Sunday, April 16, 2017

Northern Ale Guide, Stop 10 - Bad Weather Brewing

Stamp Number 10: Bad Weather Brewing, 414 7th St. West, St. Paul

Along St. Paul's most well-known street, at the base of the High Bridge, sits a former auto body shop. On a warm spring day, you can drive by West 7th Street in St. Paul, right at the intersection with Smith Avenue, and see the garage doors open and a lot full of cars. But nobody's changing any tires. Instead, they're enjoying the first nice weekend after a winter full of bad weather.

Nicci fired me from taking photos
for my own blog. She took this one
at Bad Weather. It shows our kids,
the outdoor patio, and the Irish
Cream Ale (left) and Migration.
It's a better picture than I would
have taken.
Bad Weather Brewery couldn't have picked a better location when they moved away from the space they shared with Lucid Brewing a few years ago. Located halfway between the former Schmidt Brewery and the Xcel Energy Center, Bad Weather is right on the edge of downtown St. Paul, and they have used the space provided them perfectly. The overhead doors that used to let cars in for repairs can now open up to provide access to the patio. What used to be the tire show room and sales floor is now a nearly separate room where people can hold their parties and get a semblance of privacy. The main bar area is longer than you normally see at a taproom, giving people the feel of a traditional bar, right down to the arcade games that have been rigged to be permanently playable.

The only real complaint about Bad Weather is the parking. It doesn't take much to fill the parking on their triangular lot, so street parking is often the only option. And since the brewery is close enough to Xcel that somebody could reasonably park there on their way to a Wild playoff game concert, the street parking can fill up fast. We tried twice during the winter to go to Bad Weather and cross off another stamp from the passport but gave up when we couldn't find someplace to park quickly enough.

It was a little unexpected, then, when we went on the first nice weekend of spring and found parking on the street right outside the front door. We walked through the patio, which was filled with dogs and people playing bags, and waited longer than normal to get our beers. But it was spring in Minnesota, and the garage doors were open, so there was nothing wrong with waiting a little while extra. The food truck sold burgers and was tempting, but we already had dinner plans.

If you go, the Migration Blond Ale and Windvane Red IPA are the popular drinks; I also had the Irish Cream Ale, which was good, even if I didn't taste the "cream" part of the name. I'd also recommend running across the street to have dinner at DeGidios, a restaurant that is better than the more famous Mancini's just down the road. But be sure to come back to enjoy the spacious patio - I apologize in advance if my kids hit you with a bean bag - or to sneak into the party room and steal some cake when you think no one's watching.

Whether the weather is bad or good, it's worth a trip down West 7th to visit Bad Weather. 

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