Rochester, MN: 2 Day Beer Lovers Itinerary-5 Craft Breweries + Food
With five craft breweries, a winery, and awesome restaurants, Rochester, MN is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. When we tell people how much we love visiting Rochester, most just think of the Mayo Clinic. We love Rochester for great shopping, ethnic cuisine, nature, art, breweries, and more than 60 hotels. There is really something for everyone, allowing you to create whatever type of weekend getaway suits you.
Rochester, MN has 5 Breweries within 8 miles
Our weekend was about meeting up with Dusty’s best friend and his wife. Five breweries, a winery, great restaurants, and within a 1.5-hour drive from each of our homes meant this was the perfect destination for our weekend getaway.
This map shows just the breweries we mention. We wanted to show how they’re all within 8 miles of each other!
2-Day Craft Beer Itinerary + Vegan Food in Rochester, MN
We put together a tried & true itinerary for a fun brewery, food + wine weekend in Rochester, MN. Rochester is an easy town to navigate which makes for a nice weekend getaway. A great thing about the food scene is there are a lot of vegan options. It made eating out with omnivore friends very easy because there was something on the menu for all of us to enjoy.
Day 1: Food, Beer & Wine in Rochester, MN
We met for a late lunch at Forager Brewery. They have nice beer options and a great food menu. We always appreciate it when there are plant-based options on the menu and we don’t have to modify something. Forager’s food and beer menus include inventive meals and beers ‘foraged’ with local ingredients. We always find that we especially enjoy restaurants that make it a point to source locally as they tend to offer unique and fun menu options.
We checked into the TownePlace Suites because we wanted a hotel with a kitchen. We tend to book rooms with kitchens even for short hotel stays, as they have nice living room spaces to sit and relax without being forced to sit on just the bed. We brought snacks and Rachelle thought ahead and brought good coffee for our mornings. We were assigned to two connecting rooms which worked out great. We had a small living room to sit and visit and relax and each had our own bedrooms and bathrooms. It was the perfect home base for our weekend. As we mentioned earlier, Rochester has over 60 hotels to choose from making it easy to find something that fits your needs.
Next, we drove out to Salem Glen Winery. Even though we were in Rochester for the craft beer, we didn’t want to let a winery slip through our fingers and it fits perfectly into the itinerary for Friday night. This is a cute little winery in the country that was a former dairy farm. We had great service and each shared a flight of wine.
We all enjoy the red wines but when the winery offers a flight, it’s fun to try them all.
Dining Dusters Pick: St. Croix Dry
For dinner, we went to Twigs Tavern and Grille. We really wanted to dine on their award-winning patio but it was too cold. Dusty and I each had a Twigs Bowl that we were easily able to make plant-based. Check out their entire menu.
Day Two: Food + Craft Beer in Rochester, MN
We enjoyed an early lunch at another of our favorite food spots in Rochester, Opa! Opa! They have great hummus and we always enjoy their Falafel Sandwich (hold the feta) served with their fries that are chip-like.
LTS Brewing Company was our first brewery stop. LTS stands for “Life’s too Short. Drink Good Beer”. We agree! It’s a small brewery with a friendly staff. They have a nice patio area and there is often a food truck on-site. We liked that they give you a little businesscard that names the chosen beers and directs which way the flight choices are lined up. Saves having to remember!
Dining Dusters Picks: Kelly- End of the Hike (Cream Ale) Octoberfest Dusty- Octoberfest
Little Thistle Brewing Co. was our next stop. Overall great vibe with awesome outdoor space, ample seating, and a fire pit with nice Adirondack chairs. Big garage doors open up to the taproom. It was a great setting and we enjoyed the beer. They offer flights with 4 beer choices. They provide a b & w copy of the flight with your beer choices written down.
Dining Dusters Picks: Kelly- #NoFilter Hefeweisen and Dusty- Killing Me Souffle (chocolate hazelnut stout)
Next stop: Kinney Creek Brewery. Kinney Creek Brewery is Rochester’s first brewery! They also brew hard seltzer. This place has a fun vibe- darts, bags, and other games for people of all ages to play. They have music playing and nice decor. Mark and Rachelle picked out a flight of sours to share while we went for the beer. We really liked all of it!
Our last brewery stop was Thesis Beer Project. We knew we’d have loved the inside vibe but it was closed at the time of our visit. They weren’t offering flights so we were only able to get a cup in a plastic cup to bring out to the patio.
Dining Dusters Picks: Tuba Nanas- an awesome hefeweisen
For dinner, we went to Mango Thai. We love eating here and knew Mark & Rachelle would also love it too since they also love Thai food. The mango spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce are always good. Dusty always gets Pad Thai with tofu and Kelly loves the drunken noodles here. They’re served on a banana leaf. Excellent food as always!
We had too much fun with good conversation and laughter that we forgot to take pictures of our food. We did manage to grab one photo of our fresh spring rolls. They are really big and filling and not what we would call the standard spring roll we typically get at other Thai restaurants.
Day Three: Food + Craft Beer in Rochester, MN
Even though we called this a Two Day Itinerary, we threw in some bonus stops since we all wanted to eat before heading to our respective homes.
We ended this fun weekend with a lunch at Crave. First, though, we recommend stopping in for a bloody mary at Kathy’s Pub. It’s going to be super dark even at 11 am, everyone will turn to stare upon entering, your shoes are going to stick to the floor and the bloody marys are going to taste great! It was too dark for a picture, but we recommend a quick stop if you find yourself downtown and craving bloody mary. As an aside, there are several bars and restaurants in Rochester that offer a bloody mary bar, but it didn’t fit into our weekend. Next time!
Crave has a beautiful rooftop and is connected to Hotel Indigo in downtown Rochester. Crave has an extensive menu ranging from sushi to pasta to pizza and burgers. We like and appreciate that they have also included a plant-based section of the menu. Our eyes were bigger than our stomach and we ordered lots of food. Crave has big portions and we forgot that when we ordered! We all shared the vegan truffle fries and the Vegan Crave Roll. Dusty ordered the stir fry and added chicken from The Herbivorous Butcher, Kelly the Crave Veggie Burger which is an Impossible Burger. It was all delicious and was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
We had the best weekend. Again, Rochester, MN is a great location for a brewery weekend. Let us know if you use this itinerary!