Fitger's Brewhouse Expands with a Cattle Ranch

Posted at: 11/29/2012 6:27 PM
Updated at: 11/29/2012 6:44 PM
By: Travis Dill

Growing local is big in the Northland, and it's about to get bigger and hairier.

The Fitger's Brewhouse has started a ranch with about a dozen Scottish Highland Cattle near Saginaw.

Brad Nelson, Public Relations Director for the Brewhouse, said the unique breed is a good fit for the Northland.

“They kind of look like a mini bison herd when they're together. They have sort of that similar look so because of their ability to defend themselves and to stay warm in the cold they seem like an ideal breed to try,” Nelson said.

He said customers have been pushing for locally grown products, and that's just what customer Eric Coletta said on Thursday.

“I think it's a great idea. Any chance that I can to buy locally, have local work around here I would prefer to do that over something shipped in from other countries...” Coletta said.

Nelson said the Brewhouse is the first restaurant in Minnesota to raise its own cattle.

“Initially we won't be able to cut out a huge percent of what we buy from more traditional sources, but it's a start and it's a program that we hope we can keep growing over the years,” Nelson said.

The Brewhouse already tries to keep things local when they can. On Thursday the brewers used Bayfield blueberries to sweeten up a batch of porter.

And the cattle will help the Brewhouse get rid of grain left over from the brewing process.

That helps the company stay green, and Nelson said the local economy could see some green too.

“...and hopefully also employ more people locally and keep that money local as well,” Nelson said.

The Brewhouse creates up to 5,000 pounds of spent grain a week that will be used to feed the cattle.