The weather up in the Northwoods can be really something else, especially with that lake effect taking hold from Lake Superior and the over 10,000 lakes in the state. To combat that, the Twin Cities make sure to have a lively creative scene, which thankfully fosters some fabulously creative craft brews.
The capital city itself has a number of places to go for some awesome beers, such as:
- Summit Brewing Co.
- Burning Brothers Brewing
- Barrel Theory Beer Company
- Urban Growler Brewing Company
- Bad Weather Brewing Company
- Clutch Brewing Company
- Lake Monster Brewing Company
If new to the area, these sorts of places will really showcase what Minnesota Nice is all about, from their customer service all the way down to the bottom of the barrel.
Saint Paul, Minnesota is the twin sister city of Minneapolis, living just across the river. It’s the capital of the state, even if Minneapolis has a bigger shadow from its gorgeous skyline. So pretty in fact, that it’s often used for filming completely unrelated cities! When the twins aren’t showing off their good looks, they’re dabbling in art, and history, combatting the extreme winters, and using their melting pot status to bring about some excellent food and drink.
Here are some of the best breweries in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Summit Brewing Co.
Summit is hands down the local’s favorite brewery in Saint Paul. It’s to the point that it is nearly unanimous when asking around. While the area has quite a lot of breweries, this one is actually in the city proper and really has the hearts of the locals.
What the locals don’t agree on is what their best beer is, which is saying something! However, for an all-around good drink, try their Twins Pils. It’s an award-winning craft beer that is the Official Hometown Craft Beer for the Minnesota Twins. It’s an unfiltered German Pilsner that’s light and citrusy while also being full-bodied.
Burning Brothers Brewing
Burning Brothers does something so few breweries even attempt: being completely gluten-free. People with digestive issues, coeliac disease, or other similar intolerances deserve to have tasty things too. This is why Burning Brothers have a completely gluten-free establishment, so people can know without a doubt that they are truly what they say they are.
Their “Midway” is an American Lager that is just a good classic. No bells and whistles, nothing fancy. Just a pale, light lager for some smooth sipping without bitterness.
Barrel Theory Beer Company
Barrel Theory has numerous accolades for its quality barrel-aged beer and its top-notch customer service. They put such a focus on quality, that they will refuse to serve anything that they aren’t completely proud of. On their About page, they also have a nifty tidbit about how their name derives from Liebig’s Law of the Minimum. It’s just a cool little fact worth taking a gander at.
While all their beers are definitely something special, check out their Midwestern Exotic if possible. It’s a kettle sour with blood orange, tangerine, peach, and citrus that is really quite flavorful. It’s also a little different from so many other Midwestern drinks while still keeping that homey feel.
Urban Growler Brewing Company
In a profession and hobby dominated by men, Urban Growler is Minnesota’s first women-owned microbrewery. That doesn’t mean that all of their drinks, food, and atmosphere have to be all frilly either. No, they have good food and good beers. They just also happen to be women in the trade.
They supply beers to numerous places around the twin cities and outwards a bit, and even have a series they refer to as Plow to Pint, which is where they get with local farmers in order to get some great seasonal drinks. Outside of that, they have a blended brew called Berry Bell, which is their classic Cowbell blended with Teasource’s Red Berry Tea. That partnership with local companies is just beautiful and tastes great!
Bad Weather Brewing Company
Anyone who has been in Minnesota for any length of time knows that the lake effect loves to make some bitter weather. Those winters are nothing to sneeze at, and the storms can be pretty rough. Bad Weather Brewing capitalizes on this theme while making some fabulous beers and partnering with local food trucks to bring a well-rounded experience, even if the weather outside gets frightful.
They have a rotating beer list but check out Due Date VIII if possible. With an ABV of 10.6%, it isn’t like many of the other beers up in the Northwoods. Be prepared to drink far less of this than most other brews in the area, it’s a Winter Warmer that really will warm up the cold winters.
Clutch Brewing Company
Clutch isn’t just a brewery. It’s also an artistic collaboration in the historic Schmidt Brewery complex complete with a mini museum dedicated to the local brewing history. They also share the keg house with other local entrepreneurs in the craft, making it really a place to go to find new things.
If it happens to be on tap, check Outta’ Style. It’s a hybrid cream pale ale that also combines sweetness with citrus. Not to mention, it’s not like a lot of other local beers that just want things to be only pale, smooth, and relatively weak so that more can drink them. Just don’t get carried away with the low price.
Lake Monster Brewing Company
Minnesota isn’t known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes for nothing. There are lakes everywhere, and people are really proud of them. Lake Monster is a brewery that leans pretty heavily on the classics, only subtly changing them because they can. It gives a soft spin to old classics, but still a good one.
Their Golden Lotus is one of their Belgian Brews, a style that doesn’t crop up all that often in the area. It’s a dry-hopped Belgian Strong Ale that uses both Bohemian Pilsener Malt and Lotus hops as a tasty base for this classic style and comes in a fancy goblet!