Duluth’s first brewery was started by Sidney Luce in 1857. Luce built his brewery a block and a half from the present site, and utilized a small, clear brook which later was known as Brewery Creek. His brewery grew, and in 1881 Michael Fink purchased the brewery. Fink built a new, larger brewery on the present Fitger’s site. Fink’s Lake Superior Brewery soon hired a new brewmaster, a young German named August Fitger who graduated from one of Germany’s premier brewing schools. Within the year, August Fitger owned half of the brewery.
Beer production continued for forty years, until Prohibition (1920 -1933) changed matters for all breweries around the nation. Many went out of business. Fitger’s stayed alive by turning out new products such as soda pop and candy bars. Candy lovers in Duluth during the “Roaring Twenties” enjoyed the Fitger’s Flapper, the Fitger’s Spark Plug, the Five Cent Fitger’s Nut Goodie, the King Bee Nougat, and Fitger’s Skookum. Along with the candy bars, Fitger’s cranked out cases of Lovit Pop, a popular favorite on a hot summer’s day down at Park Point.
After the repeal of Prohibition, Fitger’s resumed brewing strong beer, and business boomed during the 1930’s. Production was up to 100,000 barrels a year by 1940. The Beerhalter family purchased the Brewery in 1944, and operated if for the next quarter century. Fitger’s Brewery closed its doors on September 30, 1972, ending 115 years of brewing on the shores of Lake Superior.
The Fitger’s Brewery Complex was re-opened in September of 1984 with a 48 room hotel, three full service restaurants, and a retail center. In 1995, a group of prominent Duluth business people purchased the Complex, and continue as the driving force behind all positive improvements at Fitger’s, which include the construction of fourteen luxury suites, new dining options, and the beautiful Lakewalk Access.