40 plus breweries that call the Twin Cities home
Image by Erica Loeks
With more than 40 breweries calling the Twin Cities home, the metro is overflowing with palate pleasers.
Here’s a quick Minnesota hops history lesson for you. In the early 1900s only a handful of breweries operated in the state, and most were mom-and-pop breweries that only served small towns. But when Prohibition hit in 1920, they were forced to close, and the state went as dry an Oklahoma dust storm.
Fast-forward to the 1970s. The suds drought is over, and local superstars Grain Belt and Hamm’s have put Minnesota back on the malt map, but echoes of Prohibition still ring throughout the state. Legislation makes it illegal for breweries to pour and sell pints of their own beer.
But in 2011, that all changed with the great “Surly Bill of 2011,” named for Surly Brewing Co. Prior to 2011, it was illegal for breweries to pour and sell beer at their brick-and-mortar locations. That didn't stop the folks at Surly, who worked to change legislation. Ultimately, a bill allowing breweries under a certain size to operate with a taproom was passed, and with that, breweries began pouring into the Twin Cities.
Fulton Brewery Image by Allen Brisson-Smith/Sidecar
Day Block Brewing Co.
Beer and pizza, it would be fair to argue that this Batman and Robin tag-team has been the bedrock for the beginning discussions of new and successful businesses more than any other combo out there. Day Block Brewing Co. took the combo a step further when they opened as a brewpub and pizzeria. Sourcing their ingredients from local farmers and producers, and using organic products whenever possible, this is one stop your taste buds will not want to miss.
» 1105 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-617-7793, dayblockbrewing.com
This restaurant believes in the idea of healthy competition, or maybe they are just confident. Either way, The Freehouse is one of the few eateries that brews their own offerings and serves them alongside other brands. And their food menu is as eclectic as their beverage options.
» 701 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-339-7011, freehousempls.com
Fulton Brewery got started like a lot of breweries do—as a small home brewing project in a garage with a group of friends. The only difference is the guys had assembled a crack team without even realizing or trying to do so. Since then, their operation has grown into two breweries, a taproom and some of the most suave suds in the city.
» 414 N. Sixth Ave., Minneapolis, 612-333-3208, fultonbeer.com
Perhaps the hardest name to pronounce among Twin Cities’ breweries is Sisyphus Brewing. Pronounced SIS-UH-FUHS—the story of Sisyphus in Greek mythology forever toiling to push a boulder up a mountain only to have to start over once he reaches the summit—is the perfect metaphor for starting and growing a brewery in the Twin Cities’ already booze-flooded scene. Do not let the name fool you, though. Their tantalizing brews, taproom and comedy shows are quite the love triangle. Aphrodite would be proud.
» 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis, 612-444-8674, sisyphusbrewing.com
LynLake Brewery Image by TJ Turner
The Herkimer Pub & Brewery
What is better than a daily happy hour? Two daily happy hours and award-winning pub food, that’s what. Specializing in brewing small-batch craft beer using a technique called decoction mashing—a process that helps a beer blossom like a flower to reveal its complexities the more it is repeated—The Herkimer continually produces new and innovative drafts.
» 2922 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-821-0101, theherkimer.com
Friendship, a crazy idea over some drinks one night, and some construction know-how are what transformed the old Lyndale Theater building into a craft brew-making machine. Visitors can soak up some rays and Uptown vibes on their rooftop patio, and pair delectable fare delivered directly to their table from any of their food partners with any of LynLake Brewery’s palatable suds.
» 2934 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-224-9682, lynlakebrewery.com
Indeed Brewing Co. Image by Indeed Brewing Co.
This taproom stays true to its Northeast Minneapolis roots with a surplus of exposed brick and timber to go along with its concrete floors. Bring yourself and some of your thirstiest friends to this brewery located in the historic Broadway building for beer your taste buds will not soon forget.
» 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis, 612-930-4606, 612brew.com
Able Seedhouse + Brewery
You’ve heard the saying, “We all have to start somewhere,” right? This saying is what Able Seedhouse + Brewery is built on. Getting their start by planting one seed—literally—this brewery has since sprouted into a favorite among craft beer connoisseurs.
» 1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, 612-405-4642, ablebeer.com
Bauhaus Brew Labs
We know what you’re thinking: What’s a Bauhaus? Here is a quick history lesson for you. Although its life was short, the Bauhaus School was one of the world’s premier art and design schools in post-WWI Germany. And the warehouse’s interior that houses Bauhaus Brew Labs is as colorful as a page torn from a children’s coloring book, a perfect homage to its namesake. Now you can sound like a smarty-pants the next time you’re throwing back pint after pint of their scrumptious brew with your friends and the question pops up.
» 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis, 612-276-6911, bauhausbrewlabs.com
Dangerous Man Brewing Co.
Live life on the dangerous side, or at least challenge your taste buds with this brewery’s unique, hearty beers. Dangerous Man’s love for adventure and a never-ending carousel of 12 rotating taps ensure you are always in for a wild ride.
» 1300 NE Second St., Minneapolis, 612-236-4087, dangerousmanbrewing.com
Indeed Brewing Co.
Daily rotating food trucks, net proceeds going to an employee-nominated nonprofit every Wednesday night, and some of the raddest artwork you have ever seen, what more could you ask for? Oh, yeah, beer, they have that too. And, according to locals, it’s some of the best in town. Grab a spot on their intimate, outdoor patio while throwing back their delicious brew and enjoy a Minnesota spring evening.
» 711 NE 15th Ave., Minneapolis, 612-843-5090, indeedbrewing.com
We all long for our lives to be one big epic adventure. You know, the type where you and a group of friends set out on a quest to save the world. The masterminds behind Insight Brewing took this to heart, and bottled their adventures in a can. So, what are you waiting for? It is time to live vicariously with a craft beer in hand.
» 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-722-7222, insightbrewing.com
British-style brew, an army of rotating food trucks and board games. Someone call the philosophers of the world and tell them NorthGate Brewing has discovered the meaning of life.
» 783 Harding St. NE, Minneapolis, 612-354-2858, northgatebrew.com
Downtown St. Paul
Great Waters Brewing Co.
Hockey, music, food—beer lovers are in luck. Located just two blocks from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Great Waters Brewing Co. is the perfect spot to start—or end—the party.
» 426 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-224-2739, greatwatersbc.com
Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.
Born from the minds of electrical engineers, all brews are fine-tuned with science on the brain. With fitting beverage names such as Flipswitch IPA and Short Circuit Stout, their clever menu is sure to seduce your system.
» 125 Ninth St. E., St. Paul, 651-330-4734, twbrewing.com
Surly Brewing Co. Image by TJ Turner
Bad Weather Brewing Co.
Anyone who has spent some time in our great state during the summer knows how quickly a sunny day can be overtaken by towering thunderheads. Bad Weather Brewing Co. has made it their mission to bottle this level of unpredictability, and they have pretty much nailed it.
» 414 Seventh St. W., St. Paul, 651-207-6627, badweatherbrewery.com
Boom Island Brewing Co.
Take a sip from one of Boom Island’s brews and you’ll think you’re in Brussels. Prior to opening the brewery, founder and head brewer Kevin Welch traveled all over Belgium learning the intricacies of Belgian beer. He brought back nine strains of yeast to produce flavors that are unique to their breweries of origin.
» 2014 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-227-9635, boomislandbrewing.com
Eastlake Craft Brewery & Tavern
Whoever thought to put a brewery in the Midtown Global Market surrounded by food from every corner of the globe deserves the shiniest gold medal ever forged. And their brews are as delicious as they are cleverly named. Triple Short of the Cycle or Kirby Pucker, anyone?
» 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-224-9713, eastlakemgm.com
Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub
Crowd-funding help put this brewpub on the map, and nods from USA Today’s Top 20 Brewpubs, a silver medal from the World Beer Cup and a spot on the hit television show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” grew that spot into a national one. Come for the brew, stay for the pub fare.
» 2716 E. 38th St., Minneapolis, 612-208-1450, northboundbrewpub.com
Surly Brewing Co.
The behemoth of barley, the colossus of cervezas, the sultan of suds…whatever your name of choice, one thing is for certain, it is the crown jewel of Minnesota breweries. This industrial abrasives factory-turned-brewpub features a fine dining restaurant, yard games and a menu overflowing with award-winning craft brews.
» 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 763-999-4040, surlybrewing.com
Town Hall Brewery
Built around the idea of creating a place where visitors could come and share a sense of community, Town Hall Brewery popped up on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota campus in 1997. A trophy case full of medals, separate brewpub and bowling alley, and two expansions later, this little engine that could is firing on all cylinders, releasing close to 50 new brews every year.
» 1430 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-339-8696, townhallbrewery.com
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a brewery in an old grain bin! The only thing more fitting than housing a brewery in a grain bin might be Superman donning a cape. This silver house of hops in St. Paul is also Minnesota’s first dedicated organic brewery.
» 2320 Capp Road, St. Paul, 651-243-2264, bangbrewing.com
Lake Monster Brewing
Are the lakes of Minnesota just full of fish and sunken ice fishing homes, or is there something else? There are more than 10,000 of them—there could be anything hiding in those murky depths. Drawing inspiration from that unknown is Lake Monster Brewing, where they believe diving below the surface to find the extraordinary is akin to creating the best brew.
» 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul, 612-964-6288, lakemonsterbrewing.com
Summit Brewing Co.
This hometown brewery hero of St. Paul was bottling beer 25 years before taprooms were allowed in the state. They have come a long way since those days, however. Now visitors can test their random fact knowledge at weekly trivia nights and chow down on food truck fare while guzzling down signature pints.
» 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul, 651-265-7800, summitbrewing.com
Urban Growler Brewing Co.
From beverages to art and live music, Urban Growler Brewing Co. is the epitome of creativity. Work from local artists rotates seasonally, and live music hits the stage every Wednesday night.
» 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul, 651-340-5793, urbangrowlerbrewing.com