When people think of Minneapolis it's usually about our weather. Not about how perfect we have it in the spring, summer and fall, but about the brutal cold we endure anywhere from 4-6 months of the year. Even with that we still manage to get on with our normal lives. We're constantly in a battle for Best Cycling City in the country with Portland and Austin, and with all that cycling comes drinking. When the weather is nice we like to grab a 6-pack and go down to the nearest lake or park and enjoy the warmth, but when the cold comes back we head indoors for some brews. Here are some of the places we like to ride to the most.
New on the list of the recent surge of breweries all over the Twin Cities, East Lake has found its place as a favorite for many a cyclist. It doesn't hurt that the bike only taco delivery service Taco Cat is only a few feet away. At any time you'll find bike messengers, fat bikers, roadies, or your average commuter having a beer or maybe pouring one out from behind the bar. When this spot opened up in many of our back yards we quickly took notice and became regulars. So order yourself some tacos and enjoy the constantly rotating beer list.
The go to dive bar in South Minneapolis is the C.C. Club. It's been around forever and is a favorite for all types of people looking for a beer and a good time. You'll have no trouble finding somewhere to lock up with all the bike racks outside, so get inside and see what pitcher specials they have. The bartenders are crass but that’s what you would expect from a place that has the same dank lighting all year ‘round. A known spot for guys and girls looking to find some drunken hook ups - just hope you're sober enough to ride to their house afterwards!
Finding a great bar in downtown Minneapolis is almost impossible, but there is always the gem that is Grumpy's. This bar is usually a spot for most alley cats in the city or the after party location. Plenty of bike parking in front or out back for as many people as they can pack inside. Pick a beer from their huge selection and order a Jucy Lucy. If you’re lucky you might have it served by one of Minneapolis' favorite punk musicians.
Grumpy's is on the list again. But this one is their Northeast location. Like Grumpy's DT it’s usually a checkpoint for Stupor Bowl or almost any other alley cat happening in the summer. With a very neighborhood crowd you could find yourself sitting in between an 80 year old women having her afternoon drink or a spandex clad roadie finishing up his ride. Have them cook you up a Heggies pizza behind the bar, try to win some cuts of beef in the meat raffle, or enjoy a Minneapolis sized shot of whisky.
Surly wasn't the first craft brewery to pop up in the Twin Cities, but they changed the way they’re all run now. After convincing the powers that be that breweries should be allowed to sell beer on site, they went ahead and created one of the biggest and best tap rooms in the country. Located right outside of the University Of Minnesota you can take the bike/bus only transit way right to their front door and have some of the best beer and food in Minneapolis. Plus you will have a chance to see ex-messenger Augie behind the bar and don't forget to tell him he sucks.
The Cedar Inn - 4155 Cedar Ave South
I'll be honest, this one is a personal favorite of mine and maybe only me. The Cedar Inn is a no frills bar located in South Minneapolis. You shouldn't expect much from the beer menu besides your basic domestics. But don't expect to be over charged in this neighborhood bar. Roll up to the patio, start a bike pile, order the best buffalo wings in town and chase them back with a few pitchers of Hamms. After the booze takes hold you'll feel loose enough to throw $20-$50 at the pull tabs machine and maybe walk away a little richer. Oh, and ask the bartenders about the time they were held up at gunpoint by a guy dressed as a clown.
photo credit - https://momentummag.com/
There aren't many places you can go and get a beer right next to a waterfall, but you can at Sea Salt. This spot is only open 6 months of the year but is located right off of one of the many trailways the Twin Cities has to offer. So after you've gotten your strava on and beat that father of 4 for his KOM spot, stop by for a recovery beer and maybe some crawfish. Don't worry about locking up - just ride your bike right up to an outside table and get ready for some seafood and brews.