six years," said Maddy Stewart, Castle Danger marketing and events coordinator.

The anniversary celebration will feature a number of Castle Danger's enormously popular infusion brews that have become a hallmark of special events at Castle Danger and up and down the North Shore.

"We're not sure what infusions we're going to have yet, but we're definitely going to have quite a few," Stewart said.

In addition to the unique infusions and their regular line up of "dangerously good ales," the taproom will feature music from Kyle Ollah at 5 p.m. Friday and Mel and the Side Effects at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, the music begins at 1 p.m. with the Boomchuks, followed by Feeding Leroy at 3 p.m., A Band Called Truman at 5 p.m. and Black River Revue at 7 p.m.

The anniversary will also feature a number of different food trucks and, new for 2017, the celebration will host booths from some of the nonprofits in the community like the Two Harbors Area Food Shelf. Raffle tickets will be for sale to raise money for the THAFS and drawings will be held for Castle Danger merchandise throughout the celebration.

"We definitely wanted to involve more of the community this year," Stewart said. "A big thing for us is to really support the Two Harbors community and we have a new volunteer group this year called Team Danger that's been doing dangerously good deeds around Two Harbors."

Castle Danger has always been involved in the community, but they recently organized their efforts to form "Team Danger," a volunteer group looking to make a difference in the Two Harbors community. The group has volunteered at events at the THAFS and is also planning an event with the Superior Hiking Trail Association's Gooseberry River reroute.

Much of the celebration has to do with the extraordinary growth experienced by the brewery since it was founded. When the Two Harbors taproom and brewery opened in 2014, Castle Danger produced a little more than 1,000 barrels of beer that year. That number grew to 4,000 barrels in 2015 and more than 9,000 in 2016.

To keep up with production, a major expansion is underway at the brewery. After the city of Two Harbors moved its watermain line near the brewery, construction began in June to build a packaging hall behind the existing Two Harbors brewery. When guests arrive at the brewery this next weekend, there will be a large crane and the skeleton of a warehouse-style building being constructed to move the Castle Danger's conditioning and packaging system to make room for more fermentation tanks in the original space. The packaging hall will double Castle Danger's current capacity from 20,000 to 40,000 barrels, or more than half a million cases, of beer per year. Co-owner and vice president of Castle Danger Lon Larson said the brewery plans to have the packaging hall up and running by the end of October and Castle Danger estimates it will brew 14,000 cases of beer in 2017. Growth estimates have the brewery increasing its production by 4,000 barrels per year through 2020.

Adding to the good news, Stewart said Castle Danger recently closed a distribution deal with Beverage Wholesaler in Fargo, N.D., to expand sales of its beer to all of Minnesota, including some North Dakota border towns. In 2018, Castle Danger plans to expand further into Wisconsin going north to south.

With all the expansion and growth, including an estimated 40 new full- and part-time positions, Castle Danger is looking to celebrate with as many fans as it can next weekend.

"It's going to be a hoot and we just like celebrating with everyone," Stewart said. "It's more of a celebration for people who love our beer than it is for us, that's how we see it. We just want to celebrate with everyone, we haven't been drinking all the beer we're producing."

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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