We ask the same question every time we visit a taproom: “What are you drinking right now?”
The you in that sentence is whoever is behind the counter, because who knows what’s up better than the bartenders, managers, and brewers working in-house? Especially during a time like this, when the COVID-19 outbreak has forced everyone to rethink their business models with ultra-sanitized takeout windows, D.I.Y. van deliveries, and virtual happy hours.
With that in mind, we reached out to some of our favorite Minnesota craft breweries to ask employees what they’re crushing in the age of coronavirus. We’ll update this buyer’s guide throughout the weekend with more picks straight from the source. When you call in a pickup, don’t forget to tip big—these service industry stars are risking their own health to serve us stouts with a smile.
Able Seedhouse & Brewery
1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, MN; 612-405-4642.
“All our staff is drinking around here right now is our new light beer, Ol’ Trusty. After hitting our release schedule hard with hazy, dessert-y, fruity, and sour options, Able leaned into a style that we love drinking after the brew day or taproom shift is over. It’s light, easy-to-drink, consistent, timeless. We developed this beer for the boat, the tailgate, the backyard, the walk home, binging on reality television… you name it. If all goes as planned — and some things still might — beer drinkers will find Ol’ Trusty in 16-ounce cans in a few months. But for now, you can bring an Ol’ Trusty crowler home from our taproom’s to-go window. And yes, to answer any questions, you can shotgun crowlers.” —Alan Erbach, assistant brewer
How to get it: Crowler service hours are currently Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m. And keep your eyes peeled for future promotions from seasonal on-site food truck Animales Barbecue.
Bent Paddle Brewing
1912 W. Michigan St., Duluth, MN; 218-279-2722.
“We’ve got a delicious, fresh IPA available in growler or crowler take-home options. It’s called Lou C. Goosey Juicy IPA, and it’s packed full of delicious, big, citrusy New Zealand hops: Sultana, Samba, Lotus, and NZH-107. You’re not going to find this profile in many other beers around here. It’s a creation right out of our pilot brewery — and not available in stores! For our dark beer lovers, we’ve got our Night Sky Oatmeal Stout, also available in growler or crowler take-home options. This is a velvety smooth malt-forward stout boasting notes of fig and honey up front, with an insane 85 percent cacao backbone. As thick and dark as a moonless North Shore night, it’s bold, roasty, and full-bodied. It’s also a one-time pilot exclusive that you won’t find in stores.” —Maxwell McGruder, multimedia developer
How to get it: The taproom is open from 2 to 7 p.m. daily for to-go sales of growler, crowler, and retail merchandise. The brewery asks that visitors read all signage upon arrival and follow the on-site wellness rules.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
1300 NE 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN; 612-236-4087.
“Red Moon Rising. This hop bomb is juicy AF! It has a soft, pillowy base with bright notes of blood orange, citrus, and grapefruit. Brewed and double dry hopped with the Pink Boots Society blend of Loral, El Dorado, Idaho Gem, and Azacca hops. It was then conditioned on blood orange and dragon fruit for an extra-juicy, citrus-forward IPA that goes down smooth, especially for an ABV of 8.2 percent. This beer was created and brewed by the women of Dangerous Man for International Women’s Day. We have plenty of crowlers to go!” —Hilary Hazzard, marketing manager
How to get it: Dangerous Man’s Growler Shop is currently open from 12 until 8 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, but check its Facebook page for updated hours after March 22. Also notable: Co-owners Rob Miller and Sarah Bonvallet hosted a “Fireside Chat/AMA (Ask Me Anything)” on Instagram earlier today to discuss how Miller got started in home-brewing, their favorite movies, and more. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, assistant brewer Alxndr Jones will lead a virtual tour of Dangerous Man’s brewing system. Expect more virtual programming in the coming days.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
2506A Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN; 612-444-3209.
“If I had to pick one thing we’ve got good stock of at the taproom, I am gonna go with Big Doinks at the moment, since it’s a taproom-exclusive beer. Big Doinks is an unapologetically Dank West Coast IPA. It’s super pale and reasonably dry, with moderate bitterness and thick layers of piney, fruity dankitude. It’s made with Columbus Cryo hops, which is a product that we and a select few other dankness-appreciating breweries keep alive as a very limited boutique hop product. We have tons of juicy haze in stock, which is great, but for those who want a fresh example of what West Coast IPA can be, Big Doinks is for them. Also the label art is pretty fly.
If I’m allowed to, I’ll throw in a nod to UPick 2019, our barrel-fermented pale sour beer with three-pounds-per-gallon of local raspberries. I love this beer every year because it’s a distillation of late summer in MN, and we’ve never needed a positive vision of what summer might taste like more than we do now.” Niko Tonks, founder / head brewer
How to get it: Crowlers and bottles can be ordered from the Fair State Express site and picked up any day between noon and 6 p.m.
1005 6th St. NW, Rochester, MN; 507-258-7490.
“Gummies Make Us Likable is my favorite beer series. We currently have Blissful available for delivery and pickup. It’s a sour beer — not too tart, not too sweet — re-fermented with passion fruit, mango, tangerine, and soursop. It’s reminds me of summer days by the lake. The Smashed Diego is a brand-new menu item: two smashed beef patties, cooked to perfection and topped with American cheese, onions, house-made pickles, and remoulade on a pretzel bun. And Piggy Pie is my all-time favorite Forager pizza. The sausage, mozzarella, and roasted red pepper make for a great pizza on their own, but adding cream cheese and a drizzle of balsamic really sends it over the top!” —Rebekah Fitzgerald Kollar, webmaster and social media manager
How to get it: Takeout and delivery orders may be placed online or by phone every day between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Indeed Brewing Company
711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN; 612-843-5090
“My go-to choice for to-go beer right now is our Pils. Quaffable, easy drinking, satisfying, and delicious, it goes well with pretty much any survival food you are cooking up at home. It was inspired by numerous trips to Germany over the years, and with current events being what they are, it’s pretty much as close as you are going to get to Germany for a while.” —Tom Whisenand, owner
How to get it: Takeout orders may be placed online or by phone between 12 and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12 and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Delivery orders are also accepted between 12 until 5 p.m. daily for a $5 fee. And while happy hour is a Facebook affair at the moment, service industry workers are welcome to pick up $3 crowlers of Day Tripper and Pils from 12 p.m. until closing time.
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company
1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN; 612-999-6020.
“St. Gail has been our taproom’s most popular beer since we opened in 2015. Tart and effervescent, this fruited honey ale remains well balanced and very drinkable. It’s also loaded with honey and real raspberries.” —Derrick Taylor, president and co-founder
How to get it: Takeout orders may be placed online or by phone between 12 until 6 p.m. daily.
Modist Brewing Co.
505 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis, MN; 612-454-0258.
“I’m stoked on Mallow. It’s a pastry lager with vanilla beans, marshmallows, and milk sugar. It tastes like a Rice Krispie Treat, but is somehow still refreshing? It’s everything that’s right and wrong about beer wrapped into one giant-ass can.” —Daniel Paul Wellendorf, director of marketing
How to get it: Modist has set aside two patio-adjacent parking spots for pick-up orders placed online or in person. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 12 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Talking Waters Brewing Co.
205 S. 1st St., Montevideo, MN; 320-321-1444.
“Lilikoi Wheat has a special place in my heart because it’s inspired by my last trip to Hawaii. Fresh lilikoi, or passionfruit, can be found just about everywhere, so whenever I taste this beer, it takes me right back to my happy place by the ocean. Super refreshing, and just an enjoyable beer overall, no matter the season.” —Nick Patton, head brewer
How to get it: Crowlers and growlers are available in-person from 3 to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday; and 12 to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The brewery is also offering a three-for-$20 crowler special, and maintaining an updated list of what’s available on Facebook.
Venn Brewing Co.
3550 E. 46th St., Ste. 140, Minneapolis, MN; email@example.com.
“The crowler we recommend is our Tropicopia, a New England-style Double IPA. This beer will have you at aloha. Our hazy, tropical fruit-forward double IPA features copious amounts of Citra, Lotus, and Strata hops. At a sizeable 8.5 percent — with 35 IBUs — we suggest sipping it slowly to help get that mouth of yours feeling beach-ready.” —Connie Sisco, co-owner
How to get it: Orders placed online can be picked up between 4 and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 12 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Orders of $30 or more placed by 2 p.m. qualify for free same-day delivery. Check the website to see if you fall in Venn’s delivery zone.