There are a handful of breweries that open and I earmark as a must visit. In February of 2017 one brewery joined the ranks of many other Minneapolis brewers, and it stood out from the others. Early reports were favorable, but I like to let places condition a bit before I visit. More than a year later, my father mentioned that if I were to make the trip to Utepils Brewing, he would want to join. So we went.
My wife and I had just finished our delicious dinner at Hai Hai and after feeling the euphoria from their Hanoi Sticky Rice, I didn’t want the night to end. We’d been to all the usual spots in Northeast Minneapolis and we were in the mood for something new. There was exactly one taproom that we hadn’t visited: Able Seedhouse + Brewery.
It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect upon the breweries that I visited in the past year and identify some of my favorites. Since this is the second time I’m doing these awards I added some ground rules. I’m only assigning an award to somewhere that I visited in 2017. If you don’t see one of your favorites then let please let me know. Rest assured that with the amount of breweries now in Minnesota there is a great chance I didn’t make it there. In an effort to shake things up, I decided to ensure there were no repeats from last year. Lastly, to recognize the best of the breweries that opened in 2017, there is a new category called Best New Brewery. Let’s get started!
I’ve got a bad habit about buying a Groupon and forgetting to use it. There is even a brewery that closed after I bought one and I was unable to redeem it. On a brisk Autumn evening my loving wife informed me that we were down to the last day of my latest purchase and I was bound and determined not to let it expire. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to join me as she was preparing for a dinner party the following evening. So I called my father, never one to turn down a free beer, and we headed to Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative.
New taprooms continue to open every month, and the summer is high season. When my brother-in-law mentioned he wanted to visit a taproom that “nobody had been to yet” I knew there were several to choose from. I told him that Pryes Brewing Company had just opened their new riverside taproom. A day later we were working up a thirst and cruising along the river road.
Summer was well under way when our friends contacted us about their desire to visit a brewery in the metro area. They’d made it through the first few months of raising a newborn and finally felt like they earned a night off. Before we knew it we were halfway through our yum yum rice bowls from World Street Kitchen discussing our next stop: LynLake Brewery.
Flipping through my Instagram feed on a late March day I happened upon a post from Wild Mind Artisan Ales. It described their first bottle release event for their Golden Ho/rye/zon American Wild Ale. I made a mental note but promptly forgot about it. The day of the event I was grumbling at work about being cooped up during the unseasonably warm weather and searching for any excuse to get outside. Just like that the event popped back into my head and, after a quick call to my wife, we were off.
Hoping once again to use our Northern Ale Guide and an expired Groupon we joined up with our friends Mitch and Megan to make a trip into Minneapolis for yet another weeknight brewery trip. This time we were headed to Harriet Brewing which is located in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis.
After some food and a couple of drinks at Fulton Brewing we made our way to the second and final stop of the night: Insight Brewing. It wasn’t our first visit to their taproom but it was one we had anxiously been waiting to try again; this time with a free beer courtesy of the Northern Ale Guide.
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.