The Best Craft Taprooms

Jason and Joy choose their favorite spots to grab a pint

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers

Jason’s Picks:

Craft beer taprooms are the coffee shops and the diners of this generation. It’s not only about the quality of the beer, it’s about the gathering space, the community. A lot of you are worried that we’ve hit “peak tap room,” but I think we’re only getting started.

Indeed Brewing Co.

photo by allen brisson-smith

Indeed Brewing Company: It’s been nearly five years since the launch of this Northeast Minneapolis taproom, with its stunning, custom-built bar. Look for the brewers to riff on the mainstays, creating milk stout infused with smoked pineapple, or Day Tripper with coffee. (Northeast Minneapolis)

Excelsior Brewing Co.: Take adorable downtown Excelsior, add live music, 16 tap lines, and a great patio and you can’t really go wrong. You can get their classic XLCR American Pale Ale, of course, but they also make seven-keg small batches of experimental beers such as Imperial Red or a nitrogen-infused brown ale. (Excelsior)

Joy’s Picks:

What I’m looking for in a taproom is fairly rudimentary: I just want a dark beer and fun atmosphere. I am a simple girl, after all.

612Brew: In the warmer months, this Northeast Minneapolis brewery has a fantastic outdoor space that’s great for live music. Inside, the mural by iconic local artist Adam Turman and friendly folks behind the bar make it just right for settling in for a pint of Unrated or two. (Northeast Minneapolis)

Bent Paddle: Duluth has some of the best water in the world and that makes Bent Paddle’s beer all the better. I love every brew I’ve tasted in this no-frills taproom in an industrial part of town. (Duluth)