MN Craft Beer Week {Food & Fitness Link-Up}


Somehow, someway, Minnesota Craft Beer Week takes place just the week before American Craft Beer week.


It may be Cinco de Mayo, but today also kicks off Minnesota Craft Beer Week, aka 10,000 Minutes of MN Craft Beer. We are lucky here in MN to have gained quite a prominent craft beer scene over the last few years. In fact, our state is number two in the nation in terms of growth. I’m quite pleased to be able to try new beers here in Minnesota; but I also can’t quite keep up. πŸ˜‰

Today, I thought about posting about all of the craft breweries in Minnesota. Then, I realized, that was quite an undertaking. I haven’t even scratched the surface of all of the beers Minnesota has to offer. And defining “craft” beer is a little complex. When I asked my husband what was his favorite, he went into explaining why one brewery I liked was not considered “craft” and why another was. Seriously? Right now, that is arbitrary.

What really matters is if we’re drinking local.

So as not to make this too complicated, I thought that I’d instead share just a few tidbits based on our experiences – thoughts for the visitor or for the locals who may want to narrow down their choices. You can find the entire list of Minnesota breweries here.

Just Traveling through the Twin Cities?

Got a layover at MSP? You can get a taste of our craft brews at the MSP Airport! According to Thrillist, “MSP’s bars and restos showcase over 15 regional and local breweries.”Β  You’ll find the bulk in Concourse G in Terminal 1 (Lindbergh) as well as a Local Craft Beer Gear shop with apparel and souvenirs of your favorites!


MN Breweries and Tap Rooms We’ve Visited:

  • Townhall Brewery (Minneapolis) – Established in 1997, this newly renovated brewpub is where we used to go before craft beer was cool in the Twin Cities. They brew their own beer, but serve others as well. It’s time for us to check out the renovation!
  • Excelsior Brewing (Excelsior) – Our favorite? The Mr. Jimmy Ruby Brown Ale
  • Lucid Brewing (Minnetonka) – The Lucid Cammo used to be our favorite DIPA (Double IPA), but since that has gone the wayside, we haven’t found much too spectacular.
  • Badger Hill Brewing – (Minnetonka, moving to Shakopee later in 2014) –Β  We’ve enjoyed their Foundation Stout best, but I’m curious about the new Traitor IPA!
  • Steel Toe Brewing (St. Louis Park) – This is one of Rob’s favorites. Try the Dissent Dark Ale {Trufthfully, it’s closer to a stout, but I believe there are some proprietary naming rights.}
  • Fulton Brewery (Minneapolis) – You can’t go wrong with anything here. The Sweet Child of Vine IPA is a solid choice, but my favorites are the seasonal Libertine and Worthy Adversary. Even Rob can handle a Lonely Blonde once in a while. πŸ˜‰
  • Dangerous Man (Minneapolis) – You can only get their beer in their taproom! The Chocolate Milk Stout is the most revered; however, the Hazelnut Porter gets my winning vote. And the Triple IPA is DANGEROUS!


MN Brewery Visits on our Wishlist:

  • Surly Brewing (Brooklyn Park) – This is the local brewery that paved the way for all the MN craft brews to follow. We must get ourselves to the Brooklyn Park location before their new destination brewery opens up in Mpls. While I love the Surly Darkness, I don’t know if I have the patience to wait in line for a bomber of it one night a year like the rest of Surly Nation!
  • Hammerheart Brewing (Lino Lakes) – This brewery isn’t even a year old; but the first time I checked out their beer list, it included a bunch of Bourbon barrel beers. I don’t see them listed now, but they still show unique offerings besides your average/run-of-the-mill styles.


In addition to those listed above, here are some of our other local faves:

  • Surly (Brooklyn Park) – Furious IPA – a solid choice, which you’ll find many places on tap in the Twin Cities if you are visiting.
  • Summit (St. Paul) – Rob enjoys the SΓ‘ga IPA, while I prefer the Oatmeal Stout. The Great Northern Porter is worth a try, too.
  • Lift Bridge (Stillwater) – Hop Dish IPA – I love a good IPA and I adore this name for a Minnesota Brew. {Hot Dish is a delicacy here. πŸ˜‰ }
  • Flat Earth (St. Paul) – Cygnus X-1 Porter – Not long after they changed their recipe, I fell in love with this one at an Ike Reilly concert at the Turf Club, {You might get a glimpse of Rob and me in the front row in theΒ Hanging AroundΒ video around 3:29 here.}
  • Bad Weather (Minnetonka) – Ominous Midwest Warmer – Usually better on tap than in the bottle.
  • Indeed (Minneapolis) – By now, you can tell that I generally drink darker beers and love a unique brew. My absolute fave here is the LSD Honey Ale. For a winter seasonal, it’s Stir Crazy, hands down.

And if you can’t make it to a taproom {i.e. you are in MN on a Sunday}, many local beers are served on tap wherever you go. But for the best selections, try these places.

Happy Minnesota Craft Beer Week!


Now it’s time for this week’s…planning




  • Monday – Pork Chops with Butter Sauce and Roasted Vegetables and/or these potatoes because I didn’t actually make this last week.
  • Tuesday – Dinner at my friend Kim’s
  • Wednesday – I found some Portabella & Asiago Smoked Beef Sausages at Aldi. Now the question is if I want to serve them along side the same veg and potatoes as I do on Monday or try this easy Grilled Sausage and Pesto Pasta recipe. Or I could just serve the sausages naked along side this more traditional pesto pasta recipe like I had in Cinque Terre, Italy. Decisions, decisions.
  • Thursday – Cooking for 1: Baked Tilapia with Tomatoes and an easy side. Suggestions?
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD


  • Quick & Easy Bowls – My favorite combo lately is listed below. I assemble three bowls on Sundays for the week. When I get to work, I just pop it in the microwave at work for a minute or two:
  1. Base – handful of spinach or other greens
  2. Grain/Starch – 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
  3. Protein – 1/3 can garbanzo beans, drained
  4. Veggies – 1/3 can diced tomatoes and sauteed onion and zucchini
  5. Fat – These goat cheese medallions I found at Costco!
  6. Sauce – Roasted Tomato Dressing



This is the last week of the Couch to 5k! I can’t believe I’m running 20+ minutes straight. I’m slow and it’s so much harder than I remember! But, you’ve got to start somewhere…

  • Monday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 1
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 2
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – RUN: Couch to 5k – Week 8, Day 3
  • Saturday – Golf
  • Sunday – Yoga

What is your favorite local beer and brewery where you live?





3 responses »

  1. Pingback: American Craft Beer Week | Season It Already!

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