Castle Danger–though technically just north of Duluth in Two Harbors–was the final stop in my first Duluth touwery (not to be confused with a brewery tour, in which you actually tour the brewery, not just creep around with a camera and talk to strangers).
I have always heard great things about Castle Danger, and their cream ale is one of very few of the style that I enjoy. If you ever have the opportunity, try the orange cream ale; it’s a grown-up version of the orange Fanta I drank after biking around the block all day when I was six years old.
The taproom is beautiful and spacious (and about to get bigger). The muted natural color scheme and wood ceilings warm you up as you gaze out over Lake Superior. Or, if it’s 50º in February, you might be like me and sit on the windy patio. That part didn’t last too long; I might be Minnesotan, but I still prefer a warm cabin to a cold lake wind.
I enjoyed a 17-7 Pale Ale (ABV 5.8%), which was a solid beer with impressive hop character. In an effort to be less of a stereotypical millennial beer drinker, I’m forcing myself to move away from IPAs, and this Pale Ale filled in for all those big hop flavors I’ve been missing.
Despite the packed taproom, my beertender stole a couple minutes to chat with me and offer a bit of advice. He told me, “There’s always good. Whatever happens, I like to find whatever silver lining can be had. Being easygoing makes life that much more fun and easier. You just have to find the fun in everything you do.” Even at his own grandmother’s funeral, he dried some misty eyes with smile-inducing stories of her.
In trivial times, like traffic jams or accidental reply-alls, it’s easy to find a silver lining. But it is in life’s tougher trials–when things just don’t feel that easy–that we truly commit ourselves to finding the good in every situation. While know that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, the best reaction isn’t always toughness or strength. Sometimes, being soft, funny, or vulnerable is the way through. Heaven knows that’s why we need comedians in 2017.