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WCCO Viewers' Choice For Best Taproom In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Like every other business in Excelsior, John Klick is preparing to open for the day.

But there's none like this in the area. It's not just a brewery, and not just a bar. It's a taproom.

"It's an awesome environment that a brewery can create all their own beers, they can only serve their own beers, you can't serve hard alcohol, you can't serve anybody else's beer," Klick said.

And you voted the Excelsior Brewing Company's taproom as the best in Minnesota. In case you haven't noticed, our state has a real love affair with beer.

"There are so many good beers in Minnesota," said Excelsior brewer Niles Lewin. "I mean, all these breweries are just putting out this fantastic beer."

And if you listen to the dialogue in taprooms, you may think you're in a winery.

"I really think the younger generations have made this movement. It's not just going out and getting a domestic beer anymore," Klick said. "It's almost into the wine movement, where people are searching out and tasting these beers."

Taprooms are for those consumers, no matter how you like your beer. And even though Klick's nose is deep in a glass, this place is far from snooty.

"It's a very low pressure, great place to hang out," he said. "Almost everybody feels like Norm from 'Cheers,' you know.'"

Which points directly to the power of beer.

"Look at what's happened. The laws that have been changed because of beer. I mean, anything from the Surly bill, which was the taproom bill, and getting growlers approved," Klick said.

It's all a part of the craft beer movement.

"All these microbreweries are opening. I mean it's just crazy," Lewin said. "They're opening everywhere."

Klick says the movement hit Minnesota with a fury. Although seemingly the newest sensation, breweries and taprooms are really just a throwback to our roots.

"Every town in Europe has a brewery. It wasn't long ago that there were a lot more in the U.S.," he said. "That's why I chose Excelsior. It's a destination town and seems like it should have a brewery. It's got everything else here."

Klick says he didn't understand the power of community until he opened the taproom.

Click here for more information on the Excelsior Brewing Company.

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