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[MSP] Where in Twin Cities to buy six-packs of obscure, unsual, even funny beers?

The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2008 06:53 AM

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?

~TDQ

  1. mtullius Nov 7, 2008 07:06 AM

    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

    5 Replies
    1. re: mtullius
      The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2008 07:19 AM

      Oh, that's excellent, thank you!

      ~TDQ

      1. re: mtullius
        bob s Nov 7, 2008 07:22 AM

        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.

        1. re: bob s
          katebauer Nov 7, 2008 07:40 AM

          Surprisingly, Cost Plus World Market also has some interesting beers at good prices, and they allow you to mix and match.

          1. re: katebauer
            g
            g_rote Nov 7, 2008 08:10 AM

            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.

            1. re: g_rote
              s
              snoboardbabe77 Nov 7, 2008 08:33 AM

              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!

      2. AnneInMpls Nov 7, 2008 08:39 AM

        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!

        Anne

        1. The Dairy Queen Nov 7, 2008 08:58 AM

          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!

          ~TDQ

          1. l
            liney714 Nov 7, 2008 09:06 AM

            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.

            1. s
              soupkitten Nov 7, 2008 09:34 AM

              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.

              1. Davydd Nov 7, 2008 10:17 AM

                If you are looking for funny and GOOD brew I would recommend the New Glarus Brewery selection of:

                Spotted Cow
                Dancing Man Wheat
                Fat Squirrel
                Uff-Da Bock
                Totally Naked
                Snowshoe Ale
                Road Slush Oatmeal Stout
                Organic Revolution

                http://www.newglarusbrewing.com/Beers...

                They are all good but you can only buy them in Wisconsin. You might find them in Hudson. I stock up when I can in La Crosse.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Davydd
                  g
                  getgot211 Nov 7, 2008 11:57 AM

                  Heritage Liquor, Maplewood.

                  http://www.heritageliquoronline.com/

                  1. re: getgot211
                    mtullius Nov 7, 2008 03:14 PM

                    I assume you don't mean to say that one can get New Glarus beers at this place in Maplewood? Because as far as I know, one does have to go to Wisconsin, which is why I periodically drive to Hudson.... It's actually quite a bit closer to my house (on the East Side of St. Paul) than Four Firkins or Blue Max... In Hudson, it's all about Ciccone's or Casanova. Both good places with solid selection, though outside of the not-available-in-MN stuff (New Glarus, Dogfish Head to name a couple), not as good as Four Firkins or BlueMax.

                    1. re: mtullius
                      Davydd Nov 10, 2008 04:57 AM

                      It may have just been a misplaced reply which is easy to do on Chowhound. The New Glarus Brewery themselves say they do not distribute outside of Wisconsin. There is nothing on that Hertiage Liquor web page indicating they sell the New Glarus brand.

                      We were in La Crosse over the weekend so I stopped at Woodman's in Onalaska and bought a variety of New Glarus six packs to bring home.

                      1. re: Davydd
                        b
                        BigE Nov 10, 2008 10:42 AM

                        Two things about New Glarus:

                        1) Their Belgian Red is absolutely incredible. It comes in a 750ml bottle, and they use something like 1 pound of Door County cherries per bottle. I always pick one or two of those up whenever I'm visiting family in Wisconsin.

                        2) There are MSP stores that sell New Glarus. I know for a fact I've gotten it at the store I go to in Shoreview/North Oaks on Highway 96 and Rice St.

                2. j
                  JeaFoo Nov 7, 2008 02:58 PM

                  I am surprised nobody has mentioned US Liquor on Highway 7 near Walgreen's I believe. They have a gigantic selection of single bottles and pretty much every domestic that is legal to sell in the state.

                  1. h
                    HuaGung Nov 7, 2008 03:16 PM

                    TDQ-

                    Four Firkins is my #1 destination when on the West side, but it's a long haul for a St Paulie. Closer to home, The Cellars in Woodbury has a great selection also. Firkins can get much more obscure, but I can nearly always find good, new, weird, etc., at The Cellars also, like Fatty Boombalatty for instance.

                    Good luck,

                    HuaGung

                    1. bob s Nov 7, 2008 06:01 PM

                      Another idea of a place that might be closer for you TDQ is Zipp's Liquors on Franklin just west of Riverside. They have a surprisingly good selection of different things as well. I still think that the best choices are Blue Max and Four Firkins, but Zipp's is another place to think about if you're in the area.

                      p.s. I vote "beers"

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: bob s
                        Gastron Nov 10, 2008 05:12 AM

                        Head to a place where you can hand select your own six pack.You'll get the best bang for your buck with 6 separate brews,and you can pick a funny six pack holder too.I'm basically piling on the monkey pile,but Heritage Liquors on Frost Ave. in Maplewood,Blue Max in Burnsville,Cellars in Roseville,Dennis Brothers in Cottage Grove are a few that come to mind..if you have a theme in mind,I can give you brands,etc to look for.

                        Cassanova's and Chiccones in Hudson are terrific too.

                        1. re: Gastron
                          f
                          footlong Nov 10, 2008 12:21 PM

                          just ask for Tyranena ...thay have a mix 12 pack , no better beer I say i say!

                          1. re: Gastron
                            PikaPikaChick Nov 12, 2008 11:02 AM

                            Sinful Wine and Spirits in Bloomington (in Southtown Center) does build-your-own six packs too. They've got quite a few interesting beers there and the staff is super friendly.

                        2. BeerKing721 May 16, 2009 04:53 PM

                          A great tip for you is Dennis Brothers Liquor in Cottage Grove. The Brothers is my favorite store hands-down. Service, selection, and price are top notch. They are Minnesota's #1 rated beer store from Beer Advocate.com - a group that I am proud to be a member.

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