The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild recently announced the winners of the 2024 MN Brewers Cup, which celebrates the best of the best in beer across the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The annual blind taste test competition among Minnesota breweries and brewpubs saw nearly 450 entries from 90 different breweries across the state this year.

The beverages are judged in 23 different categories, all scored based on official Beer Judge Certification Program standards. Of the 23 different categories, which include a variety of beers and hard seltzers, Duluth area beers won honors in 7 categories.

In the overall "Best In Show" awards, no Northland beers won top honors. The top winners in that category were all Twin Cities area brews:

  • 1st Place: Surly Brewing Co, Axe Man IPA
  • 2nd Place: Arbeiter Brewing Company, Tokki
  • 3rd Place: Summit Brewing Company, Sága Imperial IPA

Here's a look at the Duluth beers that won awards in this year's competition.

Duluth beers winning awards in the 2023 MN Brewers Cup

Photo by Missy Fant on Unsplash
Photo by Missy Fant on Unsplash

Wood-Aged Beers

In the Wood-Aged Beers category, Canal Park Brewing took second place with their Night Trekker Baltic Porter. This barrel-aged porter is described by Canal Park Brewing as "Starting out sweet but quickly being dominated by hints of coffee, dark fruits, and caramel."

  • 1st Place: Bad Weather Brewing Company, Calamity
  • 2nd Place: Canal Park Brewing Co., Night Trekker Baltic Porter – Barrel Aged
  • 3rd Place: Locale Brewing Co., 2023 Anniversary

American Amber, Brown & Pale Ales

Canal Park Brewing's other award-winning beer in this year's event took top honors in the American amber, brown & pale ale category. Winning first place in the category was CPB's Nut Hatchet Brown Ale.

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Canal Park Brewing describes this beer as "broad strokes of toasted nuts, hints of toffee, sweet maltiness, soft fruit, and gentle caramel". They say it is one of their most popular beers among patrons.

  • 1st Place: Canal Park Brewing Co., Nut Hatchet Brown Ale
  • 2nd Place: Dual Citizen Brewing Company, River Town Brown
  • 3rd Place: Surly Brewing Co, Mosh Pit Juicy Pale Ale

English Brown Ales & Porters

Bent Paddle's appearance as a finisher in one of the competition's categories was their Shire Mild, which won second place in the English brown ales & porters category. They describe this beer as "Toffee, dried dark fruit, light roast coffee, peanut butter toast, fruity English yeast esters and subtle floral hops round out this mild, and flavorful ale"

  • 1st Place: Back Channel Brewing, Jug
  • 2nd Place: Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Shire Mild
  • 3rd Place: Bucks Mill Brewing, Mill Pond Porter

English, Scottish, & Irish Ales

Ursa Minor won a few awards in this year's competition, including their fan-favorite Equanimity winning yet another award, collecting second place in this category. This Irish Red Ale sports an ABV of 5.3% and has a delicious flavor.

  • 1st Place: Locale Brewing Co., Hibernale
  • 2nd Place: Ursa Minor Brewing, Equanimity
  • 3rd Place: Summit Brewing Company, Extra Pale Ale

Hazy IPAs

Ursa Minor collected top honors in the Hazy IPAs category this year, winning with their amazingly-named Galactic Face Slap. Fans call this beer a smooth and easy-drinking IPA with incredible flavor. Plus, did I mention it has a pretty cool name?

  • 1st Place: Ursa Minor Brewing, Galactic Face Slap
  • 2nd Place: Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative, Lil Haze
  • 3rd Place: Omni Brewing Company, Fad
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German Ales

Duluth reigned supreme in this category, with two different breweries claiming honors. Bent Paddle claimed second place with their Little Düssel Do Ya, while Blacklist collected top honors in the category with their Hefe Royale.

  • 1st Place: Blacklist Brewing Co, Hefe Royale
  • 2nd Place: Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Little Düssel Do Ya
  • 3rd Place: Dual Citizen Brewing Company, Elbow Bender

American Blonde, Wheat, & Cream Ales

The final category a Duluth brewery grabbed an award in is the American Blonde, Wheat, and Cream Ales category. A local favorite among Twin Ports beer lovers, Ursa Minor's Constellation Cream, took third place in the category.

  • 1st Place: Mineral Springs Brewery, Cinder Hill Cream Ale
  • 2nd Place: Shakopee Brew Hall, Cinco De Shako
  • 3rd Place: Ursa Minor Brewing, Constellation Cream

In all, Duluth breweries won three first-place awards, four second-place awards, and one third-place award for a total of 8 awards among the hundreds of beers submitted this year.

You can see all of this year's winners here.

LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood