Being born and raised in Wisconsin, you know I’m a beer girl! One of my favorite things to do is explore local hotspots, whether it be in a city I’m visiting or the city I currently call home. As someone who loves craft beer, finding new breweries to sample has become somewhat of a hobby. You can really get a feel for a city and its neighborhoods just by spending a few hours in one of their breweries!
Barrel Theory Beer Company, located in the Lowertown neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota, opened its taproom in June of this past summer. A short walk from both the Xcel Energy Center and CHS Field, this is the perfect place to grab a local brew or two before Minnesota Wild or Saint Paul Saints games!
Upon entering, I fell in love with the decor. Hardwood floors and stone walls are two of the features I picture in Saint Paul architecture and Barrel Theory has both. The taproom is not overly large but has a wraparound bar and window seating that gives it a cozy feel. The hanging wire lighting twisted into a petal shape and brightly colored beer signs add just the right personality and artsy touch.
The menu featured a nice selection of IPAs and stout beers with a few other products for variety. Instead of serving flights, Barrel Theory offered all of their beers in 4 oz. pours so you could sample as many as you like before settling on a favorite. Their beer philosophy is simple: if they aren’t proud of it, they won’t serve it! As someone who sampled my fair share, I didn’t find one I didn’t like.
The Black Lotus, a coconut milk stout, was by far my favorite. It tasted smooth and left a refreshing coconut taste on your tongue after sipping. My second favorite was, without a doubt, Java Oats, a coffee oatmeal stout. How can you go wrong with a coffee-flavored beer? With two of my favorites in one craft brew, sign me up for that! My favorite IPA was Droptops. It’s the dead of winter here in Minnesota and just the name conjured driving down palm tree-lined streets of Cali in a vintage droptop. Ordered mostly for the name, the flavor did not disappoint!
What are your favorite places to explore? Do you have a favorite brewery in your city? I’d love to visit some of your favorites!