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Sep 20, 2006 09:19 PM

what is the best brew pub in Minneapolis-Saint Paul

looking for a place that even a beer/ale snob would appreciate!!

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  1. I have been to almost all of them and I like Barley Johns the best and Rock Bottom the least. Town Hall in Minneapols and Vine Park in St. Paul are also good. I go for the overall ambience as well as the brew. I put Rock Bottom at the bottom because of the brew. One place I really enjoyed that is long out of business was Sherlock's Home.

    If I am not seeking breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches then I am seeking brew pubs. :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Davydd

      FYI, Vine Park Brewery (the restaurant/pub) closed years ago. They still have a brew-it-yourself operation a little ways down West 7th.

      1. re: Davydd

        I could have cried on my knees when Sherlocks closed. It was like losing an old friend.

      2. I have to second some of the recs that Davydd made. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery is great. They brew excellent beer and have (IMHO) the second best fries in town.

        And Barley Johns is great too... great food and super beer. Both beer snob places.

        I have yet to see the appeal in Rock Bottom, but I chalk that up to not having returned since they got a new brewer (i hear?).... when last I went I was underwhelmed at the beer.

        2 Replies
        1. re: poivre

          If Poivre likes it, it is good, if he doesn't it is not; this is his area of expertise, so mark his words!

          1. re: poivre

            Yeah Rock Bottom did get a new brewer, and yeah it is still is a corporate brewery. My first choice is to go to Town Hall, but (BUT) since Bryon replaced the Todd at RB in late 2005, AND they changed the beer lines (which hadn't been replaced in 11 years as of mid to late summer 2006), the beer has been outstanding. Try out his new Angry Hippie Ale on nitro or his reinvented pale ale (tastes like Mirror Pond out of Oregon. MMM...)

            Still I am a foodie, and the food still sucks there and you are paying into a giant corporate chain where passion comes in dead last. But if you go just for the beer I promise you not to be disappointed.

          2. Town Hall would get my vote as the best brewpub, but I have never tried Barley Johns. I am a fan of cask conditioned beers and Town Hall has two handles of c.c. beer nearly all of the time.

            I don't think that our pubs are at the level of Chicago's Goose Island, Cleveland's Great Lakes (ooh, the lagers...), or Denver's Wynkoop but it's cask IPA will compare with any of them.

            I'm always amazed at beer snobs disdain for Sam Adam's products. They do a very good job with all of their styles and their distribution is excellent. I travel frequently and am pleased to find this beer on tap in so many places. Rock Bottom (so aptly named) is a national chain as well. It has impressed me as lame, at best. I had a good hefe once at their State Street pub in Chicago, but that was a long time ago. The best thing about Rock Bottom is that it keeps the riff-raff out of the other pubs...

            6 Replies
            1. re: joejr

              Town Hall is ranked #9 on in the Best in the U.S. for Micro breweries.
              Have never been, but the high ranking by I what I deem to be a very good site, has me thinking I need to head up to MSPL.

              1. re: Bobfrmia

                Ooh! I feel a Bobfrmia "Town Hall" chowdown coming on...


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Don't go to Town Hall for the food. The beer is amazing good, the food straight from Sysco.

                  1. re: ibew292

                    If so, then this is a recent change. Last I was there (winter of 05), the food was definitely not sysco. Nachos with pasta chips, caramelized onions, hand cut pepperoncini and melted goat cheese. Hand crafted patties for burgers, etc. Definitely not sysco, which is why I feared for their future as a brewpub. Typically if people want beer, they want typical bar fare. Town Hall never had typical bar fare.

                    1. re: ibew292

                      I have to agree with Nathan. The pulled pork sandwich comes on what feels and tastes like an unprocessed bun and the burgers do not appear to be from frozen patties. Also the meat did not appear to have been of the pulled-pork in a bag variety

                      However, I really do not think it matters from where a beer bar sources the wings I use to help wash down my beer. Just my take. It is sad though that you can either go to the Herkimer and get passable food and bad beer or somewhere else and get good beer with bad food. I smell Steven Brown's next venture! ;)

                      1. re: ibew292

                        I agree with Mr. ibew292 that the beer is very good. Not always, but usually, the best brewpub beer around. The funky fruit or flavored beers are not my cup of tea, and I have yet to enjoy one of the "belgian" offerings, but their more straigh-ahead brews are very, very good.

                        I also agree that most of the food is mediocre with a few items that are not bad. Nothing is good enough there that I would make the trip primarily for eating. And I've spent some time there. . .

                2. Barley Johns!!

                  Try the "J" Pizza, its like fondue on crust!

                  The beers are amazing.

                  I need to check out the Town Hall, I haven't been there in YEARS.

                  1. I like Town Hall.

                    Where is Barley John's? I've never been there.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mill City Modern

                      barley johns:

                      It's in New Brighton. That's kind of my only complaint about the place, the location. But the beer is FANTASTIC.

                      Hear, hear, MaryMN, the pizza indeed is great!