Happy Gnome and Republic named two of the best beer bars in America, again

Courtesy of Republic's Facebook page
Draft Magazine puts Republic & Happy Gnome on its 100 Best Beer Bars in America List
Last week, Draft Magazine put out its annual list of the 100 best beer bars in America and this year two Twin Cities bars have again made the grade: Minneapolis's Republic and St. Paul's Happy Gnome. This is the fifth year in a row that the Happy Gnome has made the brew-centric list and it also marks a return for Republic, which made its first appearance last year.

Draft Mag breaks down its list into four separate regions: West, Midwest, Northeast, and South. Other Midwestern bars worthy of the list include Palm Tavern in Milwaukee, Bangers & Lace in Chicago, and the Bier Station in Kansas City. Other Twin Cities bars that have made the list in previous years include Minneapolis's Blue Nile (2010) and St. Paul's Muddy Pig (2010-2012).

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happy gnome patio.jpg
Patio time at The Happy Gnome
The magazine notes that following the rapid growth in craft beer bars across the nation, this year they've had to tighten their criteria to focus on more than just selection. Service and overall beer knowledge have also become a top priorities in their search criteria. According to the accompanying article, "We don't want to send you to a place where the server doesn't look up from her texting when you ask questions, or where you'll be told a saison 'is basically a lager.' (And yes, both of those things happened on our visits)."

We attempted to reach out to the people at Draft Magazine to find out a little bit more about their selection criteria and what other Twin City's bars might have been in the running, but as of yet, they've been unavailable for comment.

On their website, in another section titled "Beer Towns", our own Emily Weiss makes reference to several other Twin Cities bars that are well regarded for their beer selections. The Happy Gnome, Republic, and The Muddy Pig are all included, but other bars mentioned include Devil's Advocate, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Nye's Polonaise Room, and The Nomad

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Al McCarty
Al McCarty

Just so you know, they began this list as the Top 200 in 2009, with four from the Twin Cities, Blue Nile, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Muddy Pig, and Happy Gnome. In 2010, they reduced it to 150 and there were three from here, Blue Nile, Pig & Gnome. The next year, it went down to 100, with only the St. Paul bars returning.

David Bruning
David Bruning

Happy Gnome has probably the top tap list at any going time with 73 and always have 4 nitro pulls in there. Too bad there food is overpriced and not very good ($18 for a shitty burger!). Republic has decent food other than there snotty ketchup which sucks. Pretty decent taps but nothing compared to the Gnome.

Corwin Kruse
Corwin Kruse

My experience with the Happy Gnome has never been great. Not sure how they continue to make the list.


All the condiments are house made at Republic. Nothing comes from  a bottle. Some are going to dislike them. I personally LOVE the ketchup. The Gnome does lack in food.

ajlalk3 topcommenter

Maybe you are the problem?

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