[MSP] Where in Twin Cities to buy six-packs of obscure, unsual, even funny beers?
Esteemed 'hounds. Now that the holiday season is approaching, I am on a quest for a six-pack of the most unusual, funny, obscure, bizarre beer-- domestic or imported-- I can buy here in the Twin Cities. In this situation, obscurity is more important than deliciousness, but deliciousness would definitely be welcome. Where in the Twin Cities should I be searching? If you have any recommendations for specific beers, please feel free to offer those up, as where I might purchase them.
Stay warm and dry this weekend! Thank you!
EDIT: and is it beer or beers?
The best place to go, and it's only recently opened, is the Four Firkins in St. Louis Park. It's a bit out of the way, but it's the first and only store devoted exclusively to microbrewed beer. The owner and other employees are extremely knowledgeable and will help you get the stuff you want. The other obvious choice would be Blue Max down in Burnsville-- even more out of the way (depending on where you live, I suppose), a huge selection, but more overwhelming and with a less helpful staff.
Blue Max Liquors
14640 10th Ave S, Burnsville, MN
The Four Firkins
8009 Minnetonka Blvd, Minneapolis, MN
Agree completely with mtullius's recommendations. Blue Max has a much broader selection than Four Firkins, but it's overwhelming. If you are looking for interesting labels from around the world and you don't care what the beer is, Blue Max may be the way to go. But, as mtullius has said, help there can be sporadic. If you want help with selection, I'd recommend not going to either place on a Friday night or on a Saturday.
The most interesting and flavorful beer that I've had recently was a Creme Brulee stout from Southern Tier Brewing Co. in New York. Bought it at Four Firkins, but Blue Max may also have it. Tastes pretty much like what you'd imagine from the name.
between Tanh Do and Four Firkins and that Indian restaurant and Erik's bike shop, TexaTonka has an embarassment of riches. Four Firkins makes up for its lack of size with an amazing selection and fantastic service & knowledge.
Also, shout out to Ciccone's in Hudson for getting most of the microbrews which have not yet established ties with MN distributors, first and foremost Colorado's Oskar Blues, makers of Dale's Pale Ale, my favorite session beer in a can.
Big Top Liquor (part of Sid's) on University Avenue in St Paul can get some very interesting brews - but even better than that, besides the other suggestions, head over to Abetto's on Como Avenue - we go there often (can be a bit pricey though) but he allows you to mix and match your own 6-packs of interesting brews and microbrews. Totally worth it because than you can pick out 6 that might not EVER normally buy in 6 pack form - and see what you like and dislike-and they have some funny named brews!
TDQ, check out Sharrett's on University at Raymond. They always have a great selection of imported beers. I've gone there for international samplers as presents (you can buy individual bottles/cans of the imported beers). They also have a pretty good selection of local and regional beers.
It's a small store, so they don't have tons of wildly obscure stuff. But it's just around the corner from Jay's, so you could combine lunch with errands!
And you can always go to Surdyk's - they have tons of beer with funny names, though I doubt that any is obscure. (If they carry it, it's by definition easy-to-find.) I kinda like Moose Drool - it's pretty good!
Oh, this it great! As always, you are all blowing my mind with the depth of your knowledge on this subject. I swear, no subject is too obscure for the MSP 'hounds. Thank you!
Most of the Cellars stores will let you mix and match 6 packs of great micro brew beers. Then you can taylor each one to the person your giving it to.
great recs so far-- i think i'd see if you can get the job done at big top-- which is your most inexpensive option, as well as closest, maybe? pretty zero ambiance, unless you count the off duty police officer carding folks and the folks buying cases of brandy and jug wine with carts, or their daily pint for their pocket. . . underneath all that, it's a pretty decent liquor store, with interesting selection. they stock a lot of unusual beers, both chilled and room temp, because the place is huge-- i'm seconding Snowboardbabe's rec on this place.
surdyk's would be a great second bigger choice
blue max & four firkins are probably the rolls royce options, and further away, but will hook you up *for sure.* i haven't even made it over to four firkins (*hanging head*) yet, i gotta save some money and go-- i've just been so stuck on my all-local beer crusade, that, i've pretty much been drinking only surly and homebrew. time for a little variety, perhaps.