Retiring Summit Brewing CEO reflects on Minnesota's changing beer scene

A man sits with a beer
Mark Stutrud, founder of Summit Brewing in St. Paul, will be retiring after more than three decades of brewing.
Courtesy of Summit Brewing

After 37 years of brewing, Mark Stutrud is retiring. Stutrud founded Summit Brewing in an old used car showroom on University Avenue in St. Paul back in 1986.

While the extra pale ale they started with is still on the menu, almost everything else about Summit and craft beer in Minnesota has since changed.

Stutrud is retiring at a time when the industry appears to be contracting, with more and more taprooms announcing closures.

“Beer is going through a very tough cycle right now because of lost market share to other types of alcohol, but it will come back,” he told MPR News host Tom Crann on Appetites.

Stutrud officially steps down in March, at which point he’ll become the company’s board chair. Summit Chief Strategy Officer Brandon Bland will replace him.

To hear the full conversation, click play on the audio player above.

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