Minneapolis and Saint Paul are the largest cities in the state of Minnesota. They’re also neighboring cities built around the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers and share the same metropolitan hub and educational, political, and cultural institutions – hence the name Twin Cities.
Minneapolis is the birthplace of the famous pop icon Prince and home to the world’s largest continuous skyway system. The Twin Cities have a thriving craft beer scene. In fact, Saint Paul is home to the Summit Brewing Company, the brewery which jumpstarted the Minnesota craft beer scene.
Best Breweries in the Twin Cities
Twin Cities are home to some of the most popular breweries in Minnesota, such as Summit Brewing Company, Surly Brewing Company, Barrel Theory Beer Company, Bang Brewing, Utepils Brewing, Wild Mind Artisan Ales, and Fair State Brewing Cooperative.
Summit Brewing Company
Summit Brewing is to Saint Paul what Surly Brewing is to Minneapolis. It’s the oldest beer establishment in the city and one of the most popular breweries in Minnesota. Summit Brewing has been pumping out ales and lagers since 1986 and is a giant in the craft beer scene.
The brewery’s signature EPA is the one drink you should definitely try. The brewery has been gracing beer lovers with this popular pale ale since 1986, and it has won several GABF awards. Summit EPA is bronze in color and has caramel and biscuit-y malts, balanced by juicy citrus and earthy hop notes.
Surly Brewing Company
Surly is Minneapolis’s original craft brewery that, together with Summit Brewing, opened the doors for the craft beer scene in Minnesota. It is just as popular today, if not more, and boldly competes with the younger breweries. The taphouse has a rotation of 23 beers on tap, which are rare to find in stores and other locations. The lush green backyard space is huge, with several firepits, a bustling social scene, and even live music!
Check out Surly’s pizza place on the second floor or pick a place on the backyard patio to enjoy a refreshing selection of beers. Try one of the rare and most popular beers, a Russian Imperial stout called Darkness. The special edition comes barrel-aged and has an intense and malty flavor. The barrel maturation results in a velvety and smooth drink with complex flavors of vanilla, cherry, dried fruit, and chocolate!
Bang is one of the most popular breweries in Minnesota, located in an old storage bin in the city’s industrial sector. The locals love it because it focuses on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. The brewery even sources local ingredients and specializes in organic farming! There are growler options for beer enthusiasts, and what makes this place special are the hard-to-find beers that one rarely finds outside of Bang’s famous taproom!
If you’re a fan of American IPAs, then the hoppy strong Bang is a must-try. With a 7% ABV, the Bang is still a pretty well-balanced drink with a good grain complexion, subtle hoppy as well as malty flavors, peach, baked muffin, and earthy notes!
Utepils Brewing Company
Utepils is one of the best breweries in Minneapolis for its outdoor beer garden and European-inspired beers. The brewery is regularly frequented by beer enthusiasts interested in venturing outside the realm of IPAs and pale ales in general. Utepils should be your go-to spot on your beer quest in Twin Cities for refreshing and crisp European-style ales and lagers.
Their altbier and wheat beers are some of the most popular drinks. We recommend the classic Alt 1848 altbier. The delicious German Alt is a 2018 GABF Bronze winner and has a beautiful copper-hued color with a big head. Alt 1848 has nice spicy notes, a bready taste, and a medium-bodied mouthfeel with mild sweetness.
Wild Mind Artisan Ales
Wild Mind Artisan Ales boasts a humongous 10-foot screen and is the best spot in town to catch a game. The brewery is famous for quality beer and artisanal, quirky, and funky styles that they apply to all varieties, from hazy IPAs to sour blends. There’s even a rotating selection of food trucks for some well-needed pub grub to pair with popular beers.
Fall is one of the best beers offered by Wild Mind. It’s a black IPA brewed using roasted barley, malted oats, caramel, and chocolate malts. The beer is fermented with Voss Kviek and uses a blend of Citra, Simcoe, and Centennial hops that impart piney and juicy citrus notes on a smooth chocolate base. It’s the perfect winter beer that can also be enjoyed during the summer!
Barrel Theory Beer Company
Located in the bustling neighborhood of Lowertown, St. Paul, Barrel Theory is well-known for its aesthetic brick-walled taproom and unusually unique beers, including kettle-soured ales, fruity stouts, and even colada beer! With the recognition that Barrel Theory is gaining, it has successfully become one of the most popular breweries in Minnesota.
Rain Drops and Dark Helmet are some of the most enjoyable drinks at Barrel Theory. Our favorite is the Rain Drops, a hazy IPA dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops. The orange-colored beer is just superb, refreshing, and crushable. You might not even realize and slam 5 of these bad boys in no time!
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Fair State is one of the best breweries in Minneapolis, or maybe it’s THE best one – the one that tops the list. Visiting Fair State is a must whenever you’re in the Twin Cities. It has some of the most wildly popular IPAs in the city. However, the reason it’s so popular is that Fair State Brewing is great at all things beer, whether it’s flagship pilsners, blended sours, or the highly-lauded hazy IPAS. Oh, and did we mention it’s a 1500-member cooperative?
We did tell you to watch out for those hazy IPAs. Fair State has brewed some of the best hazy beers over the years, and we could write a whole blog about them. But today we’re going to name just one – Mirror Universe. This hazy IPA has become the brewery’s most popular drink in 2022; you won’t understand until you try it! The double dry-hopped hazy IPA is brewed using a wicked blend of Eldorado, Citra, and Mosaic hops, which balance the oatmeal and creamy malt flavor.