Barley John's Brew Pub
781 Old Highway 8 SW, New Brighton, 651-636-4670, barleyjohns.com
A long-time standard with a nice patio and old-pub vive, this one is big on creative and cask beers with traditional pub food.
Get: Wild Brunette (brown ale brewed with Minnesota wild rice) and Little Barley Beer Brat (bratwurst marinated in Little Barley Bitter)
Canal Park Brewing Co.
300 Canal Park Dr., Duluth, 218-464-4790, canalparkbrewery.com
Embracing the Northwoods locale and overlooking Lake Superior, beers at this brewpub are fun and food is fuel for getting out there.
Get: Foggy Jack Porter (big malty porter with a touch of chocolate) and 15 Barrel Reuben (thick-cut corned beef, braised in beer).
Day Block Brewing
1105 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-617-7793,dayblockbrewing.com
Located in a rehabbed building in the Mill District, beer rotations include one with rare wild Wisconsin hops and menus are stacked with pizzas.
Get: The Wit (a nice Belgian with crisp citrus) and Carolina BBQ Pizza (a saucy barbecue pie with bacon and coleslaw).
701 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-339-7011, freehousempls.com
Blue Plate's slick first foray into brewing. The space is gorgeous, and so are the people at the bar.
Get:No. 2 IPA (high hop flavor with a nice pop and medium body) and Trout Dip (smoked trout spread in a jar).
Great Waters Brewing Co.
426 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-224-2739, greatwatersbc.com
Downtown St. Paul's haunt sits over the former Cathedral site and is blessed with a natural spring water well for brewing.
Get: Brown Trout Brown Ale (full and rich with caramel maltiness) and Brewhouse Pork Wings (juicy pork shank with beer mustard).
2922 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. 612-821-0101, theherkimer.com
Lyn-Lake's favorite hang has a killer patio, a revamped menu, and, as always, shuffleboard.
Get: Sky Pilot Kellerbier (unfiltered pilsner with enough hops and malty sweetness) and Chicken and Waffles (spicy fried honey-glazed chicken and a waffle).
Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub
2716 E. 38th St., Mpls., 612-208-1450, northboundbrewpub.com
The brewpub with Beer-for-Life members and a notably smoky menu.
Get: Light Rail Pale Ale (hop forward but light bodied and less bitter) and 18-Hour Porketta (Iron Range-style with smoked Swiss cheese on an egg bun).
Town Hall Brewery
1430 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-339-8696, townhallbrewery.com
With a few satellites (Town Hall Tap and Town Hall Lanes) this main one has been updated and refreshed, but it still feels like your good ol' bar.
Get: Masala Mama (a crisp, award-winning American IPA) and Town Hall Wings (grill-finished wings in a creamy masala sauce).