This is 33rd in a series of 50 posts we are putting out throughout the years in anticipation of the celebration of our 50th Anniversary in 2015. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for the top things YOU love about Minnesota as well!
I was asked to write a blog entry for our website here at Roger Fazendin Realtors. Write?! I’m not a writer!? Then they said, “What about writing about Beer?” “Beer? I love Beer!” I thought, and the rest as they say is history. Let’s start there, history.
As of 2003 there were only 2 large breweries, 6 Brew pubs, and 1 Micro Brewery in Minnesota. Things have boomed a bit since then. As of 2013, there were 29 Micro Breweries, 19 Brew Pubs and 5 Large Breweries. Brew Pubs make and sell food and beer at their location, and Micro Breweries make beer and sell pints and growlers at their location. This was all made possible by the passing of the “Surly Bill” at the state capitol. The Surly Bill was named after Surly Brewing Company, because of their efforts to lobby the bill through the legislature. This bill allowed Breweries to sell their beer in their own “taproom”, making the whole process much more profitable (and legal!) for them.
Most of the new breweries started out in a basement or garage or some old shed that was available as a craft hobby by artists, chefs, scientists, entrepreneurs and dreamers who liked to make beer. Now, thanks to the Surly Bill, it has exploded. These fine folks have come from all walks of life, execs, dads, moms, insurance sales, real estate sales, investment bankers, you name it. They did it because they love it! When you go tour a local brewery and speak to these people you can see it and hear it. They do it because they love Beer! That’s what I’m encouraging you to do. Go out and visit these folks, try their wares, listen to what they’re doing and just enjoy.
There are locations all over our state. If you’re going to the north shore, try Lake Superior Brewing or Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth. There’s Castle Danger in Two Harbors and Bemidji Brewing in well, Bemidji. There are many options here in the Metro as well.
MSP Magazine has a good list here.
The Minnesota Craft Brewers Association has a good map here as well.
You may feel daunted by the huge array of choices available. I always say, start with the closest to you and go out from there. Head to your local liquor store and buy a couple. Most stores will let you make your own six pack now too. If you don’t see what you’re looking for just ask the manager to order some for you!
If you like beer like myself there are plenty of taprooms close to you that you can visit and discover some of the best, freshest and most drinkable libations anywhere! Many make their own array of soda’s or non-alcoholic brew as well. I’m heading to my new favorite now, Lyn Lake Brewing at Lake St. and Lyndale Ave S in Minneapolis!
Sources: MPR News, MSP Magazine, The Minnesota Craft Brewers Association.