Destination wineries, breweries, and cocktail rooms are all the rage. Here’s a survival guide to reference when visiting a few of our local faves.
Photos by Caitlin Abrams
Surly Beer Hall
520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Mpls., 763-999-4040, surlybrewing.com
The massive and busy Minneapolis brewery complex is Disney World for beerists.
- Go off-peak. If you think you can snag a table during a Saturday afternoon, you’re nuts, but you can usually find a seat at weekday lunch and early happy hours on Mondays.
- While you’re waiting for a table, take advantage of the pick-up counter at the end of the bar. Get in line, grab a beer, and wander around the hall. Also, there are plenty of places to cop a seat outside, where you might just make some bearded friends.
- Make a reservation for the Brewer’s Table restaurant, where coursed plates pair with stunning and intricate beers such as the Fiery Hell lager made with dried puya chiles.
- Take a brewery tour. For a measly $5, you get a 45-minute walk ’n’ chat, four samples to sip, a tasting glass, and a donation to a local charity.
Photo courtesy of Schram Vineyard
Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery
8785 Airport Rd., Waconia, 952-442-5105, schramvineyards.com
Out in Waconia you’ll find a swell plot of acreage that doubles as a brewery and a vineyard. Oh, and there’s bocce.
- Plan your drive. Waconia is a hike, and getting there requires a spendy Uber ride or a really nice friend (pretty drive, though!).
- If you missed the sign-up for the bocce ball league, join the Schram Club, which is like a CSA for beer or wine, or both. Discounts on liquids are nice, but so is first access to limited releases.
- It’s not just about drinking. There are tons of live music events here, and even yoga at the vineyard, so check the calendar. October 15 is the annual harvest bonfire, and there’s usually a Winter Wassail in December.
- Go as a group. Book a group tasting for eight or more. You’ll get a guided tasting in the barrel room or at the bar, and a special discount on bottles purchased that day.
1620 Central Ave. NE, #150, Mpls., 612-584-4152, tattersalldistilling.com
The white-hot distillery and cocktail room in Northeast Minneapolis is the bar of the moment. It makes all its own spirits and accessories for a unique cocktail experience.
- Think about your food choices. You’ll be sipping high-octane cocktails, so eat before you go, eat there at the rotating food truck, or plan to walk to something in the neighborhood for sustenance, like Maya Cuisine for tacos.
- Go early to talk, stay late to dance. The room opens at 4 pm, the perfect time to get a good, drinky chat in with your bestie. Then stick around for the band or DJ.
- Don’t ask for Malibu—ask for help. There are no macro brands here, so you’re out of luck if you’re a Malibu girl. Instead, tell the bartender what you like and she’ll come up with something magical for you, like the 18th & Central made with toasted coconut aquavit, pineapple shrub, and lime.
- Pinch your pennies. Nothing on the menu is more than $10, so stretch your boundaries and explore. Start with something safe, an old fashioned perhaps, then branch out to a Tea Time, made with Darjeeling and milk-infused vodka with peach, lemon, and honey.
2940 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-6262, moto-i.com
The country’s first sake brewpub is an under-sung destination. Don’t miss its award-winning ramen and a chill rooftop deck on which to marvel at the magic of brewed rice.
- Know your ABV. Wine usually contains about 9 to 16 percent alcohol by volume, beer hovers in the 3 to 9 percent area, but sake usually contains about 18 to 20 percent when undiluted. So, that’s why the ramen.
- If you’re a novice, start with a sake flight to learn whether or not you lean Junmai Genshu, which is served fresh after pressing, or Junmai Ginjo, which is aged in cold storage.
- Celebrate World Sake Day and moto-I’s 8th birthday on October 1. Enjoy half-price sake and special releases all day, plus a chef’s pairing menu.
- Don’t sleep on the Fantasy Sumo League. Pick your players and watch some skin-slappin’ matches on the flatscreens above the bar. Sake is half-price during play.