Minneapolis-St. Paul Tap Room Directory
In May 2011, the Minnesota Legislature passed H.F. 1326, popularly dubbed the Surly Bill as it contained an amendment to allow breweries to operate on-sale taprooms. Since then, multiple brewing ventures have opened and the taproom scene has become entrenched in the culture of the Twin Cities.
In an effort to organize the brewery news of note, and to let you know where you can drink a pint on site, we present The Heavy Table Minneapolis-St. Paul Tap Room Directory. We’ll keep this page updated with news about the established tap rooms and those upcoming. Also, save this list to your phone via Foursquare to keep track of how many you’ve been to.
Last Update: April 10th, 2014. Day Block, Boom Island, Big Wood and now Burning Brothers are the newbies to open this year. Lots of new plans for potential taprooms (Tin Whiskers, Bauhaus, Sisyphus, Maple Island, EastLake). All hours and details updated.
NEW FOR 2014:
Day Block Brewing Company
1105 Washington Ave. S.
Grand Opening: Monday, January 27th, 2014.
Hours: 11am-1am, daily
Beer: The suds are courtesy of head brewer Paul Johnston, who comes to Day Block by way of Harriet Brewing and Lucid Brewing. They’ll have six on tap, including a Wit, Red Ale and a terrific Porter (made with roasted midnight wheat) as the year-round mainstays. Right now, be sure to get a pint of their spectacular IPA, one of the only beers currently in existence to utilize a rare, tropical fruit-scented Wisconsin hop called Northern Discovery.
Food: Helming the kitchen is Joe Williams, a Punch veteran, who’s composed a menu of seven signature pizzas with a few salads and snacks. They’re fired in a rack oven, which gives the crust some heft to handle the interesting mix of toppings. We dig the Hungry Hungarian (pictured above) with sausage, dill, pickled onion and ricotta. But people will be beating a path to their door to get the Bahn Mizza, which deftly emulates the classic Vietnamese sandwich with marinated pork, pickled slaw, cilantro and a spicy gochujang mayo. And (because why not?) you can pair your flight of beers with a flight of three different types of bacon.
Details: Day Block is set to open in the former Spill The Wine space, next door to Grumpy’s Downtown on 11th and Washington. They hope to be a cornerstone of the Downtown East resurgence and will provide hungry workers dismantling the Metrodome with a hotspot for beer and pizza. Aside from beer, Day Block features a wine list curated by the Wine Company (we love us some Juan Gil Monastrell) as well as a good selection of N/A drinks. They also have a hard liquor license and plan to add cocktails in the near future. Minneapolis, get ready for Hot Scotchies – Scotch whisky mixed with a draw of the sugary, grainy brewing mash straight from the boil.
Boom Island Brewing
2014 Washington Ave. N.
Grand Opening: Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Hours: Wed-Fri 4-9pm, Sat 1-9pm
Beer: Boom Island specializes in bottle-conditioned Belgian-style beers. Their dubbel and tripel are serious sips, but we prefer the lighter offerings. We love sipping on the hazy, tart Witness wheat, and the rich, tangy LoMoMoPalooza, their benefit beer for the musicians of the locked-out Minnesota Orchestra. Expect six to eight beers on tap.
Details: Kevin and Quixia Welch are movin’ on up in the north side. Brewing operations have migrated from their tiny original space, to the new brewhouse that faces Washington Avenue just north of Broadway. Enter the taproom through the back of the building, where there’s additional parking.
Big Wood Brewery
2222 4th St.
White Bear Lake, MN
Grand Opening: Friday, February 7th, 2014
Hours: Thu-Fri 3-10pm, Sat 1-10pm
Details: The makers of Morning Wood coffee stout and Bark Bite IPA are now hosting taproom hours.
Burning Brothers Brewing
1750 W. Thomas Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Grand Opening: April 4th, 2014
Hours: Thu-Fri 4-9pm, Sat noon-5pm
Details: The gluten-free brewery in Midway St. Paul has officially debuted their Pyro American Pale Ale both at retail and their newly-opened taproom. They look to expand taproom offerings in the near future.
OPEN FOR A WHILE NOW:
945 Broadway St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Open Since: February 2013
Taproom Hours: Wed-Thu 4-10pm, Fri 2:30pm-midnight, Sat noon-midnight.
Beer: The brews at 612 are generally lighter-bodied, hop-forward and sessionable. The two mainstays are Six, an unobtrusive pale ale, and Rated R, a well-balanced Rye-PA. You’ll also probably encounter Zero Hour, a squeaky-clean American Black Ale. They’ll have another seasonal or two on hand as well. Growlers are available; grab them from the cooler by the mural.
Food: They’ll have a food truck in the parking lot - check their calendar for this month’s lineup.
Details: 612Brew’s beautiful taproom is recessed into the crossing of Broadway and Central in Northeast. It’s an inviting hangout, featuring the building’s original brick and exposed beams in contrast to their mirror-polished fermenting tanks. There’s only a long high-top and a switch to fluorescent lighting to delineate where taproom ends and brewery begins in the single, expansive room.
The seating area, with room for about 70, is presided over by an Adam Turman mural and a sound system the owners snagged from downtown’s erstwhile Envy nightclub. The bar and tabletops are reclaimed lanes from a bowling alley in Iowa and the bar’s foot rail is stainless steel piping left over from their tank setup. In the summer, you can lounge outside on their amphitheater patio, which hosts live music during neighborhood events like Art-A-Whirl.
Bang Brewing Company
2320 Capp Road
St. Paul, MN
Open Since: September 2013
Hours: Fri 5-10pm, Sat noon-5pm
Details: Housed in a corrugated metal grain bin north of the University Corridor, Bang Brewing is committed to brewing only 100% organic beers with as-local-as-possible ingredients. With its off-the-beaten path location, unique space, thoughtful product and overall ethos, they have admirably transformed a sliver of forgotten industrial wasteland into a bright, warm, and promising organic brewery.
Beer: ‘Neat’ is a pale ale with a modest recipe: single malt, single hop, water, and yeast. It’s so named because, like any spirit served neat, there’s nothing extra to hide behind. And here it works. Neat is bright and bitter and hoppy (95 IBUs) with a medium body and clean, almost vanishing aftertaste that lends the beer an I-could-drink-this-all-day quality.
Dangerous Man Brewing
1300 2nd St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Open Since: January 2013.
Hours: Tue-Thu 4-10pm, Fri 3pm-midnight, Sat noon-midnight
Details: In the shadow of the old Grain Belt brewery, Dangerous Man has become one of the Cities’ most lauded and popular taprooms over the course of its first year. Owner/brewer Rob Miller, who sports a beard that his company logo barely does justice to, has no plans to release his product to tap or retail accounts. You’ll have to visit the Northeast brewhouse for a taste.
Food: At each table, you’ll find small clipboards with takeout menus from the area, and patrons are encouraged to bring with them any food they like. Check out our roundup of the best food/beer pairings from the neighborhood over at Growler Magazine.
Beer: Expect six ever-changing choices of small batch suds on tap. Not only will there be lots of experimentation with ingredients and styles, but variations between batches of the same style.We’re partial to the Matchstick Coffee porter, but don’t miss the chocolate milk stout – Miller’s justifiable pride and joy. It’s lighter on the palate than the aroma lets on, but it’s definitely verging on milkshake territory, as he’s fond of saying. His array of brews will likely balance style and strength, ranging from a lighter cream ale or Kolsch to a 10% Belgian strong.
2470 Wilson St.
Wilson, WI 54027
Hours: Typically open twice a month, usually on weekends with the occasional Friday or Monday thrown in around a holiday weekend. Check for the monthly schedule on the BrewFarm blog.
Beer: You’ll find eight beers on tap at the BrewFarm. What they’ll be is anyone’s guess, but you can expect them to be stylistically all over the map. Just look at the lineup above – everything from a light saison to a 9.2% brew called Mocha Diablo? You’ll be tasting something interesting, that’s for sure. You can get a flight of all eight taps (2 oz pours) for $10, or a 10.5 oz snifter of any for $5. You can also take away 1 liter swing-top bottles for $10, with a $5 deposit (and no, they won’t fill other folks’ growlers). Make sure to bring cash – no cards accepted and no ATM on site.
Food: BYO! The BrewFarm encourages people to bring in snacks, lay out big spreads and potluck, or bring a grill and tailgate.
Details: A laid-back farm where the living is easy and the beer is wind-brewed. We first visited late in 2010 (read our write-up) and it has since maintained is reputation as a convivial and welcoming respite for lovers of good food and good brew.
Excelsior Brewing Company
421 3rd St
Excelsior, MN 55331
Hours: Thu-Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat noon-10pm
Open Since: July 2012
Beer: You can taste four of Excelsior’s brews at their tap room. We prefer the crisp XLCR Pale Ale, followed closely by the Bitteschlappe brown ale. Pints are $5-6 and growlers and other swag items are on sale as well.
Food: Nothing at the brewery, though there’s plenty of eating on Water Street. We’re pretty excited to see what Victor’s has to offer this spring.
Details: Located off the parking lot behind Water Street. Enter off Third (you’ll see Petunia’s Home & Garden shop at 421 from the street). It’s a pleasantly rowdy atmosphere in their warehouse-turned-brewery, with a couple stacks of bar Jenga and two small tap tables where you can sample their lineup. The brewer is Bob DuVernois, a former president of the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild. He comes to Excelsior after a well-regarded stint at Great Waters in St. Paul, where he developed a reputation for excellent cask beers. A few firkins have come out of Excelsior so far, with a more regular program most certainly on the way.
414 6th Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hours: Wed-Thu 3pm-10pm, Fri 3pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, also opens 2 hrs. before Twins home games.
Tap Room Open Since: March 2012
Beer: Their two mainstays, Lonely Blonde and Sweet Child of Vine IPA, are always on tap, along with a handful of others – we especially like rich, malty Libertine red ale and the unique brews coming out of their Garage Series. They tap a specialty firkin every Thursday – the way their Worthy Adversary Imperial Stout mellows in the cask is magical.
Food: A most agreeable assortment of food trucks set up shop in Fulton’s front lot – check their website’s schedule. Or, if you want to sit down somewhere, it’s just a few blocks to Black Sheep Pizza and, soon, the brick-and-mortar Smack Shack.
Details: A warehouse brewery for the Warehouse District. A three-minute walk from Target Field, it’s a terrific pre-game location at which to commiserate with fellow Twins fans. Heck, skip the first inning or two – they’ll have the game on their TVs. Plus, you’re going to need another pint to watch that team. Growlers and other swag items are also available for purchase.
HammerHeart Brewing Company
7785 Lake Dr.
Lino Lakes, MN 55014
Hours: Wed-Sat, 2pm-10pm
Beer: They refer to their beers as “hoppy, smoked, and sometimes oaked. Unfiltered and balanced.” They generally stick to English styles – no Belgians or German Lagers – and have about a dozen on tap. We especially like the Flaming Longship, a mildly smoked Scotch ale and the well-attenuated British Invasion pale ale. They’re also running a pretty aggressive barreling program – you will notice a lot of oak stamped with logos from Elijah Craig, Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace.
Food: Nothing in the brewery, but the occasional food truck will pull up outside. They do not have a regular schedule as of yet.
Details: The Lino Lakes brewery is nearly always packed – the North Metro is coming from all over to get a taste of their unique suds. Other than the erstwhile Pour Decisions, HammerHeart boasts the oddest, least-categorical lineup of brews anywhere in town. There’s lots of smoked malt, lots of oak, lots of tastes you can’t find anywhere else.
3036 Minnehaha Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Hours: Tue-Wed noon-11pm, Thu-Fri noon-midnight, Sat 1pm-midnight
Open Since: March 2012
Beer: Three to five of Harriet’s brews should always be available. Their West Side Belgian IPA is always on and as well it should be.
Food: Harriet features a regular lineup of food trucks – check their tap room calendar. If you’re looking for something else in the neighborhood, we’d suggest Gandhi Mahal for some great Indian around the block.
Details: There may not be a tap room in the city that looks as comfortable in its own skin as Harriet’s. The brewery’s rear annex, cordoned off by a bright yellow wall full of local art, has a small corner stage featuring live music every night. In the summer, you can sip your beer on the patio and enjoy the downtown skyline view. Be on the lookout for Harriet’s more involved brew festivals when their entire lineup will be poured . Growlers are available for purchase in the small tasting room at the front of the building. Park in the gravel lot to the left of the brewery.
Indeed Brewing Company
711 15th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Hours: Thu-Fri 3-11, Sat noon-11pm
Open Since: August 2012
Beer: We get a kick out of their Daytripper Pale Ale and that rush of citrusy hops on the nose. Also, their Midnight Ryder American Black Ale is one of the more successful Black IPAs (or whatever you want to call it) in the area. It’s silky with a deep roast character and a crisp, bitter finish. Expect to see those two and a few seasonals – boy, we love that Sweet Yamma Jamma. They offer glasses in three sizes, with one draft nitro-charged and another couple on cask.
Food: Food trucks are always scheduled to be on hand – check the schedule on Indeed’s website.
Details: Indeed Brewing was the first in a rush of Northeast Minneapolis breweries that opened in 2012-13. Josh Bischoff is the brewer, coming off an award-filled tenure at Town Hall. The Solar Arts building delivers a great neighborhood atmosphere for the brewery. The space is like an artist’s studio meets old-school club room. Check out the tables, emblazoned with signatures from the guest registry of the old Miller Publishing Group. The room has a shuffleboard table, and a small patio flanks the building facing the railroad tracks.
Kinney Creek Brewery
1016 7th St. NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Open Since: December 2012
Hours: Thu-Sat noon-10pm.
Beer: Kinney Creek has six tap lines pouring an ever-rotating selection of super small-batch suds. Check their website for what might be on tap.
Food: There won’t be any food at the brewery (feel free to BYO) but we know a few good places in town. There are some under-the-radar Mexican gems at La Poblana and Newt’s two locations are your best bet for a burger. Chester’s Kitchen & Bar is a good choice if your group wants a wide variety. For something more upscale, we sure liked Pescara when we visited a while back.
Details: Kinney Creek is the first official brewery in Rochester since Prohibition. It looks as if the town has been clamoring for one. They’ve already been selling out of limited-run brews and getting front-page press in the local paper without doing much in the way of official marketing. They have room for expansion both downstairs and in the warehouse space out back of their strip-mall location off 7th Street (possibly for bottling and kegging if things really take off). When you stop by, notice the collection of Minnesota brewery growlers above the entrance. If you bring in an empty growler from one they don’t have yet, they’ll trade you for one of theirs.
Lift Bridge Brewing
1900 Tower Dr
Stillwater, MN 55082
Hours: Tue-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-10pm
Tap Room Open Since: September 2011
Beer: You’ll find six of Lift Bridge’s brews on tap. You know and love the citrusy haze of Farm Girl Saison. We also quite like the spectacularly resinous Hop Dish IPA and the crisp Pathway Pilsner. Expect a couple seasonals to be on hand. In the winter, check out their stout series – milk, oyster, and Irish coffee. Also on tap: house-made root beer (ask for a taste, it’s incredible).
Food: No food trucks out in Stillwater, but there’s plenty of solid eating within a couple minutes’ drive. We recommend the laid-back Patriots Tavern for soups / sandwiches and the same goes for Chilkoot Cafe & Cyclery (especially their more elegant dinner menu). We dig the small plates at The Green Room, favor Roma Restaurant for good old-fashioned Italian favorites, and Phil’s Tara Hideaway for great Mediterranean.
Details: There’s no better way to wait out the Highway 36 rush hour than having a pint at Lift Bridge. They’ve won the people’s choice Golden Firkin at Happy Gnome’s Firkin Fest multiple times, so they’ve wisely installed a beer engine in the bar and will begin to feature rotating casks in the near future. If you want their cask beer now, you may find some at Ngon Bistro, Republic, or Groveland Tap.
Sociable Cider Werks
1500 Fillmore St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Hours: Thu-Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat Noon-10pm
Taproom Open Since: November 2013
Details: This Northeast taproom opened quietly in the last weekend of November. They specialize in graffs – hard ciders with a small amount of brewers malt or other adjuncts for body and tannin. Right now, you can taste a few ever-changing, one-off batches of beer from Fair State Brewing Cooperative’s Niko Tonks. As for the graffs, they’ll probably have one on hand for you to sample before their full lineup becomes available at the taproom in January.
Steel Toe Brewing
4848 W 35th St
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Hours: Wed-Thu 3-8pm, Fri 3-10pm, Sat Noon-10pm
Tap Room Open Since: February 15th, 2013.
Beer: Steel Toe’s four main beers are likely to always be on tap. If Size 7 isn’t the finest IPA in the Twin Cities, it’s squarely in the top 3. We also can’t get enough of Rainmaker, their wonderfully balanced double red ale. Provider is their standard golden ale and Dissent, their oatmeal-ish stout.
Food: They may have a food truck out front on Fridays. Check their website calendar.
Details: The same week that saw the opening of 612Brew’s megalithic taproom also featured the quiet conversion of Steel Toe’s front room for pint service. They’ve built out a bar and seating along the walls, with room for about 30 guests. What’s most striking about their taproom is the absence of flourish – no artwork on the monochrome walls, no fancy tap tower, just chairs and beer. But we find this aesthetic, or lack thereof, to suit them perfectly. They’re located in an office park, not in a trendy neighborhood. The Steel Toe brand has always been modest and workmanlike, never boastful or flashy. This taproom proves they’re justifiably content to continue letting their outstanding brews do the talking.
Summit Brewing Company
910 Montreal Cir
St. Paul, MN 55102
Hours: Fri-Sat 4pm-9pm
Tap Room Open Since: September 2012
Beer: About 10 of Summit’s brews are on tap. All of their year-round beers are available – the Saga IPA is our favorite right now. They’ll also feature their current releases from the Unchained Series (when stocks allow), as well as some special casks and limited runs from their pilot brewing system.
Food: They will feature a rotating mix of food trucks during drinking hours. Check out Summit’s website for the lineup of food trucks and special firkins.
Details: The venerable St. Paul brewery has begun hosting open tap room hours. The large Rathskeller hall is frequently used for events and opened up to nonprofits for fundraising, so they’re keeping hours limited to Fridays and Saturdays. They haven’t changed the space much, just built out the bar a touch. They’ve also added a brewery tour on Fridays at 1pm, which lets out just as tap room hours begin.
Surly Brewing Company
4811 Dusharme Dr.
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
Hours: Wed-Fri 3-9pm, Sat noon-9pm
****UPCOMING TAP ROOMS****
Bauhaus Brew Labs
1315 Tyler St. NE
Expected Opening: Spring 2014
Details: The MSP Biz Journal has an early report on this new Northeast brewery. Details are currently hush-hush, but Nick Halter suggests ample parking and a large outdoor seating area are in play, so a taproom of sorts is very likely on the build-out agenda. The space is not far behind 612Brew on Tyler St., just across the railroad tracks from Sociable Cider Werks.
Bauhaus CEO Matt Schwandt posted to a homebrewer’s forum at the end of 2012 with his vision at the time: ”The general idea is to apply the principles of the Bauhaus school from early twentieth century Germany to craft beer… The Bauhaus was all about harmonizing art and design with industry. It was experimental, but rational…In that vein, we will initially focus on filtering some of our favorite German styles (which I consider to be absolute works of art!) through an American lens…an Altbier with some cool American touches…Or maybe a Pilsner with Citra hops? What about a Vienna lager with an Amarillo nose?”
Urban Growler Brewing Company
2325 Endicott Street
St. Paul, MN 55114
Expected Opening: April-May 2014
Details: The female-owned St. Paul brewery is currently working on their build-out, with the hopes of opening in the early spring. “We’ll do things that women will notice,” says Jill Pavlak. “We’ll do half pints, not all of our chairs will be high tops. We want women to notice we’re marketing them to but not to the exclusion of men. It’s not like we’ll have pink pint glasses, but the environment will be warm … all the things we like when we go to a brewery, we’re going to make happen at our space.”
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
125 E. 9th St.
St. Paul, MN, 55101.
Expected Opening: End of May 2014
Details: Tin Whiskers occupies the same building as Black Sheep Pizza in downtown St. Paul. It looks like the equipment is being installed and walls are getting painted during the last days of March, so expect them to open in the not too distant future.
Maple Island Brewing
225 Main St. N.
Stillwater, MN 55082
Expected Opening: May 2014
Details: The renovation of the 129-year-old building in downtown Stillwater is underway. The building is near the end of the Brown’s Creek State Trail, so bicyclists will be able to enjoy a brew on their patio at the end of their ride.
1744 Terrace Rd.
Expected (Re)Opening: May-June 2014
Details: On New Years Eve, Bartley Blume announced that his Bent Brewstillery would be subsuming the Pour Decisions name/beers/location, and the taproom would be shut down for an expansion and remodeling. Expect head brewer Kristen England to continue to brew obscure, unique beers for taproom-only service, alongside Blume’s Dark Fatha, a vanilla-ish, light-bodied, roasty stout, and the crisp, amber Nordic Blonde.
712 Ontario Ave. W.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Expected Opening: May-June 2014
Details: A new taproom on the edge of downtown is taking shape and should be ready to open in the early summer. Sisyphus Brewing will occupy a warehouse space next door to Dunwoody College (the students are already excited), just up a side street from the Walker sculpture gardens. The owners are husband and wife team Sam Harriman and Catherine Cuddy, who are currently working on a Kickstarter campaign to build some signage that faces the highway. The building’s exterior is also slated to receive a mural by Adam Turman.
They’ll follow the Dangerous Man model and keep the brews in-house with no plans for expansion into retail. At a preview event, we sampled a lovely IPA with a touch of sour Brett, a bulky saison and a mellow Kentucky common. Sam doesn’t plan to have house styles always available. He wants the flavors to turn over as much as possible. Aside from a taproom area, their gigantic space will allow them to institute a 100-seat venue for live music, stand-up comedy, and live podcast recordings.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
2506 Central Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Expected Opening: May 2014
Details: Minnesota’s first member-owned brewery and taproom cooperative. Head brewer Niko Tonks tells us they’ll be taking delivery of brewing equipment in March. Until then, he’s helping brew at Sociable Cider Werks.
2934 Lyndale Ave. S
Expected Opening: June 2014
Details: The Star Tribune reports that the former Theater Antiques space, vacant since 2006, will receive a $1 million facelift and will open this summer as a 4,700 square foot brewery and taproom.
6020 Culligan Way
Expected Opening: Summer-Fall 2014 (??)
Details: We met up with Lucid owner Jon Messier (above, right) at our recent North Coast Nosh, where he let on that they’re hoping to host taproom hours at their Minnetonka brewery in the near future. An ordinance needs to be changed to allow for this, so details are still murky at best.
EastLake Craft Brewing
920 E. Lake St.
Expected Opening: September 2014
Details: The Southwest Journal reports a small brewery may be in the works for Midtown Global Market. Owner Ryan Pittman is looking to operate a seven-barrel brewing set up within a 2,000 square foot taproom space.
783 Harding St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Expected Opening: Late 2014
Details: The Northeast brewers, makers of the Wall’s End brown ale and Maggie’s Leap Sweet Stout, have signed a lease on the Harding St. space. Current plans call for a 20 barrel brewhouse complete with a 1,500 square foot taproom.
Surly Brewing Company
Malcolm Ave. & 5th Street SE
Expected Opening: Late 2014.
Latest Details: The Minneapolis City Planning Commission has approved the plans for the brewery’s 50,000 square-foot, $20 Million destination brewery in Prospect Park.