Burgers and brews are as deeply Ingrained in Minnesota’s summertime DNA as swatting mosquitoes and swarming to the lakes. So rather than revisit the staples you already know and love (Matt’s Bar, Convention Grill, Grain Belt) we’ve surveyed the newcomers who are evolving our burger/brew ritual.
The past few years have seen a surge of innovation from local chefs and brewers to improve on the classics at new restaurants and tap rooms. The “2.0” burger might be made with grass-fed, house-ground beef, or topped with fried eggs and foie gras and pork belly, or slathered with herb aioli and truffle Bordelaise. Whatever the details, they’re all elevating the humble staple to the status of gourmet entrée.
The same story applies to beer. After the Surly Bill passed in 2011, a boom of microbrewers exploded onto the scene, led by the bill’s namesake, which opened the largest beer hall in the state. Each of these new brewers has taken its own unique approach to the ambiance it cultivates and the beer it crafts, and the overall effect has seen the quality of your average pint improving at an exponential rate (in fact, in the few short weeks we were writing this guide, we learned three more new breweries were on tap). We’ve had so many new stouts, IPAs, and gluten-free brews, we can’t even remember how Budweiser tastes. But that’s what it took to give you the Twin Cities’ best.