Finnegans Taproom Offers Tasty Beer and Good Vibes in Downtown Minneapolis

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The Minnesota brewery scene is not only known for being robust, it is has a reputation for giving back to the community-in a big way. Perhaps no brewery embodies this more than Finnegans, which donates 100 percent of their profits back to feeding the hungry. In fact, they claim to be the first beer company in the world to donate 100 percent of its profits to charity.

Expanded Beer Selection Applauded

For years Finnegans served a limited number of beer styles. That has changed. After opening its new downtown Minneapolis taproom in 2018, the brewery has grown its footprint with a 6,000 sq. ft. taproom (adjacent to a 4,000 sq. ft. dog-friendly patio) and expanded its beer selection. On my recent visit, there were 16 beers available at the taproom.

My sampler included the following:

  • Cluster Truck: An American IPA with an ABV of 6.5 percent.
  • Crimson Howler: A red IPA aged in bourbon barrels, coming in at a relatively low 7.3 ABV (at least for barrel-aged).
  • Aronia: An American wild ale aged on Aronia berries. Offers a tart flavor and an ABV of 6.7 percent.
  • Tile Factory: A mosaic IPA coming in at 7.0 percent ABV.

My beer palate has been leaning toward barrel-aged brews of late, even during the hot, humid days of summer—and my visit to Finnegans was no exception. After the tasting samples, my top beer choice was the Crimson Howler. The Tile Factory was a fantastic second.

The taproom has a limited menu served by the Tavola Italian Kitchen + Bar housed in the Elliot Park Hotel next door. The Irish Ploughman’s Platter was pretty darn good, with meats, cheese and hard-boiled eggs. Although I didn’t taste them, the Potato Kegs Tots looked very tempting! Food from local restaurants is also welcome at Finnegans.

Tastes Good; Feels Good

According to its website, Finnegans’ brews are currently distributed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. With a mission statement of, “Turning beer into food,” the brewery has food shelf partners that correspond with each territory: The Food Group (Minnesota, Hunger Task Force Free & Local (Wisconsin), Great Plains Food Bank (North Dakota), Feeding South Dakota and Food Bank of Iowa.

Finnegans has come a long way in recent years. Their ongoing commitment to give back has surpassed the $1 million mark. The tastes good, feels good vibe lives on!

Abbreviation Key:

  • IPA: India Pale Ale
  • ABV: Alcohol By Volume
The patio at Finnegans is a quiet, relaxing oasis in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. And during my most recent visit, it served as a sanctuary amidst endless driving and walking obstacles caused by the season of road construction.
Finnegans Beer Tasters (l to r): Crimson Howler barrel-aged red IPA, Aronia America wild ale, Cluster Truck American IPA and Tile Factory mosaic IPA.
Please forgive the selfie. I visited the taproom as part of a happy hour event. I was thrilled to win one of the prizes—my snazzy new Finnegans hat!
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A visit to Burning Brothers Brewing in St. Paul, Minn.

Just paid my first visit to Burning Brothers in St. Paul, Minn. Their motto, “Don’t Fear the Beer,” is indicative of their gluten-free approach to beer-making.

According to their website, “We believe the only way to brew great gluten-free beer is to make it in a dedicated gluten-free facility. This means our beer is crafted using completely gluten-free grains, never containing wheat, barley or rye. We don’t use special filters, enzymes or other gluten-free gimmicks. Instead, we brew great-tasting beers that you KNOW are truly gluten-free.”

Continue reading Burning Brothers Brewing: A Tasty Gluten-Free Experience St. Paul, Minn.

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