15 Minnesota Breweries
Minnesota loves a good beer.
There are so many breweries popping up in Minnesota. Especially microbreweries, they are spreading through the state like milkweed in the fall. Because, breweries are great for hanging out with friends for a chill night or the perfect spot for a little date night.
Are you a craft brew lover and live in the Twin Cities, try the Craftapped. It’s an app you can get 10 craft beer credits every month that you can redeem at lots of breweries around the Twin Cities area.
Groupon typically has a coupon to get the app for $60 for a year, which is awesome! Considering, craft beers are usually $6 per glass, so even if you only go to 10 breweries the whole year, it’s already paid for itself.
You may have heard of some of the bigger breweries, such as Surly, Summit, and Schell’s. And, Schell’s being Minnesota’s oldest brewery that was founded by a German immigrant in the 1860’s.
Minnesota alone has over 170 active breweries, I can’t name them all. But, here are a few favorites to start with.
Lake Monster Brewing
The owners of this St. Paul brewery come from three very different backgrounds, from the corporate world, to putting up drywall and a family business in making wine, to an award-winning brewer. No wonder these three make a great team.
This Minnesota brewery has everything from event space that can seat up to 50 people as well as food trucks almost daily. And, they are okay with the bring-your-own-food thing.
Lake Monster has many beers on tap from seasonal to year-round, from light to dark, and Pale Ale’s to Stouts. You can also find their beer being sold throughout the Twin Cities.
Bring the whole family! Dogs and children are allowed. And, they even have a kid corner with toys and books.
Lake Monster Brewing is located on Vandalia Street, just north of I-94.
Modest Brewing Company
Looking for your normal traditional brewery beers? Well, you won’t find them here.
Their Head Brewer, Keigan, embraces his creativity and techniques. At Modist, they use a different mash filter than most, that helps the environment by saving tons of water per year.
Modist Brewing Company is located off 3rd street in the North Loop neighborhood. So, stop by to sip some alternative beer and check out their array of merchandise.
They are also open 2 hours before all Twins home games. And, the beers can also be found around the Twin cities area.
Some of the lineup includes Double Marshmallow and Vanilla Lager, Coconut Lime Berliner Weisse, Cold Press Coffee Lager, Shook Pineapple Milkshake IPA. Need I say more?
Located in downtown Minneapolis, Clockwerks is steampunk-inspired brewery.
Clockwerks Brewery is located within blocks of the Target Center, Target Field, and numerous clubs and restaurants. They do have a few food items on the menu along with Minnesota’s famous bar pizza, Heggies.
This brewery will make you feel like part of their brewing team by letting you become part of their Pro-Am brewing. This entails reserving one of their taps at Clockwerks for a talented home brewer special recipe.
Calling all home brewers!
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
Dangerous Man is a destination microbrewery and tap room located in NE Minneapolis.
With ever-changing taps and their family friendly environment, they welcome anyone. This place was made from blood, sweat, and tears by family, friends, and volunteers building almost all the brewery themselves.
From the repurposed wood to the local art on the walls this place has that cozy, inviting atmosphere.
They make an honest attempt to keep a variety of beers on tap; a dark one, a light one, a hoppy one, a sour one, and a strong one. And, they also serve soda and cold press coffee.
This isn’t just Duluth’s first original brew pub but it’s also voted Duluth’s favorite burgers too. Don’t worry though, they do have vegetarian options as well, including their famous wild rice burger.
Fitger’s Brewhouse handcrafted beers are brewed in small batches, using all-natural ingredients and pure Lake Superior water. This brewery has a little bit of everything from IPA’s, Pale Ales, Porter, Kolsch, Fruit Beer, Stouts, to Sours.
Up for an event? Check out Brewer’s Garage which is a unique event space located in downtown Duluth. Rent out this 218-person event space while enjoying delicious craft beers.
Blacklist Artisan Ales
If throwing axes while drinking a nice craft beer is your thing, come check out Blacklist Artisan Ales in Duluth.
Yes, I did say throwing axes. They have a three-lane range but make sure that you wear closed-toe shoes, or you’ll be borrowing socks and Crocs from the brewery’s communal bin. Ax-throwing has become so popular that rumor has it the brewery is starting a league.
Blacklist has refreshing craft beer that is brewed only with water collected from one of the cleanest freshwater sources on the planet – Lake Superior.
This Minnesota breweries small batch, gluten-free hard seltzers are a bubbly bliss that leaves you thirsting for more.
Revelation Ale Works
Rural America, here we come.
Revelation Ale Works was founded in 2017 in Hallock, MN by two brothers, Ryan and Josh, and Ryan’s wife Lindsey. They set out to serve small towns in big ways by serving amazing craft beers.
They have everything from Blood Orange Wheat, Peanut Butter Stout, fruit-conditioned sours, and barrel-aged beers. Also serving soda pop and homemade pizzas.
The brewery can be found in the Standard Station building downtown and now distributes to over 100 locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Canada.
That’s saying a lot from an ultra-rural brewery from a town of less than 1000 people.
Check out the Junkyard Brewery in Moorhead with its constantly rotating tap menu of new and experimental beers.
At the time of this post their taproom includes beers like Blackberry-Boysenberry Super Slurp, Sour Gose with Key Limes, Toasted Coconut and Marshmallow, European Handbag Tart Ale, West Coast IPA, Czech Style Lager, and a Peanut Butter Stout.
Make sure you have a sober ride home because many of their beers carry a high alcohol level – all the way up to 11.6%.
The junkyard brewery got started by a couple of brothers recently out of college, with very little money, and no outside investment. Also, check out their website and Junkyard your phone with their beer logos as a wallpaper.
Big Axe Brewing Company
Big Axe Brewing Company is located in downtown Nisswa and is a small batch craft brewery with a kitchen. They have a variety of full-flavored craft beers that can be served with delicious soups, salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Next time you’re in Nisswa strolling through the shops, stop by Big Axe for some of Central Minnesota’s best brews.
Try the Axe Kicker Double IPA, Fire Cat Habanero IPA, Black Cherry Bildad Blonde, Guavatron Strawberry/Guava IPA, Bourbon Bean Stout, or the Tangerine Sour.
Oswald Brewing Company
If you’re ever in Blue Earth, Minnesota check out the Oswald Brewing Company.
Oswald brewery is located on South Main Street in the old First Farmers National Bank. And, most of the original flare of the old bank is still intact.
The family friendly brewery has multiple games for the whole family to enjoy and relax. And, it has many Nordic-themed beers such as Valkyrie Wheat, Thor’s Thirst, Fjord Farm Ale, and Berserker NPA.
Maple Island Brewery
Maple Island Brewing is a craft micro-brewery/tap room in historic downtown Stillwater.
This family friendly, Minnesota brewery offers craft sodas and pups are welcome on the wrap-around patio overlooking the beautiful St. Croix River.
On tap they have the Graham Cracker Slacker, I Scream, Blueberry Hefeweisen, Extra Puck’in Awesome EPA, Pre-Prohibition Submission Lager, and Maple Island Bock, to name a few.
If you want to get creative, try mixing the Maple Island bock, which is a creamy smooth bock with 100% pure maple syrup, with the Blueberry Hefeweizen. And you get something that tastes like blueberry pancakes.
Tilion Brewing Company
This small-town brewery was opened in Cannon Falls by three locals.
Their first time brewing together was for a guy’s fishing trip up north. And, there is nothing better than good craft beer, great friends, and an abundance of fish being caught.
Well, I’m not sure how much fish was caught on the trip, however out of the trip came a brewery.
Some of the beers on tap are a Belgian Strong Golden Ale, Imperial Red Ale with Sweet Orange Peel, Sweet Stout with Cocoa and Vanilla, West Coast IPA, Lemon Raspberry Shandy, and an East Coast Lager.
You can also find some of Tilion’s beer being sold in areas of the Twin Cities.
Bad Habit Brewing
Bad Habit Brewing is a small town, family friendly brewery in St. Joseph.
These friends did not have the best of luck on their first batch of beer due to the fermentation process continuing in the bottles. But, after cleaning up the mess they didn’t give up and continued to become a success.
They are constantly changing out there tap list, have a patio, and allow you to bring in outside food. So, check out their events page for live music and when they will be having food trucks.
On tap they have everything from Dark Addiction Chocolate Milk Stout to Jolly Melon Watermelon Sour.
Half Pint Brewing Company
You can find Minnesota’s first farm brewery in Waseca.
Mike, the owner, felt it would be impossible to brew in the Portland, Oregon area due to the huge wave of craft breweries opening there already. So, he and his wife Amy, moved east to Minnesota.
Many of the ingredients used for the beer are grown in fields right next to the taproom. So, you can see exactly where the ingredients are coming from.
If you’re a beer enthusiast, you’re bound to find something you like, whether you’re looking for an IPA or a Honey Ale. Half Pint does not serve food, but you’re welcome to bring your own.
Life’s Too Short (also called LTS by locals)
Come on down to the southern part of the state and enjoy beer from Rochester. Life is too short, so drink good beer. Because, as soon as you walk through the door, LTS staff make you feel right at home.
LTS uphold their core values every day, reflecting that in all aspects, life is too short.
They have a great outdoor patio space which is pet friendly.
Everyday they are serving LTS Fresh which includes a few fresh food items. And on occasion, they will have a food truck such as, Firebrick Pizza and Leaving MN.
With an array of different kinds of beers on tap at all times from light, dark, hoppy, to sours, they are one of my favorite Minnesota breweries. Also, they have infusions, which are always fun to try.
I could write every day about Minnesota craft beers and never lose things to talk about. Why? Because so many are well-crafted, rooted in tradition, and most importantly, great to drink.
If you would like a complete list of all the Minnesota breweries, check out The Growler or Minnesota Breweries and Brewpubs.
With the micro-brew industry growing every year it’s no wonder we like to jump in our cars for a road trip to check out the newest up and coming breweries.
Are you ready to get prepared for that road trip? If so, simply get out your Google Maps and start driving. Or, check out this master road trip checklist to assist you.
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