So we’ve been to Duluth and the Twin Cities in the first two parts of our Grand Minnesota Beer Adventure and now it is time to traverse to all other corners of the state. Much like Wisconsin, Minnesota has gotten to the point where you can get good, local beer just about anywhere.
I have been to two of these three breweries multiple times and I’ve drank enough beer from the third that I feel like I’ve been there so I am confident in recommending them to you loyal reader/beer drinker. Let’s get to it!
Top “Rest of State” Breweries
Junkyard Brewing Company
::cues up Stefon voice:: Moorhead, Minnesota’s hottest club, Junkyard Brewing, has everything. Located in a, well you know, typical brewery space it has: rare, one-off beers that people line up for; cool labels for their crowlers; and a wizard that will tell you your fortune for a wooden nickel.
Every week, or so, Junkyard sends a van full of crowlers to the Twin Cities and rabid fans follow their Twitter account to know exactly when they’ll be dropping beer off at their various stops. Their Shake-o-matic Milkshake IPA series is highly sought after and their Peanut Butter Porter is almost as good as Dangerous Man’s. Despite being over three hours away, Junkyard was recently named Best Suburban Brewery by City Pages.
Moorhead, Minn. is right on the border with North Dakota and any visit to the area would not be complete without hopping over into Fargo and visiting Drekker Brewing Co. and Fargo Brewing Company. Hell, you could make a whole weekend out of it!
Located in Rochester, Minnesota, Forager Brewery has fast become a hot spot in a previously beer-poor city. Forager also boasts a kick-ass kitchen that has excellent pizza, brunch all day and some of the finest nachos I’ve ever had.
Their series of sours, Gummies Make Us Likeable, explores all the ways fruit can make beer awesome. They currently have Tropical on tap which features passion fruit, mango, pink guava and pineapple. The bar also has wine and spirits if you’re venturing out with someone who doesn’t like beer but, like, why would you?
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When your Dude game is #Repost @straightcrafthomie ・・・ "I’m the Dude, so that’s what you call me.That or, His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino..." Tonight we're enjoying The Dude from @foragerbrewery. A White Russian inspired Imperial chocolate milk stout, aged on vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, Minnesota grown hazelnuts and coffee. Our glassware of choice tonight is the gorgeous The Dude inspired glass from @beerisdead, hosting the moniker "Careful man, there's a beverage here!" As the kids would say, this beer and this glass both fuck. That is all.
Similar to Junkyard, Forager has a thing for special releases for which people will line up...even in freaking December on a Friday morning. That’s how you know you are making some good beer.
They also used to have a successful coffee company located within their brewery that has since moved on to bigger and better things.
Bemidji Brewing Company
This is not a brewery that you’ll find people posting about on Instagram or lining up for special releases in front of, but Bemidji Brewing Company is still churning out great beer in an under-served neck of the woods.
Every summer my wife and I, with her extended family, travel up to a cabin outside of Bemidji and every summer we stop here for a beer. Their beer continues to get better and if you find yourself all the way up north you could sure do a lot worse than stopping by for a pint.
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Get your first taste of the Spring IPA this Friday! For this year's Spring IPA we're exploring a style that is taking the beer world by storm! This New England IPA is soft and delicate, but also intensely flavorful thanks to massive additions of Denali, Strata, and Vic Secret hops in the later stages of the brewing process. A pungent aroma gives way to flavors of sweet pineapple, tangerine, and lemon zest while flaked wheat and oats lend a smooth creamy mouthfeel.
Other breweries to check out: Lupulin Brewing, Big Lake, Minn.; Talking Waters Brewing, Montevideo, Minn.; Castle Danger Brewing, Two Harbors, Minn.