We have a couple of friends that spend most of their leisure time exclusively in the Minneapolis area. Imagine our surprise when we received a text asking if we’d like to accompany them to a relatively under the radar brewery in St. Paul. They’d seen a photo of their patio on Instagram and they wanted to see it first hand. After meeting them at another brewery in Northeast, Minneapolis we headed to the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul. Our ultimate destination: Flat Earth Brewing Company.
There are few drives in the Twin Cities better at evoking the history of beer in Minnesota than your arrival at Flat Earth’s taproom. Your trip begins by turning into the courtyard of a large brick complex, the former home of Hamm’s Brewery. Even though most of the buildings are still abandoned and decaying, there are pockets that a multitude of businesses have called their home including a distillery, and a trapeze school. Flat Earth is located in the brewery’s old keg and wash house and that past hits you the moment you ascend the steps and approach their large wooden doors. Upon entry, take a look upwards to see their vaulted brick ceiling. There are only a handful places remaining in the Twin Cities with this style of ceiling and it’s a rare treat! I’m sucker for little touches like this. The front area of the taproom was completely void of patrons so we weaved our way through the haphazard seating towards their backroom. A long wooden bar stretches almost the length of the building and I noticed at the far end of room there was a projector with a N64 hooked up to it. This must be a regular thing because the last time my wife and I visited we played Mario Kart at that exact spot!
After a moment of deliberation I ordered a flight and carefully took them out to the patio, grabbed a table, and settled in. What a gorgeous space! I’m not sure what former building we were currently sitting in, but the ceiling had long since given way to time. Only decrepit brick walls remain which create possibly the most unique and charming outdoor space I’ve visited. The tables and chairs are cobbled together from second hand sources which really affirms the casual atmosphere that Flat Earth seems to be cultivating. Our friends soon arrived and we would learn that they had no idea that the brewery was in St. Paul. That explained why they wanted us to meet them at Sociable Cider Werks before heading over! A few minutes later we noticed that at the far end of the patio there were some red trash cans setup in a triangle and a couple of people were trying to throw soccer balls into them. With some deliberation we reached a verdict: human sized beer pong!
The fours beers in my flight were Angry Planet American Pale Ale, Ovni Ale Biere de Garde, Element 115 California Common Lager, and Cygnus X-1 Rye Porter on Nitro. I’d have to say the Element 115 was my favorite. California Common is a style that I particularly enjoy and their version was smooth and malty with just a touch of hops to counteract the sweetness. It’s named after a formerly undiscovered element that was said to have the powers necessary for UFOs to fly!
Our balmy summer evening gained a touch more magic when the sun set below the brick walls and the string lights blinked on. If you’re looking for a relaxing environment to enjoy a couple of beers far away from the hustle and bustle then Flat Earth is just the place. The atmosphere is great and the patio is absolutely wonderful. It’ll be a summer must for us for a very long time!