In an ongoing effort to complete our Northern Ale Guide, Samantha and I joined our friends Mitch and Megan for a trip to Minneapolis. Our aim was to hit two spots on a weeknight and the first of those was Fulton Brewing.
Fulton Brewing is relatively old when it comes to Minnesota breweries. It was established in 2009, and since then they’ve become one of the primary breweries in the metro area. Like many they had relatively humble beginnings as homebrewers. After contract brewing with Sand Creek Brewing Co. for a couple of years, in 2011 they began the buildout of their first brewery. Their timing couldn’t have been more perfect as they opened the first taproom in Minneapolis under the then new “Surly Bill.” That first brewery and taproom has now been replaced by a much larger facility in Northeast, Minneapolis. They still use the downtown building for smaller batches, experiments, and taproom exclusives.
The last time we’d visited was when the taproom was in its early stages. Back then it was an unassuming space nestled right among their brewing equipment. What I saw when I arrived this time was quite an eye opener! Not only had they added two patio spaces outside but the entire interior had been redecorated. As I mentioned above a lot of the equipment has been moved to their other facility making the taproom much more spacious. Inside or out the space looks fantastic, but after ordering our first pints we decided to enjoy the summer night and the great views of Target Field.
We grabbed some pizza from the Vito Lucco food truck and settled in. It was a relatively quiet night. I’ve heard it can become very busy, especially on game nights. The atmosphere was very laid back with a mix of young and old couples. They were playing some old school country and classic rock, to which Mitch exclaimed “I love the jams.” It’s got a rustic industrial feel both inside and out with a lot concrete, brick, and wood.
I was able to taste two of their beers: the Eleven O.G. and the 300. Both were excellent. The Eleven O.G. is part of their Garage Series and is a Session IPA. It’s unfiltered with a hazy golden straw color, and has a crisp bitterness with a melony fruit aroma. Their 300 started as a celebration of their 300th batch of beer. After demand and satisfaction were so good they made the decision to make it available year round. It’s a West Coast IPA with a great hop aroma and big hop taste. I loved it!
It’s too bad we didn’t have a full night because there were a bunch of beers on their tap list that I wish I could try. Fortunately, these guys aren’t going anywhere so I’ll have plenty of opportunities to visit again. The attention to detail in their new taproom is great, and they’ve put a lot of work into the place. They don’t serve food but there should be a food truck on site most nights. If you don’t like a crowd be sure to visit during the week as things can get really busy. Fulton Brewing will be on the top of my recommendations for people looking for a taproom to go to when they’re in town wanting to taste of some Minnesota craft beer!