Minneapolis' burgeoning beer scene is home to some of the country's best breweries, and together they're filling local pubs with so many irresistibly good brews that, if you're not careful, you'll end up drinking... um, lots and lots of delicious beers, obviously. And your dinner, unless you pick a pub that also serves sweet eats. To make it easy for you, we went ahead and ranked the city's 10 best...
10. Buster’s on 28th
Featuring an incredible amount of rotating craft taps and the ability to mix and match to create your own custom flight, this South Minneapolis pub has got the goods. Partner some of those brewskies with an order of their new pork wings and you’ll think that you died and went to pub heaven.
Not only does this place brew a healthy variety of their own beers, but they also have rotating guest taps designed to please any beer drinker. If you’ve indulged a bit too much on the beer front, soak up some of that extraneous brew with an order of the soft pub pretzels, which come stuffed with gooey cheddar cheese and jalapeños plus a side of house-made queso.
8. Red Cow
One of the newest and best burger joints in Minneapolis also happens to be one of the best hiding holes to sit back and throw down a variety of craft beers. If you’re looking for a little snack while perusing the 36 rotating taps, make sure you order a bowl of the caramel-bacon puffcorn. The menu says one bowl isn’t enough, and if you’re not there alone, that’s probably true.
7. Muddy Waters
It’s weird to think that just a few short years ago this place was a small, cramped coffee shop located a few short blocks away from where it currently sits, but now it’s all grown up and it’s got the beer to show for it. If you can make it in for one of their weekly movies nights you get free popcorn, but let’s be real, the fish tacos are really what you’re there for.
6. Pig & Fiddle
Sister to St. Paul’s Muddy Pig, this South Minneapolis pub was one of the first to start showcasing a variety of locally brewed suds. Offering 36 craft taps and a variety of specialty Belgian brews, this place is designed for beer drinkers. As far as munching goes, it’d be awfully hard to not pair your beer with a delicious Reuben dip.
When in Midtown, it’s impossible not hit up The Rabbit Hole. It’s a modern pub with a splash Korean-nouveau, so really, what’s not to love?! There’s plenty of local and otherwise domestic craft beer, all of which go very well with the Korean-inspired bar food, in particular, the Hot Tail, which is nothing more than a crispy, fried pigs tail drizzled with a nice ginger sauce. Yes, the poutine is always good, but give something new a try for once. Geez.
4. Pat’s Tap
We love a bar that’s proud to offer beer in a can, and these guys have an incredible selection, from the hyper-local to the incredibly foreign. They’ve also got a great selection of taps, and for only $10 you can pick any four to make your own flight. And it'd be foolish to not order the cheese curds. Seriously, don’t be that person. And oh yeah, skeeball!
The only downfall to this place is that it can be an absolute bear to wrestle your way into. Aside from being incredibly popular, they have a great selection of well-thought-out taps that're perfect for a leisurely afternoon of beer drinking. They’ve also got a great selection of classic British pub fare, and let's face it, you’re never going to go wrong with a good ol' sausage roll with mustard cream.
Sometimes the last thing we want is a brain-bleed-inducing beer list. Sometimes we just want a smallish selection of really delicious beers, and that’s what The Sample Room does. Any of their beers would pair well with any of their small plates, but this is the kind of place where you DO order the charcuterie plate.
Okay, we’re not talking about the main restaurant here (which we also adore), instead we’re specifically talking about their incredible year-round beer garden. It’s super-cozy and there's a spectacular showing of delicious beers, all of which go well with the fried bologna sandwich. If you turned up your nose at the thought of a fried bologna sandwich, slap yourself and then head immediately to Butcher & the Boar to get yourself one. Then you’ll know.
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1. Buster's on 28th4204 S 28th Ave, Minneapolis
2. Town Hall Brewery1430 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
3. Red Cow3624 W 50th St, Minneapolis
4. Muddy Waters Bar & Eatery2933 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
5. Pig & Fiddle3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis
6. The Rabbit HoleMidtown Global Market, , Minneapolis
7. Pat's Tap3510 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
8. George & the Dragon813 West 50th Street, Minneapolis
9. The Sample Room2124 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis
10. Butcher & The Boar1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
This Powderhorn gastropub has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past year or so. But after recovering from a fire that forced them to shutdown, they’re back and just as delicious as ever. The burgers here, served alongside a great beer list, are incredibly flavorful. Buns, made at The Baker’s Wife bakery right next door, do a nice job of soaking up all the meat's juicy deliciousness.
A casual brews and eats joint with tons of taps. They pride themselves on having "some of the best beer in America", so you should probably go and find out.
The Red Cow on 50th Street specializes in fine burgers and specialty sandwiches, made with fresh ingredients and an inventive eye. The burger menu covers a wide range of proteins, always including grass-fed beef, but also including bison, turkey, lamb, and duck depending on availability. Toppings range from the expected (lettuce, cheese, etc) to the extreme (bone marrow, piquillo peppers), but the resulting concoctions are always juicy and delicious. Local Minneapolis beers (plus microbrews from around the country) are in heavy rotation at the bar, but you can also order from a selection of red and white wines, curated specially by the owner.
Moving on up after a recent rent-jacking, the storied Uptown coffeehouse has transformed a storage building down the street into an indoor/outdoor, loft-like wonderland with mismatched vintage dÃ©cor and exposed concrete fronting a full kitchen and bar, all in an effort to create the feel that "an amazing party happened there 80yrs ago", meaning it's probably now safe to show up without looking like you had nothing to do beforehand.
After helping St. Paul see double for years, the man behind beeropolis Muddy Pig is now seeing twos himself with the opening of his first westside jam: Pig & Fiddle, which's stocking a mega-impressive suds stable in the former Pearson's 50th/France digs, and plating "rustic" eats amongst dark wood trimmings and a massive fireplace -- so yeah, get stoked.
From couple behind the culinary genius of The Left Handed Cook comes this graffiti-laden Midtown Global Market eatery. This is one of the best spots to stop in and grab some spicy Korean-inspired bar food and a cold cocktail. You’ll never go wrong with the Harold & Kumar poutine, a slew of house-cut fries, kimchee, onion, parmesan & cheddar cheese, poached egg, pork curry gravy, and, of course, chipotle aioli.
Turning a former dive into a nifty SoMi gastropub by peeling away layers of grime and more or less gutting the rest, Pat's serves craft brews and food amidst a playful backdrop of vintage mechanical skee ball machines and pool, which'd actually be a nice place to cool down after a heated game of skee.
Proving that those greedy, greedy firemen aren't the only ones who can capitalize on a building burning down (getting hosed, indeed!): George & the Dragon, an old-school, dark-wood-heavy neighborhood public house now opening in the formerly smoldering Blackbird space.
The Sample Room's a classy barstaurant with skyline views, serving up twisted takes on classics like Trotter Tots (brasied pork & dijon) and house-made charcuterie and pasta.