Sites like Groupon and Living Social can be the source of some great deals, or some great disappointments. Discovering a new favorite restaurant or bar thanks to an enticing offer is exciting. Discovering that your limo tour of local wineries doesn’t cover the cost of the tastings at said wineries is beyond aggravating.
Here are five boozy offers that won't leave you crying in your beer. As always, read the details of each transaction before you take the plunge. And if these promos have expired, never fear, there is a constant stream of drinking deals on both sites.
Craft Beer Tasting at Midtown Global Market, $15
Eastlake Brewery makes both post-modern American beer and traditional European brews. For $15, this Groupon buys you and a friend each a sample flight, then a full pour of the beer of your choice. Pick from the brewery's mainstays like Nicollet Mauler Black IPA, a hopped up beer with a floral aroma and flavors of licorice, caramel, cacao, pine, and tropical fruit; or an old-style Laeger-Hagemeister Pale Lager. There’s also a list of rotating and seasonal beers on tap.
This deal is good any day of the week. Go on a Monday evening for Tacos ‘n Trivia; DJ Teace handles the trivia and Taco Cat stays open with their full menu. During baseball season, get in on Twinkie Tuesdays. Watch the game with other fans, and you may get lucky and win a pair of Twins tickets during the seventh-inning stretch.
920 E. Lake St. (Midtown Global Market)
Somerset Day Trip, $29
You might want a designated driver for this $29 Groupon deal for two at Oliphant Brewing. The package includes one 12-beer flight, two pints of beer, and a growler to take home. You can entertain yourself by trying to figure out the pop culture references behind the quirky, nerdy beer names. That task might get easier as you work your way through the flight. Or not.
The brewery is owned by friends Matt Wallace and Trevor Wirtanen. Chances are you’ll find them in the taproom on your visit, chatting with customers about the beers like Blue Hulk, a blonde ale made with blueberries and blackberries, and Ant Ray Cow Pants, an imperial red ale with kaffir lime, ginger, and red curry. If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll even explain what the brewery’s name means.
350 Main St., Somerset, Wisconsin
Winery Excursion, $39
If you’ve never been west of Wayzata, here’s a good excuse to go. Woodland Hill Winery, located in Delano, has the perfect way to spend a Saturday thanks to a $39 Living Social wine tasting deal for for two that includes a flight for each person, as well as a full glass of your favorite. But wait, there’s more. You’ll go home with a souvenir glass, a bottle of wine, and a bottle of either olive oil or vinegar.
The grapes at the winery are grown without herbicides, using only natural compounds and fertilizers. The wines produced by owners Katie and Mike Dickerman won eight medals at the 2010 International Cold Climate Wine Competition. The tasting room is open Saturdays only through April, Thursday through Sunday during peak season. It's not Napa, but you can't get to Napa in 45 minutes — or for $39.
Woodland Hill Winery
731 Country Rd. 30 SE, Delano
Du Nord Craft Spirits, $12
If hard liquor is more your speed, the Groupon from Du Nord includes a distillery tour and tasting for two for $12. That's about the price of a craft cocktail at a trendy bar. Du Nord produces Fitzgerald Gin and L’etoile Du Nord Vodka, using corn from the family farm of Shanelle Montana, who owns Du Nord with her husband, Chris. In addition to seeing distillery operations first-hand, you’ll take home a souvenir rocks glass.
Du Nord is just blocks from the Blue Line and boasts the distinction of being the first cocktail room in the Twin Cities, serving up drinks since January 2015. If you haven't made it there in the ensuing year, now's your chance.
Du Nord Craft Spirits
2610 E. 32nd St., Minneapolis
Do-It-Yourself Beer, $75
Give a man (or woman) a fish and they eat for a day; teach them to fish and they eat for a lifetime. Same goes for beer. Sure, you can buy a six-pack and call it a day, but why not take up a new hobby and learn how to brew your own? The folks at Midwest Supplies Homebrewing & Winemaking are here to help.
This $75 Living Social package includes a Brewing Basics Equipment Kit, which comes with all of the necessary brewing, fermentation, and testing equipment required to make your first beer. There’s also a recipe for Front Porch Ale and an ingredient kit with everything you need to make a full batch.
Midwest Supplies Homebrewing & Winemaking
5825 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park