The NFL is back! And your ticket to the Vikings' opener against Jacksonville this Sunday gets you more than a glimpse at a squad destined for mediocrity -- it makes day drinking way more socially acceptable. Get your beer-pound on (responsibly, of course) before or after home games with specials at these downtown Minneapolis establishments.
Crooked Pint Ale House
501 Washington Av. S., Mpls. • 612-877-6900 • www.crookedpint.com
Unsurprisingly, there's a dearth of deals at Metrodome-surrounding bars when the Vikings are in town. But at the Crooked Pint the game-day prices are as comfortable as the walking distance, with $3 Grain Belt and $4 Miller Lite tallboys, and $4 bloodies. Not a bad spot to prep for watching America's favorite sport (sorry baseball, you're just not violent enough).
The Loon Cafe
500 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-332-8342 • www.looncafe.com
Near the Warehouse District light-rail station, the Loon is a prime place to land for pre-game revelry. Not only do they give out free light-rail passes, but Grain Belt products are only $3 all day. Because overeating and watching football pretty much go hand-in-hand, gridiron fans can dig into a $13 brunch buffet. Maybe walking to the Dome is a good play.
Hubert's Sports Bar & Grill
600 1st Av. N., Mpls. • 612-767-2960 • www.hubertsmpls.com
While Hubert's Dome-side post doesn't do game-day deals, the Target Center location (near the light rail) is football central. During any pigskin matchup (NFL or college), fans can enjoy $3 Bud Light taps while grubbing 50-cent wings and $5 pizzas at the sleek sports bar. Stop in after the Vikes' game and piddle away the entire afternoon watching preposterously large men hit each other.