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.
In the distilling industry, it may be difficult to stand out. There are only so many combinations to be had that things may seem repetitive. However, Proof Artisan Distillers has continued to re-invent what it means to distill alcohol. Not to mention, they are the only distillery in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Distiller Jeremy Meidinger and the group at Proof have formulated a few products that are unlike any other in the region.
They begin with their Crooked Furrow Harvest Blend bourbon. “It is North Dakota’s first legally produced bourbon ever,” said Meidinger. “It’s made out of North Dakota corn and barley. What makes it blended is you take your oldest bourdon and combine it with stuff that never went in a barrel. Then you put all of that into a barrel.”
Meidinger says the reason for this is so the bourbon is allowed to age longer. “The name ‘Crooked Furrow’ obviously comes from furrows that are created when you plant corn,” Meidinger said. “But grandpa always said, ‘Corn grows better in a crooked furrow’. Of course, he just said that because he drove crooked.”
Another new initiative Proof is taking is the idea of mixing cocktails to be put on tap. “You’re starting to see it pick up more around the country as a popular thing,” he said. “You just mix the cocktail into a keg and hook it up to any tap system, like beer. Then if you want a Moscow Mule, it’s right there to be poured. The cool thing about that system is that it monitors ABV so you don’t overserve. It’s a lot more controlled.”
Proof still has their primary distillates that keep people coming back. “Our flagships are still the whiskey, the vodka and the gin,” Meidinger said. “That’s because we are doing something different with all of them.” Proof is one of the few distilleries in the country that uses 100 percent potato base in their vodka.
“We are also bringing gin back to its former glory,” he said. “Technically, it’s not even supposed to be a flavor profile. The only stipulation to make gin is 51 percent juniper by its botanical build. How strong you make the juniper in there depends, but we have chosen to do it less.”
Fargo’s only distillery is only getting started too. Meidinger says they plan to have a rickhouse facility sometime soon. Rickhouses are used primarily as an aging space for the distillates. “It has to be within city limits or 10 miles from city limits,” he said. “But we have to have it away from certain things as the product is considered volatile. But we think we have nailed down a location.”
However, Meidinger said he could not release any details on that location yet. “It’s going to be really cool though,” he said. “The things around it are going to make it a tourist destination I think. You’ll be able to do a mini bourbon trail, only in North Dakota.”
More than anything, Proof wants you to know that they are as local as it gets. “Anything we can get from North Dakota, we get,” Meidinger said. “The only thing on our Crooked Furrow bottle that has left the state is the cap and the label. Everything else is sourced locally.”
Jeremy Meidinger also shows his gratitude to the various establishments in Fargo and Moorhead. “The breweries and the meadery have all been so great to us, and we just want to say thank you,” he said. While they continue to give thanks to the community, Proof Artisan Distillers has become a powerhouse in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
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- Try their Crooked Furrow Harvest Blend bourbon.
- Grab a custom cocktail from their award-winning bartenders in the tasting room.
- Keep an eye out for their cocktails on tap, coming soon to various establishments around Fargo.
414 4th Ave N, Fargo
Sunday-Tuesday | Closed
Wednesday-Saturday | 5 p.m.–12 a.m.
So far we’ve also featured Drekker Brewing Company, Fargo Brewing Company, Junkyard Brewing Company, Flatland Brewing, Prairie Brothers Brewing Company, Kilstone Brewing and Wild Terra Cider And Brewing. Check back later this month to see what other places we featured!