Total Trip Time: 5 to 6 hours
Riding Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Riding Distance: 21.7 miles
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Experience Points Value: 863
First Pedal: 12PM
Last brake lever squeeze: 5:45PM
Bauhaus Brew Labs – http://bauhausbrewlabs.com
Blu Dot – http://www.bludot.com
Sociable Cider Werks – http://sociablecider.com
Handsome HQ – http://handsomecycles.com
Dangerous Man – http://dangerousmanbrewing.com
Anchor Fish and Chips – http://www.theanchorfishandchips.com
StoneArch Bridge – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Arch_Bridge
The Greenway – http://www.traillink.com/trail/midtown-greenway-(mn).aspx
LynLake Brewery – http://www.lynlakebrewery.com
The Alt Bike and Board Shop – http://www.altbikeboard.com
It was the best of times and the worst of times. You've got a brand new bike, or one you are just itchin' to ride, and nowhere to go on it. Well, that's just nonsense. You have a bike, you can go anywhere and you'll have the time of your life. But just for those of you with planning OCD or those of you who need to “know” that you'll have fun once you leave the house on your bike, here is a great idea for you.
Our great City of Minneapolis has so many awesome breweries and taprooms that, if you are into beer, are a must visit. By far, the best ways to visit them is by bike. I'm not going to get into all of the benefits of riding your bike to places that serve alcohol, but I will say, be a responsible adult and know when you have had too much to drive, even a bike. Okay? Great. Now, lets look at where you should go.
First of all, it is most fun if you start somewhat further away from your final destination and then work back. That way, the more beers you have had, the closer you are to home. You will have to work out your own particular route, but here is what works best for me. I live in South Minneapolis, but my favorite taprooms are all in Northeast Minneapolis, so the initial trek is a little distance. That is just fine though because I am well thirsty by the time we get to our first stop. Arm yourself with the proper bike. You will want to bring some things with you on this trip and wearing a backpack is a real bummer. The new Limited Edition Fredward Grocery Getter / Bar Hopper is the perfect tool for this ride. It has fenders (keep you clean buddy), a basket (haul your stuff and collect beer) and a bell (get outta my way please).
Starting in South Minneapolis, I first head East on 40th so that I can grab the pedestrian bridge over 35W and onto the designated bike street. Down from there, I hook up on another bike friendly street that has a dedicated bike lane, Park Ave, and take that North for about 6 miles. This route keeps me going in one direction without having to turn much and in a bike lane almost the whole time, which is nice. Once I get through Downtown Minneapolis, and then a quick cut over on 2nd to Portland Ave, I get to cross the Stone Arch Bridge, which by itself is a pretty great place to bike, period. Over the bridge and into Northeast. From there, the route gets a little less bike friendly, but I'm almost to my first destination, Bauhaus Brew Labs on Tyler St. It is so close I can almost taste the Wonderstuff and Wagon Party, my favorite two beers there. The taproom at Bauhaus is set-up well for cyclists. There is indoor and covered outdoor seating, plenty of bike parking and they have games you can play outside. They often have food trucks on site so I can refuel after the first leg of this fun day. After a Wagon Party (or two), it is time to move on. If you feel like checking out Minneapolis' best furniture company, Blu Dot, they are right next door. Pop into their outlet on a weekend day and try not to spend your entire paycheck.
If you are into hard cider or are with someone who is Gluten Free, Sociable Cider Werks is just a couple of blocks away. Their Freewheeler dry cider is my favorite, but they have beers as well if you aren't feeling like a beverage made from apples. Sociable is very much into bikes. The sociable is a bike from the old days that has now been lost to history. It is a side-by-side tandem where the goal is to be able to chat easily with your companion, hence, sociable. At the very least, it is fun to check out their sociable in their taproom and down a cider.
From Sociable, heading back West toward the river, if you don't feel like biking far yet, you could stop at Indeed which again is only about 4 blocks away. I'm feeling like a little pedaling at this point to get the blood flowing and work off a little of the buzz. By the way, did you know we are right by Handsome HQ right now. Handsome is located in the Thorp Building. It is a huge warehouse that is home to wood workers, leather workers, photographers, art studios and galleries. In fact, it is the birth place of Art-A-Whirl, which has grown to encompass most of Northeast Minneapolis now. If you want to see us at Handsome, we ask that you phone or email ahead at least the day before so that we can arrange to meet you. We welcome visitors, but our schedules have us all over the place and we aren't always at our HQ. I don't feel like working today, so let's keep the taproom tour rollin'.
The next stop on my tour is at Dangerous Man. They have beers for every taste. Dark ones, light ones, hoppy ones, belgian ones, floral ones. They say it is “just like the 7 dwarves, but there are 12 of them.” The taproom is lively with a great bar and long tables that make it feel kinda Octoberfest all of the time. It is worth mentioning also, that the best fish and chips place in Minneapolis is right there. If you haven't eaten at Anchor Fish and Chips and like deep fried, battered sea swimmers and homemade fries, you have to go. Their sauces are also the best I've had. You can choose between a few, but I usually just get them all.
Now it is serious decision time, depending on how adventurous I am and how I'm feeling, I can either take a little ride across the river over to Fulton's taproom by the home of the Twins, or start heading South, back toward home. Today, there is a spot in Uptown that I want to stop at, so I pop down to Marshall St. and take that until it turns into Main St. by Nicollet Island. The vibe down there is cool. The road tuns into cobble stones and there is a old-timey feel with restaurants and shops on one side and the river on the other. I quickly ride through and I'm back to my favorite Stone Arch Bridge. This trip across, I take my time along the bridge checking out the water and looking up the river at the lock and dam at St. Anthony Falls. Slowly but surely I'll get back across the river to the West River Parkway. The Parkway goes East and South along the Mississippi River. I love the Parkway because it has a completely dedicated bike path off the road. I can just ride along, check out scenery, feel good about the day I've already had and make my way down the river to the Greenway Trail.
The Midtown Greenway is a bike dedicated trail mainly separated from roads. It is really the safest way to get from East to West in Minneapolis. By taking this from it's end near the River Parkway you can get all the way into Uptown. I get off the Greenway, yes, exit like a bike freeway. My exit is the Bryant St. exit. Just a couple of blocks over and just off the Greenway is the LynLake Brewery. It is built into the historic Lyndale Theater right off the corner of Lake and Lyndale. They have a rooftop patio that is a great place to end the trip, lounge for a couple of their session IPAs and chat with friends about the route we'll take next time. Right before you go, grab a growler of your favorite beer. Throw that baby in your sweet basket and strap it down. It is time to go home because the BBQ is waiting, but this trip isn't quite over.
Just down the block from the LynLake Brewery is a institution in the Minneapolis cycling community, The Alt Bike and Board Shop. The Alt, as everyone calls it, is Handsome Cycles' only bike dealer in the city. We are proud to have them as they specialize in city commuting and have a deep commitment to their customers. There are two main reasons there shouldn't be another choice in this city filled with many choices. 1. The Alt has what they call their Lifetime Service Warranty. When you buy a new bike from them, they will adjust everything on your bike for life, for free. Yes, forever, for free! 2. They do overnight service on all bike repairs as long as the parts are in stock. They know that you can't be without your bike for 2 weeks, so they will call in the troops and even stay all night doing bike repairs if that is what it takes. Their service is simply unmatched. Check them out and test ride a Handsome.
After hanging with the guys at The Alt for a little bit, it is time to go home. I live just a little more than a mile south of the shop and I've got some steaks waiting for me to grill. This was really a great day, but I've yet to have a bad day on the bike cruising for beers. It's pretty much a no-lose situation. Just be safe, make good decisions, and pace yourself. By only having one (sometimes two) beers at each location combined with some food and the miles you will ride, you should be okay, but if necessary, call a cab to get home. Don't risk your safety for anything, but have a good time!
Need to Have / Bring: Water, A Good Lock, Bungee Cord, Money, Good Attitude
Beverages Consumed: 6
Total Cost (with food and one growler to take home in basket): $57.25
Bike Ridden: Fredward Single Speed Grocery Getter / Bar Hopper
This LTD version of our Fredward SS is now available for purchase.
Features include: Upgraded Panaracer Pasela Tires, Front Wire Basket, Bell, Included Mud Butler Fenders