“To create fine beers for you to enjoy!”
That’s the mission of Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater, MN. It’s simple and uncomplicated, but you can tell they mean it.
Lift Bridge is a staple of Minnesota craft beer. The seventh largest brewery in Minnesota, they established themselves long ago as a leader and forerunner of many more breweries and beers to come. Their Farm Girl Saison flagship is a Minnesota classic and the beer Katie attributes as her initiation into craft beer. From liquor stores to bar & grills to sports stadiums, you can count on Lift Bridge showing up just about anywhere. As much as we love the convenience of finding Lift Bridge, it was just a matter of time before we visited the taproom and brewery for ourselves.
Located just a couple blocks off of Highway 36, Lift Bridge is easy to find. Currently located in a pretty unassuming building — “Are they selling beer or real estate?” I may have asked my wife as we drove up — they do expect to be in a new location sometime in 2019 due to growth. Inside, it’s nice — somewhere between wood-crafted rustic meets sports bar — yet still comfortable and home-y. Lots of windows allow natural light to brighten the space. Large picnic-style tables and benches are perfect for a group of friends or for making new friends, and smaller 4-person tables cater to smaller groups or the more anti-social drinkers.
With 13 beers on tap at the time of our visit, there was certainly no shortage of options to choose from! Two flights covered nearly everything, and our beertender Jen — voted Best Beertender 2017 by Growler Magazine, whoop whoop! — threw in a bonus 4oz. just to make sure we had a complete experience (thanks Jen!). Naturally, there were some beers we preferred more than others — the Farm Girl Saison, of course; the Fireside Flannel Brown Ale; the Warden Stout; the Irish Coffee Stout (YUM!) and the Pumpkin Spiced that was a pleasant surprise — but there were none we did not like, which itself is a feat for a selection so wide and testament to the quality of beer Lift Bridge is brewing.
A drop-down screen had a basketball game playing, and games and popcorn were available in a back corner of the room. An large selection of merch was available, and a huge brewing space was visible through windows in the back that Jen would have given us a tour of were it not already hosting a wedding reception.
Overall, we give Lift Bridge two thumbs up. The (current) taproom isn’t anything special or fancy, but it is cozy and welcoming — the kind of place we could spend a casual afternoon drinking with friends. Personally, I think it’s the beer that Lift Bridge can hang its hat on — really solid, really reliable, really tasty beer widely distributed (in Minnesota as well as North Dakota and Wisconsin). I only see good things in store for Lift Bridge, and right now that looks like a new taproom.
Here’s our full review (categories are rated out of five 🍺):
- Beer Selection (number and styles available): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Beer Taste (expected of style): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Location (find-ability/ accessibility): 🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Atmosphere/Venue: 🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Service (of staff): 🍺🍺🍺🍺
Have you been to Lift Bridge Brewing before? What did you think?