7 Minneapolis Breweries to Visit

Have a flight at some of the best breweries in the Twin Cities.

U.S. News & World Report

7 Minneapolis Breweries to Visit

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co.

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co. houses a family-friendly taproom with a focus on Belgian and farmhouse ales.(Courtesy of Bill Hickey)

In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the craft brewery scene is booming. "It's almost like you can't throw a stone without hitting a brewery," says Lisa Heath, W insider at the W Minneapolis - The Foshay. Indeed, ever since 2011, after a Prohibition-era law was tossed out and newly signed legislation allowed breweries to sell pints of their beer in-house, Minnesota breweries have busted out everywhere.

Today, taproom tasting has become a popular local pastime. Still, with so many options, where's a visitor to begin? U.S. News asked some of the city's experts to share a few of their favorite brew-sampling spots.

Surly Brewing Co.

Surly Brewing Co.(Courtesy of Surly Brewing Company)

"One of the top breweries to visit would be Surly Brewing Co.," says Kristen Montag, senior public relations and communications manager at Meet Minneapolis, the city's tourism association. Instrumental in passing the legislation that jump-started the whole Twin Cities taproom business, Surly has since morphed into a massive beer destination, she says – with a 50,000-square-foot complex that's still packing in crowds, collecting awards and offering one of the best brewery tours around.

Located in the Prospect Park area of Minneapolis, its mega beer hall serves up some 24 Surly beers on tap as well as a full menu of top-notch food. Beer hall hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Daily brewery tours are $5 when you sign up on-site.

Fulton Brewing Co.

"One of my favorites, without a doubt, is Fulton," says Kirk Williams, concierge at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Beer lovers and baseball fans flock to the laid-back North Loop taproom. Its proximity to Target Field makes it a popular pre- and post-Minnesota Twins baseball game stop. Founded by homebrewers operating from a south Minneapolis garage in 2006, Fulton Brewing Co. nowadays sells its Lonely Blonde across the Upper Midwest.

Its production has expanded to a second off-site brewery in northeast Minneapolis, with eight times the square footage of the downtown location. Still, the experimental beers and taproom exclusives are produced and poured in the downtown facility first. Food trucks nearby feed brewerygoers whether they're sitting inside or on the chill patio. It's open during all Twins home games. When the team isn't playing, hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. It's closed Monday. Currently, the brewery isn't giving tours.

Dangerous Man Brewing Co.

Dangerous Man Brewing Co.(Courtesy of Max Lee)

Housed in a former bank in northeast Minneapolis, Dangerous Man Brewing Co. has been a Twin Cities hot spot and local favorite since it opened in 2013. On weekends, it's crazy crowded, with lines out the door. High-quality and thick, hoppy small-batch beers are one of its fortes, including its "really fantastic Peanut Butter Porter," Heath says. "They sell it in growlers, and it sells out within hours almost every single day that they have it."

Concentrating on its beer selection and forgoing food service, Dangerous Man Brewing is located near some of northeast Minneapolis' best eateries. The brewery provides takeout menus and encourages visitors to eat at the communal tables in its small, friendly space. The taproom is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. It's closed Monday. Currently, the brewery is not giving tours.

Indeed Brewing Co.

Tucked in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, Indeed Brewing Co. is definitely one of the more popular breweries in the Twin Cities, says Michael Mckenzie, bellman at the Hilton Minneapolis. Beer drinkers come for the sunlit taproom and dog-friendly patio as much as for the craft brews.

With 16 tap lines to choose from and a food truck always nearby, it's a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon – whether sipping Indeed's signature Day Tripper Pale Ale or sampling a brew like Mexican Honey Imperial Lager. The taproom is open Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. It's closed Monday and Tuesday. It offers free tours on Saturdays, though advance online registration is required.

Bad Weather Brewing Co.

"Untethered and Unpredictable," just like Minnesota's weather, is how Bad Weather Brewing Co. in St. Paul's West Seventh neighborhood describes its ales. The industrial-style taproom is super family-friendly, and is as popular for its free vintage arcade games and outdoor patio (where cornhole is always set up), as it is for its dozen-plus noteworthy beers.

All of Bad Weather's brews have weather-related names: Its flagship Windvane, a red IPA, "stands strong through all types of weather and is a great fit for all seasons," according to its description. Migration, a seasonal blonde ale, is "brewed for the calm before the storm." Inside, the brewery has menus from local spots that deliver, and outside, food trucks are parked near the patio most days. The taproom is open Monday through Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Free tours are available on weekends, and advance online registration is required.

Summit Brewing Co.

The iconic Summit Brewing Co., also in the West Seventh neighborhood, is a St. Paul brewery standby that has been turning out award-winning beers like its Summit Extra Pale Ale and Summit Great Northern Porter since 1986, Montag says. The full lineup (approximately a dozen) can be tasted in its huge beer hall and taproom – a big group gathering spot for families and friends.

The place is filled with communal tables and in warm weather, the outdoor patio is always popular. A changing array of food trucks feeds the masses. Beer hall and taproom hours are Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. Free tours are available Tuesday through Saturday. Tour hours vary, and reservations are required.

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co.

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co.(Courtesy of Bill Hickey)

Located in the Loring Park neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, Lakes & Legends Brewing Co. encompasses the first floor of a luxury rental high-rise. The sprawling space houses a family-friendly taproom with a focus on Belgian and farmhouse ales. Many of its patrons live within walking distance, and dogs are welcome inside, which gives the whole place a genuine community vibe.

Filled with large rustic tables, Adirondack chairs and even some artificial turf, the brewery makes a great wintertime retreat as well. "You can play lawn games year-round," Mckenzie says. "It's really fun." Local food trucks are parked outside Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The taproom is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. It's closed Monday. Free tours are available by appointment, generally on Fridays and weekends.

To experience more of what Minneapolis-St. Paul has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.

Donna Tabbert Long, Contributor

Donna Tabbert Long is an award-winning freelance travel journalist and photographer. Her work ...  Read more

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