With their state hailed as ‘The Land of 10,000 Lakes’, Minnesotans know a thing or two about summer recreation and therefore, beer. Whether you’re visiting a friend’s cabin in the woods, or sitting down for a bite to eat in the Twin Cities, Minnesota is home to some of the USA’s finest microbreweries. Here’s a look at 10 of the most celebrated in this beautiful northern land.
Good thing there isn’t too much inter-city rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul! As one of the first microbreweries in the Twin-Cities area to set up shop, Summit Brewing Company has consistently crafted award-winning brews since its opening in 1986, drawing locals from both sides of town. Look for the Summit extra-pale ale for a bronze-colored, gold-medal-winning beer that’s great in any season, or the Summit Great Northern Porter to survive those formidable Minnesotan winters.
Proud of its Minnesotan roots, the Indeed Brewing Company and Taproom gives its costumers exactly what they want: exceptionally made beer by locals, for locals. They are one of just a few microbreweries that can their beers instead of bottling them, which means less light contacts the beer and interferes with its make up and, of course, oodles of more awesome label art! Try the Indeed Midnight Ryder Black IPA for a mysteriously malty take on the traditional IPA beer style.
Making their home in a former bank in north-east Minneapolis, the folk over at Dangerous Man Brewing Company know how to secure customers. This small-batch microbrewery makes some dangerously good beers, from heavy-hitting Chocolate Milk Stout to light, golden Saison. Visit their taproom to sample from a constantly rotating list.
The 612Brew team knows how to make beer the fun way. Founded by a group of friends, this Minneapolis microbrewery made its nest in one of the city’s most historic buildings, which has enabled the use of the basement as a venue for music acts and private parties. Try the Unrated Rye IPA for a strong, spicy ale that will linger on the tongue.
Steel Toe Brewing, located on the outskirts of Minneapolis, is a hard-working, small-batch brewery committed to staying local. Named after the founder’s tendency to wear steel-toe boots, this brewery isn’t afraid of using a little elbow grease to make quality craft beer. Look for the popular Rainmaker Double Red ale for a coppery drink with hints of caramel and lots of aromatic hops.
From having their beer spat out by bartenders, to winning BeerAdvocate’s prestigious Best Brewery in America award, Surly Brewing Company has come a long way since opening its doors in 2006. They even helped to change a Prohibition-era law preventing breweries from selling beer on-site to get their all-new taproom swinging in 2011 and enable other Minnesota microbreweries to follow suit and ride the new craft wave with them. Cheers guys!
The Bent Paddle Brewing Company is one of the newest additions to the Minnesota craft beer market. Using the clear freshwater of Lake Superior, this Duluth brewery delivers a small yet promising 30-barrel capacity. Look for this one’s labels to start appearing elsewhere in the state and surrounding regions, and get ready for some tipples with some serious kick. Try the award-winning Bent Paddle English Special Bitter for a well-balanced beer with a hint of northern pine.
From humble beginnings homebrewing in a south Minneapolis garage, Fulton Brewery has managed to become one of the premier microbreweries in Minnesota. After only opening their first brewery in 2009, Fulton opened a second brewery in 2013 to meet unexpected demand from the community. Be sure to stop in to try some of their classics, like the Ringer and Sweet Child of Vine, or bring back some of their seasonal Patience barley wine as a perfect stocking-filler for any beer-lover.
For a break from the busy city life of Minneapolis, go to Lift Bridge Brewing Company for your next quaff of craft. Located in Stillwater, Minnesota, this brewery serves up its tap beers straight from the source in its modest taproom. Don’t leave without sampling the mid-sweet Farm Girl Belgian Malt, or at least a tipple of that fantastic Hop Dish Indian Pale Ale.
The Town Hall is another staple Minneapolis microbrewery. With ties to their youth in Middleton, Wisconsin, the founders opened Town Hall after a stint in corporate America, opting out to build a beer-drinking community in their new home. Visit the taproom to try what is fresh in the cask, but rely on local favorites like the Masala Mama IPA and the Hope and King Scotch Ale to deliver some seriously great-tasting beer.