As a child, I never hung around in bars. My parents never thought of them as an appropriate place to bring their children, and with good reason. Unlike our European counterparts, Americans have historically made bars strictly for grownups. However, with the smoking ban in full effect and growler sales on Sunday, the times are quickly changing. Beer culture is on the front line of this major shift in how Americans, and especially Minnesotans, enjoy a drink. As brew pubs began to emerge in 2010 they brought with them the idea that drinking didn’t have to be for Friday night blowouts and Saturday morning regrets. Specialty crafted beers were now being made to be enjoyed, not pounded down like so many mass-produced alternatives. They call them craft beers for a reason, and they’re made for people who really care about what they want to drink. This is bringing a new type of clientele into the taproom scene, where the light, gourmet atmosphere is more suitable for families.
In Northeast Minneapolis beer culture and family have been brought together hand in hand. There are more than ten brew pubs in this small part of the metro alone, with many more new ones springing up across the Twin Cities every month. As a resident of Northeast, I am pleased to live in an area that is home to so many independent breweries. I should also mention that I am a father, and that I also enjoy a frosted barley pop from time to time. To be able to stop in for a pint and not be frowned upon for bringing my girls in with me is amazing!
Indeed Brewing is one of my favorite places to grab a beer or a growler. They have two taprooms that have ample seating, along with a dog-friendly patio. Not only can you bring the family, but you can also feel ethically sound in your spending, because Indeed doesn’t just serve great beer — they donate all of their Wednesday night profits to a charity of their employees’ choosing, too!
Even closer to the hub of Northeast is Able Seedhouse and Brewery. This establishment is a farm-to-table drinking experience. Their taproom is set in an expansive space with the brewery right in the back. They have a very large patio that features bean bag toss and a lovely community atmosphere. They are also dog-friendly, provided your dog is leashed, and are very welcoming to families. They even have board games.
Both Indeed and Able Seedhouse welcome you to visit the food trucks just outside their taprooms. You are also welcome to bring in outside food of your own, like a birthday cake for a special event, for instance.
In my youth bars were smoke-filled rooms full of profligates looking to pick a fight (or worse). They were homes to scuffed up pool tables, mean spirited bartenders, and the worst food you could eat on a dare. Not necessarily anymore, though, so come have a beer and bring the kids!
By Sam Stinogel