By Andrew Jason & Erica Rapp
Photos by Tiffany Swanson & J. Alan Paul Photography
In the last seven years, Fargo-Moorhead has seen an onslaught of breweries. From the established breweries like Fargo Brewing Company to the newcomers at Flatland Brewery, we take you inside these breweries in hopes that you grow to love them as much as we do.
By Andrew Jason & Erica Rapp
What the heck is IBU?
If you’ve been to a brewery lately, you’ve probably noticed that all beers are labeled by ABV (alcohol by volume) and IBU (international bitter unit). John Anderson, Package and Cellar Manager at Fargo Brewing Company, explained a little bit about the lesser-known abbreviation.
“It’s basically a good way to tell how bitter a beer will be. You can’t taste above 100 — it’s kind of muddled. … If you notice, the Sodbuster and the Iron Horse are both the same in terms of IBU but in terms of bitterness is a little different. Iron Horse is bitter like citrus can be bitter and Sodbuster is bitter like a cup of coffee.”
FARGO BREWING COMPANY
If the FM brewing scene is a fraternal group, then Fargo Brewing Company is the older brother. From a garage to a full fledged brewery in five short years sums up a dream come true for these Fargo natives. Officially opening its doors in 2010, Fargo Brewing Company distributes its brews throughout North Dakota, Minnesota and into South Dakota and Wisconsin, and currently on tap in over 100 bars and restaurants across Fargo-Moorhead. It’s quickly amassed much success.
Check Them Out Yourself
You can learn about the process of brewing beer every Saturday at noon during their tours. For only $1 or a non-perishable food item, they will lead you through the process of brewing beer. All proceeds are donated to the Emergency Food Bank and you get a free pint afterward. Tours last roughly one hour and start in the downtown taproom.
Fargo Brewing Company has exciting events scheduled. Below is a listing of some of their unique events.
- Trivia: Fargo Brewing Company has trivia every Wednesday at 7 p.m.
- Yoga On Tap: One hour of yoga, one pint of beer and bring your own mat to this fun yoga experience. Rock an all-levels yoga class and then enjoy a local beer crafted by Fargo Brewing Company. Yoga is held every third Friday of the month from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
- Zumba On Tap: Celebrate happy hour with an hour long Zumba workout and some cold brews from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Fargo Brewing Company hosts an all-levels Zumba the first Friday of the month for $10 at the door.
JUNKYARD BREWING COMPANY
Junkyard Brewing Company is not afraid to change things up. With over 30 different recipes, the beer list is constantly evolving at this nano-brewery. Formed in 2012, the brewery is outputting at full capacity while filling their small taproom in Moorhead on a nightly basis. They currently have 10 taps at the brewery taproom, featuring a weekly rotation of experimental beer styles. With a calendar always packed with events, this might be one of the top hangout destination for Fargo-Moorhead.
Junkyard is staying busy this summer. Below is a listing of some of their unique events.
- Live Music: Usually every night, there are some sort of live music by local artists happening in their taproom or on their patio.
- Weeknights from 7 – 9 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday from 9 – 11 p.m.
- “Beer & Hymns” on Sunday from 7 – 9 p.m.
- Stargazing: One of their more unique nights, there’s a telescope set up to check out the nighttime sky. Fair warning: this is obviously dependent on weather.
DREKKER BREWING COMPANY
Drekker Brewing Company has come in with a bang when it comes to their craft. What started as a couple of friends brewing in a garage has turned into a brew-tastic voyage that’s fit for the viking in all of us. They’re always working hard to create new recipes and furthering their distribution.
Every Saturday at noon and 4 p.m., you can have a tour and tasting of the brewery and learn about the entire process from the guys that handcraft the beer themselves for free. You’ll get a tasting session with a flight of four beers that comes with your ticket, so you can really get up close and personal with the learning process. Visit drekkerbrewing.com/tours to sign up in advance.
Drekker has packed their calendar with exciting events. Listed below are a few.
- Bean Bag League: What’s more fun than a game of bags with a good beer in hand? Get signed up for Bags & Brews League for an awesome time every Monday night at 7 p.m. Visit drekkerbrewing.com/events/bags-brews-league for more information.
- Trivia: Drekker Brewing Company holds trivia on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m.
- Viking Yoga: Drekker Brewing Company hosts yoga every second Saturday of the month—expect in the month of March, it will be held on the first Saturday. Check in is at 10:30 a.m. and starts at 10:45 a.m. Tickets are $15 and it includes a pint of beer when you’re done.
- The Tell: The Tell is hosted at Drekker Brewing Company every second Thursday of the month. Doors open at 6 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m. Find more information and events about The Tell at facebook.com/TheTellFargo.
- Beer & SIN: Every Sunday is Service Industry Night (SIN), where any service industry workers can get $2 off beers all night.
- Live Music: Drekker Brewing Company typically has live music every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Kilstone Brewing started as a hobby, with the Wigen family only brewing for friends and family. Today, the brewery is no longer a well-kept secret being strategically tucked away in the warehouse district in North Fargo. Open since March 2015, the gang at Kilstone Brewing has kept busy expanding their menu and discovering new recipes regularly.
Kilstone Brewing has a packed schedule. Listed are a few of the events we thought you need to attend.
- Super Awesome Funtime Game Nite: Kilstone Brewing typically hosts a weekly game night every Friday at 7 p.m.
- Live Music: Keep an eye on Kilstone Brewing’s page, facebook.com/KilstoneBrewing,for announcements of live music performance.
- Happy Hour: Daily from 3 – 6 p.m., Kilstone Brewing features dollar off pints.
764 34th St. N, Fargo
The craft beer scene in Fargo-Moorhead has expanded yet again with the addition of Flatland Brewery in West Fargo. The brewery offers a unique line-up of craft beers and homemade sodas. Head brewer Frank Clemens emphasized that—since they opened in July 2016—they use local ingredients as much as possible, which is where the name fits so perfectly when it comes to “evoking feelings of the plains.”
Flatland Brewery has a packed summer schedule. Listed are a few of the unique events we thought you need to attend.
- Happy Hour: Flatland Brewery has Happy Hour from 3 – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
- Trivia: Flatland Brewery hosts trivia every Wednesday at 7 p.m. where attendees have a chance to win free beer.
- Live Music: Every Thursday from 6 – 8 p.m., Flatland Brewery features live music by local artists.
Fill ‘Em Up
Growler stations are making their way into various liquor stores in the area, so it’s time all of you beer lovers out there to stock up on your favorite, fresh tapped brews. We chatted with the manager of Bottle Barn on Veterans Boulevard, Chris Larson, to get the full details on these jars of glory.
According to Larson, the growler stations are unique because it gives them the capability to pour beer straight out of a keg and customers can get fresh, tapped beer to go. The growlers are counter-pressurized containers that keep your brew fresh for up to 45 days in your fridge.
Bottle Barn supplies eight different beers on tap that are rotated regularly. They also try to carry a variety of beers on tap whether it’s a cider, porter, stout, IPA and more. Bottle Barn’s newest location also offers wine tastings and education, along with a full walk-in cigar humidor.
“It’s a great way for us to offer packages to-go of beers that aren’t normally available in other packages, especially the local breweries,” said Larson. “We like to support Drekker Brewing Company and Fargo Brewing Company and offer some of the beers that they don’t normally package that people would want to take home.”
Liquor stores in the area are becoming more than just a shopping service to the public. They’re starting to go above and beyond to bring customers the ultimate experience when it comes to spirits, beer and more. If you love beer as much as we do, your best bet is to check it out yourself.
Bottle Barn Liquors
3171 Bluestem Dr., Fargo
Drekker Brewing Company
630 1st Ave. N, Fargo
- Cost: $5 for empty 64oz. and $12 – $17 to fill, $5 for empty 32oz. and $8 – $12 to fill
- On tap: Most beers on tap are offered for growlers.
Junkyard Brewing Company
1416 1st Ave. N, Moorhead
- Cost: $5 for empty 64oz., fill price $15 – $18
- On tap: Most beers on tap are offered for growlers, but it’s constantly rotating
Fargo Brewing Company
610 University Dr. N, Fargo
- Cost: 64oz. $15 for glass and fill/$10 to refill
- On tap: 12 tap lines total that are usually always full
764 34th St. N, Fargo
- Cost: 64oz. $17 for glass and fill/$11 to refill, 32oz. $10 for glass and $6 to refill
- On tap: seven to eight selections but can vary, most beers are available for growlers
3140 Bluestem Dr., West Fargo
- Cost: 64oz. $12 – $15 to refill, cream soda $9 to refill
- On tap: Only CO2 beers are offered for growlers and howlers, not cask
Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop
1125 19th Ave. N, Fargo
1621 45th St. S, Fargo
4001 53rd Ave. S, Fargo
- Cost: $5 for both 64oz. and 32oz. bottles that can be upgrade free of charge. 64oz. fill prices start at roughly $12 (Prices subject to change)
- You can also bring in growlers from other locations, as long as they’re properly cleaned, and Happy Harry’s will fill them for you.
The Frothy Stache
805 30th Ave. S., Moorhead
Monday – Friday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
The Frothy Stache offers 18 Midwestern-brewed craft beers on tap.
Front Street Taproom
614 Main Ave., Fargo
Monday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Front Street Taproom features 30 craft beers that are all brewed in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Several Fargo-Moorhead liquor stores randomly announce beer tastings throughout the month. Watch the Facebook pages of Bernie’s Wines and Liquors and The Spirit Shop for beer tasting events scheduled throughout the year. Below are just two liquor stores, 99 Bottles and Bridgeview Liquor, that have free monthly beer tastings you have to check out.
924 Main Ave, Moorhead
On the third Thursday of every month, 99 Bottles offers craft beer, wine and sometimes cocktail tastings from 5 – 8 p.m. It’s free to the public.
805 30th Ave. S, Moorhead
Taste a selection of beers every first Thursday of the month from 5 – 8 p.m. This once-a-month event is free, but every now and then they’ll do a tasting for big events like Oktoberfest. They’re also willing to spontaneously open up beers for trying if you’re curious about what you’re buying.