Local Highlights

A Guide to the Breweries in Saint Paul, MN

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There are several fun things to do in St. Paul, MN, and one of them is visiting local breweries. Despite the agricultural challenge of getting locally-made grains, St. Paul’s roots in beer culture run deep. The city is one of the closest-knit brewing hubs on U.S. soil, owing to its history as a German immigrant enclave and its contemporary spirit of classic midwestern warmth.

Just looking at a map of St. Paul, you’ll find the city dressed in a constellation of breweries that prize community and commitment to craft above all. From conscious brews to salt-of-the-earth traditional styles, get ready to get your pub crawl on—in this guide, we’ll tour through the top breweries in St. Paul, MN.

The Best Central St. Paul Breweries

Make one of these breweries your destination as you move through St. Paul’s downtown neighborhoods, one of the main beer belts of the city.

#1 Barrel Theory Beer Company, Lowertown

Barrel Theory is a true beauty in the world of St. Paul breweries, with polished, roomy interiors and a gorgeous range of brews in every color of the beer rainbow. Their barrel-aged beer has gained recognition in multiple zones of the hop landscape:1

  • Voted one of the Hottest Breweries in America by Thrillist
  • Made the list for Best New Brewers in the World on Rate Beer
  • Best New Brewery 2018 by USA Today
  • One of Hop Culture’s 12 Favorite New Breweries of 2017
  • Best New Brewery by Growler Magazine in 2017

Locals note their uniquely impressive IPA selection. 

While there’s nothing to nosh on while you make your way through a pint, you are encouraged to BYOF (bring your own food) from other local businesses in the neighborhood.

#2 Bad Weather Brewing, Downtown

Bad Weather Brewing was opened in 2015 by a rag-tag gang of recovering bankers and pro craft brewers devoted to joining what they saw as “the craft beer movement.”

The Bad Weather boys pride themselves on versatility, with a wide range of beers on rotation. To name a few of their intrepid concoctions:

  • Tippin’ It Down – An ESB infused with Earl Grey Tea, inspired by the warm-up beverage London Fog.
  • Fog Of War – An IPA with Minnesota-raised hops and Norwegian yeast, which, against all odds, has an unexpectedly tropical finish.
  • Don’t Stop Bellini – This light-bodied beer takes a cue from the bellini cocktail to bring some peachy sweetness to the cold winter months.

As you can see, the Bad Weather brigade doesn’t shy away from mad science beer experiments or from puns.

Bad Weather’s playful spirit is as evident in their taproom as the events they host, including trivia Wednesdays, board game extravaganzas, and even free shuttles to and from Wild Games for those who are hitting the breweries before the hockey game.

And if you’re feeling snacky, check out their calendar to make sure your visit coincides with a visit from a local food truck.

#3 Tin Whiskers Brewing, Downtown

Robot-themed Tin Whiskers Brewing draws a crowd. The airy, open space is built for hours of making your way through a crowler, and this St. Paul brewery pours equal effort into fostering community and curating the brews on tap. They hold events like trivia and mafia night and even partner with local artisans to host marketplaces.

If you’ve found you’re spending a lot of time in Tin Whiskers, you can join their mug club/membership program, the Robot Collective. Assets include:

  • Discounts on beers and growlers
  • Tin Whiskers members-only T-shirt
  • Early access to their annual anniversary party
  • 1 free semi-private event rental

The highest-access membership, Amp Level, costs a mere $100 for a year’s worth of boozy benefits—a boon to beer lovers looking for a St. Paul brewery to call their second home.

#4 Waldmann Brewery, Irvine Park

Waldmann Brewery dwells in a pre-Civil War building built in 1857, right on the cusp of Minnesota’s statehood. It’s the oldest commercial building in the city—an heirloom lager beer saloon, another remnant of St. Paul’s German immigrant roots.

With every batch, Waldmann’s mission is to officiate a happy marriage between classic and craft beers. Traditional malt and hops are fused with “heritage-inspired” cousins for a contemporary take on this craft brewery’s lager-loving heritage.

Also a wurstery, you’ll find no shortage of German snacks to complete your visit. While there’s plenty of sausage on the menu, vegetarian options like the roasted mushroom Reuben make this a potential dinner-and-drinks spot for any friend group.

As for the space, it’s one of the most beautiful on our round-up. With hand-blown glass in the window panes, pine floors and wood ovens, even lamps that used to use whale oil (now paraffin) to illuminate the tavern, the ambiance at Waldmann makes for a truly memorable experience everyone will enjoy—whether or not they’re already a beer fanatic.2

The Best West St. Paul Breweries

Let’s move westward from St. Paul’s central beer belt and make our way towards the noteworthy batch of breweries camped snugly between St. Paul and Minneapolis.

#1 Urban Growler Brewing Co.

Urban Growler Brewing Co. is a women-led brewery pioneered by owners Jill Pavlak and Deb “Papa Smurf” Loch.

Each concoction is brewed in 10 barrel batches, which means every glass is poured with attentive craftsmanship. Their signature brews include:

  • Kentucky Uncommon – A brew whose heyday was back in the early 20th century, this revival blend takes a recipe for bourbon, adds a dash of hops, and turns it into beer.
  • De-Lovely Porter – Known as their “dark beauty,” this smooth, full-bodied beer has a remarkably crisp finish.
  • Cowbell Cream Ale – The Ale brewed to convert lager-lovers into craft beer fanatics. Colored like copper, crisp as a dollar, and sweet as a summer breeze, Deb and Jill call this their “lawnmower beer.”

Urban Growler’s approach is holistic—great beers are the centerpiece, but ample attention is also afforded to their menu, events calendar, and rotating exhibits showcasing local artists. Jill and Deb are midwesterners through and through, and their mission is to bring people (and, in the beer garden, their pets) together over the glass. 

#2 Lake Monster Brewing Company, South St. Anthony Park

The Lake Monster Brewing Company is all about developing an intrepid palette for hops. Their bread and butter is taking a classic beer style and taking it for a shake-up, like their Rye Dortmunder blend—a traditional German lager doused with robust rye malt and gussied up with floral Hallertau hops.

The venue is built for hours of lounging, with a barn-like feel, cushy leather sofas, and fairy lights dressing the high ceiling beams. Their latest creations garnered them a Minnesota Brewers Cup Award in 2021 for their Como Claw Pilsner out of a pool of 450 local brews.3

#3 Burning Brothers Brewing

For far too long, those with a gluten intolerance have been hard-pressed to find a variety of robust beer options that don’t compromise health. Not so at Burning Brothers Brewing.

Here, everything on the menu and on tap is gluten-free. That means no:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye

…and no bells and whistles like enzymes or fancy filters to make the beer taste better. Dane, one of the brewery’s owners, has celiac disease himself, and it’s been his mission to make a versatile selection of beers that appeal to both gluten-intolerant and gluten-tolerant beer-lovers.

Burning Brothers is another stand-out craft brewery for their community events, so head over to enjoy a mug over Paint & Sip night, Trivia night, or Burpees & Beer in the taproom.

#4 BlackStack Brewing

Looking for your next favorite brewery? You’ve probably come across the best restaurants in St. Paul, MN that are family-run, but it’s not every day you stumble onto a family-run brewery.

BlackStack Brewing has been owned and operated by the Johnsons since 2017, and their brewing philosophy demonstrates a family-style caliber of care.

The taproom is housed in St. Paul’s American Can Building, a former canning factory built at the end of the 19th century. With lofted ceilings and a spacious feel—“an industrial cathedral-meets-modern museum”—BlackStack’s taproom is constantly holding opportunities to connect and socialize local events.

#5 Bang Brewing

Meet St. Paul’s conscious brewing company, Bang Brewing.

Bang Brewing embraces beer with a commitment to environmental ethics, from grain cultivation to the energy efficiency of the building you’re sipping in, “The Bin,” which won the Saint Paul Award for Green Product in 2015. The brewery also has two organic gardens on the premises—a rain garden for water conservation and a prairie garden with local botanicals.

As for the beer, Bang favors the classics, from sparkling IPAs to thick German lagers. 

If you’re looking for a beautiful space with a visionary attitude, there’s no better place in St. Paul to enjoy a high-impact flavor with a low-impact footprint.

Discover Your St. Paul Community With Common

Whether you’re a beer aficionado or just starting to develop your palette, getting to know St. Paul through its brewery culture is one of the best ways to cozy up to this city. To cultivate the same warmth in your apartment, check out Common’s home in the Twin Cities, ALVERA by Common.

ALVERA by Common offers everything you need to feel at home:

  • Studios, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments
  • Fitness center
  • Rooftop deck
  • In-unitsuite laundry
  • Automated parking stacker
  • Parking 
  • Community events

To find your next St. Paul apartment, check out ALVERA by Common and book a tour today. 

 

Sources:

  1. Barrel Theory Beer Company. About- The Theory. https://barreltheory.com/about/the-theory/
  2. Waldmann Brewery. The Waldmann Story. https://waldmannbrewery.com/the-waldmann-story/
  3. Lake Monster Brewery. Lake Monster Wins Big at MN Brewers Cup Awards! http://www.lakemonsterbrewing.com/news/2021/11/19/lake-monster-wins-big-at-mn-brewers-cup-awards

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