Munich in Minnesota
Local Oktoberfest beers go head-to-head
Summit Brewing OktoberfestThis full-bodied brew surprises with its bold bite and bitter finish. Some tasters complained of its harshness and off-putting “smoked fish” aroma, but the way its spunkiness mellowed into a rich, sustaining flavor ultimately won over the majority.
August Schell OctoberfestThe favorite among light-beer drinkers, this sweet, almost fruity beer (were those hints of pumpkin we detected?) goes down easy and finishes smooth. Testers who prefer a more robust beer, though, tired of it before they finished their glasses.
Best Beer ListsHit these brewpubs and restaurants for your favorite fermented libation
Barley John’s Brew PubThis casual tavern is so devoted to brewing, the owners grow their own hops. There are a number of house brews on tap—try the nutty-tasting Wild Brunette, made from wild rice—plus eight guest beers and growlers to go. • 781 Old Hwy. 8 SW, New Brighton, 651-636-4670
Black Forest InnThe German restaurant serves many European specialty beers, plus a few local selections. • 1 E. 26th St., Mpls., 612-872-0812
The Bulldog NEA northeast newcomer, the Bulldog offers a rotating selection of 24 tap beers plus an impressive assortment of high-end Belgian beers. • 401 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-378-2855
The Eichten BistroThis rural roadside restaurant specializes in Belgian beers and offers a selection of reserves rarely seen in the United States. • 16440 Lake Blvd., Center City, 651-257-1566
Gasthof zur GemütlichkeitA boisterous beer hall featuring 11 German brews on tap, all available to drink in two-liter glass boots. • 2300 University Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-781-3860
Great Waters Brewing CompanyCask-conditioned brews (no artificial carbonation) are made on-site in the historic Hamm Building. • 426 Saint Peter St., St. Paul, 651-224-2739
The Happy GnomeA cozy gastropub offering more than 150 brews—including Bermuda Triangle, a Belgian tripel-style ale from St. Paul’s Flat Earth Brewing Company. • 498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-287-2018
This hipster hangout brews half a dozen German-style ales and lagers. Try the Sky Pilot Kellerbier, an unfiltered pilsner that snagged a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. • 2922 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-0101
The Herkimer Pub and Brewery
The Muddy PigA vintage pub serving more than 100 brews, including 32 draft beers and lots of Belgians. • 162 Dale St., St. Paul, 651-254-1030