Brewery Review: Hop & Barrel

Minnesotans and Wisconsinites may not like to claim much in common, but they can proudly boast downtown Hudson’s newest brewery as one of their greatest collaborations.

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Credit: Adam Rozanas Photography

Hop & Barrel Brewing’s soft open Friday, December 8 was a big celebration for beer lovers on both sides of the St. Croix River.

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Credit: Adam Rozanas Photography

Our mission is to visit every brewery/taproom in Minnesota and beyond, so a visit just across the river into the land of cheese and Packers wasn’t too deviant to that goal. That all three founders are originally from MN — and come from two of our favorite breweries (Inbound and Third Street Brewing) — would nearly give us enough reason to claim Hop & Barrel as Minnesota’s own. Adam knew co-founder Brian  from their days working in Minneapolis’ North Loop; Brian would frequent Adam’s Caribou location while Adam  loved stopping in at Inbound. They reconnected after we discovered Hop & Barrel’s Instagram, and Brian invited us out to the soft open.

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Credit: Adam Rozanas Photography

Hop and Barrel is an easy 20 minute drive from St. Paul — straight out I-94 and off the first exit for Hudson, WI. Located downtown, the cool, neon green sign in the parking lot makes it impossible to miss. Inside and out, Hop and Barrel is true to its name with lots of hop-green color and barrel-wood accents. With front and back sections to choose from — plus a nice patio space for the warmer months — there’s plenty of high-top, picnic table and front-window bar space to choose from; arcade games in the back add some extra fun.

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Credit: Adam Rozanas Photography
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Credit: Adam Rozanas Photography

As of opening night, Hop & Barrel had eight beers on tap, all ales. If you like IPA’s and fruity, citrus-y beers, you’re going to love this place. If you prefer darker, more robust beers like we currently do, their Dirty Scowl Dark Ale was really tasty. Plus, they already have more four beers on the way, including two stouts!

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Credit: Adam Rozanas Photography

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Here’s our full review (categories are rated out of five 🍺):

  1. Beer Selection (number and styles available): 🍺🍺🍺
  2. Beer Taste (expected of style): 🍺🍺🍺
  3. Location (find-ability/ accessibility): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
  4. Atmosphere/Venue: 🍺🍺🍺🍺
  5. Service (of staff): 🍺🍺🍺🍺

Wishing all the best to Hop & Barrel’s founders, staff and patrons! We’re looking forward to visiting again soon! Cheers!

– Adam & Katie, Ale Adventurers

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