13 Minnesota Breweries to Visit During the Craft Brewers Conference
The Craft Brewers Conference takes place at the Minneapolis Convention Center from May 2nd-5th. There will be a large contingent of craft beer industry professionals descending on our land of 10,000 beers. For many of these folks, the three reference points that they will have for Minnesota is the movie Fargo, crippling professional sports ineptitude, and the birthplace of the “Juicy Lucy” burger. Well, we are more than that. In fact, when it comes to beer, we are a fast-growing craft beer destination with a lot to be proud of.
Here are 13 breweries located within the boundaries of a 20 minute Lyft ride of the conference. These breweries are all producing quality beers with a range of flavors and styles to hit every beer geek’s palate where it counts.
Town Hall Brewery-Minneapolis Seven Corners
Town Hall Brewery (1430 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454) is the “OG” of the Minneapolis beer scene. They brew the beers that brewers want to drink. Their food is delicious and the brewpub is located just on the outskirts of downtown Minneapolis. My personal favorite beers include their Dortmunder lager, Masala Mama IPA, and if they have it on tap, barrel-aged Six Hour Tour. However, everything they have will be satisfactory to even the most discerning of palates. If you are looking to change up the pace, their bourbon selection is nothing short of eye-popping.
Arbeiter Brewing Company-South Minneapolis
Located in South Minneapolis and easily accessible by bus or light rail from the Convention Center, Arbeiter Brewing (3038 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406) is brewing lager beers, hoppy beers, malty beers, and sour beers all in an environment of inclusivity and love. For CBC, they have a collaboration beer on that was brewed with Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls Brewing releasing on May 2nd. They will also be releasing a beer brewed in collaboration with Brewing Change Collaborative on Wednesday, May 4th called Cool Jazz. In addition to these special beers, their regular lineup is full of wonderfully crisp lagers and palate-rousing hoppy beers. The space is amazing and the people behind the beer are even better.
Bad Weather Brewing-West 7th Street St. Paul
Bad Weather Brewing Company (414 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102) is in St. Paul and the plethora of styles featured on their taps is nothing short of spectacular. I tend to show up for their lagers, which are damn-near peerless in Minnesota. they also have a list of hoppy beers that will satiate the hopheads. Where Bad Weather shines for me is their malty offerings. Their Ominous (brown ale), Cauld Weather (Wee Heavy), Calamity (Imperial Stout), and Pub Ale are all delicious and memorable. The taproom is spacious and within walking distance of so many great places to eat.
Dual Citizen Brewing Company-St. Paul Midway
Dual Citizen Brewing Company (725 Raymond Ave, St Paul, MN 551140 is located right where Minneapolis turns into St. Paul on University Avenue. It is 100 feet, give or take, from a green line light rail stop. While they specialize in hoppy beers, they also have some wonderful crips and flavorful lagers if you are trying to make it a marathon and not a sprint. Do yourself a favor and plan to eat here. They have a wonderful relationship with The Naughty Greek next door and their gyros are life-changing.
Venn Brewing Company-South Minneapolis
Located directly at the 46th Avenue light rail stop on the blue line, Venn Brewing (3550 E 46th St Suite 140, Minneapolis, MN 55406) is a local gem has a great variety of well-made beers. If spring arrives in time for the CBC, you will love their patio. Venn Brewing has something for everyone and you will not be disappointed. Their proximity to culinary delights in South Minneapolis is another good reason to have them on your list. In fact, if you pop on the light rail and head further south, you will find Minnehaha Falls and Sea Salt Eatery. Sea Salt has an expertly curated tap list if you want some delicious fish tacos and some other local brews.
BlackStack Brewing-St. Paul Midway
If you have a dream journal sitting by your night stand that is 87% filled with entries that have the term “dry-hopped” in the title, BlackStack Brewing (755 Prior Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104) is the brewery where you will want to go. BlackStack specializes in NEIPAs. The Local 755 is the best beer they brew, in my opinion. Their tap list leans heavily into heavily-hopped IPAs, DIPAs, & Triple IPAs. They were among the first breweries in St. Paul to foray into the beer slushies. Lately, they have been putting more lagers on to add some balance to their hop-heavy beer lineup. The brewery is located a short walk north of the green line, so it is very easy to access.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative-Northeast Minneapolis
Fair State Brewing Cooperative (2506 NE Central Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55418) is arguably one of the top five breweries in Minnesota. Not only are their beers made with quality and consistency, they tend to really be on the forefront of new and exciting beer styles. It also doesn’t hurt that they are in the epicenter of every cuisine one could possibly desire. I would direct you to Chimborazo, MOMO Sushi, and El Taco Riendo for a variety of flavorful cuisines done well.
Utepils Brewery-North Minneapolis
If you are looking for a laundry list of classic styles, Utepils Brewery (225 Thomas Ave N #700, Minneapolis, MN 55405) is your place. Spacious and located just outside of Minneapolis, Utepils is akin to Wayfinder Brewing, Dovetail Brewery, and Bierstadt Brewing for context to those of you visiting from far afield. The only hazy beer you will find here is their award-winning Hefeweizen. They don’t have trendy beers, instead, they provide quality examples of beers we all want to drink.
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company-Downtown Minneapolis
Lakes & Legends (1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403) is the closest brewery to the Minneapolis Convention Center. They will be featuring several collaboration beers brewed specifically for the conference. This is a good place to start and figure out where you might be going for the rest of your evening. If you are staying nearby, this is also a good place for a nightcap. Their beers have improved greatly since they opened several years ago thanks to a brewing team that cares passionately about making good beer.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company-Northeast Minneapolis
Dangerous Man Brewing Company (1300 NE 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55413) set the bar in Minnesota for what a successful taproom-only model can be. Their flavors and beers are heads and shoulders above 95% of the other breweries in the state.
The ownership prioritizes hiring great people, with strategies such as sustainable recruiting, as the foundation for success. You won’t find a better brewery staff in Minneapolis. They walk the line between classics and trends with their beer. The chocolate milk stout is a mainstay, but they also get wild and wacky with beer soft-serve. It gets crowded here in a hurry, so go early!
Modist Brewing Company-North Loop Minneapolis
Modist Brewing Company (505 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401) just celebrated their 6th anniversary. Their unique brewhouse allows them to go where others can’t when it comes to how they coax amazing flavors and textures out of grain. They are located blocks from Target Field in the North Loop. From there, you can easily hit 3 other breweries and a cidery. There is also an overwhelming number of places to eat or grab a cocktail nearby. If you are going for swanky, hit up the Hewing Hotel. If you want casual, Cuzzy’s is also close. The point being, you really can make this area an entire evening of eating and drinking in Minneapolis if you choose.
Falling Knife Brewing-Northeast Minneapolis
Falling Knife Brewing (783 Harding St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413) has some of the better Hazy IPAs in Minneapolis. Located on the edges of Northeast Minneapolis, this brewery is worth a stop. It is close to several other breweries that are also worth your time. I really think that they have one of the best German Pilsners in the city in their Freischütz. If they have the Tomm’s on, it is an easy-drinking crusher that can be a much-needed palate cleanser.
HeadFlyer Brewing Company-Northeast Minneapolis
HeadFlyer Brewing Company (861 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414) is a great place to grab a beer in Northeast Minneapolis. HeadFlyer is a popular place to visit in the midst of a Northeast Minneapolis brewery tour. They are a triple threat when it comes to beer styles because they cover hoppy, malty, and sour all with aplomb. Their taproom is spacious and their staff is friendly. They are next door to one of Minneapolis’s best coffee shops which is also a big plus. Hopefully, there is still some raspberry chocolate BAMF’D left on tap from their anniversary party a few weeks ago. If there isn’t grab a Wicket Jump Shot or five and call it a day.
Tell Your Friends!
If this is your first time traveling to Minnesota for beer, you are in for a treat. I am thankful that the Brewers Association chose Minneapolis for this year’s Craft Brewers Conference. The weather leaves much to be desired. However, visitors will be hard-pressed to find a friendlier atmosphere to drink beer. If you have the means and time to venture further, just ask the locals and they will point you in the right direction. We are excited to have you here. Prost!
Great choices all. In fact, I am wearing a LAKES AND LEDGENDS t-shirt right now as I type this. We are very lucky to have all these fine breweries (including many that are not listed here) right at our fingertips. Life is good!!