While beer folks are buzzing about burgeoning beer towns like L.A. and Cleveland, the Twin Cities continue to make a name for themselves as a brewing hub. The city guide Vita.mn, run by Minneapolis-St. Paul daily newspaper Star Tribune, released a comprehensive guide to their cities’ finest. Herewith, a crib sheet on what’s what and who’s top of the class in each category (only those that received A grades are bolded):


  • Brau Brothers Moo Joos Oatmeal Milk Stout
  • Flat Earth Cygnus X-1 Porter
  • Steel Toe Dissent (A-)
  • Northbound Smokehouse Porter (A)
  • Summit Oatmeal Stout
  • Town Hall Black H2O Oatmeal Stout


  • Fulton Lonely Blonde
  • Summit Pilsener
  • Steel Toe Provider
  • Great Water Howling Bones
  • Northbound Smokehouse Honey Wheat Ale


  • Surly Wet (A)
  • Harriet Divine Oculust (A-)
  • Surly Surlyfest
  • Harriet Dark Abbey
  • Fulton Libertine (A)

On Their Own

  • Boom Island Brimstone (A-)
  • Surly Coffee Bender (A)
  • Lift Bridge Farm Girl
  • Indeed Midnight Ryder (A)
  • Barley John’s Wild Brunette

Heinously Hoppy

  • Surly Furious (A+)
  • Summit Saga (A-)
  • Fulton Sweet Child of Vine
  • Lucid Wammo
  • Indeed Day Tripper (A-)
  • Town Hall Masala Mama

Given the inherent subjectivity of these best-of lists, we cross-referenced the selections in the ‘A’ grades with ratings on Beer Advocate (BA). Not every A was deserved, at least if you’re willing to listen to the collective voice of the beer-nerd masses. Steel Toe Brewing’s Dissent was given an A- by Vita.mn but received an 87 (a solid B) on BA. And not every beer had a BA entry.

Nevertheless, we did find a consensus on several brews: Surly Wet (A on Vita.mn; 95 on BA); Surly Coffee Bender (A on Vita.mn; 93 on BA); Surley Furious (A+ on Vita.mn; 96 on BA); and Summit Saga (A- on Vita.mn; 90 on BA).

If only those awesome Surly cans were more widely available across the country.

[via Vita.Min; Beer Advocate]