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Seven days a week, be it the frigid winter cold or hot summer days, Castle Danger’s tap room is open. Even when I was there, a freezing Friday morning, it was packed.
We were all there to drink beer. A few varieties, notably the cream ale, is available all over the state of Minnesota or in border cities like Superior. A few of their beers, though, are only available at their Two Harbors tap room. They have two flight options. The yearly flight comes with Cream Ale, Danger Ale, 17-7 Pale Ale, and Ode IPA. The other flight with their seasonal selection currently includes the CDB Pils, White Pine Project, Russian Rye, and George Hunter Stout. We got both.
The Russian Rye was celebrating its first day of being available at the tap room. The first sip or two was definitely off-putting as it is very strong and not what you would expect a beer to taste like. Once you drink it a little more it grows on you. It is like liquefied black liquorice or even pumpernickel bread. It is certainly a strong taste but not undrinkable.
I enjoy stouts and am glad they are making the hunter stout available in cans around the state and a new year-round option. Am I tasting chocolate? Coffee? Maple? It’s all three and more. It’s a very rich, very thick tasting stout that really exemplifies the phrase “full-bodied.”
The white-pine project is a beer with a purpose. The money made selling this beer is used to fund the restoration of white pine trees. It is an IPA with spruce notes. It smells amazing.
Our winner for favorite beer is not a surprise—the cream ale is their most popular drink. The danger ale, their flag ship, is also an excellent flavorful strong ale and a strong runner up.
Their tap room is pretty big with long tables to accommodate big groups or just a lot of people which is good because their taproom is almost always full of excited beer-lovers.
Castle Danger holds two brewery tours a week on Friday’s and Saturdays. It cost $3, which they donate to the local food shelf. The tour is about 45 minutes. You start off in the back near the fermenters and kettles then you see the packaging hall which is the ninth largest in Minnesota. You also get a free sample while learning about the beer making process.
I asked bartender CJ Hedburg what makes Castle Danger unique. She said “every month and a half we have a new tap room series beer so there is always something new to try and something different all the time.”
She added that in coming months they’re planning to make a saison, a smoked helles and a strong Belgium.
When it comes to what beer she pours the most, she said it was the cream ale. “It’s a people pleaser” she said. “Not too malty, not too hoppy. It’s like the middle of the road of beers.”
Castle Danger is named after the town where it was founded in 2011 by Clint and Jamie MacFarlane. Clint had begun his interest in homebrewing in 2006. In 2014 they bought the property they are at today in downtown Two Harbors.
Chad Dachel contributed to this article