Located on historic Main Street, reportedly the oldest street in Minneapolis, the Aster Cafe is a gem of a place to spend a couple of hours, particularly on a dreary drab Sunday afternoon, which is when we found ourselves visiting. Even better than the picturesque setting in the shadow of the Stone Arch Bridge and the cobblestone lined street overlooking the Mississippi is the daily Happy Hour, 3-6pm, which features $3 domestic taps, house wine and $5 cocktails, as well as $5 cheese plates and flat bread pizza, if food is your thing.
Of course, I'm only here for the beer and the menu, although short, is eclectic and interesting enough,with an admirable focus on local beer. Minneapolis' Fulton being well represented with 3 taps - Sweet Child of Vine, Lonely Blonde and Worthy Adversary as well as Lake Superior's (Duluth, MN) Kayak Kolsch. Offerings from further afield included Rush River's Unforgiven Amber, Furthermore's Fatty Boombalatty (both WI), Bell's Two Hearted, Founders Dirty Bastard (both MI), Left Hand's Sawtooth Ale (CO) as well as Kwak Amber Ale (Belgium) and Tilburgs Dutch Brown Ale (Holland). The only cider on tap is Ace Pear (CA).
With it's exposed brickwork and eccentric layout, the Aster has more of a comfortable coffee shop vibe than a bar. On this particular sleepy Sunday afternoon it was less than half- full but once the weather warms up and the courtyard seating opens I'd imagine it will be harder to find an opening, until then the perfect spot for enjoying a pint of Worthy Adverary (9.2% ABV - not bad for $3 a pint)! was found on the elevated "music stage" in front of the window overlooking Main Street.
A view of the bar from the stage :
Address : 125 SE Main Street (St Anthony Main), Minneapolis MN 612-379-3138
Parking : Plenty of pay meters on Main Street (enforced daily) but side-streets not enforced on weekends.
Website : http://www.aster-cafe.com/