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Great Waters Brewing
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Active Beers: 34
Beer Ratings: 242
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 8 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery, Store ]
426 St. Peter Street
phone: (651) 224-2739
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 41 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This brew pub is located in a very scenic section of St. Paul. Parking wasnt too hard out side at a meter, but we had to get up twice to deposit a few more quarters. If meters arent your game, there are plenty of parking garages around as well.
The inside looked more like a trendy coffee shop than like a brewery. The tanks were visible through a small window behind the bar, so they were only visible to about 15% of the building. Just looked too much like a café for my liking with lots of huge windows overlooking a very beautiful section of St. Paul. There was an old cathedral across the street that made me think a bit of drinking in Deutschland. Of course, I only stopped by for lunch, so maybe the place just rocks at night. Ill have to go back in the evening.
The brews we sampled were top notch. I was especially impressed with their cask conditioned oat stout that actually tasted like steel cut oats. I was impressed with this offering, and others were quite drinkable as well. I also was impressed that they had four cask offerings as opposed to most brew pubs seemingly obligatory one. There were enough brews on tap and on cask that mandate a return visit to try them all. The food was very good as well. Burgers dont come with fries, however. They need to be ordered separately.
Our server wasnt too busy, but was pokey none the less. I hope he doesnt work the evening shifts. He seemed new, so I wont give him too much guff.
Over all, I was surprised with this place. The next time Im back in St. Paul, Ill be back to see what else is on cask. Check this place out for sure.
12-30-2005 19:47:29 |
More by DarkerTheBetter
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Visited on a Saturday afternoon, very quiet inside and on the street out front. It was a glorious september day, perfect for sitting on their patio which is near a street that was not too busy at the time. Because of the lack of business at the time, the service was great. The server visited us no fewer than 10 times through the meal. The beers were good, if not a little underpowered (because of the season, possibly). At $4 a pint, it was a little pricey, but not out rageous. Entrees were about $9 a piece, food was substandard. A good place on the East side of the Mississippi to have a beer, but Town Hall runs circles around Great Waters.
09-18-2005 14:14:00 |
More by TastyTaste
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$
In the lower portion of a St Paul office building, it appears as such. Like a lobby with some tables strewn about and a bar with some brewing equipment on display. It lacks any sort of charm. Spacious, but somewhat dirty and not entirely hospitable. No real decor to speak of. The crowd was pretty thin during the evening I was there.
On the plus side, the had 4 cask-condition beers pulling, along with about 5 others. Nothing that I tried was all that special. Both IPA (Tartar Control and Full Broadside) were underhopped and instantly forgettable. The New Centurion Mild Ale was all malty strangeness. The Kaizerweizen Hefe was heavy sweet, but decent. The Porter standard stock, mildly roasty and thin, if not truly bland.
The service was solid, but the barman didn't have a whole lot else to do.
I didn't sample any food, or even look at the menu. The beers were reasonably priced.
I'd check for promising seasonals, but on it's own, it doesn't merit a lot of looks with gems like Town Hall and the Muddy Pig (beerbar)around.
08-15-2005 19:44:10 |
More by cokes
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This is my favorite brewpub in the TwinCities-it's about time I reviewed it. Untypical of brewpubs, the interior does not feature a lot of wood panelling, As a result, it seems open and airy. Ceilings are high and there's a lot of glass-the pub is in the corner of a beautiful older office building in St Paul. There is a nice patio outside, along a small pedestrian corridor. The brew kettles are visible behind a glass partition behind the bar and the brewer(Bob)is usually around and brewing during happy hour. He is happy to chat with and answer questions of customers, always a plus.
The food is quite decent-typical of pub food, with excellent specials, all at a reasonable price. There are often weekend specials not on the regular menu. My only caveat is that the regular menu has not changed in a couple of years-I would look forward to a change, now and then.
The bartenders are quite knowledgeable about the beer and if you belly-up, the service is excellent. Service (and knowledge)is more variable if you sit away from the bar.
The variety of beer is among the best in town. I particularly like cask conditioned ales, and the selection here is just great. They typically have four cask beers, served at the proper temperature, and five cold(pushed)beers. All are tasty and well made(I have reviewed several of them).
All in all. this is a fine place to bring out-of towners looking for new and unusual beers, as well as a relatively inexpensive place to eat. Highly recommended.!
P.S. If you smoke, you must sit outside. But, as the patio is particularly nice during three seasons, it;s not much of a sacrifice.
08-11-2005 08:05:12 |
More by edbeered
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I visited this one on a recent trip to St. Paul. Its in a convenient downtown area, a couple of blocks from the St. Paul Hotel, the library, and the theater. From the outside, this looks like it would be a great brewpub. Inside, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It didnt seem very clean, and there were a number of flies buzzing around my head during dinner. The service was inexperienced, and knew very little about beer. The food, though, was pretty good. I had the chicken marsala, and one of my companions had the walleye. No complaints at all on the grub.
I was very encouraged that they had three beers on cask. The server couldnt tell us anything about their age or condition, so we tried each one. The IPA on cask was fresh and tasty. The bitter seemed a little past its prime. The non-cask brews seemed to be well-made, and were very tasty.
After dinner, we moved to the outdoor patio, which is situated on a closed-street, near the Palace theater. The music was low and enjoyable (which makes for a nice backdrop for conversation). The other patrons were friendly. I enjoyed the patio much more than the restaurant.
To sum it up, on my next trip to St. Paul, Id probably avoid this place for dinner. The food was okay, but the atmosphere and service really turned me off. The brew was good, however, and Id be very willing to stop by for an evening outdoor pint. Of course, since it is in Minnesota, visits will be strictly limited to the summer.
07-23-2005 18:19:51 |
More by Suds
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
I can't recall exactly how many times I've visited Great Waters over the past several years,... more than five, less than 10? But this review is written after a major first, the first time I checked into the pub after biking all the way from my home in downtown Minneapolis. Not, as it turns out, an impossible feat, but quite a long, exhausting trip! And one I'll attempt again, before summer leaves us.
My last stop in was over 9 months ago,(by bus) and this trip was urged on by reports of a new brewer creating better, more bold and adventurous beers. Is it true? Yes, almost...
But, later on that. Of the pub. A nice place, smack downtown St. Paul (not having biked in before, I was surprised how easily I found it), well-run, with many appeals, and many variances, as well. I've received indifferent, okay, and superior service, for one. This time, excellent, very attentive, well-versed in the beers, my every need anticipated and requited. Didn't always happen like that. I've also had mediocre experience with the food, this time I chose a slightly pricier entree, a roast duck breast with wild rice and vegetables, and was very happy.
So, the food is good, sometimes, the service, sometimes, the atmosphere is okay, nice art on the wall, especially when it's tavernjef's photography up there. This is a business that occupies an ideal niche for downtown StP, kind of like the Rock Bottom in downtown Mpls, but not corporate...a great meeting place, eating place, but also unique in offering their own creations in the beer department...which leads us to the next part.
I've reviewed their beers from my notes, or growlers, before, and noticed something...the regular beers, not so outstanding...the new ones, the seasonals, and specialties can be quite nice. And now there's someone new at the mash paddle and the results, to me, are mixed. I missed the much-loved Imperial IPA, but loved the Cask IPA..their new one, an American IPA, debuted with no fanfare, and was merely okey-doke...a new hefe weizen was unsatisfactory, and the mild ale was quite nice. Seems like the cask brews were better than the pushed, and they have more than anyone else around.
So, if I were to be glib, I'd peg GW as having not quite the great beer supply as Town Hall, and yet certainly not as expensive as Barley John's, definitely worth trying while in St. Paul, and I will be back again and again, to show my support and enjoy the occasionally tasty beers!
07-15-2005 10:19:14 |
More by feloniousmonk
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5
First off, I went there later on a Tuesday night, so there wasn't too big a crowd (or, one could say, nearly deserted). The atmosphere score is based more on what I can imagine it would be. I didn't try the food, but the beer was very good. The pale and IPA were both tasty and the bitter on cask wasn't too shabby. I wanted to try the cask pale, but the batch ran out on my pull. Perhaps another time. There were also several more selections on draught and a couple more on cask that I did not try. The service was decent, though my glass hit empty without a replacement being in hand, so I have to mark down a bit, especially due to the lack of other customers. To be fair, the bartender was trying to get things cleaned up for the night, but still, with only five or six people a the bar, keeping an eye the beer levels of the patrons shouldn't have been too difficult.
11-11-2004 04:49:57 |
More by smcdowell
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3
Went here for a MN BA gather recently. The atmosphere was good due to the other BAs being there. They have a decent sized bar with the brewing vessels in view. They have to separate dining areas large enough to accommodate several groups of people. The beers I sampled were okay, the majority of them were pretty thin and life less. I was a bit disappointed in that. They did, although have a good selection, they were just subpar. I was definately looking for more in their Old Bastard. It just wasn't bringing it. I checked out the menu, they had the traditional pub grub. I had the fish & chips. I got two small chucks of fish, some seasoned frys, and some slaw. The fish was okay, but there was not enough. The service pretty much blew. I'll cut the waitress a little slack because she was relatively new. But come on you would think that one of the first things you would learn at a brew pub is what you have for beer. I asked for their Pothole Porter, and she looked at me like I just farted. I had to point it out to her on the damn chalk board; I wasn't like that beer was new. I don't think she knew what a porter was. We sat there empty several times and had to flag her down so we could order food. I could go on, but you got the point. The others with our group had mentioned the spotty service, and this was definitely one of those times. But you know what I go for the beer, not the food or service. But, when I want my beer, I want my beer now.
12-04-2003 19:29:41 |
More by BeerBuilder
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Being a visitor to Minnesota, and not knowing the history of Minneapolis area brewpubs, I set this one right in the middle of the places I visited.
One rating field not included by Beer Advocate (wisely) is "location." Great Waters really has that going for it. St. Paul DIES downtown after a certain time, especially on weekends. There are plenty of theaters and posh restaurants, but Great Waters seemed like the place for a beer fan to go to if stuck downtown. So without feeling strongly about the place, I did end up there three times in six days.
The beer was no better or worse than a hundred other places, but was so much more appealing than the neon sign offerings of the bar right across the plaza. Speaking of which, if you are there in the summer months, sit outside. The atmosphere immediately improves (barring any construction sounds during the day.) Appetizing menu done well.
03-19-2003 09:26:22 |
More by ecoboy
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Atmosphere here can be lively at times, they usually have a pretty big lunch rush during the work week and dinner time on weekends can also be hoppin'. Downtown Saint Paul has only a few things going on in any given week that'll keep this place busy as well. Events at Xcel, the small theatres on the block, and conventions usually cast alot of visitors to the place. But other times, when dead, its dead. I'm in here quite a bit and its still hard to really place the atmosphere here. The inside is pretty wide open with very tall ceilings. lots of windows looking out on to the patio and street. The copper kettles can be seen through large windows behind the bar area. Bar area has room for about 8 and the back side bar has another 4 or 5. An arched doorway splits the place form the bar area and the bigger dining area kinda in the back.
The cask ales they offer throughout the year are usually pretty good. Four to choose from, one is sometimes off as they tend to go through stuff quickly at times. And a few have been hit or miss. Some of the regular taps they put out are the same with a hit or miss. My favorites have been many with the Shipwreck IPA, Tartar Control IPA, Giant Star, Centurion, Tighty Whitey, and the Marny Grias. Also many disappointments and average tasters have dawned the spouts here. Some of the regular brews that are there year round are mostly good but some are weaker then others. Saint Peter Pale and Pothole Porter are the ones I stick with. Not sure how mnay brewers they've had now but the current one, Bob, is doing a fine job with tweeking some things and creating some pretty good brews.
The service can be very spotty and non existent depending on the server, the crowd, the weather, or even if you have the look of money about you. I' ve waited at a table for 15 minutes with an empty pint glass before a waiter who was busy smoking like a half pack of cigarettes before he managed to see his way over finally did. Othertimes the owner sits and talks with us. I just happen to have some artwork in the gallery next door to it so he knows both me and my wife fairly well.
The menu is kind of yuppy like and fairly expensive, some sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads, and a handful of bigger entrees are what you'll find, but the lunch specials are always pretty good and reasonable. Mostly though I've found the food has been pretty good. A couple of the menu items I've had have been subpar.
Best value beerwise is either happy hour or after 10pm on weekdays. Also has certain summer specials where the beer costs per pint what ever the temperature reached. And again the lunch specials are the better value foodwise.
03-18-2003 15:56:56 |
More by tavernjef
Great Waters Brewing in St. Paul, MN
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