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The craft beer industry has seen a surge across the United States, and Minnesota is at it’s heart. With over 200 craft breweries, Minnesota has become a hub for beer enthusiasts and brewers alike. Minnesota is a must-visit location for beer enthusiasts due to the distinctive flavors and locally sourced ingredients of its craft beer scene.
Craft beer in Minnesota has a long heritage originating in the early 1980s with breweries like Summit Brewing Company and Schell’s Brewery. Each setting up what has grown into an energetic industry.
The industry exploded in the 2000s, with the opening of several new breweries. It’s still growing! Today, Minnesota’s craft beer scene is thriving. New breweries are opening regularly.
The new breweries constantly pushing the boundaries and experimenting with different styles and ingredients.
Overview of Minnesota’s best local breweries
Surly Brewing Co. – Minneapolis, MN
Have you ever been to Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis? If you haven’t, where ahve you been?
They’re known for their delicious signature beer, the Furious IPA. It’s bold and hoppy with a flavor profile that’s full of citrus and pine notes.
It’s the beer that packs a punch and leaves a lasting impression (in a good way, of course).
And if you’re worried about finding something to snack on while you sip on your beer, don’t worry. The Furious IPA pairs perfectly with spicy foods like buffalo wings or barbecue ribs. So you can indulge in some delicious snacks while enjoying the perfect beer to wash it all down with.
If you’re ever in Minneapolis, stop by Surly Brewing Company and try their signature beer for yourself. You won’t regret it!
Bent Paddle Brewing Co. – Duluth, MN
If you find yourself in Duluth, you gotta check out the Bent Paddle Brewing Company. Trust me, I’m not just saying that because I’m a beer-loving blogger.
These guys make some seriously tasty brews and offer tours of their brewery, where you can learn about the magic behind their craft. And the best part? You get to taste some of their beer for yourself!
Their Black Ale is a must-try in my books. It’s one of their signature brews, and for good reason. It’s not just flavorful, but it has an extra delicious kick from locally roasted coffee.
I highly recommend pairing it with some chocolate desserts or grilled meats. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you later.
But if black beers are not your thing, don’t worry. Bent Paddle also makes a fantastic Hop Forest IPA, which is a perfect choice for hop-heads. It has a delicate balance of bitter and citrusy flavors that will satisfy your thirst for a refreshing brew.
And after your tour, head over to their taproom, where you can chill with some friends and enjoy a cold one (or two). They even serve food, so grab a bite to eat and make a day out of it. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
Summit Brewing Company – St. Paul, MN
Summit Brewing Company is in St. Paul and offers tours of its brewery on weekends. The tour includes a history of the company and a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process.
Visitors also get to taste some of Summit’s flagship beers, including the Extra Pale Ale and the Great Northern Porter. Signature Beer: Extra Pale Ale – This beer is a crisp and refreshing pale ale with a light hop flavor. It pairs well with seafood or salads.
Indeed Brewing Company – Minneapolis, MN
Indeed Brewing Company is in Minneapolis and offers tours of its brewery. The tour includes a look at the brewing process and a tasting of some of Indeed’s beers, including the Day Tripper Pale Ale and the Mexican Honey Imperial Lager.
The brewery also has a taproom where visitors can enjoy food and drinks. Signature Beer: Day Tripper Pale Ale – This beer is a smooth and balanced pale ale with hints of tropical fruit and citrus. It pairs well with spicy or savory dishes.
Castle Danger Brewery – Two Harbors, MN
Castle Danger Brewery is a real gem in the quaint town of Two Harbors, Minnesota. It’s a family-owned place that’s known for its clean and approachable beers that are easy to drink and enjoy.
One of their standout beers is the Castle Cream Ale, which is smooth, creamy, and just a touch sweet. This is a perfect chose if you want something that’s easy to drink but still has a bit of character to it.
I really love to pair it with grilled meats or creamy pasta dishes for a delicious meal that hits all the right notes. The next time you’re in Two Harbors, be sure to stop by Castle Danger Brewery and sample some of their amazing brews!
Schell’s Brewery – New Ulm
Schell’s Brewery is in New Ulm and offers tours of its historic brewery. The tour takes visitors through the brewery’s history and the brewing process, and includes a tasting of some of Schell’s signature beers, such as the Deer Brand and the Schell’s Pils. The brewery also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase beer and merchandise.
Schell’s signature beer is the Deer Brand Lager, which is a classic American lager with a crisp and clean taste, pairs well with grilled meats, salads, and spicy foods. The brewery also offers a variety of other beers, including German-style lagers and ales, and has a history dating back to 1860.
Modist Brewing Company – Minneapolis
Modist Brewing has gained a reputation for producing innovative beers using unconventional techniques and ingredients.
For example, they use a machine called a “mash filter” that allows them to use grains that are not typically used in traditional brewing methods. This creates beers with a distinctive taste and mouthfeel.
Their signature beer is the Dreamyard IPA, a hazy and juicy beer with notes of tropical fruit and citrus. It pairs well with spicy Thai food and seafood.
Apart from the Dreamyard IPA, the brewery boasts of other flagship beers such as False Pattern, First Call, and Toats.
Some of the other experimental beers include Vanilla Bean Russian Imperial Stout, Fir Tip Double IPA, and Cherry Cola Sour.
The brewery offers a rotation of seasonal and limited-edition beers that highlight different flavors and brewing methods.
Junkyard Brewing Company – Moorhead, MN
Junkyard Brewing Company in Moorhead, Minnesota, is a well-liked microbrewery with experimental beers like the hoppy Wood Chipper IPA and the balanced Rocket Surgery IPA.
The brewery has indoor and outdoor seating and a rotating selection of beers on tap.
Their signature beer is “Hops of Wrath” (American IPA, 6.7% ABV). Tasting notes: Bold and juicy with a smooth finish, notes of grapefruit and pine. Best pared with spicy foods, grilled meats, and strong cheeses.
Bauhaus Brew Labs – Minneapolis, MN
Bauhaus Brew Labs, a brewery located in Minneapolis, is an expert at making exceptional and flavorful beers. Using time-honored techniques and innovative brewing methods.
Their signature beer is the Wonderstuff, which is a crisp, clean, and refreshing lager with a balanced hop character that pairs well with a variety of foods.
Make sure to stop for one of their events and activities, including live music, food trucks, and outdoor games.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative – Minneapolis
Also in Minneapolis, Fair State is a cooperative brewery that focuses on sour beers and IPAs.
Signature beer is Roselle, a hibiscus sour ale with notes of cranberry, citrus, and spice. It pairs well with cheese plates, salads, and grilled meats.
Brewery tours and tastings
Here are some recommendations for brewery tours and tastings:
- Research and plan ahead: Look up the brewery’s website or social media pages to see if they offer tours and tastings, and check their hours and any special events.
- Arrive early: Give yourself plenty of time to find parking, get settled, and start your tour or tasting.
- Bring a designated driver: If you plan on drinking, it’s always a good idea to bring a designated driver or arrange for a ride-share service.
- Try a flight: Many breweries offer flights of their beers, which allow you to sample a variety of different styles and flavors.
- Take notes: If you’re a beer enthusiast, consider bringing a notebook or using a beer rating app to keep track of your favorite brews.
- Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask the brewery staff questions about their beers, their brewing process, or their history.
- Respect the rules: Follow any rules or guidelines set by the brewery, such as not bringing in outside food or drink, or not bringing in pets.
- Have fun: Brewery tours and tastings are a great way to try new beers and learn about the brewing process, so relax and enjoy the experience!
What will you visit first?
Minnesota has a rich and thriving craft beer scene, with a variety of breweries offering unique and flavorful brews. With a long tradition and a passion for quality, these breweries offer an experience that should not be overlooked.
We encourage everyone to explore and support their local breweries to continue the growth of this beloved industry. Cheers to excellent beer and good times!