Interview: Mark Stutrud of Summit Brewing

Summit founder Mark Stutrud
Summit founder Mark Stutrud (courtesy Summit Brewing Company)
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Interview: Mark Stutrud of Summit Brewing Co.
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With Summit Brewing celebrating 29 yaers in business, Summit founder Mark Stutrud joins Jill Riley and Sean McPherson in the studio. "This is the longest job I've ever had," Stutrud says. "It's been really terrific."

Stutrud notes how much the Minnesota beer scene has changed since 1986. "It was pretty sterile, to put it bluntly," Stutrud says of the '80s. "Most places, you'd walk into a bar or restaurant, there would maybe be six draught lines, five of which would be light domestic beers and maybe one other premium beer."

Back in 1986, Stutrud notes, Moosehead was the largest-selling imported beer. "[Now] people go, 'What's Moosehead?'" Stutrud says. "Things were totally different."

Looking back, Stutrud thinks Summit were quite deviant to introduce a pale ale to Minnesota. "When people had their first taste, they truly had a jolt," Stutrud says, but he says that nowadays Summit is part of the mainstream culture. "We've set a good bar in terms of quality," he says.

To celebrate its anniversary, Summit is hosting its Backyard Bash, featuring a lineup of local musicians, including the Suburbs, Black Market Brass, Gramma's Boyfriend and others. "We have always supported Minnesota music, that's where our heart and soul is," Stutrud says. "Believe me, after five years of surviving and finally believing that we could make it, that's when we started to really celebrate, and we always wanted to do that with local groups, with Minnesota groups."

The Summit Backyard Bash is presented in partnership with the nonprofit Minnesota Music Coalition, with 50 percent of ticket sales goes to that organization.

Listen to the complete interview by clicking the audio player above. Find the complete information about the Summit Backyard Bash on our Events Calendar.

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