Books and beer get equal billing at Cream & Amber in the western suburb of Hopkins. Kacey Hruby Wyttenhove and Katie Terhune opened their hybrid bookshop/cafe last February to create a gathering space for the local community. (The nearest bookstore otherwise is a Barnes & Noble in Minnetonka.) So far, it’s working.
Regulars linger over bottomless cups of locally roasted Bootstrap coffee, salads and paninis, and a tightly edited tap list hitting six distinct flavor profiles: Something Light, Something Dark, Something Seasonal, Something Hoppy, Something Different, and a Beer of the Moment.
When we visited in May, the wild card was a smoked farmhouse amber from the cutting-edge cabin dwellers at HammerHeart Brewing Company in Lino Lakes. Tempting as it sounded, we couldn’t resist the Cherry Milkshake Sour Ale from Hopkins’ own LTD Brewing Co. (pictured above), which is light in the ABV department but big on flavor—an ideal patio pounder for the humidity ahead. Nondrinkers can choose from a full coffee and tea menu or order a refreshing lemonade or pear- and sage-flavored Deane’s Kombucha.)
About the books: Cream and Amber’s shelves are stocked with a small and ever-evolving selection of used titles, as well as new heavy hitters such as Nora McInerny’s new memoir, No Happy Endings, and Marlon James’ riveting fantasy ride Black Leopard, Red Wolf.
To turn any of that reading material into proper book club fodder, request to book Cream & Amber’s cushy back room. The sun-dappled space fits up to 13 people and may be reserved for up to three hours at a time. 📚🍺✌️
Cream & Amber
1605 Main St., Hopkins, MN; 952-595-5640.