A long awaited day is about to arrive. This Friday, the Gunflint Tavern in downtown Grand Marais will celebrate the official opening of their new brewpub. Paul, the head brewer, anticipates having four new beers on tap for all to enjoy.
As many of you already know, Greg's brother Jeff and his wife Susan own the tavern. Approximately two years ago, serious planning began to install brewing facilities. This was a part of the plan when they started the restaurant, and with some solid homebrewing experience already in the family, it seemed like a logical thing to do. The brewing system was originally used in New Zealand, and over the course of time and a couple of owners, it made its way to California. Jeff purchased it and had it trucked to Grand Marais.
The install, like any good remodeling project, took longer than anyone expected. A part of that was attempting to retrofit this particular system to work in this location. Parts had worn out or were missing; to make matters worse, the manufacturing company had gone out of business. Jeff, Paul, Greg, and numerous contractors, from plumbers to electricians to carpenters, were quite challenged at times to make something new work for it. Hence, the amount of time it took to get things functional was endless. After what seemed like several lifetimes, and one declaration from Paul that he hates New Zealand, it is up and running.
Paul, with his occasional assistant brewmaster Greg, brewed up Sawtooth Mountain Pale Ale in late October. Following that came Jasper, a brown ale. When I stopped by to see him yesterday, Paul was transferring a batch of Belgian IPA and already had filled a tank with a Belgian pale. It is those four beers that will be flowing on Friday evening.
A soft opening was held a few weeks ago, to test out the Sawtooth. We attended the event, and I captured this video of the first glasses being poured, and Paul's comments about the beer. Congratulations to all--Jeff, Susan, Paul, Greg, and all of the hard-working folks who came together to make this the first brewpub in Grand Marais!
If you would like to attend, the Grand Opening begins at 5 p.m. on December 5th. Live music will be provided by the Twin Ports band Black River Revue.