MSP’s warm-weather biking season is in full swing. While we tip our hats to those avid cyclists who need no excuse whatsoever to hop on their bikes and hit the trails, we sympathize with those who need a bit more encouragement. What better incentive to burn some calories than the promise of a cold, hoppy beverage at the end of the ride.
Happily, many of our fair region’s stalwart craft brewers are only too happy to provide said incentive. Some of MSP’s bike-friendly breweries actively cater to cyclists with bike-related programming and events, while others simply go out of their way to provide ample parking and wayfinding for thirsty cyclists. All are located on or near major bikeways, making for convenient — and safe — access. Pro tip: String two or three of these bike-friendly breweries together for a pedal-powered, DIY brewery tour.
Sidhe Brewing Company
Location: 990 Payne Avenue
Hours: Thursday and Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, 12-11 p.m.; Sunday, 12-7 p.m.
Bike Access: Bruce Vento Trail: Exit at Payne Avenue and turn north to brewery. East Street Trail: Exit at Bruce Vento Trail, turn west on trail, then north on Payne Avenue to brewery.
Sidhe Brewing Company (pronounced “she”) is a women-owned taproom and brewery on St. Paul’s booming East Side. Sidhe is a short bike ride from two scenic, fully separated bike trails (Bruce Vento and East Street), meaning the brewery is easy to reach on two wheels from just about anywhere in MSP. Though Sidhe is best known for sidesplitting comedy nights and weekly musical performances, the brewery is also super bike-friendly. Sidhe is one of three stops on this year’s St. Paul Smart Trips’ Women on Bikes Breweries Ride, which kicks off at Sidhe at 1 p.m. on July 18.
Even if you can’t make it to the Women on Bikes ride, Sidhe happily fills growlers from any brewery — all the more reason to include it on a DIY MSP brewery bike tour. Sidhe also sells branded bike bags online.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
Location: 125 E 9th Street
Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 4-8 p.m. (Saints home game days only); Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, 3-11 p.m.; Saturday, 12-11 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m.
Bike Access: Jackson Street: Bike signage throughout downtown St. Paul; turn on 9th Street to brewery.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company is tucked into a bike-friendly section of downtown St. Paul, just around the corner from Black Sheep Pizza. The brewery boasts ample bike parking out front and in its parking lot, plus easy access to the bike-friendly Green Line (10th Street Station).
Tin Whiskers is the second stop on the Women on Bikes Breweries Ride. Its merchandise offerings cater to bikers, too, with ladies’ resistance tees, men’s jersey-style shirts and comfortable tank tops on display. For an economical bike outing, try one of Tin Whiskers’ “beta” beers — experimental brews that may or may not be ready for prime time. They’re often as cheap as $2 per pint.
Wabasha Brewing Company
Location: 429 Wabasha Street South
Hours: Thursday through Saturday, 3-11 p.m.
Bike Access: Cesar Chavez Street: Bike signage and bike lane from West Side Flats/downtown St. Paul. Turn on Wabasha Street S to brewery.
Wabasha Brewing Company is a small (for now) space on St. Paul’s eclectic West Side, just across the river from downtown. Nearby Cesar Chavez Street is one of the bike-friendliest thoroughfares in the area, so it’s easy and safe to get here from surrounding neighborhoods. Wabasha’s off-street parking lot boasts bike parking. There are on-street locking stands in front of nearby businesses as well.
Wabasha Brewing Company is the third stop on the Women on Bikes Breweries Tour, but that’s not the only reason to stop by its taproom this month. The brewery’s owners are planning a massive renovation of the adjacent space, with room for at least 100 patrons when all is said and done. Wabasha also runs occasional St. Paul Saints ticket giveaways — so, on game days, you can stop in for a beer, grab a couple tickets and bike across the river to the Saints’ Lowertown home.
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Location: 688 Minnehaha Avenue East
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 12-6:30 p.m.
Bike Access: East Street Trail: Turn on Minnehaha Avenue E to brewery.
Flat Earth Brewing Company recently moved into an historic space in the old Hamm’s Brewery complex on St. Paul’s East Side. The brewery is next to the East Street Trail, which winds through Swede Hollow Park, and not far from the Bruce Vento Trail. There’s more than enough bike parking in Flat Earth’s ample parking lot, and the taproom is large enough to accommodate patrons’ bikes (check with staff first). Don’t miss the Tuesday (5:30 p.m.) and Saturday (1 and 5:30 p.m.) brewery tours.
LynLake Brewery Location: 2934 Lyndale Avenue South
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5-11 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday 12-10 p.m.
Bike Access: Midtown Greenway: Turn south on Lyndale Avenue to brewery.Byrant Avenue bike boulevard: Turn east on 29th Street W, then south on Lyndale Avenue to brewery.
LynLake Brewery occupies a prime piece of real estate just north of the busy Lake and Lyndale intersection in Uptown. The brewery is also less than a block from the Midtown Greenway, the undisputed centerpiece of Minneapolis’ bike-commuting infrastructure. Sunrise Cyclery, the Greenway’s newest bike shop, is three minutes of leisurely pedaling to the east.
Racks abound outside LynLake Brewery, so bike parking isn’t an issue — and if you’re worried about leaving your ride on busy Lyndale Avenue, you can always head up to the spacious rooftop patio and keep watch from on high. LynLake’s bike-friendly extra touches include occasional pop-up shop partnerships with MPLS/STP Clothing Company, including a well-attended Pride-themed event last month that feature bike-themed and athletic clothing and accessories.
Indeed Brewing Company
Location: 711 15th Avenue NE
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 3-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12-11 p.m.; Sunday, 12-8 p.m. Winter hours may vary.
Bike Access: 5th Avenue NE bike boulevard: Turn east on 15th Avenue NE to brewery. 18th Avenue NE Trail: Continue onto Adams Street NE, then left on 15th Avenue NE to brewery.
Indeed Brewing Company’s ever-popular Northeast Minneapolis taproom lies within easy biking distance of a half-dozen other breweries: Bauhaus BrewLabs, Dangerous Man Brewing Company and Fair State Brewing Cooperative, to name a few. It’s a must-see on any DIY brewery bike tour of Minneapolis’s sudsiest neighborhood.
But Indeed is a worthwhile stand-alone destination for thirsty bikers, too. Its cozy courtyard has plenty of bike parking. The weekly Indeed We Can fundraising series supports the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, among other fine charities. Indeed’s gear shop sells bike jerseys, koozies, athletic tees, and other bike-friendly clothing and accessory items.
Harriet Brewing Company
Location: 3036 Minnehaha Avenue S
Hours: Tuesday, 4-10 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday, 12-9 p.m.
Bike Access: Midtown Greenway: Turn south on 26th Avenue S, then continue onto Minnehaha Avenue S to brewery. Minnehaha Avenue: Bike lane from 38th Street E to Franklin Avenue E.
Arguably MSP’s most artsy brewery, Harriet Brewing Company is well-placed near the intersection of several high-traffic bike routes: Midtown Greenway and Minnehaha Avenue are the big ones, but Lake Street has gotten a lot more bike friendly in recent years. Plus, the Lake Street Blue Line station is two or three minutes’ pedal away — not bad for riders coming from elsewhere in the metro.
Harriet Brewing Company has plenty of secured and unsecured bike parking (it’s easy to watch bikes on the outdoor patio). Come for an evening show — there’s one almost every night the brewery is open — or a free Saturday afternoon tour. And when you’ve finished your pint, head down Minnehaha Avenue to Minnehaha Park.
Bryn Mawr Brewing Company
Location: 225 Thomas Avenue North, Minneapolis
Hours: To be determined.
Bike Access: Bassett Creek Trail: Exit at Inglewood Avenue N and turn left to brewery. Luce Line Extension: Exit at Glenwood Avenue and turn east, then right (south) on Thomas Avenue N to brewery. Glenwood Avenue: Continuous bike lane from North Loop.
MSP’s most bike-friendly brewery might not be open yet. Bryn Mawr Brewing Company, an ambitious new concept from former Vine Park Brewing Companyco-owner Dan Justesen and a group of equally beer-savvy partners, is building out a 200-seat taproom and 5,000 to 8,000-square-foot beer garden for use in warmer weather. The owners are shooting for a winter launch, though Justesen warns that the timetable is subject to change.
Justesen’s vision for Bryn Mawr is simple: “We want to create a communal gathering place where people can meet and be happy,” he says, “built around classic, straightforward beer styles.”
Bryn Mawr is a stone’s throw from two separated bike trails, the Luce Line Extension and Bassett Creek Trail. Justesen is in talks with local stakeholders to build a footbridge over Bassett Creek, a move that would connect the brewery to the Luce Line and facilitate bike and pedestrian access from the Bryn Mawr neighborhood.
“At the community meetings we’ve done, local residents are just clamoring for a bridge over the creek,” says Justesen. “There’s huge demand for better walking and bike connections in the community.”
Depending the city approval process, there may also be a paved or gravel bike and walking path along the creekside.
According to Justesen, Bryn Mawr’s natural, park-like setting sets it apart from most other MSP breweries. “We’re surrounded by parks and recreation amenities here,” he says, noting Theodore Wirth Park to the northwest and Bryn Mawr Meadows Park to the southeast. He envisions the brewery as a year-round hub for patrons participating in club sports — softball, rugby, soccer — and “silent” sports like Nordic skiing, road biking and mountain biking. Bryn Mawr will have “several” bike and ski racks out front, plus an air compressor or fixed bike pump station if there’s room.
This article is reprinted in partnership with The Line, an online chronicle of Twin Cities creativity in entrepreneurship, culture, retail, placemaking, the arts, and other elements of the new creative economy. Brian Martucci is The Line’s innovation and jobs news editor.