Beer Walk: Wabasha Brewing Company

My husband Scott and I have been combining our mutual love of walking and beer since our first date. Since we’re in the middle of a brewery/cidery/distillery boom in the Twin Cities, it seems like we add a new destination to our walk wish list once a month. (Read “Create a Personal Walking/Biking/Rolling Wishlist” for wishlist ideas).

In addition to having a reward at the end of the journey, walking to breweries across the Twin Cities introduces me to areas I may not otherwise explore. For example, until our most recent beer walk to Wabasha Brewing Company in St. Paul, I had never walked across The High Bridge! Some breweries are easier to get to than others and someday I’d like to write a review of the walking/biking friendliness of each but until then, this is a simple recap of a great day with great friends – including a few people with a streets.mn connection.

Walk Stats

  • Distance: 15.96 miles
  • Elapsed time: 7.5 hours including 2.5 hours at the brewery
  • Moving time: 5 hours

The Destination and Route

Walk location: Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
Walk destination: Wabasha Brewing Company, 429 Wabasha St S, St Paul, MN

Starting at Lyndale Avenue South & West Minnehaha Parkway, my husband Scott and I walked east on the Grand Rounds Trail which runs along the Minnehaha Creek. We stopped for a rest at Minnehaha Falls Park and exited the Grand Rounds Trail to walk on Ford Parkway which carried us over the Mississippi River. We were welcomed into Saint Paul by Heidi Schallberg who accompanied us until Cleveland Avenue S. We walked north on Snelling Avenue S until heading east on Randolph Avenue. We continued on W. 7th Street until St. Clair Avenue which turns into Cliff Street. We crossed the Mississippi River for the second time via Smith Avenue/The High Bridge. We walked east along Cherokee Avenue which turns into Congress Street W. We turned north on Humboldt Avenue and arrived at our destination – Wabasha Brewing Company.

After a couple of hours relaxing on the patio, Scott and I walked across the Mississippi for the third time via the Wabasha Street Bridge to pick up a Car2Go at Kellogg Blvd and Minnesota Street.

Map of walk route to Wabasha Brewery

Map of walk route to Wabasha Brewery

Beerpanions

Since beers are best shared with friends, we were happy to have a several friends hang out with us on Wabasha’s patio. After reading of my plans to walk to Wabasha, streets.mn founding board member Bill Lindeke expressed interest in meeting up since the brewery is in his neighborhood. It was a lot of fun to learn about the surrounding area from Bill and it made me want to organize more streets.mn brewery meet-ups! Thanks to my excessive tweet walking, my friends Ben and Erin discovered our arrival time to the brewery would work for them so they and their kids, Annie, Luke, and Charlie joined us. Later on, Rich Holst and his son Noah joined us after they had their own walking adventure.

Caught My Eye Along the Way

Fire hydrant by Minnehaha Creek

I’ve never seen a fire hydrant in water before

We were welcomed to St. Paul by Heidi Schallberg whom I’ve gotten to know via Twitter and finally met in person at the streets.mn Writers’ Workshop in February. She’s a gem and I hope to take many walks with her in the future (maybe even a bike ride!).

Heidi Schallberg and Janelle Nivens in the Highland Park neighborhood in St. Paul

Heidi Schallberg and Janelle Nivens in the Highland Park neighborhood in St. Paul

Move over combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell! I want to see more buildings that are a combination recreation center and library. At 1974 Ford Pkwy in Saint Paul, you’ll find the Highland Park Community Center and Saint Paul Public Library offering the neighborhood a a wide range of programming and services. I’d love having this amenity in my neighborhood. Way to go Saint Paul.

Highland Park Community Center and Saint Paul Public Library

Highland Park Community Center and Saint Paul Public Library

A piece of Ford left behind on the corner of Ford Parkway and Fairview Avenue. Did these apartments have a connection to the Ford Plant? My quick internet search was fruitless.

Ford View Apartments

Ford View Apartments

With its commanding presence, I had to snap a shot of the Highland Park Water Tower which is one of four remaining historic water towers in the Twin Cities. I’d like to return in October – one of the two times a year the tower’s observation deck is open to the public.

Highland Park Water Tower

Highland Park Water Tower at intersection of Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway

Across the street, these functioning water towers aren’t as stately but I like the way they look with the hills. I’m bummed I was forbidden from climbing the hill for a better view.

Functioning water towers

Functioning water towers across the street

Long distance walking requires fuel. I prefer my fuel in the form of ice cream. Cold Front has been on my walking wish list since it opened so this walk ended up being a twofer.

Cold Front

Cold Front, 490 Hamline Ave S, St Paul, MN

A collection of businesses on Randolph Avenue.

The below photo is my favorite scene from the entire day. I honestly feel like I saw my future flash before my eyes. I can easily envision myself in a purple pantsuit walking while reading a book with my dog following behind me as I push the stroller said dog rolls in when he gets tired. I hope my future self stops in the liquor store for a little something to take the edge off my foot pain (gotta believe these dogs will be barking by age 80).

Woman walking in front of Danneckers Grocery & Liquor

Woman walking and reading with her dog following behind

Here’s a slice of West 7th and a bit of old school meets new school. Cooper’s Foods is in the background (my husband Scott was excited to see that because he worked at one in Plymouth) while a Coburns Delivers truck drives past. I like the West 7th mural on the Liquor Barrel Building at West 7th & St. Clair.

Cooper's Foods on West 7th Street

A slice of West 7th Street

I love looking at Schmidt’s Brewery and hope to someday take a tour of the buildings now that they are getting repurposed for artist’s lofts.

Schmidt Brewery

We paid our respects to an the old Schmidt Brewery on the way to a new kid on the block

The High Bridge in St. Paul

The High Bridge in St. Paul

Speed boat on the Mississippi River

Speed boat on the Mississippi River

View of downtown St. Paul from Cherokee Avenue

View of downtown St. Paul from Cherokee Avenue

Friends on the patio of Wabasha Brewing Company

Scott, Ben, Erin, Bill and Janelle on Wabasha Brewing Company’s patio (photo taken by Annie, age 6)

Bill Lindeke and Scott Nivens entertaining Annie and Luke

Bill Lindeke and Scott Nivens entertaining Annie and Luke

Bill, Rich, and Noah

Bill, Rich, and Noah

Schmidt Ghost Mural

Schmidt Ghost Mural

Scott on the Wabasha Street Bridge

The third time walking across the Mississippi River was on the Wabasha Street Bridge

Join me in the comments

  • What are your thoughts on the rise in breweries/cideries/distilleries in the Twin Cities and across the state of Minnesota? How do they impact the surrounding neighborhoods?
  • What could these establishments do to get people to arrive by bike or foot?
  • What’s your favorite walking or biking destination?
  • Have you ever walked or biked across the Mississippi River? Which bridges have you crossed and what was your experience like?
  • What’s your opinion on dog strollers?
  • Want to attend a streets.mn brewery meetup?

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4 Responses to Beer Walk: Wabasha Brewing Company

  1. Adam Miller
    Adam Miller March 17, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    While you were walking, I rolled on over to Sidhe Brewing on the East Side. I thought about swinging down to join you, but omg, hills, and I was running out of time to get home and get smoke some ribs before guests were arriving.

    The folks at Sidhe were quite bike-welcoming, although I didn’t find any bike parking outside and had to lock up to a street sign. Bike and beer go great together, so don’t forget the bike parking!

    • Janelle Nivens
      Janelle Nivens March 17, 2016 at 10:42 am #

      Adam, next time let’s coordinate a virtual cheers when we’re both at different breweries at the same time!

      I look forward to a future in person toast to biking, walking and beer!

  2. Thomas Mercier March 17, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    I’m amazed at the multitude of small breweries in close proximity to bike trails in the western suburbs. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or intentional but you can easily enjoy a lovely ride and not have to wander far from dedicated facilities to reach a refreshing pint or two.

    • Janelle Nivens
      Janelle Nivens March 18, 2016 at 5:33 am #

      Thomas, It’s fun to be at a brewery and see a bunch of people on bikes ride up for a break. Steel Toe seems to be a popular resting spot for people riding on the trails. I think it’s genius.

      Which breweries have you visited?