Laura + Colin Mullen & Karen + Bryon Tonnis


Four friends met at a craft beer bar in 2010 and discovered a shared dream of starting their own breweries. Their dream became a reality in 2013 and Bent Paddle Brewing Co. was born. In addition to brewing great beer, Bent Paddle also has a passion for giving back and have become strong supporters of their community and organizations that support wilderness conservation, outdoor recreation, and economic stability of their Northland neighbors.

If you could have a conversation with anyone - past or present - who would it be?
Karen: My mom. I lost my mom a year and a half ago and besides my husband, she was my person, my soundboard. She taught me about genderless hard work, resilience, integrity, critical thinking, honesty, and compassion. She was an incredible resource (my entire life) but specifically related to entrepreneurship - she played devil's advocate better than anyone I have ever met and always opened my mind to see things in a different light even if it wasn't in my favor. 

Why Minnesota?
The city of Duluth was selected for a few reasons; first and foremost, access to arguably the best brewing water in the country - Lake Superior is 10% of the world's fresh surface water and 100% of our beer is made with that water. The water is incredibly soft and mimics the water of Pilsen, Czech Republic, the birthplace of Pilseners. Second, Duluth is unique in its access to a wide variety of outdoor recreation, which we love, and was a perfect fit for our brand. Duluth also has a vibrant growing community, and we felt it was a perfect place to raise
our children. 

To learn more about Laura + Colin Mullen & Karen + Bryon Tonnis and other inspiring change-makers in Lake Time Magazine, you can purchase or subscribe online HERE and support this independent publication. By becoming a member you would receive the latest issues PLUS great Lake + Co. Shop perks!