Where to Find Heated Patios in Minnesota This Winter
By Caitlin Hannah
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In Minnesota, we pride ourselves on bundling up and finding creative ways to stay active all year round. That mentality is especially true in our hospitality industry, whether you're dining inside of a snow globe or sipping hot toddies on a heated patio. Here's where you can drink craft beer, cocktails and wine alongside fire pits and warm lamps this winter.
Although it's barely two miles outside of downtown Minneapolis, the massive winter beer garden at Utepils Brewing feels like another world altogether. It's nestled on the banks of Basset Creek and it's not uncommon to see deer grazing in the adjacent field while you enjoy one of the brewery's fabulous Bavarian-style beers. Come dressed in layers and prepare to get cozy with live music, a large fire pit, semi-covered tents and food trucks.
Housed in the oldest surviving commercial building in St. Paul, Waldmann Brewing goes above and beyond to honor its historic digs: The beer is rooted in classic styles that were common during the building's 1857 run as a German lager saloon, and the interior is filled with all manner of pre-Civil War memorabilia and engravings. The only thing that doesn't feel like it was pulled from a history book is the heated outdoor Biergarten, which uses an array of 10 highly efficient, clean-burning natural gas heaters to keep you warm all winter long.
Located in hip Northeast Minneapolis, Sociable Cider Werks is staying outside this season with a dreamy winter patio area with more than eight firepits, smores kits and food trucks serving up soups and other hot items. Venturing further out into Fridley is Forgotten Star Brewing, which adds a curling league (!) into the mix every winter.
Bundle up and enjoy a beer at the outdoor patio of Chapel Brewing in Dundas, where the taproom building dates to 1880 and — true to its title — was originally one of the town's churches. If you're more into craft spirits and cocktails, 10,000 Drops is also nearby and known for its Lokal Vodka that's available either straight-up or distilled with blood orange, key lime pie or Meyer lemon flavors.
Milk & Honey Ciders in St. Joseph will have the campfires hot this winter in their expansive outdoor area. Warm up by one of their campfires or stand near one of the heaters in their open-air tent.
Crow River Winery in Hutchinson has added several outdoor heaters to their patio space to warm up diners as they sip glasses of wine or enjoy a tasting plate. Reservations are required.
Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's social media strategist and resident Disney expert. She grew up spending summer weekends at her family's lake cabin in Detroit Lakes, and brings that "up north" attitude to everything she does. When traveling around the state, she likes trying new restaurants and taprooms, or watching Minnesota hockey.
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