By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While restaurants are struggling to compete, a new study says taprooms in the Twin Cities are doing better than ever.

A study from MillerCoors found bars lost about 24 percent of their business last year to breweries.

Able Seedhouse and Brewery in northeast Minneapolis cranks out thousands of pours on busy summer weekends.

“Traffic has continuously grown year over year,” said Able co-founder Matt Johnson.

It is a trend all over the country: More customers choosing taprooms over traditional neighborhood bars. Thirty percent say they swapped a typical stop at their local bar for a brewery instead. Food trucks rotate at Able, so customers can still find food on site.

able seedhouse While Twin Cities Taprooms Thrive, Bars & Restaurants Struggle

(credit: Able)

“Kind of matching up that creative process of both the food vendor and also the brewery where it’s manufactured onsite is pretty exciting to people,” Johnson said.

Bars are feeling the competition. St Paul lost The Muddy Pig, Fabulous Ferns and the Wild Onion all in the last few months.

Katie Hickman, marketing and public relations manager with Minnesota Monthly magazine, says it is not just about convenience, but the creativity.

“It’s very experiential in the way that it’s dining, and you all kind of sit together, you get to see the process, you get to see their new seasonal beers, which a lot of restaurants can’t compete with,” Hickman said.

Able now allows dogs, and is already working on rolling out a more-permanent food menu with the success of their rotating trucks.

“Chefs in general just always need to be conscious of the new trends and how they’re going to keep up,” Hickman said.

It is not just that customers are leaving their homes to visit taprooms. They are also taking a piece of the taproom home with them. Fifty-five percent of the craft beer drinkers told the MillerCoors study that they had purchased a little or a lot of the beer once they made a visit to the taproom.

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