A great craft beer is something to be savored, like a fine wine that has been aged to perfection. It wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted something other than a bland domestic pilsner, you might be lucky to find a decent beer that was imported from Europe. While more flavorful and full-bodied than a domestic pilsner, those imports always seemed to fall short and miss the mark.
Now, with the explosion of the craft beer scene in the past few years, it’s easy to find a great beer nearly anywhere! There are so many choices when it comes to choosing a beer that meets your unique expectations—the type of beer and the brewery that produces it—that it may take a while for you to identify the one you like best.
Truly, educating yourself about beer is much the same as learning about wines: you really need to try different types of beers to hone in on your preferences.
The craft beer landscape in the Twin Cities metro area is impressive. Consider visiting several tap rooms and brew pubs and decide for yourself which brews you like the best. Because this research should be fun, plan several outings over the next few weeks or months and go visit some of the area’s tap rooms and brew pubs. After you’ve tried several different beers, you may be surprised by the brews you find most appealing to your palate!
13 LOCAL FAVORITES: TAP ROOMS & BREW PUBS IN THE METRO AREA
- 612 Brew: These folks have a cool rustic industrial tap room with a fantastic patio where you can sample their wares. They also regularly have live music to enhance your visit. (612brew.com, 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis)
- Bauhaus Brew Labs: If you’re looking for fun beer and great music, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to Bauhaus. Most of their beers are crafted similarly to German-inspired brews with funky named beers like Wagon Party and Schwandtoberfest. (bauhausbrewlabs.com, 1315 Tyler St NE, Minneapolis)
- Burning Brothers Brewing: Founded by two guys who once earned their living as fire-eaters, these fellas have set their sights on crafting 100% gluten-free beer, so good they claim, that “Celiacs cry when they taste it.” (burnbrosbrew.com, 1750 W Thomas Ave, St. Paul)
- Dangerous Man Brewing: Housed in an old bank building, the stage is set for a fun and funky tap room. Their line-up of available beers on tap changes all the time, and they get kudos for creative beer names like Joyless Villain and Tarty Party. (dangerousmanbrewing.com, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis)
- Day Block Brewing: Nestled in a historic building once owned by Leonard Day, a flour milling and lumber businessman who eventually owned the entire city block around the building, this is a don’t miss on your beer tasting tour. Day Block prides itself on sourcing local and using only the freshest ingredients for its beer and food. (dayblockbrewing.com, 1105 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis)
- Eastlake Craft Brewery: Nestled in the Midtown Market in the old Sears & Roebuck building, this brewery is sure to delight. Offering a wide variety of beer and food options, Eastlake has a distinctly international flavor sure to satisfy discerning guests. (eastlakemgm.com, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis)
- Flat Earth Brewing Company: A growing brewery dedicated to producing superior hand-crafted brews. You can almost hear their hearty battle-cry as they implore their customers to “join the movement against the reign of watered-down domestics.” (flatearthbrewing.com, 688 Minnehaha Ave E, St. Paul)
- Fulton Brewery: These guys have benefitted from astounding success—their beer has been well-received and is available in numerous bars in the metro area. To fully experience the Fulton vibe, visit their taproom and sample a pint or two. They are conveniently located in the North Loop, near Target Field. (fultonbeer.com, 414 6th Ave N, Minneapolis)
- Indeed Brewing Company: Another well-known brewer, Indeed is serious about fun and good beer. You can find their beer in local bars, but to fully immerse yourself, a visit to their spacious taproom is indeed in order. (indeedbrewing.com, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis)
- Insight Brewing: These guys offer a strong international sampling of well-crafted beers. They have an interesting world-view of beers and concoct fascinating beers incorporating ingredients not typically found in brews in the City of Lakes. Their beers are truly unique and worthy of a visit. (insightbrewing.com, 2821 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis)
- LynLake Brewing: Located in the historic Lyndale Theater building in the LynLake neighborhood, these guys have a robust selection of craft beers and seasonal rotations to savor. They also have a fantastic rooftop patio where you can relax and savor the flavors of their artisanal efforts. (lynlakebrewery.com, 2934 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis)
- Summit Brewing Company: Summit is one of the best-known breweries in the Midwest and for good reason—they have a wide variety of beers to suit most any palate. The brewery’s bar is located in the Ratskeller, and during the summer their bluff-side patio is open for guests to enjoy. (summitbrewing.com, 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul)
- Surly Brewing Co: Surly is the king of the craft beer scene in Minnesota. If you are not familiar with Surly’s beers, give them a shot and find out for yourself what makes them a big deal. (surlybrewing.com, 520 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis)
You will most certainly agree, this is a highly subjective list. There are well over 40 tap rooms and craft beer breweries in the Twin Cities metro area alone, and if you include tap rooms and breweries in western Wisconsin and outstate towns in Minnesota, there are well over 50! Just know that there is a whole new world out there—just ripe for the sampling—if you are so inclined to treat your palate to novel experiences and tip your toes into the adventurous waters of unique and flavor-infused craft beers. Thankfully, the days of having only a few boring domestic beers from which to choose are long gone! Time to find out for yourself: get out there, explore and enjoy!