Craft breweries and taprooms have sprouted up all over Minnesota over the last decade. While beer has always been the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, the taste for craft beer has evolved in the Midwest. Craft beers are typically brewed in small batches and can be pricey, depending on how far the beer has to travel from the brewery. Luckily, there are happy hours throughout the state that feature and promote craft beer to those who wish to find a new favorite. Sit down directly in a taproom or a local pub to enjoy one of these happy hours.
2922 Lyndale Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
The Herkimer has been a neighborhood favorite in Uptown Minneapolis for over a decade. It brews its own beers in-house and serves them fresh on tap throughout the day. Many favorite recipes stay around throughout the year and some are seasonal brews. The Herkimer has a fantastic patio and shuffleboard area for hanging out and delicious pub fare that complements its beer selections perfectly. The “must-try” is the Sky Pilot Kellerbier – a sweet and hoppy pilsner that’s a delicious treat for beer lovers.
Great Waters Brewing Co.
426 St. Peter St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
The second oldest brewery in St. Paul, Great Waters is located downtown in an historic building, close to major St. Paul attractions and activity. The brewery has its own well that sources natural spring water to be used in the brewing process, making the craft beers fresh and tasty. Many enjoy stopping by before a hockey game at the Xcel Energy Center or just for a growler to go. The fare is heavy, but compliments a fine beverage perfectly. Try the Brown Trout Ale if a full-bodied brown ale is up your alley.
Barley John’s Brew Pub
781 Old Highway 8
New Brighton, MN 55112
Barley John’s Brew Pub has the feel of an old-fashioned pub with matching old-fashioned food. The owners have mastered the traditional techniques for brewing beer while adding their own creative spin to the process. Aside from a fantastic selection of craft beers and pub fare, Barley John’s offers takeout on fresh growlers and annual memberships that entitle the member to happy hour prices at any time. For true Minnesotans, the Wild Brunette, brewed with Minnesota wild rice, is the best choice.
Day Block Brewing
1105 Washington Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Day Block Brewing is located in the historic Mill District of Minneapolis. The building contains old architecture and a perfect place for a brewpub. Day Block uses only Minnesota and Wisconsin-grown hops for its recipes and encourages Minnesotans to really drink locally – in a local brewery that uses local ingredients. The food menu is full of fantastic and unique pizzas, the highlight of Day Block’s grub selection. Enjoy a delicious beverage with your pizza like “The Wit,” a Belgian-style white ale that has a hint of a citrus finish.
701 Washington Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Blue Plate, a Minnesota-born restaurant restaurateur, developed its first brewpub in the North Loop called The Freehouse. While The Freehouse crafts its own beers, it also offers the selections of other popular craft beers from Minnesota and beyond. Enjoy a Freehouse original or a “guest beer” with its amazing menu of comfort foods and unique bites. One of the favorites is the No. 2 IPA, a beer with the perfect balance of body and hop. The Freehouse also offers a breakfast happy hour so you can drink your breakfast if you choose.
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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.