Minneapolis and St. Paul may be known as the “City of Lakes,” but there’s a lot to be said for their beer scene, too.
In fact, Minnesota’s largest metropolitan area is home to some incredible breweries, including longtime favorites and new kids on the block. These seven breweries are sure to quench your thirst next time you’re in the Twin Cities.
Fulton Brewing is a success story out of the North Loop and Northeast neighborhoods. With a footprint in both spots, including a taproom, kitchen and full brewing facilities, Fulton has become Minnesota’s fourth-largest brewery by volume. Be sure to try their Lonely Blonde American Blonde Ale, Sweet Child of Vine IPA or their new line of hard seltzers. Pro tip: blood orange is the best seltzer flavor!
Surly Brewing Company
Surly Brewing Company has brew facilities in both Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis, and visitors should spend time at the “Destination Brewery” in the historic Prospect Park neighborhood of MPLS. With a beer hall and restaurant, private event venue, upstairs pizza parlor, and 29 rotating taps, there’s a lot for guests to enjoy at Surly. During warmer months, there’s even an outside beer garden. Surly is especially noteworthy for being the impetus to change some of Minnesota’s archaic bottling laws, and they deserve a lot of credit for the craft beer boom in the state. Sip on their large portfolio of IPAs and hoppy brews, a funky rosé-inspired ale, malt-forward choices, and special small batch options.
Lift Bridge Brewing Co.
Lift Bridge Brewing Co. in nearby Stillwater, Minnesota is another winner. This suburban spot offers brewery tours on the weekends and boasts the oldest taproom still in operation in the state. Enjoy the town’s historic lift bridge that inspired the brewery name on your visit—it’s one of three left like it in the whole country. Then sample their well-loved flagship beers, seasonal releases, hard seltzers and booze-free old-fashioned sodas.
Barrel Theory Beer Company
Barrel Theory Beer Company calls the the trendy Lowertown enclave of St. Paul its homebase for a brewery and taproom. Try the Minnesotan IPA, charmingly called Boat Shoes. In fact, check out some of the other entertaining names from the Barrel Theory line up like the Rage Quit Pilsner, Shredder McGavin Double IPA or Yas Queen Berliner. Bonus: imbibers can grab takeout from their favorite local eateries to enjoy in the taproom.
Utepils Brewing offers a scenic urban experience at their facility that overlooks Bassett Creek in Minneapolis’ Harrison neighborhood. This company embraces the Scandinavian roots of the early settlers of Minnesota with their unique name—utepils is Norwegian for the first beer enjoyed in the sunshine after a long, dark winter. Their beer-making is inspired by old European masters, and the menu features Bavarian style Hefeweizen, Belgian style Ale, Dry Irish Stout, Czech style Pilsner and more. Visit during warm months for maximum enjoyment of the outdoor beer garden.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
Our final suggestion is the NE Minneapolis-based Dangerous Man Brewing Company. Enclosed in a former bank, this innovative operation is known for cool brews like Peach Berry Milkshake IPA and Peanut Butter Porter. The small-batch focus allows for maximum creativity and ever-changing taps. For those in a hurry, check out their nearby Growler Shop for takeout beer and merchandise.
While this article touches on some favorites of the Twin Cities beer scene, there are so many more inventive microbrewers and established behemoths to discover throughout the area. So get out and explore the wonderful, weird and wacky world of Minnesota breweries.