Northeast Minneapolis is the poster child for the Twin Cities’ creative scene. From innovative breweries to one-of-a-kind artist studios to quirky restaurants, the neighborhood wasn’t dubbed Minneapolis’ Arts District for nothing, and this weekend the doors are being thrown wide open for Art-A-Whirl.
It’s no surprise, then, that the big annual event in Northeast would also be a hodgepodge of the great, quirky, unique things. Celebrating the big 2-0 this year, Art-A-Whirl (AAW) is pushing the limits with more music, more beer, more art, and more collaborations than one weekend should be able to hold. (But it will, and it will be awesome.)
To successfully navigate the 18 hours of AAW madness, you’ll need a few (or a lot) of beer breaks. There are plenty of options, all equally appealing, so to help you choose when and where to grab a pint, we’ve broken down the weekend into the top beer events to check out.
For information and details on everything else happening during AAW—maps, trolley schedules, bathroom and booth locations, and other information about the 750+ exhibitors, family-friendly events, food options, etc.—head to the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association website.
20th Annual Art-A-Whirl
Multiple locations, Northeast Minneapolis
- Friday, May 15: 5–10pm
- Saturday, May 16: 12–8pm
- Sunday, May 17: 12–5pm
All-Things Beer at Art-A-Whirl
945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, 612brew.com
For their third annual Art, Music & Beer event, 612 will feature three visual artists, six food trucks, and two days of live music (Friday and Saturday).
- 612Brew mural artist Adam Turman
- Beer-poster artist Dogfish Media
- Jewelry designer Garden Weasel Creations
- Gateway Park
- Zero Hour
- Mary Ann
- The new, event-only, German-inspired Radler
- Special cask beers
- Chris Koza
- Step Rockets
- Nathan Miller
- Justin Halverson
- Jonny and the Palms
- The Tipsy Russell’s
- Loons in the Attic
1315 Tyler St NE, Minneapolis, bauhausbrewlabs.com
Bauhaus will celebrate AAW with lots of music and lots of craftwork, starting Friday night with the Haus Party and ending Sunday with the Made By Hands Art Sale.
Friday: Haus Party, 5–10pm
- Barb Abney, Go96.3
- Bauhaus’ haus band, Viva Knievel
- Special guests
- New, unique casks will be tapped all night long
Saturday: Music Extra-Vaganza, 3–10pm
The taproom’s massive parking lot will be transformed into a music venue for a full day of tunes, presented by In The Groove Music and hosted by Go96.3’s Jason Nagel.
Sunday: Made By Hands Art Sale, 12–5pm
The weekend will wrap up with artists and craftsmen selling a wide assortment of hand-made goods: jewelry, woodworking, sweets, knits, ceramics—even tattoos and a barbershop. The pop-up tattoo shop, by Sea Wolf Tattoo Company, will feature classic Americana-style beer tattoos drawn up especially AAW.
Boom Island Brewing Company
2014 N Washington Ave, Suite 300, Minneapolis, boomislandbrewing.com
The Belgian-style brewery will host three artists and offer special cask beers throughout the weekend.
- Ryan Ball (ceramics)—demonstrations throughout the weekend
- Lara Cornell (painter)—public-art project
- Robert Harris (painter)
1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis, dangerousmanbrewing.com
Dangerous Man is teaming up with Northgate Brewing, Fair State Brewing, and Sociable Cider Werks to create a first for AAW: the Northeast Beer Garden. It will be a wonderland of beer, cocktails, food, and music—some of Northeast’s best businesses in one place for a whole weekend. Heaven.
Northeast Beer Garden:
- Saturday, 11am–10pm
- Sunday, 11am–6pm
Parking lot, east of Dangerous Man Brewing Co. (157 13th Ave NE)
- Dangerous Man Brewing
- Northgate Brewing
- Fair State Brewing
- Sociable Cider Werks
Electric Fetus Music Stage:
- Bunny Clogs, 1pm
- Johnny & Molly of Communist Daughter, 2:05pm
- What Tyrants, 3:10pm
- Monica LaPlante, 4:15pm
- Pornonono, 5:20pm
- Stereo Confession, 6:25pm
- RONiiA, 7:30pm
- Toki Wright & DJ Willie Shu, 8:45pm
- Art and family-friendly events
- Sunday brunch served by Chowgirls, 11am–2pm
2506 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, fairstate.coop
Fair State, a member-owned, cooperative brewery, is going big for their first AAW bash: An Artsy Weekend at Fair State. Not only will there be food and limited-edition beer (a golden ale, called “Artsy Fartsy”), but also a brand new beer garden, live art exhibits, mini golf designed by NE breweries, games, and a Posters & Pints beer art show.
Friday: Music, 5–10pm
Also featured on Friday will be comic-books artists David Witt, Drew Brockington, Jazon Walz, Nicholas Straight, and Steven Stwalley.
Saturday: Art, 4–8pm:
Recovery Bike Shop becomes an art gallery for a day, with comic artists, painters, photographers, sculptors, and a live welding demo: the crowd will come up with a sculpture idea, and the Recovery team will bring it to live using scrap bike parts.
Sunday: Posters and Pints Pop-Up, 1–5pm
Artists include Andy Kiekhafer, Ayako ‘June’ Osaki, and Matt Oelkers. The first 100 customers will receive a free Posters and Pints glass with drink purchase.
Grumpy’s NE & Surly Brewing Company
2200 4th St NE, Minneapolis, grumpys-bar.com/northeast
Grumpy’s NE is teaming up with Surly Brewing Company and Posters & Pints to give people an advance look at Grumpy’s AAW Posters & Pints Pop-Up and a few other enticing extras from 1–3pm on Saturday.
With a $25 ticket purchased in advance, attendees will receive a limited event print signed and designed by Surly Artist-in-Residence Michael Berglund, a 12oz pour of a special Surly cask beer, a pint glass designed by Posters & Pints artist Matt Oelkers, a Surly Beer Hall food sampler, and a pour of Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey infused with fresh ginger root.
The gallery opens to the general public with free admission at 3pm. More info on Grumpy’s 2015 AAW Party.
Posters & Pints Pop-Up, featuring:
Saturday: Music, 12–10pm:
- SIMS, 9:15-10:00pm
- Cactus Blossoms, 8:15-9:00pm
- Grant Hart 7:15-8:00pm
- Awesome Snakes 6:30-7:00pm
- Farewell Milwaukee 5:30-6:15pm
- Private Oates 4:30-5:15pm
- Eleganza! 3:45-4:15pm
- Animal Lover 3:00-3:30pm
- Dumpster Juice 2:15-2:45pm
- Mill City Devils 1:30-2:00pm
- From the Midwest 12:45-1:15pm
- The Uncle Bob Show 12:00-12:30pm
711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis, indeedbrewing.com
Indeed has become known for its spring celebration over the past two years. This year, it’s the same party but with a new name: Whirlygig 2015. It’ll be three days of live music, presented by First Avenue & 7th St Entry, food trucks, and lots of Indeed beers (including the recently released LSD).
Friday Music, 6–9pm:
Saturday Music, 1–10pm:
- The Ventures Cover Band, 1pm
- Mike Gunther, 2pm
- Rich Mattson and the Northstars, 3pm
- Sam Cassidy, 4pm
- Erik KoskinenBand, 5pm
- American Scarecrows, 6pm
- Nato Colesand the Blue Diamond Band, 7pm
- Rupert Angeleyes, 8pm
- Mark Mallman, 9pm
Sunday Music, 1–6pm:
- El Taco Riendo
- Red River Kitchen
- Simply Steve’s Food Truck
- Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria
- Sunday 5K run hosted by MN Brewery Running Series
- GetKnit Events’s DIY whirlygig station
- Tap Minneapolis will provide free clean water-filling stations
Sociable Cider Works
1500 Fillmore St NE, Minneapolis, sociablecider.com
Minneapolis’ only cidery will have live music throughout the weekend, as well as art from a variety of local artists. Plus, they’ll have everyone’s favorite party feature: a photo booth.
Friday Music, 4–7pm:
Saturday Music, 1–8pm:
Stanley’s NE Bar Room
2500 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, stanleysbarroom.com
Beer and bacon go together like, well, beer and bacon. Stanley’s celebrates this perfect pairing with the second annual Stanley’s Craft Beer and Bacon Fest on Saturday, from 2 to 5pm (with live music until 10pm). Tickets are $45 in advance and $60 at the door, and include entry, a glass to sample over 100 beers, a souvenir photo, a pretzel necklace, bacon samples, music, and more.
303 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, surdyks.com
Surdyk’s has been a Northeast Minneapolis staple since 1934 and is as much a part of the neighborhood’s culture today as it was then. The store will be having a Belgian beer sale May 14–23 as well as a tasting May 14 and 15 with Door County Brewing Co. (Fri., 3–9pm; Sat., 11am–7pm) and Brooklyn Brewery (Saturday, 12–3pm).
Tattersall Distilling Company
1620 Central Ave NE, Suite 150, Minneapolis, tattersalldistilling.com
The soon-to-open distillery specializing in gin, liqueurs, and small-batch spirits won’t quite be ready to open its doors when AAW rolls around, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be part of the party. Head to Tattersall for a sneak-peak tour of the space and to see artists Paul Peterson and Megan Dobratz, as well as a few others.
331 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, 331club.com
This Northeast bar is getting the party started a day early with “Start-A-Whirl” on Thursday, May 14 and continuing with free live music throughout the weekend both indoors and out.
Thursday Music, Inside, 10pm–2am
- The Poor Nobodys
- Up The Mountain Down The Mountain
- Doug Otto & The Getaways
Friday Music, Outside, 5–10pm
- Swimsuit Area, 5pm
- Hardcore Crayons, 6pm
- Buildings, 7pm
- Self-evident, 8pm
- The Blind Shake, 9pm
Friday Music, Inside, 10pm–2am
- The Traveling Suitcase (Oshkosh, WI)
Saturday Music, Outside, 12–10pm
- Zack Lozier Three, 12pm
- Roe Family Singers, 2pm
- Robert Skoro, 3pm
- Matt Latterell, 4pm
- Flasher, 5pm
- Fury Things, 6pm
- Pink Mink, 7pm
- Retribution Gospel Choir, 8pm
- Mixed Blood Majority, 9pm
Saturday Music, Inside, 10pm–2am
- The Last Revel
Sunday Music, Outside, 1–9pm
- The Lowland Lakers, 1pm
- Orca Colony, 2pm
- Unknown Prophets, 3pm
- General B and the Wiz, 4pm
- The Pistol Whippin Party Penguins, 5pm
- We Are The Willows, 6pm
- Southwire, 7pm
- Mally, 8pm