Beer Olympics Comes to Duluth: Fitger’s Sochi Series

Fitger’s Brewhouse brings the spirit of competition and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi a little closer to home.

Fitger's Brewhouse Sochi Series 2014 // Photo and Illustration by Maxwell McGruder

Fitger’s Brewhouse Sochi Series 2014 // Photo and Illustration by Maxwell McGruder

Duluth’s very own Fitger’s Brewhouse shows it’s patriotism this winter season with their new Olympic-themed Sochi Series. Making it’s debut at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s Winterfest, happening in St. Paul’s newly renovated Union Depot on January 31st , this series comes fully loaded with seven beers as well as t-shirts, artist screen prints, and themed pint glasses to match. All of the art for this series is done by Duluth local Maxwell McGruder, the company’s primary designer, giving it the classic and recognizable Fitger’s Brewhouse look.

Sochi Series 2014What makes this series stand out this winter season is that each of the seven beers was created by a different brewer. This is a perfect opportunity for the up-and-coming brewers at the Brewhouse to show off their skills with their own recipes. In true Olympic spirit, the Fitger’s brewers are taking it to another level by introducing some friendly competition between the beers. Since the Olympics pit USA against the rest of the world for us Americans, Fitger’s is doing the same with their IPAs—they’ve got one beer brewed with 25 different kinds of hops from around the world competing against another brewed with 25 different kinds of hops from the US.

Related Post: Talking Shop With Melissa Rainville of Fitger’s Brewhouse


Heavy hitter in the Sochi Series beer competition is Master Brewer, Dave Hoops, who created The World 25/25 IPA. Hoops added one pound of different hops every five minutes from locations all over the world such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, U.K., Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic. Compare that to an all American hops and all American yeast IPA by the patriotic name of USA 25/25 IPA. With one pound of different hops added every five minutes these two IPAs follow the same rules but are totally unique. It’s up to you and your palate to judge these beers and decide which takes home the gold medal.

In the category of Best Name, ‘Performance Enhancing Pils’ proves itself to be a strong leader. Brewed by Bjorn Erickson, this lighter beer shows off its rich malt character in unison with noble hops. While the beer may not make you a better speed skater or bobsledder, it may increase your performance at the Karaoke machine.

Like the Olympics, these beers will be held at different venues. For the USA IPA and the World IPA you’ll have to head up the hill to Burrito Union on 4th Street. Then head back downtown to the Redstar for a taste of the USA Curling Capital. The World IPA, Back End Wee Heavy, Slippery Slope Stout, and eventually USA IPA will be at Fitger’s Brewhouse. If that sounds like a whirlwind, and you’d rather taste all seven at once to judge who wins your gold metal then take the elevator down to the Rathskeller in the basement of Tycoons on February 7—but pace yourself, these brews weigh in at 7.5% ABV to 9% ABV.

Visit the next page for all the styles, each by a different brewer:

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