New taprooms continue to open every month, and the summer is high season. When my brother-in-law mentioned he wanted to visit a taproom that “nobody had been to yet” I knew there were several to choose from. I told him that Pryes Brewing Company had just opened their new riverside taproom. A day later we were working up a thirst and cruising along the river road.
I’d had my eye on the Pryes (pun shamelessly intended) taproom for quite awhile. From everything I had seen it looked like it would be a fantastic addition to the Minneapolis craft beer scene and the Near North neighborhood. If you don’t see the Mississippi river during your drive, your eyes aren’t open. Pryes faces it directly with only trees to block your view.
Simply put, the taproom is gorgeous. Facing the brewery it’s hard to believe this is a commercial building shared by several other tenants. Google Street View gives you a glimpse into the past and provides full context to the transformation. The building was designed by architecture firm Little Box Inc. and the decor by Form From Form. They got their money’s worth! It’s got a textured grayish blue facade with Pryes’ vintage logo against a small section of black. A bit imposing, but softened by the patron filled communal patio.
Upon entering you’re shown the same attention to detail. High ceilings and lights hung haphazardly at different heights against the dark ceiling give you a sense of twinkling stars in the sky. We checked the patio but it was understandably packed. We were celebrating a birthday so we tucked ourselves around the corner for a little privacy to escape the crowds. I had a great view of their feather bowling court which really has to be seen to be understood. Great Big Story has an excellent video describing this curious sport. If you want to try it out attempt get there early and get in line, the same group was playing the entire time during our visit.
While waiting for the last of our family to arrive I approached the bar to order a couple of pints. I had to start with their award winning Miraculum, and they had it on nitro. The beertender shouted to his coworker to fill a glass of “super awesome.” It delivered on that promise. Deep amber in color, fruity, flavorful, and silky smooth, I doubt I’ll visit again without at least having a glass. I’m skeptical of beers that win awards but this one restored a little faith. Later on in the evening my brother-in-law would exclaim that “the foam is soft on your lips.” Perfect explanation!
Once everyone arrived we put in an order of pizza. Pryes partners with the local Red Wagon Pizza Company to provide wood-fired pizza and other snacks until an hour before close. A true test of any pizza is how good they can make it with just cheese. I feel if they can’t get that right then the rest doesn’t matter. I’m happy to report they hit the mark!
There is attention to detail at every turn at Pryes. Tables are smooth dark wood with light inlays accompanied by ultra-wide benches. The feather bowling court is flanked by rail seating and bookended by racks for the feather bowls themselves integrated into those tables. The bathrooms are gender neutral, each with a full length door on the stall and facing a shared trough sink. In the future this will become the norm rather than the exception.
All considered it’s a fantastic taproom enjoyed by a very wide demographic. There weren’t many beers on tap which may be by design since their tap list doesn’t have much room for expansion. That list is separated into Signature (Miraculum and Nitro Miraculum) and Small Batch (x4). They also mention weekly infusions on their website which I didn’t see during our visit. They say location is everything and Pryes has that in spades. If you ever wanted to enjoy a beer on a summer evening with the Mississippi in front of you and downtown Minneapolis a stones throw away, Pryes Brewing Company has the taproom for you.