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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Local brewery implements changes

The rich overwhelming smell of hops, barley, oats and yeast marinate the warm atmosphere of Blackrocks Brewery as homemade beer flows from the various taps made from ski poles, bicycle gears and canoe paddles.

Standing under a canopy of hundreds of beer mugs, men and women of all ages tap their toes to a four-piece live band covering Johnny Cash on a Sunday evening.

From garage brewers to small brewpub owners, Dave Manson and Andy Langlois have dedicated their hearts and souls this past year into establishing a legitimate brew house for Marquettians to enjoy.

“We wanted to put Marquette on the map as a destination known for craft beer,” Manson said. “There’s a particularly different, warmer vibe here, which you lose once you throw liquor into the equation.”

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Established in 2010, Blackrocks Brewery is the alternative from the regular bar crawl that is Remies, Stuckos, the Doghouse and the Wild Rover.

There is no such thing as a slow night at Blackrocks Brewery.

A true Yooper institution, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd slowly makes its way to the beer garden outside. Customers are drinking stouts and ales under falling snow in their Carhartts with not a Miller Light or vodka and cranberry in sight.

“Blackrocks is a house party for grown-ups,” Manson said. “With a grassroots following that has a close first-name fan base, customers and employees stand by a creed of making friends, having a great time and, of course, sipping their mystic juice.”

The brewery thrives on offering different beers every week, while bringing back some of the local favorites, such as the Amazon Blonde, Drunk Yoda, Coconut Brown and their various India pale ales.
“We’ve always try to concentrate more on variety than quantity,” Manson said.

Beginning with just four taps, they’ve doubled to eight, bringing the variety to a whole new level.

The customers are the heart of the menu at Blackrocks. Whether it’s coming up with brew names by voting for them on the glass board behind the bar, or the innovative and somewhat unorthodox beers, such as the Chipotle Stout and Creamsicle.

The average price for a pint is $3.5. Since last summer, Blackrocks also offers their 64-ounce growlers for $15 and $12 to fill up.

Blackrocks serves beer in signature mugs (which hold a few more ounces than the pint), hand-made in the Upper Peninsula by potter Ryan Dalman.

At $40 apiece, the brewery now holds 654 mugs, none identical to the next, making every Blackrocks experience that much more special.

Manson said its a well-known factor that they are quite constricted on space.

“We want to open a second location in addition to the Third Street spot, but still try to remain a very small business,” Manson said.

In addition, the brewery is now open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, and is considering opening on a new weekday.

They will still provide live music on Sundays and are presently operating Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.

For more information on Blackrocks, visit www.blackrocksbrewery.com, or friend them on Facebook for daily updates on the upcoming brews of the weekend.

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