The state of Minnesota hosts a large number of breweries, distilleries, wineries, brewstilleries, and many other wonderful places where delicious alcohol is crafted. With an ample supply of local grain, fruits, and even hops, these establishments enhance any trip to the metro area. We’ll cover a few of the best spots in Minneapolis, St. Paul, nearby suburbs, and some gems further out. So no matter where you are staying or where you are headed, you are bound to find a place to quench your thirst. Agents, I’ve also tried to include information about seasonal releases out around Oct. 20 that might pique your interest.
Here’s a little history on how Minnesota brewery taprooms have gone from non-existent to booming…
Before 2011, Minnesota breweries were not allowed to serve their beer on site due to a three-tiered system that separated the roles of alcohol manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. But the Surly Bill signed into Minnesota law in May that year changed all that. (Lawmakers limited the law to breweries producing less than 250,000 barrels a year to appease the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which originally opposed the bill.)
Dubbed the Surly Bill because it would allow Surly Brewing Company to serve pints at their proposed $20 million destination brewery, Surly was actually not the first to use the eponymous bill. Lift Bridge Brewing in Stillwater, Minn., built their taproom later in 2011. Fulton opened in 2012, and Surly broke ground in October 2013.
Then the dam broke: as you will see over the next few posts, we have something for everyone. And I mean everyone.
Downtown Minneapolis has a wide variety of breweries, most with at least one portal: it all depends on your mood and desired beverage. Here are the highlights, but there are definitely more! If you want to get out and explore further, just ask. Most locals have a preferred location, and they’ll be happy to tell you all about it!
Town Hall Brewery
Town Hall Brewery regularly wins awards for their dark beers and IPAs. Those who prefer a lighter or fruitier beer will also not be disappointed, as Town Hall rotates through a selection of those as well.
Located just east of Downtown Minneapolis in the Seven Corners neighborhood, Town Hall is near the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus, which features great Ingress farming. Two or three portals should be in range from your barstool as well!
If you want food, Town Hall has a full menu, which also includes recommended beer pairings.
Seasonal releases per Town Hall’s website:
“We serve more than twenty different Town Hall beers at any given time, and the majority of those are seasonals — beers that we brew only once or twice a year. Some of them may not be brewed again for many years.”
Fulton has been quietly producing tasty beers for nearly a decade. Their name is easily recognizable to locals thanks to their wide distribution network. While they have a taproom in the North Loop near Downtown Minneapolis, you’ll also find their Lonely Blonde and Sweet Child of Vine at bars across the metro.
Fulton has only one lonely portal, but nearby Target Field has an abundance if you are walking back to the light rail.
Looking for food? The Fulton team refurbished a vintage 1969 Airstream land yacht in 2017 and turned it into their full-time Fulton Taproom Kitchen.
Seasonal releases: In the fall you will often find The Libertine available among other beers.
Sisyphus’s taproom offers a good rotating selection of different styles of beer with multiple stouts and a sour beer inspired by Willy Wonka’s everlasting gobstoppers.
The atmosphere is also hard to beat! For the complete Minneapolis Beergress experience, push past Sisyphus for a short walk to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, site of many past and future farming events. Sisyphus’s two bar portals have also seen many a fracker.
If you are looking for food, Sisyphus often has rotating food trucks (check their events calendar), or you can bring your own food in or have it delivered.
Seasonal releases: TBD. Constantly rotating
Also located in the North Loop, just down the road from Fulton, Modist Brewing features a great location with a patio open whenever the Minnesota weather is warm enough. Their varied beer selection includes a cold press coffee lager and several tasty, hazy IPAs.
Modist only has one modest portal, but the farming nearby is good.
Hungry? A permanently attached food truck from The Curious Goat (http://www.thecuriousgoatmpls.com) elevates both companies’ creative stretch.
Seasonal releases: TBD. Constantly rotating
For our next installment, we’ll head out of downtown to go into Northeast Minneapolis, a bustling area for brewery options. Come back and visit our blog again soon!