November 11, 1882: August Fitger hired as brewmaster of the Lake Superior Brewery

On this day in Duluth in 1882, Michael Fink hired August Fitger to be the brewmaster of his Lake Superior Brewery, which Fink had built in 1881 between Sixth and Seventh Avenues East along Superior Street. Fitger had been born in 1854 in Delmenhorst, Germany. He left Germany in 1871, when he was seventeen, and sailed to the United States, headed for his sister’s home in Kiel, Wisconsin. After trying his hand in the lumber business, Fitger returned to Germany to learn to brew beer at the Weihenstephan Brewing School in Munich, which still operates today. He apprenticed in Germany and at a brewery in St. Louis before Fink recruited him to come to Duluth. Less than six months after he was hired, Fitger paid Fink $18,000 for half interest in the brewery. Fitger’s friend Percy Anneke agreed to purchase the other half when he had the funds. Upon his mother’s death in 1885, Anneke paid Fink and moved to Duluth where he and Fitger renamed their operation the A. Fitger & Co. Lake Superior Brewery. Read a brief overview of Duluth’s historic brewing industry here, and get the complete history of brewing in Duluth and Superior from 1859 to today here.

August Fitger photographed in 1915. (Image: C&R Johnson Collection)