This blog post was updated on April 1, 2020.
From those bitter cold winter days to the comfortable summer nights, it’s no secret that Minneapolis likes to unwind with a good beer no matter the season. Ever since a Prohibition-era law came to an end in 2011 that limited breweries from selling their beer in-house, Minneapolis has seen a beer renaissance. The booming beer scene translates into breweries and beer bars popping up all around town. If your heart tends to pitter patter for pale ales and porters, you’re in luck! Check out our beer lover’s guide to the city that’s sure to quench all your cravings.
Surly Brewing Co
Founded under the frustration of not being able to find good beer, Surly Brewing Co in Minneapolis took the reins to produce just that — good beer. Offering up loads of year-round, seasonal, and collaboration beers, Surly has developed from its home brewing kit roots to be one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. Public tours take guests through the brewhouse, fermentation cellar, and packaging hall. The 60-minute tour concludes in the tasting mezzanine where you’ll get to sample the brews first hand. While the tour costs $6, you get to take home your tasting glass as a souvenir. In addition to tours, you can also just visit the beer hall that serves up not just beer but also food that pairs well with beer. The brewery sits close to the Prospect Park stop on the Green Line.
Right in the heart of the West Bank neighborhood in Minneapolis, Republic identifies as one of the city’s great locally owned and independent craft beer bars. Choosing from the 104 tap lines dedicated to craft beers and ciders from around the state, country, and world is a small challenge. Founded in 2011, this craft beer bar offers an endless selection of brews from porters and stouts to sour and wild ales to IPAs. The bar even makes sure to single out Minnesota beers. Every Monday from 4PM to closing, beers and ciders from Minnesota breweries and cideries cost just $4 a pour! In addition to the extensive beer selection, you can also snag a meal, as Republic boasts a top-notch contemporary gastropub menu. This craft beer bar has even opened up a location for travelers getting out of town at the MSP Airport.
With foundations in 2006 in a South Minneapolis garage, Fulton Brewing has certainly come a long way. The Minneapolis brewery has moved on to bigger things and has opened the city’s first taproom. Before 2011, breweries couldn’t really operate taprooms in the state. Fulton eventually outgrew the downtown brewery and moved into a 51,000 square foot building in northeast Minneapolis. Situated close to Target Field, you can still visit the downtown brewery and taproom and taste signature brews like Sweet Child of Vine (an IPA) or Lonely Blonde (American Blonde Ale). An added bonus comes in the summer months when food trucks frequent the brewery’s patio.
Williams Pub and Peanut Bar
Just one block north of the heart of Uptown, the Williams Pub and Peanut Bar has been a landmark in Minneapolis for over 50 years. Beer lovers won’t be disappointed in a visit to this city staple as the bar boasts over 70 beers on tap at all times and a bottled beer menu offering 300 different brews. The two-story establishment features an upstairs section called the Pub with a 98-foot-long main bar that includes a game room with darts, pool tables, and video games. The downstairs section called the Nut is where you’ll find all of those 70 beers on tap. The laid-back and unpretentious vibe is further evident as the establishment tosses in free popcorn and peanuts with your brews.
Indeed Brewing Company
Founded in August of 2012, Indeed Brewing Company has become one of the city’s most popular breweries. Located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, the brewery boasts not just one taproom, but two. You can sample Indeed’s brews, including its flagship Day Tripper Pale Ale, across its 16 tap lines. In addition to the two taprooms, you can also tour the brewery itself. The free tours last 60 to 75 minutes and provide guests with a look at the production facilities, the warehouse, and the cellar. You’ll see how beer is kegged and canned and conclude your visit with a stop in the taproom to sample all of Indeed’s flagship beers and seasonal offerings.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
Started by a family of musicians, scientists, artists, and beer lovers, Bauhaus Brew Labs is not your average brewery. The Minneapolis brewery focuses on taking classic German-inspired beer styles and jazzes them up with a sense of play and adventure. Named after the Bauhaus School, the world’s most famous art and design school, the brewery occupies a spot on Tyler Street in Northeast Minneapolis as it has since 2011. Famous brews include a German-style Schwarzbier and a Neü Bohemian pilsner.
Have you frequented the Minneapolis beer scene? Share your favorite stop in the comments below!