PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen
Wild Terra Cider and Brewing opened its doors at 2 p.m. on Dec. 2 to a line of people already gathered and retained a full house for the rest of the evening. Owners Ethan and Breezee Hennings took some time to answer questions about their new business.
Where did the idea and name for Wild Terra come from?
We are passionate about being adventurous and appreciating nature, not just in action, but also in flavor. We have always thought we were just two wild kids so the name made sense to us.
How long have you been in the process — from the moment the idea was born to opening day?
Ethan has been a homebrewer for many years and I think anyone that homebrews or is passionate about craft would agree we have all thought about owning our own space. But when we really started to work on the manifesting of our dream to start Wild Terra was about two and a half years ago.
What has been the most difficult part of pursuing this dream?
Our pursuit was two-fold. First, we were going to start North Dakota’s first Urban Cidery and Cider Bar. Most people we told this to thought we were crazy and were extremely skeptical. So just convincing people cider was exciting was one thing. Secondly, we took on the huge task of renovating a 100+-year-old horse barn ourselves. Almost every step of that was a struggle.
What are you most excited about Wild Terra opening?
We are most excited to showcase the diversity cider has to offer. Not only are we going to carry our own Wild Terra Cider but other producers as well. Some may think this is foolish but we are passionate about craft and we wanted to have the opportunity to shine a light on all the different profiles cider can have. Just having our own wasn’t going to be enough. Cider can be so many more things than just sticky sweet and we are so excited to help people discover craft cider.
How do you think your business will have a positive impact on the Fargo-Moorhead community?
Starting this fall, we will start an urban gleaning campaign that will begin by picking as many local apples as we can from residents in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Then we will start pressing this juice and making it into delicious local cider. We hope this continues to show the community that local is a better product.
Secondly, we feel strongly about appreciating and taking care of “terra,” so we are going to sponsor outdoor recreation activities and host several campaigns where we as a group clean up a wildlife area (such as along the Red River) and then everyone that participates gets to come back to the taproom and get a free drink on us.
You will have a lot of fun areas and rooms in the building. What is your favorite thing about your space?
Breezee: When I designed the space, I wanted everyone to have a good time and feel relaxed, so all the lights and furniture are beautiful, practical and comfortable. Also, I love the wood on the walls. I personally denailed and sanded all the wood, as it is original to the building. I hated it at the time, but now seeing it up, it’s really wonderful.
Ethan: The bar top and both booth pieces all came from the same 200-year-old white oak tree. I would say that is my favorite thing, but the building’s original ceiling that we preserved is a close second.
How has Wild Terra been received?
So far the community has been really positive about our menu and space. We are continuing to think of what we as craft drinkers want to see and what would excite our patrons, so we have lots of surprises up our sleeves.