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Thirsty Pagan Brewing

Not Rated.
Thirsty Pagan BrewingThirsty Pagan Brewing
Based on:
30 Beers
101 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1623 Broadway
Superior, Wisconsin, 54880
United States
phone: (715) 394-2500

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: lampkins

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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 21
Photo of viers002
4.24/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 5

Photo of pat61
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

This is in what appears to be an old waterfront bar formerly frequented by longshoremen and sailors. The crowd is now hipper and more diverse but it still has that vibe. they feature 7 house beers, have a classic hand pump and a series of seasonal offerings - 16 tap handles in all. The food is pizza.

Photo of NathanMilesLund
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Did a sampler and beers were OK to good, tried an appetizer which to was OK and satisfactory for a neighborhood pub, but not a destination for an advanced beer geek. Still worth a stop if in area.

Photo of Josh012012
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jarrgal
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Simonh
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Z_Anderson_0406
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Vukusich
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of mattmarka1
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of BeardedAllen
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Stopped in on a beautifully warm late September day and after seeing pictures online I was initially disappointed with the replacement of the glass block windows and brick facade with stucko. Upon entering you're greeted by a hallway with old beer memorabilia everywhere. The larger dining/seating area is off to your immediate left while the bar is down the hall and to the left. Overall, the seating area is quite large when taking both rooms into consideration. There's so many old, local brewery signs (in nearly perfect condition) that this place is like a Northern WIsconsin/Minnesota brewing museum. One side of the room with the bar has an old Miller High Life painting on the wall that looks like it's been there for 50 years while the other side sports an old wood bar loaded with swag and glassware.

It was Oktoberfest time so the seasonal menu was German heavy; Berliner Weisse with a raspberry syrup option, Oktoberfest, Helles, Bohemian Pils, another German style I can't remember, a blonde sour, and White Winter Hard Cider. All that on top of their standard line; amber, pale, roasty schwarz, and an IPA. The schwarz was also on cask with vanilla and coffee. The cask schwarz, and IPA were very good, the sour (Casey Batch 001) and Berliner were solid, and the Oktoberfest was a standout. The service was friendly and helpful. Growlers were available of all the beers on tap.

I loved this place. The old local vibe was awesome and it seemed well worn like it's the weekend hangout for people around town which is always nice to see. I'd recommend stopping if in the surrounding area if just to check out the vibe alone. I went around lunchtime but I'm guessing a lot of fun could be had on a Friday night.

Photo of tersena
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

We had a fabulous time 8/15/13. Two of the staff who waited on us were more than hospitable; they were personable and added to "the adventure". One charming man delighted my 83 yr old auntie and made her feel special. I loved it. Our waiter understood beer, asking the right questions of my sweet auntie to enable him to bring her two samples of which she loved both. Outstanding beer. Our waiter did the same with the menu, asking the right questions he helped us make excellent choices. The food, unique, flavorful and definitely calls us to return.

Photo of jera1350
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Decided to try this place out on a beer trip to Duluth. I have to admit that I really love the atmosphere of this place, but it's not for everyone. It's literally like walking into an old 50's/60's auto shop that has a bar and tables and chairs plunked down inside. Old vintage beer signs, rustic unfixed bricks and old furniture. Kind of guys garage bar. It is a bit cold feeling, but it's cool and unique with history.

The other people with me brought up the point that the beers all felt thin and watered down. I had to admit that too. Not sure what the deal is, but the body and carbonation lacked in all of the beers we tried. They were not bad and we still enjoyed most of the beers we had. Just not of the highest quality.

Good service, but not great. Could have been a little more friendly and less serious.

They had about ten of their own beers on tap, so a very wide array of beers.

Didn't try the food, but everyone else in the joint was getting the deep dish pizzas. Looks to be what they are known for food wise.

This place isn't necessarily a destination, but if in the area, it is worth checking out as it's just over the bridge from Duluth.

Photo of morimech
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Must be the one drinking establishment in Wisconsin that does not open until 4pm. Arrived for happy hour that runs from 4-6. Beers were $3.50 a pint. They had 7 beers on-tap and one repeated on the hand pull. The beers were a little better than average. I enjoyed them more than the previous few reviewers. The selection was not that varied however. Several locals came in and got growler refills and pizza to go. The pizza looked good but I did not try any. I had a pretzel and thought it was very good. The mustard could of used a little more bite though. Service was really good as the waitresses and bartender seemed to be at the top of their game. The building and the surrounding area is not the most handsome, but I would hardly call it a dive. A dive bar is the one down the block to the east. Inside has plenty of beer memorabillia with a huge mural of the Miller girl on the crescent moon on one wall that looked like it had been there for a very long time. Their merchandise looked cool and I was tempted to buy a $15 T-shirt.

Photo of tewaris
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3

This was our dinner destination on the Duluth trip and after lunch at Fitger's, my expectations were high. However, the first impression was disappointing. The place had the look of a cheap bar and not a craft beer brewpub; it's NOT a BA place for sure.

One of my buddies was surprised that someone had actually recommended this place. The beer selection was tiny but that's not my main issue: the beers we ordered looked awful (a murky Schwarzbier and a cider with no carbonation whatsoever) and weren't very good in other respects either.

The pizza that they seem to be proud of was ordinary, but not bad.

The best part was the service. Our waitress was prompt and attentive. While the prices were average, this one didn't seem worth what we spent. Not recommended.

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Mr. Lou and myself rolled through on a Sunday, post Great Taste and en-route to a Grand Marais campground.

The approach from outside may bring about some skepticism as to what exactly goes on here - but do continue. A couple sizable rooms outfitted with tables lead the way into the barroom. The decor is vintage brewery memorabilia including various items from what was presumably the former occupant - another brewery, Twin Ports. Awesome "stained glass" windows above the bar that appear to have been produced with magic marker. Well-worn with a musty smell but certainly not dirty, this place is a dive of the finest kind - that is - one that's not trying to be. It was pretty quiet on the day of our visit, but I'd imagine that the townies turn the place lively on weekends.

There was a pretty interesting selection, including a bourbon barreled imperial stout, a strong ipa, and a belgian, 8 in total, with names like "Kick Your Own Ass" and "Capitalist Pig", all drinkable and flavorful but unfortunately a bit messy with an amateur lean. There was also a cask setup but nothing on at the time.

Service was good, the bartender was friendly, helpful, and quick to throw out lots of samples. Spoke with a couple associates at the GT, also quite nice peeps.

pretzel was tasty

Photo of dirtylou
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4

stopped into the Thirsty Pagan on the way up to Isle Royale, immediately prior to visiting fitgers

As we approached this place, Superior was a noticeably quiet (dead) town - Thirsty Pagan was a bit rough looking from the outside and i believe its attached to a salvation army outlet.

I entered the building to a run down interior wondering where the bar even was - i did eventually find it and while very old, the decor was old-school brewery memorabilia and they had some really cool stuff.

There were 8 taps available and as far as i can tell - only 1 is listed on this site. This is clearly not a BA hangout. I took a picture of the tap board so i might as well list them; north coast amber, wort up on the wort up, burntwood black, gitchee gummi gold, kick your own ass, triple bogey, capitalist pig and a hard cider.

It was an impressive selection of styles - unfortunately all of the ones we tried (just about all of them) were a little sloppy.

Service was good - it was a quiet evening and we were offered samples of all of their offerings.

There was a limited food menu - we had a soft pretzel and the pizzas looked pretty darn good, but i can't judge off just pretzels.

Decent stop - Fitgers reigns supreme in the area though

Photo of Redrover
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Thirsty Pagan is located in Superior, WI. Superior is an old yet still active port city. They still ship taconite (iron ore), grain, lumber, etc. & still receive steel and a few other commodities. Downtown Superior seems to have been built to accommodate the merchant sailors. Coming from the north end via 53, every place is either a bar or a strip joint. It is gritty and not very pretty. By contrast, Duluth, located across the bay, is nestled into the hills and filled with old Victorians, steep streets, a touristy waterfront and has a semi-vibrant downtown. Some folks call Duluth the San Francisco of the Midwest, but that is a bit of a stretch for me. But, if Duluth is San Francisco, that makes Superior Oakland....

The Pagan is located in a fairly attractive two-story brick building and is located next to a thrift store.

You walk into L shaped dining room, the smaller bar area is in an interior room. The dining room has mix of various sized tables that look your aunt's kitchenette set. There are worn brick floors. I like it!

The whole place is non-smoking, which is a huge plus.

The bar room has a totally well worn bar that seats about 10. There is table seating for 25 or so more. Great old beer signs on display (Old Style, Fitgers, Grain Belt, Rex, etc.). There is a small stage in the bar room and Sunday is open mic night. In addition, there is faded paint on the concrete floor. Nice WXRT type rock on the sound system.

8 house beers + a hand pump. Pretty wide range of styles. Nice to see a smaller brewpub tackle lagers and pilsners in addition to the usual stouts, ales. They also had a regular and a dunkel weis.

The service was prompt and business like. They are free with samples.

The crowd was a mix of folks.

I did not try the food, but they are known for their pizzas which looked and smelled terrific.

I would recommend a stop by if you find yourself at the "Head of the Lakes" region.

Photo of Never2Dark
1.88/5  rDev -51.7%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Long Story Short: It's a dive bar with Low to Very Low quality beer which is thin, watery, and void of any flavor or craftsmanship. An OK place to go to try something new, but ultimately a letdown and a sorry excuse for a micro-brewery. Great if you're forced to live in the Duluth/Superior area, but still a really, really sad excuse for a micro-brewery.

A micro-brewery a few miles from home? And I didn't know about it? What a great feeling to rush off to a new bar and try some new beers! After BAing around for the last decade, I got really excited to think there may be new beers near my very own home! Maybe there will be something great like Fitgers "Big Boat Oatmeal Stout".

Even better, the buddy I went with said that he had tried their beer 6 years ago and it was good stuff. Boy... was I excited...

Getting there, there was plenty of street parking, and the place was easy to find. Approaching the building, I started to get a bad feeling about the place. There was a classic-rock cover band of sorts playing music far too loud. The building was brick, and we were outside and the music was already too loud... In hindsight, going to Fitgers afterwards was the best part of the evening...

We quickly elbowed our way to the bar and got their IPA and their Stout. To shorten this adventure considerably: both were very poor. The IPA was thin and watery, tasting nothing like an IPA, and more like a cheaply done Ale. There was nothing "India" or even "Pale" about it... The stout was similar in its poorness, tasting more like a cheaply done Porter. We ended up slamming these beers (not a pleasant experience) to get out of the racket.

Later, I would ask friends about the place, and they would all say the exact same: "When the place first opened, the beer was pretty good, but it's been getting worse and worse every year".

I would label the beer here as "undrinkable", and the location a "must avoid", unless you are really and truly set on trying a new beer of sorts and are in the Superior, Wisconsin area and are too lazy to go to Fitgers...

I also found that the bar had a very strong Townie feel to it... Almost nothing was pleasant about this place.

On a more positive note, they make their own Pizza, and I'm told that having one of their beers with pizza is a much better experience. If you visit the Pagan, go while the sun is still up and have some Pizza...

Photo of mdwalsh
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in because I had heard some great reviews. The atmosphere and food were great. Pizza sauce was a little spicy, but everyone else at the table loved it. Waitress was very attentive (we were the only people not at the bar). There were 8 brews on tap (nothing on the hand pump though) which was impressive. However, the three we got (a scotch ale, stout and amber) were nothing to write home about. Worth it if you are in Superior at or Duluth for an extended period of time, but I prefer Fitger's. {see below}

Update May 11th, 2010. Stopped in by myself on a Monday afternoon/happy hour. Still feel the same about the beer, good but not great. Service was still excellent and the bartender knew her stuff. She was friendly and chatty. I mostly wanted to add that it's awesome they will do growler fills in any growler, not just theirs (which are only $5). I'd love to see them attempt something a little more interesting though than what they had on. Also, they need to up the CO2! most of the beers were a little flat.

Update July 17th, 2010. Stopped here for dinner with my wife and sister on our way to Bayfield. Great Service, very good beer, great food. Perhaps this place is more hit or miss than I realized. I would no longer say that I prefer this place over Fitgers, I'd say it's good to do both.

Photo of sweetkness
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4.5

After my third visit here I thought I would do a review. My first two visits were unimpressive, but after recently going the third time, I think the new ownership(I think its new at least) has improved the place, although there is still stuff to improve.

The atmosphere is maybe not for everyone, but I think its fantastic. Its one of those wonderful brewpubs thats kind of stuffed into the confines of an old building. Lots of wonderful brewerania, some quite old, along with other various "unique" decor. They even use 50 pound Briess bags to patch up some of the backs of their booths. The mens bathroom has several provacative, but still tasteful pictures of women from around the 40's to 60's, quite unique. I could go on and on, it's probably my favorite aspect of the place.

The beer quality can really vary, there usually is one or two on tap that really impresses. Like their recent holiday beer which I found very similar to a Sierra Nevada Celebration ale. But the others leave more to be desired.

Service can be short staffed if busy. But they are very friendly and knowledgable. I was with a party of 9 last time and the server handled it wonderfully. The owner, Steve, is incredibly friendly and personable, making sure to try and get to know nearly all customers, especially regulars.

Selection is where they are hurting. They have about 9 taps, but they are currently running on a two barrel system, which can limit the selection to 4 or 5 taps at times. Plus the really good beers can be gone before you know it. Hopefully they can expand in the future, allowing bigger batches and longer aging of some of their special batches.

All I've ever had for food is the pizza, and it is fantastic. I don't know of any pizza I've had that I can say is for sure better than theirs. If you want something unique, see if they have the chili and polish sausage pizza next time you're there. Otherwise every other kind is also great. The value is reasonable for what you get.

Overall, the varying beer quality is outweighed by the other positives that this place has to offer, check it out!

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Thirsty Pagan Brewing in Superior, WI
88 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.