Part of the fun of the brewery scene is the brewery itself. The vibe, the venue, the location all factor in to an elite night out at a local brewery. Some have this mastered better than others.
Is the beer important? Absolutely. But sometimes the beer is secondary and you are just looking for a fun night out with your significant other or friends. These nights you just want to experience a cool brewery on a nice summer weekend in Minnesota. Here are some of the best brewery venues in the Twin Cities metro.
Address: 2934 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
This is a brewery I have only been to once and I was thoroughly impressed with the facility. A remodeled old theater with a huge square bar right in the center of the wide open space. It is a cool venue inside, but that’s not the best part. Walk up a couple flights of stairs and you get to an amazing rooftop scene (pic above). Off the top of my head, this is the only brewery with a rooftop. This alone is makes it worth the trip. It has adequate seating, a large bar, fire pits, great views of downtown and gives you a backyard deck vibe. It is impressive.
A central location and weekend evenings are always fun in this part of town.
I had their new hazy IPA, Soft Spot last time I was in and if I were going to today I’d probably give the mango Dirty Heffer (Hefeweizen) or the Sota Summer Berry Sour.
Address: 225 Thomas Ave N, Minneapolis
Venturing off now into the
SW western part of Minneapolis, near the Theo Wirth area. Utepils (pronounces ooo-te-pils) has a really nice open Fernweh Taproom. But once again the real treat is through the doors where you will find this brewery sitting along the banks of Basset Creek. With lawn chairs and picnic tables outside for you to enjoy the flowing water along with Utepils beer. While there you can wow your friends with the story of the disappearing Basset Creek.
Address: 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis
I love this place. The vibe is chill, I really like the brick corner building and the only complaint is that it isn’t big enough to hold all the people who show up on a weekend.
Known primarily for their Peanut Butter Porter and I feel like they were one of the first to dive into the milkshake IPAs, but their beer is always good. The vibe and location is fantastic. For a truly elite night, have a DM beer and then walk down the ally between DM and Young Joni to find the Young Joni backbar (a speakeasy cocktail bar).
Address: 20 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis
This place is not going to be like most other breweries. Typically you’ll find breweries in old warehouses or some other renovated building that was previously unused. But Surly built a palace that happens to be within walking distance of TCF Bank Stadium. I have made more than a couple Saturday morning trips to Surly before walking to the stadium for kickoff.
Hat tip to the brewery that really started it all for the craft brewery scene and their facility is gorgeous. Great food, great event spaces and you will usually find a huge taplist to choose from.
With this large and fancy facility, Surly has many fun outdoor events throughout the summer including concerts and movie nights. Check out their events page.
Back Channel Brewery
Address: 4787 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park MN
So this brewery may require a bit of a drive, especially if you are on the east side of town. But it might be worth it to have a few brews while sitting on a beautiful patio overlooking Lake Minnetonka. Or if you happen to be boating on the lake, drive on up to the breweries dock. An ideal summer destination brewery.
Address: 755 Prior Ave N, St Paul
Last but not least is Blackstack. Finally I’m getting to a brewery on the east side of the river.
Blackstack is in an old warehouse and they offer a huge, wide open facility. This place can hold an awful lot of people, and on some nights you’ll find that it is impossible to find a seat. They offer great events and they certainly have elite beers.
I’ll say more about Blackstack in other posts, but this is one of my favorite breweries. If you want to make a night of it, head down to Can Can Wonderland for mini golf or a block away is Flannel Jacks for some axe throwing.
Honorable Mention venues
- HammerHeart - cool nordic vibe
- Bang - this is tiny...and in a silo
- Indeed - I like the train tracks in the back
- Chapel - way out in Dundas, but this a neat little brewery