Now Open: Rhombus Guys Brewing Company

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From the start, Matt Winjum and Arron Hendricks have seen the world from a slightly different angle. In the early 2000s, when conventional wisdom said a college degree was necessary to get a job, the 18-year-old college freshmen decided to create their own employment. Their idea was a mobile smoothie stand to bring to summertime festivals and events around their hometown of Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Perhaps it was an unconscious rebellion of fitting into a prescribed box or just that they forgot to measure twice and cut once, but the shape of their hand-built smoothie stand would give them a name and vision that would define all their future business ventures.

“When we stepped back and looked at it, Arron said, ‘That thing is not square it all. It’s all slanted like a rhombus,’” recalls Winjum. “And we said, ‘That’s great, that sounds perfect,’ and we just turned it into a lifestyle and a motto from then on. You know, think outside of the box. Don’t do the same thing that everyone else is doing.”

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The Rhombus Guys are, left to right, Arron Hendricks, Chad Gunderson, Matt Winjum // Photo courtesy of Rhombus Guys Brewing

In the 10 years since starting the Smoothie Rhombus, “the Rhombus Guys” have opened four restaurants, including the beloved Rhombus Guys Pizza locations in Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota, on the way to fulfilling their dream of opening a brewpub.

Rhombus Guys Brewing is set to open in August in the historic Metropolitan Opera House in downtown Grand Forks, located just a block and a half from Rhombus Guys Pizza. Winjum and Hendricks purchased the building more than a year ago and started renovation on the 5,000-square-foot first floor last November.

In December, they hired Chad Gunderson as the head brewer. Gunderson, a University of North Dakota graduate, got his start in brewing at Leech Lake in Walker, Minnesota, before moving to Montana where he brewed at Lewis & Clark Brewing and Mighty Mo Brewing in Great Falls. In January, he returned to the Red River Valley area with his wife and daughter, and began testing recipes for the new brewpub.

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The Rhombus Guys brewhouse // Photo courtesy of Rhombus Guys Brewing

Gunderson will captain Rhombus Guys’ 15-barrel brewhouse equipped with four 30-barrel fermenters and a 30-barrel brite tank. His beers will be traditional renditions of popular styles including ambers, IPAs, pale ales, and stouts that will complement the restaurant’s food offerings.

The menu at the brewpub is a clear departure from the Rhombus Guys Pizza concept. Instead of pizza and beer, they seek to elevate classic bar fare with the area’s first gastropub. Porter-braised pulled pork, fish and chips, shrimp and grits, and warm pretzels from scratch are just a few of the options that will be available.


Brewer: Chad Gunderson

Beer: Amber, pale ale, IPA, porter, blonde, and rotating seasonals

Visit: 116 S 3rd St, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Hours: Upon opening, daily 11am–2am

Online: Website, TwitterYouTube

 
About Brian Kaufenberg

Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

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