Beer in Minnesota — it’s a popular thing. But have you ever wondered where that bottle came from? Our state has a nice selection of breweries and, luckily, many of those companies offer tours to their customers to share their history and show how the beer is made and bottled. And, yes, visitors get the opportunity to sample brewery beer!
August Schell Brewing Company
1860 Schell Road
New Ulm, MN 56073
Take an hour from your day to learn about Schell Brewery’s German roots and see the old shiny copper kettle of this Minnesota brewery. End the tour with assorted beer and 1919 Root Beer sampling in the brewery’s Rathskellar Tap Room. Admission is $3 but kids 12 and under are free and if you plan on sampling be sure to have your ID available. Afterward, head to the free August Schell Museum of Brewing (Open Memorial Day through Labor Day: Daily 12 p.m.-5 p.m.).
Summit Brewing Company
910 Montreal Circle
St. Paul, MN 55102
Since 1986, this Summit Brewing Company is a St. Paul staple and is located in an old truck parts company on University Avenue. At the start, a brewhouse from Heimertingen, Germany moved in and out came Summit’s kegged EPA and Great Northern Porter. The latter won first place at the Great American Beer Festival and, as they say, the rest is history. Tours are free and must be reserved and keep in mind this is a popular place to be because weekend tours fill up quickly.
4811 Dusharme Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55429
Surly Brewing is one of those home brewing kit success stories every beer drinker appreciates. As the Surly Brewing website says, there is no cost and the beer is free, but the tours fill up fast. Year-round tours are offered every other Saturday while summer tours happen every Saturday between 5:00-7:00 p.m. You can sign up online between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the website.
Flat Earth Brewing
2035 Benson Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55116
The beer at Flat Earth Brewing, a thriving St. Paul micro-brewery, started flowing in 2007. You’ll notice the beer names make for great conversation starters, some inspired by the founders’ worldly travels (Bermuda Triangle Triple) while others may make you raise you eyebrows (Ovni Ale). Catch a behind-the-scenes peek during the scheduled tours which are held at 4 p.m. on selected Saturdays. Find the dates on the website and make your reservation.
Cold Spring Brewery Company
219 Red River Avenue North
Cold Spring, MN 56320-1624
Cold Spring Brewery is another Minnesota brewery that comes highly recommended. However, due to construction, tours have been temporarily canceled. We hope they let us know when their tours resume, as the fact that their naturally filtered water source “from deep within the crystalline granite of Stearns County” sounds fascinating.
-- Beth Blair has turned a decade of travel industry experience into an action-packed travel writing career. She writes for various print and online publications and is co-founder of TheVacationGals.com and TheSpaGals.com. Learn more about her at BethBlair.com and find her on Twitter: @BethBlair.