Good Word Brewing and Public House
3085 Main St., Duluth
Open Since: November.
Owners: Todd DiMatteo, Andrew Case, Ryan Skinner, Mike Gallagher, Tom Moore and Dave Ballard.
Brewmaster: Kyle Jeppesen.
Location: Good Word Brewing is located in Parsons Alley in downtown Duluth off of Main Street. Parking access is around the curve on Duluth Highway and adjacent to Dreamland BBQ.
Hours: Dinner only with plans to expand for lunch soon. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Atmosphere: Good Word Brewing and Public House in Duluth’s Parsons Alley seems like it’s been there for 100 years as a warehouse with interior brick walls, crafted leather booths and walnut tables and chairs. The dining area’s flooring is made of planks repurposed from railroad cars.
The owners of Good Word Brewing and Public House chose the name of their microbrewery carefully. They started Brick House Pub in Decatur 20 years ago and wanted to bring that same intimacy and fellowship the new location. Conversation is encouraged.
“We wanted that same kind of feel as far as no televisions, no neon, no live music, none of that kind of stuff,” said general manager Todd DiMatteo. “Good Word is kind of the backdrop or atmosphere we try to create. Also, the good word is guests speaking to each other. They are enjoying a conversation together and connecting with each other.”
DiMatteo, who worked at Brick House Pub for 12 years, explained he and the owners hope that Good Word Brewing becomes a place where people can gather, talk and connect over beers and good food in a world that is ever so connected. An old typewriter is on display at the bar and is the logo for the microbrewery that is symbolic of the spirit of the place.
“Typewriters kind of spoke to a time when people weren’t so connected to devices like cell phones and computers, yet somehow, they were more connected,” he said. “They spoke more to each other.”
The food is a mix of Puerto Rican and Southern cuisine inspired by DiMatteo’s grandmother who moved here from Puerto Rico 50 years ago. DiMatteo explained his grandmother was still learning to cook at the time from her mother-in-law, DiMatteo’s great-grandmother, and a mash-up of recipes occurred.
“She lived on a farm most of her life and taught my grandmother how to cook,” he said. “I grew up with a grandmother who sort of knew something about Latin cuisine, for sure, but definitely cooked in a Southern way. I grew up eating that kind of comfort food.”
Prices are reasonable and range from $7 for Shishito peppers to $14 for the Americano Hamburgersa. The Pernil ($14) is the best example of the Puerto Rican-Southern cooking offered by Good Word. A braised pork shoulder sits on a bed of Carolina gold rice and Sea Island red peas.
Evelyn’s Empanada ($9) is a showcase dish of a fried pastry stuffed with pork and served with a red chile adobo sauce, crème, arugula and pickled red onion.
Good Word offers six beers made on premises ranging from the Saison Donna-Maria to the Never Sleep IPA. They also have an American Blonde and British ales on tap along with two sour beers including a lemony, tart Berliner Weisse called Colonel Sprouse.
Their brewmaster is Kyle Jeppesen from Nova Scotia in Canada. “We sit around and homebrew beer, drink beer, talk about beer and create recipes while Kyle is the man who keeps us in line,” DiMatteo said.
Something you may not know: In a nod toward family cooking, the owners named several dishes after family members. Evelyn’s Empanada is named for Andrew Case’s infant daughter. Finley Key Lime Pie is named for Mike Gallagher’s daughter.