Discover the history of St. Cloud's love affair with beer! This university-town has been brewing up great tastes since the late 1860s, when seven breweries were quenching the thirst of its 5,000 population. From its pioneering past to the modern suds presented in the city today, St. Cloud still thrives in its culture of beer-making. Find out more about the hidden secrets of St. Cloud's beer history, and why it still rings so true today.
For residents of St. Cloud, Minnesota and its neighboring communities, beer has held a special place in their hearts for many years. A university town with a population of about 68,000, it is actually one of the oldest brewing cities in Minnesota, having begun its craft beer tradition dating back to the late 1860s.
The university town’s love of beer began more than 150 years ago, in the late 1860s, when seven breweries served a population of about 5,000 in Stearns County. In its heyday, St. Cloud breweries produced more than 500,000 barrels of beer a year.
Beer has historically been an important part of both social and economic life in St. Cloud. In fact, St. Cloud brewer William Sargent opened the first brewery in the city in the 1860s, serving lagers and ales with a distinctly German character. Operating until the 1930s, the brewery produced some of the most fine-tasting beers in the region.
The decline of St. Cloud brewing was due to a number of factors. World War I and Prohibition both had a significant impact on the industry, and by the time Prohibition was repealed in 1933, there were only a few breweries left in St. Cloud. While the city has seen a rise in craft beer production in recent years, it still remains true that St. Cloud holds on to its beer-brewing past.
Recent years have seen a resurgence in craft beer in the St. Cloud area. There are now several local craft breweries in St. Cloud, as well as nearby towns like Waite Park, Sartell, and Sauk Rapids. These breweries all offer their own unique takes on various beer styles, from IPAs and sours to lagers and stouts.
The most well-known brewery in this area is Third Street Brewhouse, located in Cold Spring, Minnesota. Since opening its doors in 2012, Third Street has quickly become a local favorite, with its wide selection of seasonal beers, IPAs, and sours. The brewery also hosts weekly events like trivia night and live music, providing a casual and laid-back atmosphere for locals to enjoy some well-crafted beer.
Apart from visiting Third Street Brewhouse, there are plenty of other places to enjoy a beer in St. Cloud. The city’s Olde Brick House has become a popular spot for beer lovers, offering a mix of local and national brews at its taproom. For visitors looking to explore the beer culture of St. Cloud, a trip to the Tap Room on 5th just up the street is a must.
The Tap Room on 5th’s extensive list of beers pours more than 50 beers from all over the US and beyond. Whether you’re looking for a classic IPA or something more experimental, you’ll find it here. The Tap Room also hosts pint nights, beer trivia, and special events, offering plenty of opportunities to meet other beer lovers while enjoying some quality brews.
If you’re in St. Cloud for a beer trip, there are plenty of other activities and attractions you can explore. From active pursuits like hiking and biking, to exploring downtown St. Cloud and its many shops and restaurants, there is something for everyone in this charming city.
When you’re ready to take a break from sipping beer, there are plenty of outdoor and cultural activities to explore. Lake George, located just north of the city, is a great spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. The area also hosts several seasonal events, like Water Fest and the St. Cloud Craft Beer Trail – a tour through some of the city’s best craft breweries.
St. Cloud is also known for its museums and galleries, with several offering educational and entertaining displays. The Minnesota Amateur Sports Hall of Fame is a great place to experience the local sports culture, while the Stearns History Museum will give you a glimpse into the city’s past. If you’re looking for something a bit more artsy, then the SCSU Art Gallery is a great option for seeing contemporary artwork from local artists.St. Cloud is also known for its museums and galleries, with several offering educational and entertaining displays. The Minnesota Amateur Sports Hall of Fame is a great place to experience the local sports culture, while the Stearns History Museum will give you a glimpse into the city’s past. If you’re looking for something a bit more artsy, then the SCSU Art Gallery is a great option for seeing contemporary artwork from local artists.