Photos by Hillary Ehlen and Paul Flessland
We traveled all over Fargo-Moorhead and profiled your favorite local breweries, meaderies and distilleries. Whether you prefer a nice cocktail, a craft beer or even a sweet mead, we have them all here! Come along with us on the tour of some of the great establishment in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
There is something about the atmosphere when you step inside Prairie Rose Meadery in South Fargo. You get the sense of togetherness and family, and that is no doubt their goal. Susan and Bob Ruud opened up the establishment after developing a hobby and passion for making mead.
The most common question Susan gets asked is, “What is the difference between mead and wine?” and she is quick to point out the simple difference. “The main fermentable in mead is honey whereas the main fermentable in wine is grapes. Some meads do have some grapes in them but the primary fermentable is always honey,” she said.
One new thing Prairie Rose is trying out involves a partnership with Proof Artisan Distillers. “We have actually started getting some of Proof’s empty barrels, cleaning them and putting our mead in them,” Ruud said. “Whatever was previously in that barrel gets picked up in the mead. Sometimes you get more hints of the alcohol than others, but it adds a more complex flavor to the mead.”
Susan believes that Fargo is different because of how close all of the local breweries, distilleries and wineries are on a personal level. This allows them to have partnerships with places like Proof.
“I pretty much know and have a good relationship with all the brewery guys, the wineries and, obviously, Proof too,” she said. “The area is big enough where we can send people to other places in our area. I don’t feel like we are in competition with one another.”
The three bottles in the feature photo are the meads aged in Proof barrels.
The most popular mead according to Ruud is their original, which features only the honey flavor. Other flavors that have become popular are blackberry, ginger and plum, which was just recently unveiled. “We have a following for all the kinds. People have their mainstays they like to stick to,” Ruud said.
An ideal situation for Prairie Rose would be to move location to a place more findable in Fargo. “We would like to get on a main road or even downtown,” she said. “Trying to find a place around there is obviously a challenge, but we are kind of hidden back here. A lot of people see it as a sort of destination location, but we are certainly growing too.”
Susan strives to get as much North Dakota product as possible. “All of the honey we use in our meads is made in Kindred, North Dakota. We try to get as much local fruit and spices from local sources too,” she said. “It is obviously hard to make the spices locally, but our mint is made in North Dakota as well.”
Prairie Rose Meadery plans to release some new flavors of mead in the coming months. They are trying out new kinds of honey that is still made in North Dakota. Susan and Bob are also trying new fruit combinations like aronia orange.
It is this adventurous style that has made Prairie Rose Meadery one of the best in the Midwest. They have won several national awards at competitions around the United States.
“We are a place that is relaxing, a place you can talk to your friends and we stay quieter than some of the other places,” Susan said. “So come visit us!”
RELATED: “Which Local Brewery Are You?”
Prairie Rose To-Dos
- Be adventurous and try their pineapple chipotle mead. Equal part sweet, equal part spicy.
- Mix their ginger mead with lemon sour mix and have yourself a mead mule.
- Ask about their partnership with Proof Artisan Distillers.
3101 39th Street South E, Fargo
Monday-Wednesday | Closed
Thursday-Friday | 5-10 p.m.
Saturday | 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday | 12-6 p.m.
So far we’ve also featured Drekker Brewing Company, Fargo Brewing Company, Junkyard Brewing Company, Flatland Brewing, Prairie Brothers Brewing Company, Kilstone Brewing, Wild Terra Cider And Brewing and Proof Artisan Distillers. Check back later this month to see what other places we featured!