For many years the only two places you could find a good tap list in Uptown were the Bryant-Lake Bowl and The Bulldog — and let’s not even talk about Williams Pub (dirty tap lines) on Hennepin. Now the neighborhood is thriving with a couple of brewpubs (The Herkimer and Lyn-Lake Brewery), a sake brewpub (moto-i), and some other beer-centric bars such as Muddy Waters and Lyndale Taphouse to go along with the Uptown staples Bryant-Lake Bowl and The Bulldog.
So where should you go?
For starters if you like Belgian beers you need to swing into The Bulldog (preferably on Tuesday for Belgian Beer Night specials) where you can sample anything from Kwak to St. Bernardus. Don’t forget to order the cheese curds to really make this trip worth your while. They’re some of the best in town.
For the best tap list in town be sure to stop in at Muddy Waters where you can find some special gems from Steel Toe, Surly, Indeed along with some rare beers from outside the state. They also take really good care of their tap lines so you don’t have to worry about getting a bad beer. This is a must visit.
Speaking of clean tap lines, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Bryant-Lake Bowl. This is one of the first Better Beer Society Certified establishments (a later blog post is coming on this subject) and the food is top notch. Kim Bartmann the James Beard nominated restaurateur is the one behind this fun filled beer bar and bowling alley which she opened back in 1993.
For the freshest pint in town you’ll need to check out Lyn-Lake Brewery where you can sit on their rooftop and sip on their Sideburns Milk Stout or put back a few Ponyboy Golden Ales on a hot day. This place is best experienced by grabbing a flight of beers to sample.
For a unique experience you’ll want to check out moto-i which is one of about twelve sake craft producers in North America and is considered the original sake brewpub opening in 2008. If you’ve had a bad experience with sake in the past you’ll want to make a trip here to reconcile your relationship with this fermented beverage. The process of making sake is similar to making beer, and just like its cousin no two styles of sake here are alike.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Matty O’Reilly’s Republic which is by far one of the best beer-centric pubs in the state. They’ve been known for their beer and food but their cider selection is now on the rise also as there are more and more craft ciders producers popping up locally and nationally.
If you’ve left Uptown disappointed and thirsty for a good beer previously — you’re going to want to give this hood another shot.