Now Open or Damn Close heads northwest to profile Fargo Brewing Company.
by Brian Kaufenberg
When Chris Anderson, the head brewer at Fargo Brewing Company, graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota with a biology degree and moved west for work and graduate school, he was still searching for his passion. He bounced from Montana to Idaho to Washington where he worked as a fishery biologist. Along the way his interest in craft beer, peaked by a bottle of his friend’s hombrew, grew from a quiet rumble to a crescendo inside of him.
He began moonlighting at Ice Harbor Brewery and Pub in Kennewick, Washington where he learned the ins and outs of small scale commercial brewing. Craft beer blended his love of biology and his creativity and led him to develop a business plan with his brother John for a brewery back in Fargo where they felt they could be at the head of a potential craft beer boom.
Neither of the brothers had a background in finance or marketing, but while serving at a restaurant, John was chatting with a friend who knew of two other guys looking to start a brewery in Fargo. Jared Hardy had an MBA and Aaron Hill was working for the United Way in their marketing and public relations department and seeing the opportunity to bring their skill sets together, the four came together and formed Fargo Brewing Company.
They began contract brewing at Sand Creek Brewing in September 2011 and recently open the doors to a 21,000 square-foot production facility in Fargo that houses a 20 bbl brewhouse, two 40 bbl fermenters, and two 40 bbl brite tanks. With the recent passage of a law allowing production breweries to brew up to 25,000 bbl annually and to sell pints and growlers out of a taproom, Fargo Brewing anticipates upping their capacity from 3,500 bbl to 7,000 bbl in 2014.
Blast from the Past: Bemidji Brewing
The team brews American styles for people fairly new to craft beer including their Stone’s Throw Scottish Ale, Wood Chipper IPA, and Iron Horse Pale Ale. Head brewer Chris Anderson says, like their logo, Fargo Brewing’s beer is made for the “salt-of-the-earth, Midwestern farmers” who can appreciate a true hand-crafted product.
The Brewers: Chris Anderson (head brewer), John Anderson (brewer)
The Beer: Stone’s Throw Scottish Ale, Iron Horse Pale Ale, Wood Chipper IPA
Visit: 610 N. University Dr., Fargo, North Dakota 58102 – Taproom Hours: Thu – Fri 4pm-8pm & Sat 12pm-6pm – www.fargobrewing.com