Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport adds craft beer emporium, makes flying suck less

A rendering of Stone Arch

A rendering of Stone Arch

Need more signs that there is goodness in this world? The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is converting a former Chili’s restaurant into Stone Arch Craft Lab, a craft beer bar and restaurant with more beers on tap than the TSA has confiscated shampoo bottles.

The new concept is formally named “Stone Arch.” and will open in early to mid-summer with 25 taps, a 44-seat bar, and a 112-seat dining room. Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild is responsible for selecting the beers and chef Bill Fairbanks of Barrio is developing the menu. Diners can expect made-from-scratch cooking with local and sustainable ingredients, and a to-go shop for sandwiches and takeout options. Drinkers can expect a delicious, local way to make the gate agent's caw disappear into a buzzy, golden haze.

The lineup will regularly feature 20 beers. Another five beers will be offered in the “Craft Lab” where brew masters and beer experts will educate interested travelers, in coordination with the Guild.

Aero Service Group, which will operate the Stone Arch bar and restaurant, also operates airport beer station DuClaw Brewing Company in the Baltimore/Washington Airport.

The new bar/restaurant is part of MSP’s larger remodel, which will include a music venue restaurant from the owners of craft beer pub Republic, as well as a Smack Shack outpost and a doughnut shop by Angel Food Bakery.