11 Breweries to Visit in Minnesota
No matter where you are traveling in the state, Minnesota is teeming with acclaimed craft breweries
Photo Courtesy Lake Monster Brewing
Everyone knows about the Minnesota brewing giants Surly, Summit, and Schell’s but what other breweries should be on your list? Whether you’re hoping to explore a newer or smaller brewery in the metro area or venture off away to the northern or southern parts of the state, we have some suggestions for you.
Lake Monster Brewing
Located on Vandalia St., just north of I-94, Lake Monster Brewing is tucked away in a back corner, right next to St. Paul Neighborhood Network. In the summer, Lake Monster’s patio is always hopping, with yard games and food trucks that make regular appearances, but the breweries’ open indoor space makes for a cozy place to drink beer no matter what time of year it is. Enjoy twists on classic beer styles with monster- and lake-themed names like Serpent Saison, Monster SMASH 11.0, Empty Rowboat IPA, and Calhoun Claw Pilsener.
Broken Clock Brewing Co-Op
Broken Clock Brewing Co-Op is the second brewery cooperative in Minnesota (the first being Fair State Brewing Co-Op) and while the co-op has been selling crowlers to liquor stores and kegs to restaurants for a couple of years now, its taproom in Northeast Minneapolis is new—like 3-weeks-old “new"—complete with a custom-built kids area and an ADA bar counter, with the goal of welcoming and serving every guest that walks through the door. Try the popular 2Brew (a coffee kolsch) or the Minute Man, Broken Clock’s take on the New England IPA.
Finnegans Brew Co.
If you haven’t been to Finnegans’ new downtown Minneapolis location yet, put it on the top of your list. Centered around the idea of “barstool philanthropy,” Finnegans is the first beer company in the world to donate 100 percent of its profits to local charities, with an emphasis on fighting hunger. The new space consists of the taproom (or course) and production facility on the first floor, the Brewer’s Den (Finnegans’ social club) on the second floor, some event space on the third floor, and Finnegans’ Finnovation Lab (an entrepreneur co-working space in partnership through Impact Hub MSP) on the fourth. Crazy, right? Located right in Elliot Park in downtown Minneapolis, it’s definitely a doable happy hour location if you’re in the area.
As Duluth’s original brewpub, Fitger’s Brewhouse prides itself in serving up superb burgers (including its famous Wild Rice burgers) alongside award-winning brews, handcrafted in small batches with pure Lake Superior water. Fans of darker beers will swoon over the ever-popular Big Boat Oatmeal Stout (available on nitro) and if you make a visit this fall, make sure you try the Devil’s Track Pumpkin, Fitger’s seasonal pumpkin/yam beer.
Just across the river from Duluth in Superior, WI, Earth Rider is small, new (they celebrated their first birthday in September), and impressive, and serves up some of the best beer in the Twin Ports. Head over to Cedar Lounge, home to the official Earth Rider Brewery taproom, and try the Superior Pale Ale or one of its sour ales including Raspbecrush and Crisp High Five, a collaboration with Dangerous Man Brewing.
Revelation Ale Works
Located in Hallock (pop. 908), Revelation Ale Works opened its doors one and a half years ago by brothers Ryan and Josh Evenson. Revelation Ale Works has a simple goal: create the best brews for beer drinkers everywhere—even in the out-of-the-way places. You can find the taproom in the remodeled historic Johnson Standard Building in downtown Hallock. Try the grapefruit hazy pale ale, the Revelation IPA (American style) or the blonde ale if you enjoy your libations with a little less hop.
Disgruntled Brewing, located right off Highway 10 in Perham makes a promise to every visitor that walks through its doors—you might be in a bad mood when you walk in, but you’ll leave with a smile on your face. Try Toasted Blonde, Disgruntled’s take on the American Blonde Ale, or Two-Tarted, a Berliner Weisse sour.
Copper Trail Brewing Co.
As Alexandria’s only brewery (it has had four throughout its history—the last brewery closed its doors 70-something years ago), Copper Trail Brewing Co. has strived to offer only the best for the city’s residents and all of its out-of-town visitors alike. Stop by for a Midwest Midnight (a milk chocolate stout), Indigo Wheat (a blueberry wheat ale), or Hopper Trail (American IPA), and order some pizza, too, while you’re at it.
Beaver Island Brewing
If you’re in the St. Cloud area, Beaver Island Brewing is a necessary stop. It snagged No. 40 on the Brewers Association’s 2017 List of Fastest Growing Breweries and it’s easy to see why with its popular year round brews like Sweet Miss (chocolate oatmeal stout), and ’39 (red IPA) and its tending for a cause program where local celebrities tend for local charities.
Lost Sanity Brewing
Named as the best brewery in Southern Minnesota for 2018 by Southern Minn Scene, Lost Sanity Brewing was created by father/son duo Caleb and Doug Fenske after honing their brewing skills for numerous years. Located in Madelia, 20 miles south of New Ulm, Lost Sanity serves nine beers at all times with five year round brews and four rotating. Try the Manic Black Lager, Batty Belgian Blonde, or the Full Pulp IPA if you’re in the mood for a Hazy & Juicy NEIPA.
Oswald Brewing Co.
Located in downtown Blue Earth in an old bank building, Oswald Brewing Co. is just over two years old and features seven craft beers at all times with Nordic-themed names like Fjord Farm Ale, Berserker NPA (Norwegian Pale Ale) and Erik the Red. At Oswald Brewing Co., people might come for the beer but they stay for the hospitality and friendly atmosphere owners John and Tami Oswald have created.