Father, daughter share their Brewventures

By Jennie and

Scott Knoebel

As the explosion of taprooms has hit Minnesota, we would like to present our Brewventures — a day tour that celebrates and explores the growth of breweries, taprooms and brewpubs in Minnesota.

The Summit Brewing Company and Surly Brewery are two standard locations even the casual beer drinker should visit. Summit is located in an industrial park off of West Seventh Street in St. Paul. Reserving a space on their tour is a must as they fill up quickly. Summit offers a traditional brewery tour that gives a great overview of the brewing process. The tour ends with samples in their tasting room. Surly has a stunning new facility in Minneapolis. Known now as “golden child of Minnesota microbreweries,” their new facility hosts a full restaurant and tasting bar if you are not interested in taking the tour. Both Summit and Surly provide a menu of beers that are very unique and flavorful.

Next on our list is Harriet Brewing. Located in the Minneapolis Longfellow neighborhood, their tap room is reminiscent of having a party in an alley garage with your friends. They usually host food trucks outside and have an indoor stage for entertainment. Their beer is brewed in the traditional European style, with the majority of the beers having fairly strong ABV and lower IBU.

Dangerous Man is our favorite in Northeast Minneapolis, arguably considered the taproom capital of the Twin Cities. Today Northeast Minneapolis is home to eight tap rooms in a five-mile radius, so a simple day trip will provide numerous brewery options.

Dangerous Man opens at noon on Saturday and there is always a line out the door. Usually there are six different varieties of beer on tap that are higher in IBU with less ABV.  Their taproom offers a traditional feel of a small town neighborhood bar, simply a great place to bring in a pizza or sandwich and just relax.

Neither Harriet or Dangerous Man bottle or can their beers, so outside of beer events their taproom is the best option to taste their offerings.

Back over in St. Paul, the Urban Growler is another great stop. This is one of the newest tap rooms in west St. Paul.  They offer a wonderful variety of beers not offered at many of the other metro breweries. Our favorite is their Cowbell Cream Ale, which is their spin on New Glarus’ Spotted Cow.

Finally, we invite you to venture slightly out of Minneapolis/St. Paul to White Bear Lake, an outer ring suburb north of St. Paul, to the Big Wood Brewery. Their tap room reminds us of the smaller version of “Cheers.” The majority of their beers are in the higher IBU class and extremely full flavored. They distribute their beers in 16-ounce cans, so the tap room visit is not a must, but again worth the visit.

—Jennie Knoebel is the executive director of the Austin Area Commission of the Arts. Her father, Scott, is IT applications manager for Hormel Foods Corp. In their spare time, the two enjoy touring Minnesota breweries.

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