The proliferation of craft beer has led to a surge in more Metro stores carrying craft beer. Unfortunately, unlike neighbor Wisconsin, bottle shops in Minnesota can’t provide growler fills.
What you get instead is Minnesota nice and stores run by craft beer fans seeking out some of the region’s best beer–folks who are eager to unload a cellar on a random Tuesday.
The Wine Thief & Ale Jail
1787 St Clair Ave, St Paul | 651-698-9463
Located close to Minnesota’s popular The Nook and Blue Door Pub (the former known for its Nookie Supreme and Juicy Nookie burgers, the latter for its extensive list of Blucy burgers – eclectic takes on the Juicy Lucy), Ale Jail is a popular place for those looking to build their own six-pack. Shelves are loaded with over 300 beers, and though it can be dizzying, staff are more than willing to help you sift through new brews. The Mac Groveland neighborhood is a great spot to grab a bite and a sixer before heading to the lake.
2618 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | 612-333-8686
Zipps is unassuming on the outside, but an oasis of craft beer awaits you on the inside. The store keeps up with trends, stocking rare allotments of limited hazy IPA releases from popular breweries like The Brewing Projekt and Junkyard, sometimes the same day of canning. Plus, Zipps routinely pulls out barrel-aged beers from its massive cellar, meaning you might find a vertical of Surly Barrel Aged Darkness one week and Steel Toe Lunker bourbon barrel-aged barleywine the next. Oh, and there is a friendly dog that roams the beer aisles.
South Lyndale Liquors
5300 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis | (612) 827-5811
Full of rare releases, Minnesota stalwarts, and imports like a random Hitachino Plum Sour I found on a vacant shelf, South Lyndale is one of the busiest beer stores in the Twin Cities. You might find someone directing traffic in the parking lot. Luckily, you can avoid that with home delivery service, meaning you don’t even have to leave your home or hotel to get some brews.
Elevated Beer Wine and Spirits
4135 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis | 612-208-0973
Located in south Minneapolis and White Bear Lake, Elevated will let you order beer online for pickup and delivery. It also maintains a Twitter account with updated beer drops, as well as a community calendar filled with what breweries are stopping by for tastings. Need a recommendation? The Elevated staff is welcoming to beer newbies and veterans alike.
France 44 Wine & Spirits
4351 France Ave. South, Minneapolis | 612-925-3252
One thing that sets this shop apart is the food – specifically the cheese. It all comes from local farms, making this the place to go if you’re looking to craft a stellar beer and cheese pairing list. This family-owned store even sells deli sandwiches, because you know you’re going to need some grub with that local pilsner.