HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >


Best Minneapolis Brewpub

I want to take my east coast brother to a brew pub in Minneapolis this weekend to try some local beers. Any recommendations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you want a true brewpub, USA Today just gave a nod to Town Hall Brewery...


    If you want a bar that serves a wide selection of MN beers, I'm surprisingly stumped. There isn't a place that stands out to me. I love the Happy Gnome, but their selection tends to be more worldly than locally focused.

    Happy Gnome
    498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    2 Replies
    1. re: BigE

      Town Hall....Get the Masala Mama, one of the top rated IPA's in the U.S.

    2. I'd choose Barley John's in Roseville over Town Hall in the brew pub category. But I don't know if you're willing to head over that way.

      Surprisingly, I can't think of a place that excels in the local beer scene either, but Happy Gnome does have a good selection of regional brews.

      Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
      1430 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

      Barley John's Brew Pub
      781 Old Highway 8 SW, Saint Paul, MN 55112

      6 Replies
      1. re: bob s

        Roseville is not usually my first choice destination, but we might have to give it a try! We will head to South Lyndale Liquors to buy some local beer, but wanted to have an option for going out, too.

        South Lyndale Liquors
        5300 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

        1. re: bob s

          +1 on Barley John's also has interesting food and a nice outdoor patio.

          1. re: PPOD

            +2 on Barley John's. They also have the most polarizing garlic bread in the Twin Cities, so there's that.

            1. re: kevin47

              And a +3 on Barley John's, really fine beer and good food as well.

            1. re: Foureyes137

              Tried to eat at Barley Johns tonight. NOT HAPPENING. 90 degrees inside with 100% humidity. Stuck to every surface I touched, it was actually hazy in there! wouldn't have sat down for a free beer. How can they find that acceptable? Won't be trying this season I guess.

          2. I've only been to Barley Johns a few times, but it hasn't really knocked my socks off. If I was treating someone from out of town, it wouldn't be my first spot.

            They only have 4 beers on tap and the food is nothing special...not saying the food at Town Hall is any better, but the beer selection is.

            1. Consider taking the Summit brewery tour in St. Paul. You get beer with your tour.

              1. There is really only one choice, and that's Town Hall. One interesting possibility if you're interested in other local and regional beers is the new Town Hall Tap, which has several Town Hall beers, as well as a good selection of other stuff.

                (Masala Mama, which someone else mentioned, is, for what it's worth, currently ranked as the #2 American IPA in the country-- http://beeradvocate.com/lists/style/116)

                1. I definitely agree with the Town Hall recs as best local brew pub. If you want to try somewhere with a variety of MN beers, Ngon Bistro is a surprisingly good option. Their beer list is Minnesota-only, and they always have interesting special beers (incl. cask) in addition to the regular list.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: KristinT013

                    Ngon is a great idea. Maybe we'll just have to hit Town Hall AND Barley John's AND Ngon and the Happy Gnome. So much to do, so little time!

                    Happy Gnome
                    498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                    1. re: oishiiyo

                      You can't go wrong with either Barlley Johns or Town hall. Ngon is a great idea too as it has great beers and great Vietnamese food also. Our Vietnamese scene is tops in the nation as our Vietnamese/Hmong population is only second to California.

                      1. re: KTFoley

                        No, but the selection is very good.

                    1. I'm a big fan of both Town Hall and Barley Johns, but both have their ups and downs. In the end I think Town Hall gets the edge based upon the number of seasonals, solid house brews, location and their patio. I like the food at Barley Johns better, and while their selection of brews is more limited, they're usually all damn good. However, they're a bit off the beaten path and offer little from a nightlife perspective. Both very much worth checking out in my opinion; though for very different reasons.

                      1. While I think the Town Hall is better, I will make a mention of Great Water Brewing in Saint Paul. Their beer is decent, and a little cheaper on happy hour.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: galewskj

                          Great Water's brew pub has some of the worst food I have ever had. If you go there do not order coleslaw as a side, I cannot believe it left the kitchen. Absolutely terrible. Pretty hard to mess up coleslaw and everything else there was very sub-par.

                          1. re: galewskj

                            The request was for "best" brewpub, and Great Waters is certainly not that. It is average at best-- nearly every city in America has a brewpub that's about as good as Great Waters, in terms of both food and beer. It's not bad if you're in the area, but it's not anything to cross the street (much less the river!) for.

                            1. re: galewskj

                              Wow. Ok, I've eaten there a few times, and never found their food to be bad. It was standard bar food, nothing special. For that matter, Town Hall is pretty standard bar food. I think the beer at Great Waters is pretty good. I've tried many there, from an imperial stout to belgian-style ale to IPA and have been happy with them. I agree that the beer at the town hall is consistently better than Great waters, but I've had some really good beers at Great Waters as well. Now, Herkimer, on the other hand - run, do not walk, RUN away. The only beer in my life that I just couldn't finish (because of the taste) was at Herkimer.