Top Beer Bars – Mpls vs St. Paul

My last post about the local beer scene, along with this post on Beer Advocate got me thinking about which city has the best beer bars, Minneapolis or St. Paul. I used to think it was St. Paul hands down, mainly because of the Happy Gnome and Muddy Pig, but after putting together this list, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Minneapolis takes it. It’s close, but I think that the bars in the Riverside/West Bank/University area is hard to beat.

I didn’t include any Irish Pubs in my list because I’m still annoyed that most of them still don’t include any American Craft Beers in their tap selection.

What do you think? Did I miss any places that have more than just a handful of great beers available?

Busters on 28th, Acadia, Blue Nile, Nomad, Town Hall Brewery, Grumpy’s NE, Grumpy’s Downtown, Stub & Herbs, Bulldog NE, Bulldog Uptown, MacKenzie’s, Bryant Lake Bowl, Triple Rock Social Club, Mac’s Industrial, Herkimer Pub

St. Paul
Muddy Pig, Happy Gnome, Blue Door Pub, Great Waters, Bulldog Lowertown, Groveland Tap, Sweeney’s Saloon

Barley John’s Brewpub


11 thoughts on “Top Beer Bars – Mpls vs St. Paul”

  1. Nice list! Even though they don’t have much for taps, I would add Fat Lorenzo’s and Riverview Wine Bar for their extensive (and quite impressive) bottled beer list.

  2. Very true, but while those places do have a great selection of bottled beers, they really aren’t considered “beer bars”. Just like the many restaurants that might have only 4 or 5 great taps (common roots, craftsman, cafe 28, etc)

  3. Ngon definitely should be acknowledged. Especially since they focus so strongly on local brews.

    I was at Sweeney’s on Dale in St Paul recently and was pleasantly surprised by the depth of their tap list. I didn’t remember them having quite as extensive of list as they did, and as always they have a respectable bottled list to boot.

  4. When I was last at Ngon two years ago they only had a few taps, but looking at their current list, they definitely deserve to be mentioned. But again, they are a restaurant, not a bar.

    I’ll add Sweeney’s just because of the patio. I haven’t been to Sweeney’s in a long time, but it does add to the Selby-Dale Pub Crawl.

  5. A very well put together list. However I believe that Barley Johns Brew pub should actually be on the St Paul list rather than the Minneapolis.

  6. @moe
    Although Ngon has more the feel of a restaurant than a bar, they do have a 8 or 10 person bar and an outdoor patio FWIW. Although I love going there for food and beer, I would not consider it a beer bar.

    Great list, BTW.

  7. Not often thought of as a beer bar but Williams in Uptown has close to 300 bottles and 70 taps. The bottles don’t turn over very often but the taps do. Hard to argue with their any Beer made in the U.S. is $3 on Wednesdays from 7 til midnight. Old Chicago could be added to the list as they have a nice tap and bottle selection too.

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