Craft beer’s meteoric rise over the past decade here in the Twin Cities should come as no surprise as Minneapolis and St. Paul were both bursting with breweries post-Prohibition. The industry’s re-emergence didn’t truly transpire until former Governor Mark Dayton signed the now-celebrated Surly Bill in 2011. Once the state’s few breweries were officially able to legally sell pints of beer on-site, everyone and their mother began to hatch plans to open a taproom. The Minneapolis and St. Paul brewery scene has reached its pinnacle as the wheat has seemingly separated itself from the chaff. While it’s not as if the metro’s beer drinkers recently had a shared epiphany, we like to think that the cream has finally, officially risen to the top as we plod ahead into 2020. A few months back, we shared our three favorite Northeast Minneapolis taprooms—now it’s St. Paul’s turn. And, luckily for you, Minnestay’s luxuriant vacation rentals are just a short drive from the very best St. Paul breweries.
Barrel Theory Beer Company
Perhaps, by now, you’ve caught wind of Lowertown’s Barrel Theory Beer Company, which was rightfully awarded the Best New Brewery in America by USA Today. As you might imagine, barrel aging takes months, sometimes years. So, when Barrel Theory opened their sleek yet pleasantly homely taproom in 2017, many of their kegs were filled with a revolutionary new beer style (or, at least it was “new” here in Minnesota): the New England-style IPA, now commonly labeled hazy IPA. And the rest is history. Today, you can likely spot head brewer Timmy Johnson sporting a Boston Red Sox cap, admiring his craft, among fellow staff members who have effectively created an inviting, bar-like atmosphere, despite the $7 and $8 pours. In 2019, Johnson and his brew crew have crafted two of the tastiest beers known to humankind: the aptly-named Thirst Trap and reoccurring favorite, Brewer’s Tricks.
Black Stack Brewing
Two St. Paul breweries reign supreme, according to Untappd’s community of beer nerds (ourselves included): the aforementioned Barrel Theory and Black Stack Brewing, a massive, exotic plant-filled taproom located in a once-forgotten industrial neighborhood on Prior Avenue. You’ll be happy to hear the boys and girls at Barrel Theory and Black Stack collaborate on occasion, most notably It’s Complicated, a fruity, dank double IPA that we still dream about intermittently. In fact, a member of the Black Stack team delivered approximately six four-packs of pounders to the Barrel Theory crew on Christmas Eve—there’s a lot of admiration here between the teams that lesser St. Paul breweries could learn from. OK, back to Black Stack’s tasty collection of mouthwatering hazy IPAs. The Local 755, despite its many award-worthy spin-offs, is the best beer they’ve crafted to date. Oh, and the wondrous Can Can Wonderland is situated in the basement below.
Clutch Brewing Co.
So, Clutch Brewing narrowly thwarted a slew of spectacular St. Paul breweries, including the three honorable mentions listed below. While Clutch is fairly new to the capital city, its idyllic locale inside the visually-striking Keg and Case is simply unmatched. Keg and Case delightfully reminds us of RiNo’s Zeppelin Station in Denver, because who wouldn’t want to devour a brisket sandwich while shopping for exotic mushrooms and Turkish delights? Clutch’s beer always seems to possess an element of surprise, whether that’s the Exhaustdead black IPA’s glorious smokiness or the subtle white wine notes in the Hefe”wine”zen.
Honorable Mentions: 3 Bonus St Paul Breweries
St. Paul Brewing (formally known as Flat Earth) boasts the most interesting taproom and patio in the state, thanks to its worn locale inside the old Hamm’s Brewery. Bad Weather Brewing Company is within walking distance of the Xcel Energy Center and features the prettiest murals in town (shout-out to Lucas Gluesenkamp). Waldmann Brewery, meanwhile, is quite literally a stone’s throw from Bad Weather—oh, and it’s located inside the oldest surviving commercial building in the Twin Cities. The only other local brewery that rivals Waldmann’s old-style lagers is Utepils Brewing, a bustling Bryn Mawr favorite. Before departure, don’t forget to take a long look at the Growler’s meticulously-compiled St. Paul brewery map.
Luxurious Minneapolis Vacation Rentals
After a little research, you’ll likely notice that a lot of the best breweries in St. Paul reside on or near 7th Street. Having so many taprooms along one street does make it agreeably easy for designated drivers who’re from out-of-town. Minnestay, meanwhile, has one of the largest collections of vacation rentals in the Twin Cities, including Minneapolis’ North Loop, Lake Minnetonka, and posh Edina. To book well-deserved staycation or long-overdue Midwest escape, please give us a call today at 612-216-5511.