The Beer Dabbler at Pride: 2014 Pairings


Summer is in full swing and we are ready to hit this year’s Pride with the force of a thousand burning suns. Nothing goes better with bright sunshine, the freedom to marry, and a brilliantly colored flag like an icy cold craft brew. Just as they did last year, The Beer Dabbler has again curated a ginormous list of perfectly paired brewers and food trucks. It seems like every other day there’s a new brewery launching and colorful food wagon parked at a downtown curb. No need to break out the textbooks to get them all straight, we have your entire guide for picking which ones you won’t be able to miss.


A Cupcake Social: Food trends may come and go, but these cupcakes are here to stay. Moist, rich, not too sweet, and stocked with inventive flavors as well as beautifully executed classics, A Cupcake Social serves lovely little treats.

Mankato Brewery: Bringing their brews up north for us straight from the Key City. Mankato Brewery revives the beer tradition with beer like their Organ Grinder Amber Ale or the Haymaker IPA.


A la Plancha: It’s hard not to fall in love with their luchadore at first sight. A la Plancha delivers big flavors directly to your mouth. With potatoes bravas and Cuban sliders, you’ll be hard pressed to walk away from these guys without a smile plastered across your face.

Indeed Brewing Company: Beloved craft brew in cans bring you drinkable art in easy-to-carry containers. You can hardly call it summer without sampling their refreshing Shenanigans.


Anchor Fish & Chips: Just wait until you get a load of the fish they serve up here. A cod filet the size of a baby is fried to crispy perfection. When dressed with a little malt vinegar, you won’t find a better bite of the across-the-pond favorite.

Bad Weather Brewing Company: Unexpected, untethered beer is the promise. These guys don’t follow the traditional road and instead are forging ahead down their own path to delicious beer.


Bernatello’s: Everybody loves a pizza pie and Bernatello’s serves theirs straight from the truck window. It’s ooey gooey, fresh and ready.

Fytenburg Family Breweries: European-style ales and lagers made in the former horse stables of St. Paul’s Schmidt Brewery.


Cajun 2 Geaux: Is it hot enough for ya? Probably not, if you don’t have a mouth full of this fiery fare. The jambalaya is no joke and a pile of beignets buried in powdered sugar is the pinnacle of great fried food.

FINNEGANS:  This brewery does more than make good beer; they also do good for the community. They donate 100% of their profits to alleviate hunger locally. This year they even started a reverse food truck to help collect donations for our hungry neighbors.


Cave Café: The Cave Café specializes in fusion fare with a Caribbean bent. Chef Teddy’s zesty dishes might have you reaching for a little something to cool things down.

Lucid Brewing: The Minnetonka-based brewery promotes “clarity of thinking and quality of drinking.” Usually, we get foggy after a few frosty brews, but this promise might be worth exploring.


Chef Shack: The original ladies of the food truck biz bring it with all their chefly powers. Who can live without their bacon-stuffed brats, black bean tacos, or magical mini donuts these days?

Summit Brewing Company: Not only did they introduce cans, but this St. Paul classic brewery—our original craft beer makers—continues to lead the pack with their newest offerings. Who could dream up a better pairing?


Gastrotruck: Other businesses just say they’re “chef driven,” this truck actually is. You won’t want to miss their vegetarian burgers, or the chicken wild rice burgers, or the pork belly, for that matter. You should probably mark this spot with an extra big star.

Flat Earth Brewing Company: St. Paul’s Flat Earth has crafted brews across the color spectrum, from their first brewed Belgian-style pale ale to the mocha-colored Cygnus x1 Porter.


Gogi Bros: These guys are among the latest crop of trucks, but what sets them apart is their fantastic food. Tender, subtly sweet bulgogi (Korean barbecue) is paired with their tart-hot kimchee for flavor heaven.

Surly Brewing: No one represents at a party like the masters of brew at Surly. Pit a Bender against those Kogi flavors and you’re going to find yourself in possession of one happy tummy.


Hibachi Daruma: This brightly colored truck brings the flavor with teriyaki chicken and quick-cooked shrimp served with their fried rice.

Day Block Brewing Company: This downtown Minneapolis brew pub keeps an ever-rotating list of in-house crafted beers. One can only hope they bring a little of that honey-kissed Amber ale to pair with the Japanese grilled fare.


Hola Arepa: It’s your chance to see the Hola kids out in the wild! The truck has been faithfully parked beside their hopping new eatery in South Minneapolis, patiently awaiting a return to the streets and this is it. Soft corn cakes crammed with the very best meats, cheeses, and house-made sauces. You know you want some.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Co: The only neighborhood hotter than South Minneapolis is St. Paul’s Lowertown, which is exactly where you’ll find Tin Whiskers taproom. Their Flipswitch IPA with citrus scents and thread of malt would pair beautifully with an arepa.


Hot Indian Foods: If you haven’t read about Hot Indian’s Chef Janene Holig you probably should (Lavender Issue 495). She and Amol Dixit are bringing the spicy Indian best with Indurritos, and Hot Indian’s fries that are a must-eat for any street food lover.

Bauhaus Brew Labs: These cans scream summer. (Just pop one and listen if you don’t believe me.) Besides, how do you not love a brew named Wonderhouse?


Jake’s Street Grill: This truck is part of the trend of restaurants taking to the streets with mobile eats. Jake’s is known for their sliders, but also serve salads stuffed inside pita bread for those looking for a little bit of a lighter option.

Lift Bridge Brewery: Lift Bridge continues to churn out the brews from outside of Stillwater. You’ll want to sample their sunny-tasting summer beauty, Farm Girl Saison.


Kabomelette: It’s not just an omelette—oh how pedestrian. Oh no, this comes with a side of KABLAM. Hence: the Kabomelette. It’s not just for breakfast any more.

Third Street Brewhouse: From the golden-hued Three Way, the roasted-caramel-colored Lost Trout, to the Rise to the Top cream ale, Third Street Brewhouse gives us a variety of beers created for pairing with great food.


Natedogs: Natedogs peddles the best hotdogs you’ll find on the streets. There. I said it. Just sample one of those Pastures A Plenty porkers yourself, dressed in Nate’s perfect honey mustard and a little tangy slaw, and you’ll be a convert, too.

Sociable Cider Werks: The local beverage world is abuzz about this spot serving up all kinds of great sippers that are all made without gluten. That’s right, you GF fiends, there is safe drinking to be found inside this Dabbler and it’s really, really good.


Pepperjax Express: This new-to-us truck specializes in the Philly—the sandwich with paper-thin slices of meat coated with gooey cheese, onions, and peppers and piled onto a hoagie bun.

BRAU BROTHERS BREWING COMPANY: Their beers have inspired a passionate following. Their smooth and creamy Moo Joos continues to be my go-to brew, an oatmeal stout that’s delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.


Potter’s Pasties: For those who’ve never tasted them, Potter’s Pasties are a savory meat mitten sort of meal. Pie dough is wrapped around all manner of fillings and baked to perfection. They are hearty and just begging for a great brew buddy for sipping.

ENKI Brewing Co: Named for the Sumerian god of Running Water, this brewery is breezing in from Victoria. I hope they’re bringing some of their Hootenanny Hefe, a summery, German-style wheat-malt heavy pour that came to party.


RA Mac Sammy: RA Mac Sammy specializes in paper boats brimming with elbow noodles covered in the gooey stuff. If you’re feeling adventurous there are a myriad of ways to customize your dish. Bacon is one option, although it should probably be mandatory.

NorthGate Brewing: Their English-style ales are popping up all over town, not just near their Northeast brewery. The Wall’s End would be the living end paired with the mac and cheesiness.


Rusty Taco: Tacos wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with all the familiar favorites, including pineapple. Oh, you aren’t used to ordering pineapple atop your tacos? Well, perhaps you should. Sip on that!

The Herkimer Pub and Brewery: While you’re sipping, you can check out one of the brews from Herkimer. Uptown’s original brewhouse, they were up on this craft brew deal before it became a big deal.


Scratch Food Truck: Scratch Food Truck is run and owned by the chef who used to run the kitchen at Subo, the short-lived Filipino restaurant in downtown. The food here are favorites given a chef-y twist, like a crazy crispy fried chicken sandwich with crunchy, creamy slaw.

Bent Paddle Brewery: Duluth’s Bent Paddle Brewery came on the scene more like a yacht than a canoe. Their carefully crafted brews are full of depth and brightness with beautiful little bubbles. It’s enough to make the pilgrimage up I-35, but luckily you don’t have to go anywhere other than Loring Park for a taste this Pride.


Simply Steve’s: I wonder if he decided to call it Simply Steve’s because of his dedication to creating good food that you won’t need a dictionary to understand? This is a foam-free zone with burgers and sandwiches that will satisfy.

Excelsior Brewing Company: Excelsior is brimming with new business; new restaurants seem to be popping up left and right. I wonder if it’s that they’re trying to get closer to this employee-owned brewery.


Stanley’s on Wheels: The Northeast neighborhood outpost goes mobile with hearty portions. The slightly sweet barbecue pork is piled atop a massive bun that won’t leave you wanting for much else in the world.

Big Wood Brewery: The name is as subtle as the brews they serve. (It’s not that they’re compensating for anything.) Fingers crossed that they’re serving up a giant morning wood; it’s a coffee-flavored stout. What did you think I was talking about?


Taste of Target Field: Did you know that Target Field got in on the food truck action? It’s true. Here they bring a taste of the ball game to the streets.

Rock Bottom Brewery: If you haven’t tasted a brew from Rock Bottom Brewery in Minneapolis, you clearly haven’t been drinking locally enough. Now’s your chance.


Tiki Tim’s: Oh dear, Tiki Tim’s, let’s never let us be apart for so many months again. All those cold dreaded days were so empty without your insanely awesome fish tacos. This might just be a love for the ages.

Dangerous Man Brewing Co: If you haven’t headed over to Dangerous Man’s Nordeast brewery yet, now is your chance to sample what everyone has been raving about. You don’t have to have a beard to quaff their brews, but it wouldn’t hurt.


Tollefson Family Grill: You can’t get much closer to farm-to-truck dining than dining at the trailer run by the family farm. Their pork sausages are grilled to perfection.

612Brew: These guys might have my favorite taproom and it’s probably only in part because I’m obsessed with their Rated R brew. All their selections are satisfying sippers.


Turkey To Go: The beloved State Fair booth has got themselves a food truck and the tender turkey meat is just as wonderfully smoky and seasoned as you remember. Piled on a squishy white bread bun, it’s perfect for eating while people watching.

Fulton Brewery: Because you know a friend digging into a pile of turkey is really just looking for a Lonely Blonde, Fulton pairs perfectly with this truck. The newly expanded brewery is still turning out some of my favorite local brews and it goes well with everything—just like turkey!


*The Beer Dabbler reserves the right to change the food truck and brewery pairings at any time.

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