Food & Drink

The 8 best brewpubs and taprooms in the Twin Cities

Published On 03/05/2014 Published On 03/05/2014

Ever since the 2011 Surly legislation, brewpubs and taprooms have been popping up all over the metro area. And yes, there is a difference between a brewpub and a taproom, having to do with things like whether or not they serve food or are allowed to serve liquor, but it's all very complicated and you just want to drink beer, right? Right. So let's get on with this rundown of eight places where you can drink incredible, unique, on-site brewed beers.

The Herkimer

The Herkimer Pub & Brewery
The Herkimer's been around since 1999, but it's only just recently that they've started brewing their own suds, with nine house-brewed beers on tap -- all of them delicious. The Lutz West Coast IPA has gained a loyal following for its intense, hoppy aroma, reddish hue, and lengthy stint writing for TGS. If you can still move after a plate of honey-glazed chicken & waffles, there's a patio bags set and a weekly shuffleboard league.

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
West Bank
One of the city's more established brewpubs, the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery has made a name for themselves with their Black H20 Oatmeal Stout and their Masala Mama IPA. Keep an eye on their website for new beer releases, because seasonal and special taps go fast. Also worth mentioning: the menu includes four different beer bread preparations.

Day Block Brewing

Day Block Brewing
On a block filled with new kids, Day Block is perhaps the newest (so... Joey McIntyre?). Like most other brewpubs, Day Block features a constantly changing menu of fresh taps. Their Black IPA has an intense character to it… and 8% ABV. Drinkers looking for something a little less ambitious will appreciate Frank's Red Ale -- the perfect, refreshing after-work beer. Sustenance-wise, they're deep on specialty pizzas like the Vietnamese-inspired, cleverly named Banh Mizza.

Fulton Brewery
Target Field
Even though Fulton's brews have been in stores (and other bars) for years, their tap room's still well worth a visit. Fans will appreciate the classics like Sweet Child of Vine and Lonely Blonde, but the real joy of the tap room is checking out pints of less common concoctions like the seasonal Expat, a bubbly take on a zesty farmhouse ale. Fulton's sunny patio is especially popular before Twins games, though typically more in need AFTER Twins games. Even though Fulton doesn't serve food, they've partnered with a host of incredible food trucks that regularly post up right outside.

Last but certainly not least of the Northeast taprooms, 612 features an expansive indoor seating area and patio. Brew freaks will especially love scoping the great views of 612's state-of-the-art beer gear. 612 has a whole array of drinks on tap, but drinkers looking for something a bit more unique will gravitate to the Shere Khan, an 8% ABV number that features subtle hints of saffron and cardamom. Exotic!

Dangerous Man Brewing
Dangerous Man is another brewer who has chosen to forgo food service in order to focus on their outstanding selection of beers. The Chocolate Milk stout is, in particular, a show stopper. And with thick, hoppy goodness like that, who needs a food menu? The Coffee Porter is also a great after-work pick-me-up. Drink some of each and you have a mocha in your belly.

Indeed Brewing Company
You might recognize the name from the liquor store where their signature psychedelic 12oz cans have made waves in the craft beer sphere. The Day Tripper is a refreshing treat to enjoy on their patio in the warmer months, while the Midnight Ryder serves as the perfect counterpart during the colder seasons (aka, most of them). Check their website for their lineup of visiting food trucks.

Great Waters

Great Waters Restaurant and Brewing Co.
St. Paul
Great Waters dominates the St. Paul brewpub scene, and makes for a fine place to grab a drink before a Wild game. The classic house beer is the Brown Trout Brown Ale, but more adventurous drinkers will appreciate the Invidia Barley Wine which sports an "intense malty" flavor and a whopping 9.9% ABV. Great Waters also rocks an extensive menu deep with pub eats like spicy jerk-rubbed Rasta Wings.

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1. Day Block Brewing Company 1105 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415 (Downtown)

Day Block features a rotating menu of hand-crafted beer, but its the extensive menu of over-the-top pizza that really sets the Minneapolis brewery apart from the rest. Instead of plain ole' pies like pepperoni, Day Block tosses up crazy combinations, like the Taco Truck pizza that's topped with all the fixins of a carnitas taco and the Vietnamese pork Banh Mizza.

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2. The Herkimer Pub & Brewery 2922 Lyndale Ave S, , MN 55408 (Uptown)

Uptown’s first brewpub, known for their selection of killer taps and comfort pub food.

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3. Town Hall Brewery 1430 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis , MN 55454 (West Bank)

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.

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4. Fulton Brewery 414 6th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (Downtown)

What began as a homebrewing operation in a one car garage has expanded into a full-blown enterprise. The taproom at Fulton is open every weekend, which is perfect for everyone who doesn't work on the weekend. And if you do work on the weekend, growler sales are also available. It looks like they've thought of everything, because they have!

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5. 612Brew 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413 (Northeast)

Located in The Broadway, a historic building with exposed brick interiors and a polished concrete floor, 612Brew has exactly the kind of atmosphere you'd want in a brewery and taproom. Enjoy the year-round staples and seasonal offerings inside, or take your brews out to the patio and bask in the glory of fresh-air drinking.

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6. Dangerous Man Brewing Company 1300 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

Dangerous Man is our favorite type of gathering spot: great beer and a comfortable, warm atmosphere for groups or chatting up someone new. There are 12 rotating beers on tap behind the reclaimed wood bar that endeavor to cover the four major bases … hoppy, light, dark, and strong. For strong we vote for the malty, 10.4% Belgian Golden Strong and for hoppy the citrusy House IPA is smooth and bitter. There’s no kitchen, so feel free to bring your own food or order from one of the takeout places nearby. If you’re looking to take something home, stop by the growler shop next door for your beer mongering pleasures.

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7. Indeed Brewing Company 711 15th Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413 (Northeast)

Indeed is all about community from the fun-loving feel of its warehouse taproom and charming patio to its dedication to community outreach. There are frequently events going on like festivals with food and music to simple flight nights where you can sample some of the beers ranging from the hoppy flagship Midnight Ryder black IPA, to the highly drinkable Session Sour #3, to the formidable specialty Rum King imperial stout. Indeed hosts a rotating list of food trucks so that you can soak up those higher ABV beers with the likes of O’Cheeze’s gourmet grilled cheeses. Pro tip: it has a handy beer calendar on its website so you can easily tell when seasonal beers will be on tap.

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8. Great Waters Restaurant And Brewing Co. 426 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102 (Downtown St Paul)

A great place to grab a drink before a Wild game, Great Waters is a staple in the St Paul brewpub scene. The classic house beer is the Brown Trout Brown Ale, but more adventurous drinkers will appreciate the Invidia Barley Wine which sports an "intense malty" flavor and a whopping 9.9% ABV. Great Waters also rocks an extensive menu, championed by hits like the Rasta Wings, a spicy Jamaican Jerk chicken.



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