From comparing general rates, however, it looks like a downtown MSP hotel would be around $100/night.
General itinerary:Friday afternoon: Several options, either a homebrew tasting, trip to beer stores, or, if there’s enough interest, caravan 2 1/2 hours north to Duluth to hit Fitger’s, a wonderful brewpub in Duluth.
Friday night: Town Hall, followed by what passes for a bar crawl in downtown MSP.
Saturday lunch: Barley John’s.
Saturday afternoon: Tour of Summitt Brewing.
Saturday night: Grand Tasting.
General advantages and disadvantages of the area:
Advantages: Two extremely highly-regarded brewpubs in Town Hall and Barley John’s. Town Hall in particular rotates new beers each week, and the promise of a large collection of dedicated beer geeks coming to town we can rest assured that Town Hall can be convinced to bring a variety of excellent products out for us.- Beer-friendly culture. People in Minnesota, to be blunt, drink a lot, and there are plenty of excellent beer bars in the metro area. Almost every bar and restaurant has at minimum Summit EPA, which is a good beer. Many bars have a wide variety of good beers.
The Twin Cities are in the Midwest, which essentially means we are equally convenient for both the East and West Coasts. However, we’re clearly pretty close to Canada, meaning we’d have a better chance to have good representation from our Northern neighbors.
The Twin Cities has a very active and dedicated Ratebeer community. Seven Ratebeer members in the Twin Cities have 1000 or more ratings. We like beer, and we know beer.
Minnesota itself has an excellent bottled beer selection. Blue Max has over 1000 beers in stock, many of them intriguing imports and such, along with a fine selection of U.S. micros, as do a number of other excellent local beer stores. Also, our proximity to Wisconsin means we’re a half-hour trip from being able to get New Glarus, Tyranena, and a number of other breweries available in that state.
Duluth is 2 1/2 hours up I-35, meaning we are an afternoon daytrip from Fitger’s, another wonderful brewpub. Fitger’s not only has excellent beer (the brewer is the brother of Town Hall’s main brewer), but the brewpub is located right on the North Shore of Lake Superior in a wonderfully scenic area. Duluth could be an optional afternoon trip that could be chosen as opposed to cruising various beer stores or doing a homebrew tasting. Several options will be available for afternoons.
Minnesota in general is an amazingly scenic area. Several prominent Ratebeer members are birders, and birding here is allegedly excellent for people who like staring at birds. For those who like to actually do fun things, the immediate area here is full of hundreds of lakes, parks, hiking trails, and other activities.- Other entertainment options abound. We have the Mall of America for those who want to shop or ride a roller coaster indoors, Mystic Lake Casino for those who want to gamble, or the Metrodome for those who want to catch a Twins game. The Mall of America and Metrodome are both on the local light rail line, meaning mass transit is available for these activities.
Disadvantages: The best beer bars and brewpubs are not close enough for any kind of traditional bar crawl. While a number of bars in the downtown Minneapolis area have a fine selection, the world-class beer bars are separated by enough distance that a car, cab, or rented bus would be necessary in order to bounce between the more high-profile bars.
While we have a mass transit system in the form of light rail, it runs from the Mall of America to the airport to downtown Minneapolis. Mass transit will not take you many places in the Twin Cities.Again, this is pretty rough, but there frankly just wasn’t time to do anything more formal or organized. That being said, this area would be great for RBSG.