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Hello from the “New Kid”

Here to drink your beer. Ryan Anderson.

Greetings from a recent Twin Cities’ transplant. I’m Ryan Anderson and I’ll be helping with FMBeer.com for the foreseeable future. About 10 years ago I started another website that you may be familiar with – MNBeer.com. And about three years ago, we cloned many of the elements of that site over to FMBeer.com, with local beer guy Dean Gundberg at the helm. Dean has worked tirelessly to keep this site active – I’ve mostly just ensured that it is functional and easy on the eyes.

My family and I relocated to the F/M area to be closer to all of our parents and to step away from ridiculous commutes. We both enjoyed our jobs (Hell, I worked at Brewers Supply Group… I loved my job), but wanted a change in order to slow our worlds down a bit, so here we are.

I spent my formative years in Fergus Falls, looking to Fargo as the “big city.” The music scene in Fargo drew me here in the early 90s and I spent a few years involved with the music and ‘zine world while in high school and college. During that time I developed a love for “dark beer” at Ralph’s Corner Bar in Moorhead (RIP), and then a palate expansion thanks to the Great Northern on Broadway and a few liquor stores that carried a variety of what we used to call “Microbrews.”

It’s been nearly twenty years since I’ve lived here, but I’m glad to be back. Our first two months here have been a whirlwind of moving, paperwork, acclimating, construction and more paperwork (selling a house is a lot of work). I’ve also been playing the role of stay-at-home Dad while we’ve been getting settled. Life is starting to get a little less crazy and I’m looking forward to connecting with local beer nerds, reps and brewery folks soon. We’re tossing around the thought of a FMBeer-related meetup sometime in the not-so-distant future. Drop us a line if you’re interested!

I’m also in the process of finding my dream-gig in Fargo/Moorhead. Most recently I’ve been working as a designer with the marketing team at Brewers Supply Group. Before that, I was the advertising manager for a Twin Cities ski/bike/paddle/camp outdoor store. Whatcha’ got Fargo/Moorhead?

Looking forward to drinking more of your beers!


Submit Your Own Events

So, uh, we took our sweet time with this one, but we are proud to announce that as of today, you can submit your own events to FMBeer.com. Pretty sweet, eh? Click here to check it out.

Once your submit your event, it’ll be routed to us for approval. Once approved, it goes live.

These are truly exciting times we live in…



Wet & Dry: Alcohol in Clay County 1871-1937

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County presents a new exhibit at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead; Wet & Dry: Alcohol in Clay County 1871-1937.  This exhibit opened on February 16th and will shown for 2 years.

Keep checking back here for more information and a schedule of events associated with this exhibit.

Exhibit website and upcoming events

WetDry300This exhibit explores the spirited debates around the morality of alcohol, from our Wild West birth through the end of Prohibition, encompassing three major periods: Settlement (1871-1890), the Saloon Era (1890-1915) and Prohibition (1915-1937).

People have enjoyed alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. It’s an important part of our culture – and a multi-billion dollar industry – but alcohol is also a dangerous, addictive drug that can lead to irresponsible and violent behavior, destroying lives and families. Efforts by Clay County residents to resolve this disconnect – to give the people what they want but still maintain social order – are marked by extremes.


When settlers founded new communities, they debated whether or not alcohol would be part of it. Once the Northern Pacific Railway arrived in 1871, thousands of settlers streamed into Clay County, claiming land for new farms and creating new villages. As each new community formed, a debate began between those who would ban alcohol (the Drys), those who welcomed alcohol (the Wets) and everybody in between.

The Saloon Era

When Fargo went dry in 1890, Moorhead became infamous for its many – and rowdy – saloons – 45 of them in a town of about 3,700. Moorhead’s Prohibition was more wet than dry, with criminal networks keeping Clay County drinking. City officials and voters could have responsibly regulated and limited the influx of saloons, enforced the law and used the liquor license fees paid by the saloons wisely. But they didn’t. Corruption, law breaking and bad financial decisions plagued Moorhead throughout the 1890s.


In 1915 reformers succeeded in outlawing liquor completely. But Prohibition also did not work out. Although legally dry, Clay County had a very wet Prohibition. Residents did not stop drinking. “Rum-runners” smuggled in large shipments of alcohol from Canada or other parts of the USA. “Moonshiners” secretly made hard liquor in home distilleries. “Bootleggers” sold alcohol on the streets or in cafés. Scores of local businesses and private homes were “Blind Pigs” or “Speak Easies,” illegally selling alcohol under the table or even operating as not-so-secret illegal saloons.


As soon as the Drys succeeded in making alcohol illegal in America, Wets went to work trying to repeal (or overturn) Prohibition. The Repeal movement gained support as the American public saw that Prohibition was not working. The Repeal Movement gained steam during the Great Depression. With unemployment soaring, many saw that reviving the alcohol industry would put people back to work and bring needed revenue to the government through alcohol taxes. On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution completely repealed National Prohibition. Although many Clay County communities allowed 3.2 beer in April of 1933, the county did not legalize hard liquor and strong beer until 1937.

FMBeer Map – Find your way to good beer

FMBeer has set up a Google Map of all the area Breweries, Bars & Restaurants, and Beer Stores.

The map is set up with 3 sections and initially only the Breweries are displayed. Click on the icon in the upper left to open the map menu and there you can click to display the other sections.

Breweries have red markers with those not open yet in orange.

Bars & Restaurants are blue markers with those opening soon in purple.

Beer Stores are have yellow markers.

Click here to open the map on a new page

The shape of the marker varies by location so when you look at the menu on the left, you can tell the general location.

Fargo/Moorhead area locations have upside down teardrop markers.

Bismarck/Mandan locations are marked with stars.

Grand Forks/East Grand Forks locations are marked with circles.

Other Minnesota locations are marked with diamonds.

Minot and western ND locations are marked with squares.


If you know of bar, restaurant or beer store that is not listed but you think should be added. Please let me know at dean@fmbeer.com. Any other suggestions for the map are also welcome.




Union Pizza & Brewing is Open in Fergus Falls

UnionMovingTankUPDATE: Union Pizza & Brewing is now open and serving pizza.  Their first beer is on tap plus they do have a very nice selection of MN and ND brews.

Per the article in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal and Facebook, Union Pizza and Brewing Company is under construction and hope to be open in February 2015.  They will be located on Union Avenue just south of Lincoln Avenue where a Domino’s Pizza used to be.  The restaurant will serve brick-oven baked pizza and a variety of beers, some of which will be brewed on location.

Current city council member Ben Schierer will handle the pizza side of the business (he built a pizza brick-oven at home 8 years ago and just built another one for the restaurant) and he has brought in Matt Ecker as the brewmaster to craft beer on location.  “We want to keep things simple,” Schierer said. “We want to make good pizza and good beer.”

UnionPizzaBrewingThe sourdough crust pizza will be cooked in a wood-fire brick-oven that will get up to 800 degrees.  “We’re making our dough here,” Schierer said, adding that that goal is to purchase as much of their products locally as possible. They will also offer a small selection of appetizers, salads and desserts, as well as homemade rootbeer.

“We still want this to be a family restaurant,” Schierer said. “It’s not going to be a 2 a.m. bar.”  However, the beer stands to be the highlight of this venture.

“We have six 90 gallon tanks,” Schierer said about the brewing that will take place inside the restaurant.  All of the brewing equipment will be located at the front of the store so it will be able to be viewed from the sidewalk window, as well as through two windows inside the entrance.

“We’ll sell beer we make here,” Schierer said. “We will also sell local, Minnesota craft beer. As well as some from North Dakota. There are a number of places that are small, independent, breweries.”  They will make a pale ale, an IPA and a porter to start off as well as some seasonal beers, according to Schierer.  “We will offer the whole range,” Ecker said. “We will have 10 on tap. Our goal is to cover the whole gamut, whether we make it here or whether it is made in Fargo.”  One of their goals is to offer varieties of beers that people have had the chance to try before.


Bird Dog Brewing is making beer

MainStreetBirdDogBird Dog Brewing of Mandan, ND completed their licensing and construction in December of 2014 and their beer went on tap at Main Street Drive Thru Liqour  at 12:01 AM on January 1st 2015.

Their first beers were a Bitter Stout and a Cider Ale:
“The stout is a 120 min stout with great malt flavor to add to the bitter approx. 120 ibu stout.”
“Then we have a crisp tart apple cider with a light malt, cinnamon, and clove note in the finish.”

Their next beer will be Brandy’s strawberry blonde.

They have a 3.5 bbl system that can expand to 7 bbl fairly easily.
Iniatially Bird Dog Brewing beers will be served exclusively at Main Street Drive Thru Liquor (1005 East Main Street, Mandan, ND) with plans to open distribution beyond that location once all the bugs are ironed out and they ramp up production.

Stop back for more information about Bird Dog Brewing coming soon.


Drekker Brewing Company’s Taproom is Open

DrekkerTapsAfter years of planning, test batches, searching for a location and finally construction, the Drekker Brewing Company has opened their taproom at 630 1st Ave N, Suite 6 in downtown Fargo.

The found their location in April, their stainless steel brewing system from Portland Kettle Works started showing up in June and they opened in early October.

Taproom hours are Wednesday-Friday: 4pM-10PM and Saturday: Noon-10PM.  Pints, samplers, 64oz growlers and 32oz howlers are available.

The Drekker taproom is quite large compared to the others in the area and features a curved cement bar, a section going back around their cooler so you can get a good look at their shiny stainless brewing system, and lots of tables in front that the Drekker crew made themselves.

Like other taprooms in the area, they don’t serve food but you can bring in food from other locations, and Wurst Bier Hall is just a few doors down on 1st Ave.



Junkyard Brewing Company’s new taproom is now open

Junkyard Brewing Company’s new taproom at 1416 1st Ave N in Moorhead is now open.  Normal hours have shifted a bit as they get a feel for the taproom but are currently 4:00PM-9:00PM Tuesday-Thursday, 4:00PM to midnight on Fridays and noon to midnight on Saturdays.

The Juhnke brothers built out this new taproom and brewery a block or so east of their original location and did most of the work themselves using lots of reclaimed wood, old church pews, metal tractor seats and much more to keep their Junkyard theme.  The taproom as 10 taps featuring their own brews.  Most beer will be $5 for a pint and $3 for a half-pint.  Stronger beers are available at $4 for a half-pint.

They won’t be able to offer our Growlers until they determine if they can keep up with the amount of beer in the taproom, or until they build their new 7 barrel (14 kegs) brewing system.

They have moved their old brewery to the new location and are brewing there.  The Kickstarter they did to fund larger fermentation tanks was successful and they will be purchasing the new tank(s) and working on upgrading their system so they can brew larger batches soon.




Rhombus Guys get a city loan for Brewery – Updated

rhombusguysThe owners of the Rhombus Guys Pizzas (locations in Grand Forks, Fargo, and Mentor) purchased the historic Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House (116 S. Third St) with plans on turning it into a brewery.  They have been looking for an experienced brewmaster and have been working with architects and construction firms on plans for the transformation to a brewery.   (FMBeer article from March 2014)

Per the September 19th article in the Grand Forks Herald, they have submitted an economic development loan application to Grand Forks’ Growth Fund Committee, which will discuss the request on Tuesday September 23rd. The request is for a $53,000 FlexPace loan, which would leverage a $100,000 Bank of North Dakota grant to help buy down interest on part of a bank loan.  If the Growth Fund Committee approves the request, it will go to the Jobs Development Authority for a public hearing on October 6th.

The Rhombus Guys are close but have not made a final decision yet as they say this is a big project with a final cost of around $2 million. They want to do their research before jumping all the way in.

UPDATE 10/7/2014 – Per the October 6th article in the Grand Forks Herald, the Grand Forks Jobs Development Authority gave final approval for the loan to buy down the bank loan and Rhombus guys will be moving forward with construction of the brewery.

That article also include several good bits of information for those of us here at FMBeer:

RhombusOpera2The application for the city loan states planning stages are already completed and construction could start this fall and finish in the spring of 2015. The costs of building improvements and purchasing equipment and machinery for the brewing portion of the project total more than $1 million.

“Rhombus Guys Brewing,” as the application refers to the business, would make a line of craft beer that will be sold on location and distributed to other establishments throughout the region.

“We aim to package the beer in kegs and cans for distribution, as well as growlers for sale at the brewery,” the application states. Its distributors will sell to other restaurants, bars and liquor stores. “The goal is to have the beer distributed in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota initially.”

“We ultimately envision Rhombus beers will be sold and consumed throughout the entire Midwest.”

Winjum said the brewery could produce about about 6,000 half-barrel kegs a year. It would also employ a head brewer, assistant brewer and two brewers, according to the staff report.

That beer would also be sold at a bar on location, and a restaurant would sell “high-end pub food,” Winjum said.

Little Deep Beer Co in Minot Crowdfunding – Updated 11/10/14

UPDATE per Facebook on 11/10/2014:
As you may know, we didn’t reach our goal on our IndieGoGo campaign which means nobody should receive a charge from them as we did not receive any funds.

But don’t worry, we have been hard at work the last few weeks ripping apart our business plan and starting to rebuild it with a new audience, location(s) and a few new ideas inside.

It will be a few more weeks until it is ready and distributed to those that have expressed interest in helping us build in Minot.

Thanks to everyone that contributed to our project! We sincerely appreciate the gesture.


Little Deep Beer Company was founded in 2011 (then called Little Deep Brewing Company*) on the mission to bring craft beer to Minot. Since their inception, they have encountered numerous set-backs to our plans mostly from location related issues.

LittleDeepBeerAfter years of trying to establish their own brewery; they made a decision to switch gears and try another method, contract brewing with their beer being produced by another ND brewery and then building their own brewery once they are established.

They are trying to raise an additional $35,000 beyond their current financing to make this project happen to it’s full potential.

They are working through IndieGoGo to raise these finds giving several awards in addition to beer karma in return.  Depending on the amount you pledge, you can receive beer coasters, bottle openers, SiliPints, t-shirts, invitations to the Lauch Party and more.  At the $750 level, Little Deep founder Jon Lakoduk will come to your party with some swag and talk about beer.  At the top $1000 level, you can work it out with Little Deep what you want in return.

Little Deep Beer Company IndiGoGo campaign link

This crowdfunding campaign to get more beer made in Minot will run through October 20th, 2014.

*For legal reasons, they must call themselves Little Deep Beer Company…for now.