Bob Was There: From Town Hall to BlackStack, Bob DuVernois’ career spans Minnesota’s craft beer hist
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Ask any old-school brewer how their fire was lit and the answer will almost always be, “I started homebrewing…” This holds true for Bob DuVernois, craft beer aficionado and head brewer at BlackStack Brewing. His spark came in 1979 when he tasted a dark beer made by a friend’s father. Not a fan of the macro lagers that monopolized the market at the time, this taste opened his mind. For the first time, he recognized beer as a beverage he might want to drink. Later that year, that same friend’s father bought him a homebrewing kit. A career was born.
Tracing DuVernois’ path in brewing gives one a bird’s eye view of the development of craft beer in Minnesota. His every move—from becoming the first assistant brewer at Minneapolis’ Town Hall Brewery to his current position at BlackStack—aligns with a stage of the industry’s growth. From its aspirational beginnings to the exponential expansion of the last five years, DuVernois has played a part.
By DuVernois’ recollection, there were only 15 breweries in Minnesota in 1997 when his career began. “Now there’s like five that I can see from [BlackStack’s] back roof,” he laughs. “In this neighborhood. That is crazy.”