Category: beer stores

Surdyk’s Open for Business on a Sunday Ahead of Law Change

Just another Sunday in March. Snow flying, temperatures fluctuating, and a liquor store open on Sunday? Yep, you read that correctly. Surdyk’s which has been in business for 80 years opened for business today at 11:00 AM even though the recently passed Sunday Sales law doesn’t go into effect until July 1st.

Consumers were smiling and laughing in the store as if they knew they were doing something illegal, but didn’t have to suffer any consequences as the store would be responsible for penalties. We spoke to Nate from Southwest Minneapolis who was adamant that Minnesotans should be able to purchase beer on Sunday. “A friend of mine posted on Facebook that they were open today. I think all stores should be open on Sundays. Listen to your customers” he suggested.

For context, Jim Surdyk has opposed this law change from the beginning but it didn’t stop him from making decision to open his store today. “The governor signed it. Why the hell are we gonna wait three months for this” he says.

We asked him if he plans to open on Sundays in the future leading up to the law change but it doesn’t seem likely. “The cat’s outta the bag. Maybe others will follow suit. I’m the first to do it” he said with a chuckle.

So what’s the penalty? According to this state document, it would seem that a suspension or revocation of their license is in order. He didn’t seem quite so sure. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”


Read into it however you may, but this seems like a big middle finger to his competitors while offering a fun opportunity for Minnesotans to purchase beer on a Sunday ahead of the law change. Whatever happens in response to this should be interesting. Stay tuned.


Minneapolis fines Surdyk’s $2,000 and hands out a 30 day suspension for the Minneapolis liquor retailer beginning on July 2nd. The suspension begins the first day of the law change. They will further penalize Surdyk’s (revocation of license possible) if they choose to open for business on the Sundays leading up to that law change.



Bauhaus and Fair State Set to Release New Beers This Week

Scottish Ale

When you think of a Scottish-Style Ale you tend to think of a peaty beer backed with a boozy punch. Bauhaus broke down some of those walls with their brand new Scottish-Style Dark Ale named Tallander. First of all, the name (in Bauhaus fashion) is a nod to the 1986 movie “Highlander” that we all know and love. The beer itself is different in that it’s very drinkable at 6 % ABV and has some of those nice caramel notes typical of Scottish malts while teasing the palate with a tiny bit of smokiness. While sampling this one I couldn’t help but think of standing around a backyard fire pit with a Tallander in hand.
This brew can be found in 4 packs of 16 oz. cans at your local bottle shop, and on tap at the “Haus” in Northeast Minneapolis. Growlers will also be available.

Fair State’s first bottle release went so well that they decided to do it again. This time they are bringing Saison Drei to market which is a Brettanomyces Aged Saison. Expect some funky characters from the Brett that will mature over time—which means you can sit this one down in your cellar for a while. Brewer Niko Tonks had this to say about their latest release. “We modeled this beer after some of the beers we enjoy drinking the most. We hope you will enjoy it this holiday season, and down the road as well.”

This 5.7 % ABV will be on sale in the taproom ($11 per bottle) on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 17th in 750 ml bottles. I’m told that they will have more bottles for sale this time around and that the brew will also be on tap that day.


Fare Well My Firkin Friends

The Four Firkins, May 2008

The Four Firkins, May 2008

Seven years ago, a small boutique beer-centered shop opened its doors in a nondescript strip mall in St. Louis Park. The strip is one that you’d probably ignore, filled with a couple of quiet storefronts, an auto shop and martial arts studio, among other things. The Four Firkins made that fairly forgettable location into a tiny craft beer mecca loaded wall-to-wall with great beers, enthusiastic customers and an engaged staff. Their classes and tastings were phenomenal, bring together brewers, reps and cicerones with new and seasoned beer fans. Very quickly, The Four Firkins built up a community around its store and a loyal following. I routinely stopped in while biking home from work, leaving with beer in my messenger bag and a smile from good conversation.

Seven years ago, the craft beer landscape was quite different. Our scene was smaller and a bit more intimate. We put on extra miles to hit some of the better liquor stores in search of great beer. Cellars in Minnetonka was my g0-to for quite some time. I also made the occasional run south of the river to Blue Max or East to hit some of St. Paul’s finest. These places were all great and I met some amazing beer folks through my travels. The Four Firkins, on the other hand, landed squarely in my backyard. They were different, putting focus almost entirely on beer and community. I remember them being so so damn tiny that they cycled through beer like mad. Tastings and classes were a madhouse, and, needless to say – cozy. One one particular evening, I recall dodging corks as Sean popped open saisons for a tasting. We were all friends, and at that point the ‘Firkins had become more than simply a beer store.

Jason Alvey, owner, Four Firkins

The Four Firkins, October 2011

Though I wasn’t in the store nearly enough over the course of the past couple of years thanks to juggling a challenging day job and two kids, I’ll miss The Four Firkins dearly. In the years that have passed since the Four Firkins opened, it’s become much easier to find great craft beer at liquor stores around the metro. The sense of community and connection that the Four Firkins exuded isn’t quite as easy to find.

10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer Week returns on May 5-11

10kmembersTo celebrate Minnesota’s nationally recognized craft beer community, from May 5-11, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild presents 10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer, a week packed with more than 80 member events, from Minnesota tap takeovers on the North Shore to special firkin tappings in Southern Minnesota. 

10,000 Minutes events include: tap takeovers, special releases, firkin tappings, cask tappings, block parties, beer art, and all-day happy hours. It’s the most Minnesota-specific craft beer events in one week ever. Events are being added every day, so for the latest, visit Facebook:

WHAT: The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Presents 10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer
WHERE: Locations throughout Minnesota 
WHEN: May 5-11, 2014 

WHY: To celebrate the growth and strength of the craft beer industry in Minnesota 

HOW: Visit to find events and make the most of every minute, with a Minnesota craft beer in hand.