Great Waters Brewing

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BEER AVG
3.67/5
Based on:
36 Beers
301 Ratings
Place Score: 86
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Eatery, Store ]

426 St. Peter Street
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55102
United States
phone: (651) 224-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BigBry:
Photo of BigBry
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Had the chance to visit during a recent trip to St. Paul. Located walking distance and squarely between the Excel Energy Center and the St. Paul Hotel, I found myself here for dinner, again for a pint the next afternoon.
Situated on the main floor of an older building, the inside is quite new looking, and reminded me of a coffee shop rather than a brew pub. Lots of big windows make it bright, clean, and open but almost too sterile. There is a limited view of the tanks behind the bar. They had four draft taps and four cask ales, and the oatmeal stout was going to be tapped on the upcoming Friday. Also had a sampler tray available. The beers I sampled were very tasty, so opted for a pint of Brown Trout Brown Ale and Pot Hole Porter. Our waitress was friendly and helpful, recommending their pilsner for the Molson/Labatt drinkers.
The place was busy but not packed at around 8:00pm for dinner, and my steak sandwich arrived quickly and properly cooked. The homestyle beef stew also looked very good.
The following afternoon around 2:00, stopped in for a pint, and the place was dead. There was one couple at a table and one other guy at the bar. Not sure if this is typical, or if the business lunch crowd was already in and out. Stayed for a pint of St. Peter Pale and The Apocalypse.
Over all, they have a nice range of beers with a rotating variety of specialty and seasonal brews, good food, all reasonably priced.
Another place I am happy to have found, and I got a nice logo-ed pint glass too.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Great Waters Brewing Company opened back in 1997--one of the first brewpubs in the Minnesota and up until about a year ago, one of only about 4 that have remained in business over the years. The brewery is in the Historic Hamm Building on St. Peter Street in downtown St. Paul. I enjoyed walking past some of the old buildings after leaving the pub. There is a pedestrian mall that abuts Great Waters and provides an outdoor seating area for warmer weather. When we visited the temperature outside was just warming up and the Ice Patio from the Winter Carnival was just starting to melt. I would love to be served a pint at the ice bar some time! Yes we Minnesotans are incredibly weird. Parking is at several area ramps as well as metered street parking (meters are free on Sunday!)

The restaurant itself takes up a sizable area with a large bar at the entrance and a spacious dining area off to the right of the main entrance. The bar itself is no shiny newfangled bar imported from Ireland, but rather a well-used working-man's bar-top. The place has high ceilings and plenty of space to spread out in and get comfortable. One can also see the small brewery through some logoed glass behind the bar. The wall-paper and decorations are a bit dated, but not in need of desperate overhaul like some places I've been to. The ambiance fits exactly with what this place is--an unpretentious and serviceable bar and restaurant.

Where the newer brewpubs are trying unusual menus to differentiate themselves, (pizza, haute cuisine, smoked sandwiches,) Great Waters has a pretty old-school brewpub menu of sandwiches, burgers, pastas and salads. They do have some fancier items like steak and duck breast on the dinner menu as well, but I can't speak to them at this point. While I appreciate fancier foods, I'm also just as happy having a nice burger or some chicken wings with my ale! I've had food here several times over the years and have not had a bad experience with it, other than the fact that those Rasta Wings are not "Minnesota Hot", they are "Jamaica Hot!" On this most recent trip we arrived during Brunch on a Sunday and Sj got the Eggs Florentine, while I ordered the patty melt with fries. The burger was done exactly to my specifications and my meal was exactly what I was in the mood for.

Great Waters has an impressively large tap list of house brewed beers. I ordered the full sampler to try them all and ended up with 10 different beers! Their standard beers like the Saint Peter Pale, Brown Trout and Golden Prairie Blonde, were all decent and much better than I remember them. The seasonals were interesting with a very flavorful and malty O'Byrne's Irish Red leading the pack. But where the beers really shone for me were in the cask conditioned ales. Firkins and casks have been getting more popular the last few years but these guys have been serving these for over a decade now! I did not love the House Ale--it tasted a bit metallic to me--but the Joe Moment Mild and the Invidia Barleywine were very tasty and made the most of the smooth mouthfeel and warmer temp of the cask serving method. And by far the best beer I had there was the Blackwatch Oatmeal Stout. This is the beer I ordered a pint of once I had worked my way through all those samples, and may be one of the very best oatmeal stouts I've ever had!

Overall I had a very pleasant experience at Great Waters, with tasty food, many good beers, and a great time hanging out with friends. This type of place is really where the craft beer movement came from and it is worth it to pay homage to the folks who have been slowly and steadily educating our palates over all this time. If you haven't had much experience with English cask conditioned ales, you owe it to yourself to check this place out--and get a pint of that Blackwatch! Oh, and they have a nearly up to date tap list on line so you can get a good idea what's on tap before you head over!

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4/5  rDev +5.3%

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3/5  rDev -21.1%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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3/5  rDev -21.1%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Great Waters Brewing was located in the heart of St. Paul in an old building on an old square. Inside the building was old school industrial feel with nice tables as well as outdoor seating. The quality of the food was ok....the beer was quite good. The service was great and to kick things off my six year old spilled chocolate milk everywhere and our server handled it like a champ! The selection for food and beer was outstanding. The food was good to borderline great. Some of the items were great and others not so much. The value was good.

Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Great location. Close to the St. Paul Hotel, Children's Museum and the arena. Nice looking interior. Modern pub look with a long wrap around bar. Seating is a little cramped but not too bad. The beers are pretty good. Most are English style and are well done. They offer a sampler of all their beers. Great Waters has about half their beers on cask and the rest are regular taps. The service was pretty good. It was pretty good and we were just their for drinks but our servers was attentive and helpful. They had 9 different beers on tap that nice - mostly English style but they had a Belgian Bruin that was very nice, too. Did not try the food, but they had some nice looking options - plus a kids menu for those with children. All in all this is a nice brewpub in the heart of downtown St. Paul.

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Great Waters Brewing in Saint Paul, MN
86 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.