Here in Minnesota, we always have and always will drink a lot of beer. Minnesota has fully supported the craft beer phenomenon and we have a growing number of creative and quality breweries to prove it. Many of these breweries have taprooms where you can belly up and try the latest brew, straight from the source. But, of course, they only serve their own beer. If you’re looking to sample multiple brews from around the state, you can’t limit yourself to a single taproom. There’s too much to try and too many places to try them. You have to sample beer from the Iron Range to Twin Cities and beyond to truly find your favorite. For an introduction to, or just an appreciation of, Minnesota’s best brews, the following pubs, bars and restaurants have got you covered.
858 Payne Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55130
A new edition to Saint Paul’s east side, Ward 6 features a tap list that is almost entirely Minnesotan. Excluding Hamm’s, which was once Minnesotan before moving across the border to Wisconsin, and one out-of-state brew that rotates monthly, Ward 6 supports only the hardworking brewers of our home state. Featuring bigger brewers, such as Schell’s and Summit, as well as fledglings like Indeed and Fulton, this is the best place to find Minnesotan beer. Go during happy hour, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, to try any pint for a measly $3.
Pairings Food and Wine Market
6001 Shady Oak Road
Minnetonka, MN 55343
The suburbs aren’t always synonymous with good beer bars. But the craft beer revolution that has swept the state has found supporters in unlikely places. Also, this isn’t a traditional bar. Pairings is a food and wine market with a cafe that serves up seasonal fare to go along with your drink of choice. In the wine bar is where you’ll find the beer, and while the list isn’t as extensive as some on this list, it’s stacked with some of the best that Minnesota breweries have to offer. It’s a quaint and comfortable, yet still upscale and elegant place to enjoy your favorite local brew; the perfect way to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities.
1834 St.Clair Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55105
A small pub tucked away in Mac-Groveland, a college-kid heavy neighborhood in Saint Paul, the Groveland Tap is one of the best places to find a cold tap beer courtesy of Minnesota brewers. With over half of the 40-plus tap list dedicated to brews from Indeed to Big Wood, with everything from pale ales to lagers to porters and a few ciders in between, it’s a Minnesota beer festival every day. As an added bonus, Groveland Tap has one of the longest happy hours around, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., where you can enjoy discounted taps and apps.
Butcher and the Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
While the bar at this new Downtown Minneapolis hotspot focuses on Bourbon, its tap and bottle list feature many superstars from the local beer scene. Try one of the various selections from Summit, Surly or Excelsior to enjoy in (where else?) the new, grand beer garden attached to the restaurant. Order a Fulton and enjoy some of the best Minneapolis sights with one of the best Minneapolis beers. With a prime location on Hennepin Avenue, the Butcher and the Boar is the perfect place to enjoy a local beer before a downtown event, after a long day at work or to go along with the award-winning cut of meat you ordered for dinner.
329 Cedar Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Acadia Cafe boasts “No crap on Tap,” and it’s true. And while is has a good list of beers from around the country and world, the local beer selection is even better, stocked full of Lift Bridge, Lucid, Badger Hill, Bad Weather, Surly, Summit and more. It’s best to get a local beer flight so you can try as many as possible at once. You can also find one of the more interesting and eclectic music lineups on the Acadia stage, so on any given night you can support local music and local beer at the same time.
Related: Best Craft Beer In The Twin Cities
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.