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The Happy Gnome
Taps: 70 / Bottles: 300
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
498 Selby Ave
phone: (651) 287-2018
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Reviews by sacrelicio:
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
A great beer bar and a staple of craft beer in Minnesota. The atmosphere is OK, kind of a cross between a suburban living room and a regular bar/restaurant. Not the most cool or fun atmosphere, but it does the job just fine. Has more of a restaurant feel rather than a bar feel.
The selection and quality of beer in this place is just stellar. A wide variety of taps from local and international breweries with great selections. I find things that I never expect to see on tap (Great Divide Titan IPA and two year old Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine) to interesting themes like having six different SouthernTier imperial stouts on at once. Didn't pay too much attention to the bottle list but from I remember it was pretty extensive.
The food is pretty good, I have only eaten their once and it was some sort of burger and I remember liking it.
Service is fine, nothing unusual, but I have never really sat and chatted so they might really know their stuff.
My only complaint is that the prices are a bit steep.
Overall, a great place.
01-30-2012 08:17:08 |
More by sacrelicio
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place is awesome. When I travel with my in-laws I always have a dilemma. They want fabulous, high class food in a classy atmosphere and I want awesome beer. This is a pairing that rarely works. It does at the Happy Gnome. My father in law said the charcuterrie plate was the best he ever had. He loved the wines and the meal. The beer choices had my head spinning. So many awesome brews that I can't get in Missouri. The staff was knowledgeable and helpful with my questions. If there is any negative, it's that it was a little loud. I didn't mind but the in-laws are getting up there in age and the background noise bothers them. Otherwise, it's one of the best beer places in the country.
04-21-2013 19:02:49 |
More by zeff80
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
BeerAdvocate, thank you for bringing this place to my attention.
A: perfect. I've been working long hours indoors every day for over three weeks, and this was my first outdoor venture since then. Warm summer evening on a deck reminiscent of someone's back yard. Seated in the shade of an ash tree growing straight through the deck. Great music playing, and only loud enough that you could hear it if no one was talking to you. No having to shout to be heard over it.
Q: Terrific. Pints were coming with a little missing off the top, but not enough to complain about. Everything came out from the bar at a decent temperature and in a non-frozen glass. Seems like an obvious way to serve beer, but sadly, I've been to a lot of places recently that think frozen = better.
Ser: Outstanding. Our server (wish I could remember her name) was great. Super friendly, always smiling, and very helpful with recommendations for both food and beer. Took a friend's somewhat obnoxious question in stride, which I was very thankful for.
Sel: self explanatory. Way too many beers to choose from. Good problem to have.
F: Delicious. It didn't quite hit the spot - almost seemed a little too nice. But everything did taste great, and I was feeling pretty fat and happy when the time came to leave.
V: flights felt a bit pricey - $17 for 5x 5oz pours. In comparison, two pints of most mid-range ABV offerings would be $12-14. But I guess you do pay a premium for being able to sample the offerings, and it does take more time to pour five tiny glasses than just fill a pint. Food was a touch on the expensive side as well - $13 for a single serving pizza. It was delicious, don't get me wrong. Just more expensive than I'm used to.
Overall, I would absolutely visit this place again if I'm ever back in the area. I just wish I hadn't flown into town literally one hour after the 2008 Darkness kicked!
09-11-2012 14:58:59 |
More by pitweasel
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
We stopped here during a long weekend in the Twin Cities. We liked it so much we went back for a second try. The beer selection is out of this world--literally. They advertise over 75 taps and that is exactly what we found. Every style under the sun is represented, including some very unique brews.
Our first visit was on a Friday evening. The place was packed but we managed to find a couple seats at the question-mark shaped bar. Before that we had gone to the hostess stand to inquire about a table. While the girl at the stand was polite, she talked so quiet that I could barely hear her over the sound of the bar patrons. Despite that, and the somewhat surly bartender, we enjoyed our beers and meat pizza.
Our second visit was on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The same bartender served us but he was much more amiable. Once again, food and drink left us very satisfied. Make no mistake--their food menu is rather exotic and not for everyone. We never made it past the appetizer menu on either visit, but everything we had was delicious. One other caution--it can get a bit pricey, but that is to be expected once you see the extensive food and beer menu.
03-18-2012 22:58:04 |
More by Penguins66
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$$
Oh wow, where to begin! This place is the place to go if you love food or beer...OR BOTH! There tap/bottle selection is almost unmatched in the Twin Cities (and I say almost because you will find the Muddy Pig not far down the road, but that's another review).
The food can be paired with a lot of their beer and the bartenders will give some great recommendations. The bartenders also know their stuff when it comes to beer. Even though they have a vast list of beers to try you can explain what kind of tastes you are in the mood for and they well give a very narrowed down list of options from their sometimes overwhelming menu.
If you are looking to have a few beers with dinner don't expect to drop anything less than $50. It's a very expensive place, but worth it.
02-15-2012 00:47:09 |
More by JoRado
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
75 beers on tap, several hundred more in bottles. The tap beer list (which you can take home to peruse) changes (and is printed up) DAILY! Incredibly diverse selection, and several things I've been dying to try. They do flights of 5 beers, 5 oz. pours of each.
Tap beer examples:
Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela Pumpkin Ale
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Summit Oatmeal StoutNew Holland Dragon's Milk
Odell Cutthroat Nitro Porter
New Belgium La Folie
Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
11 different winter/holiday ales, including Alaskan Winter
I will consider moving my belongings there.
12-16-2011 14:33:06 |
More by Cyclone8
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in yesterday (Friday)around 2pm. Easy to find, and easy parking. Large bar area, and a couple tables. Really laid back, and quiet. Almost too quiet. Only 3 people at the bar.
The taps were really good and fresh. Surly, new belgium, bells, great lakes, and locals. Had a couple seasonals on as well. Didn't check the bottle list.
Service was good. Bar tender was helpful with telling me about other bars in the area.
The food was incredible! Had foie gras stuffed quail, with acorn squash and chestnuts. Food is seasonal. Menu is small, but everything is interesting.
A little bit pricey, but with the quality of everything its expected.
Being new to the Twin Cities, this was a great place to discover. I'll be coming back frequently.
11-20-2011 01:07:30 |
More by davey
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Went to the Happy Gnome after several recommendations while at Darkness Day as many people said it had the best beer selection in the Twin Cities. It kind of has a dual atmosphere, the bar area is much more low key and definitely a hang out place whereas the dining room is a bit more formal. The first thing you notice is the ridiculous beer list, something like 70 taps and over 200 bottles...it takes a while to get through it all and settle on the beers you will be imbibing with that night, but there are tons of goodies on there, too many to list. The wait staff is friendly but our server was a little pushy and kind of had a fake excited-ness about himself. The food was phenomenal, I had a bison and elk burger that was pretty killer. I thought it was most fun to just enjoy my girlfriend's company and sip on some awesome beers. I'd recommend going on the weekends when the atmosphere it a little more upbeat. Definitely a must stop for any beer advocates while in the Twin Cities.
10-28-2011 20:28:36 |
More by VaTechHopHead
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
GREAT beer selection (bottles and draughts), great food, great liquor list, great atmosphere. It's a Sunday morning staple for me. Amazing brunch menu, bloody mary bar, live music, friendly staff. Always a good selection of beer varieties, they try to have something for everyone, and a number of choices for everyone. A good mix of commercial and local, light and heavy, pale and dark. Really, what more could you ask for?! Too good for words, just make a point to stop there if you ever find yourself in the greater Twin Cities area. It's a little pricey, but definitely good value.
10-25-2011 04:34:39 |
More by Draughtsman
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I stopped in in he early afternoon and posted on the bar for a few hours reading a book and surfing the web. Good brews, wide range of styles, friendly staff too.
The best part was the steak tartare. Truffle oil and a barely cooked quail egg in a hefty pile of raw beef. I paired it with a Sofie, which may have been the best decision of my life.
If I didn't live halfway across the city I would be spending a lot of money here on raw beef and good beer.
My only, and this is a tiny critique- I would like to see more Belgian and Belgian style brews. It may have been just my stop in, and the season, but a few more would have been cool.
10-25-2011 04:29:14 |
More by olympuszymurgus
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The Happy Gnome in Saint Paul, MN