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B5QB Minnesota Beer Reviews, Part 1: The Twin Cities

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It’s not SO terrible here, I guess.

Midwest Gets Slammed By Powerful Spring Snowstorm Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Look, I get it. We aren’t supposed to like Minnesota. The Gophers are the worst, the Vikings are terrible, they have fewer lakes than Wisconsin and the northern part of the state is basically Canada. Gross!

BUT!

I’m here, as an official Minnesota resident to tell you this: it is ok here. In fact, I’d go so far as to note ... it’s pretty good. Minnesotans are exactly like Wisconsinites in every way except which colors to wear during fall weekends.

You like to go fishing? Shit, that’s basically all anyone does here in the summer.

Want to bitch about the weather? An inalienable right here.

Cracking a couple of cold ones with the boys after a day of yard work? Hell, it’s raining out right now and I’m STILL probably gonna have a beer tonight to reward myself for how my yard looks.

Spoiler alert: It’ll probably be this beer.

Now I don’t know if I can say that Minnesota has better beer than Wisconsin, because, well ... that would be crazy. However, Minnesota does have myriad excellent breweries and you should take a trip west and check them out! Let’s talk about some of my favorites and then get into an argument in the comments about them.

Oh, before we get into this it should be noted that there are a trio of beer-centric areas in the state. These are:

  1. The Twin Cities
  2. Duluth
  3. Basically, uh, the rest of the state.

I know spot three isn’t really fair to, like, Rochester, St. Cloud or Fargo/Moorhead—but I had to draw the arbitrary line somewhere, and so here we are.

Top Twin Cities Breweries

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

First of all, my daughter thinks the logo looks like me, and shouts “YOU!” every time we see it.

Second of all, they brew some of the best beer in the Midwest. Their Peanut Butter Porter is heavenly and if you try their Chocolate Milk Stout at the same time you basically make a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (the best candy, no, I will not be taking questions at this time) in your glass.

They also have an interesting sour program and make some oddball milkshake IPAs.

The only downside is that you have to travel to the brewery to get their beer. They don’t distribute to stores yet and probably never will. But that’s only a downside insomuch as you have to drive further to get their beer. They have a lovely little shop next to the brewery that has crowlers, growlers and merchandise and the staff there is extremely friendly and helpful.

Modist Brewing Company

Located a few blocks from Target Field, Modist is a happening spot all summer. They are also dog friendly and have a Ms. Pac-Man machine so there isn’t a whole lot missing from this place.

Their Dreamyard IPA and First Call Coffee Lager are two of the finest flagship beers that any Minnesota brewery has to offer. You may also notice that Modist participates in a number of collaboration beers. I think it speaks to how good of a brewery they are because no matter who they work with, their collaboration efforts own.

They also made a beer with Walker, Minnesota’s Portage Brewing Co. and all of the proceeds went directly to the brewery to help them rebuild after a fire destroyed their entire production facility.

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We at Modist are happy to announce the release of a very special collaboration with @portagebeer. On January 6, 2019, Portage Brewing Co ‘s entire Walker, MN brewery was destroyed by a stupid catastrophic fire – and now it’s time to show that stupid fire that it messed with the wrong industry. To help the effort to rebuild, Modist and Portage are bringing back a new DOUBLE version of a beer we brewed last summer called Sun Protection Factor – and 100% of its proceeds will go directly to #REBUILDPORTAGE!!! * The beer will be released to liquor stores in 16 oz cans throughout the Twin Cities metro, as well as Walker, MN, beginning on Monday, Feburary 18th. We will also be celebrating the release of the beer at @stanleysbarroom on Thursday, February 21st from 6-10 PM. In support of the cause, Stanley’s will be donating $1 from each Portage/Modist beer sold, as well as any other Modist beer purchased that night. Double Sun Protection Factor will also tap at Modist’s taproom this Saturday, February 16th. * Double Sun Protection Factor is an IPA brewed with vanilla bean, milk sugar, mango, strawberry, pineapple, and coconut with Denali, Cryo Simcoe, and Cryo Mosaic hops. 8.2 % ABV. Full delivery schedule will be posted at the link in our profile on Friday, February 15th. Check back then, buy this beer, #REBUILDPORTAGE! * #modistbrewing #portagebeer #MNBeer #fireproof

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If you ever find yourself in town for a Brewers/Twins series head here, then pop over to Fulton Brewing, and you’ll be ready to watch Christian Yelich mash taters.

OMNI Brewing Company

The first two breweries listed here are right in Minneapolis. OMNI is in the northwest suburb of Maple Grove and the place is consistently packed, especially for the three nice weeks a year we get.

Maple Grove also happens to be my wife’s hometown, so we have taken a special interest in OMNI and their successes. To be perfectly honest, the first time we went ... we were disappointed. However, much like it takes a new restaurant a few weeks to work out kinks in service, a brewery needs time to find its groove as well.

And, as someone who was literally at this brewery on Tuesday afternoon, OMNI has found their groove. They have fine tuned their flagships like Lake Day Pale Ale, Omnipotent Scotch Ale and Muddy Runner Porter while delving into some specialty and one-off style stuff that is some of the best the Twin Cities has to offer.

All of their Malt Shop releases have been bangers, and I really enjoy their Oktoberfest every fall. Whenever we have our First Annual B5Q Retreat Weekend in my backyard, we’ll be taking a field trip to OMNI for sure.

Cool. There’s a quick overview of three breweries I like in the Twin Cities. There are dozens more and we can talk about all of them if you’d like, but my next two posts will focus on Duluth and then the rest of the state.