Moving to Fargo … What Should I Know?

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by Mississipping, Mar 9, 2014.

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  1. Mississipping

    Mississipping Devotee (484) Mar 16, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Hi all! I'm moving to Fargo in July and wanted to see if anyone could provide some information about the beer scene there. I currently live in a "beer wasteland" in Mississippi, so I am familiar with a less than desirable beer culture, but I've heard that Fargo leaves a lot to be desired.

    After perusing the Internet, it seems like distribution is similar to what it is here (in terms of the number of breweries available), although Fargo gets better breweries than we do … in my opinion. It also looks like there are a couple of breweries there (Junkyard and Fargo Brewing), which is a hopeful sign. I think I saw some on the Moorhead side, as well.

    What are your opinions about the beer culture in Fargo? Is there a tasting group in the area? Are there any hidden gems that I may have overlooked? What should I know before moving there?

    Any info would be VERY welcome. Thanks in advance!
  2. JAGI410

    JAGI410 Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 Minnesota

    The Fargo/Moorhead area will impress you. In the 3.5 years I've been here, the beer scene has grown quite a bit. In fact yesterday there was the first annual Fargo Beer and Bacon Festival! 2 open breweries now, and another one opening this summer. There's also a meadery and a distillery opening soon too. A few bars in Moorhead have 25oz mugs of Surly Furious for $4. There's some good liquor stores, it'll take you quite a while to get "bored" with the beer selection. When you do, drive 3.5 hours to Minneapolis and stock up.

    Besides the beer, it's a great place to live. Pretty bike/ped friendly, really easy to navigate, and great for kids.
    Fargrow, budgood1 and Mississipping like this.
  3. Mississipping

    Mississipping Devotee (484) Mar 16, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the information! Fargo sounds better than where I am now, beer-wise, so I'm a bit more excited about the move now. I am an avid cyclist, too, so hearing that it's bike friendly is welcome news.

    I have yet to visit Fargo, but the wife and I are planning to travel up in May to find a place to live and get a feel for the place. Despite the reputation depicted in the movie, we've heard some great things about Fargo and are really looking forward to the change of scenery.

    If anyone else wants to chime in with any information about beer, places to live, things to consider, I'd certainly appreciate it. I'll throw out a thread when we're heading up in May and maybe a brief beer trade/share/meet up could be planned. I'd love to meet some of the local enthusiasts and would happily share some great Mid-South beer!
  4. StarRanger

    StarRanger Initiate (153) Nov 27, 2006 North Dakota

    Welcome to Fargo. Have you spent a winter in a northern state? That may be the biggest thing to get used to from Mississippi.

    As Jag said, the beer scene is growing quite well in Fargo and ND in general from not having any breweries until late 2012. Please do let us know when you get here in May for a meetup.

    A few links you might like:
    FMBeer a website I run on beer news and events in the Fargo/Moorhead area -

    Great Northern Bicycle Co, a big bicycle shop with lots going on in an old depot building that used to be a brewpub for a while (beer connection) -

    Becoming Midwestern - A blog by a gal who got transplanted in Fargo and you might get some insight about the area from her experiences -
  5. billybill

    billybill Initiate (125) Dec 21, 2013 North Dakota
    Beer Trader

    Fargo Guy Here!
    I think it's a pretty surprisingly solid place for beer drinking! A couple places in the area have solid tap lineups. JL Beers, Sickies Garage, Sidestreet, Bar 9 (in West Fargo and their list varies but prices are stupid good) to name a few and there's always at least one interesting beer. As far as Offsale Bernie's and the two Happy Harry's locations are nice and with 99 Bottles and Bridgeview across the river in Moorhead we end up getting a really respectable selection of brews. Everything here is less than 20 minutes away from wherever you are so it's super convenient to get your fix. Dining here is rather competitive as well no matter what you're looking for.
    The population of the craft beer fans in the area seems to be that sweet spot where we get decent quantities of some of the more rare offerings but not frenzied enough to be truck-chased / hoarded away.
    The breweries in the area are good. I really love Fargo Brewing Company and think some of their offerings are very very solid. Friend them on facebook and be on the lookout for one-offs they drop near weekly. Their sodbuster is a really solid porter with their Right Near Da Beach being a fantastic variant (aged in Jamaican rum barrels over coconut). Their pales offer a delightful option for fresh hoppy goodness. Junkyard in Moorhead hasn't impressed me yet but that doesn't mean they won't. I'm looking forward to seeing what Drekker (opening soon?) brings to the table and really need to make the trip to Laughing Sun in Bismarck.
    Also if you need to really get your fix, Minneapolis is just over three hours away and makes a great weekend trip with their fantastic breweries and even more find beer stores. Half hour from there lands you in Hudson, WI which packs a hell of a punch with Casanova Liquors offering a pile of things not available in either state and plenty helpful and friendly.
    Drop a line when you come to visit and enjoy your time here.
    Also Cheers to StarRanger, FMbeer is a pretty great site!
    budgood1 likes this.
  6. jarrgal

    jarrgal Disciple (313) Mar 12, 2012 North Dakota
    Beer Trader

    Bernie's, Bridgeview, and 99Bottles are good at informing what beers they've received thru social media. Happy Harry's is THE worst liquor store when it comes to social media. The aforementioned stores will receive a wider variety of beers compared to Happy Harry's, although Happy Harry's will receive some of the more sought after beers without placing a limit on them such as the Bourbon County beers from Goose Island.

    The JL Beers app is great and is sometimes more accurate than the menus themselves for what beers are currently on tap at the various locations. Additionally, their burgers are very good!
  7. mnredsoxfan69

    mnredsoxfan69 Aspirant (287) Dec 27, 2013 Minnesota

    Ignore the pretty words of those posting above. You are doomed and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, maybe stocking up on various Belgian strong ales as you pass through Minneapolis/St. Paul might help. But otherwise, abandon hope all ye who move beyond the edge of civilization.

    Welcome to the upper midwest.:wink:
  8. Mississipping

    Mississipping Devotee (484) Mar 16, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    StarRanger, billybill, & jarrgal,

    Thank you very much for the responses. From what I've read, there seems to be a lot to look forward to, beer-wise (and otherwise), for moving to ND. You've all confirmed that, as well. I am very glad to hear that the beer scene seems to be that "sweet spot" for enthusiasm, respect, and reception, whereas other places I've lived it's either saturated or nonexistent (Mississippi, specifically). I am a huge enthusiast, but am completely over waiting in huge lines, paying exorbitant prices, or (on the other hand) fighting antiquated and irrational laws for years and years to have offerings like Fat Tire, which just entered MS last week. PEOPLE ARE GOING NUTS HERE, haha.

    I'm very familiar with the Minneapolis beer scene and my brother is one of the brewers at 3 Sheeps Brewing Company in Sheboygan, so the Wisconsin area is very familiar, as well. I can't wait to be within driving distance to both Minnesota and Wisconsin. I really look forward to moving north again and am very appreciative of the responses received thus far. I truly look forward to the move, and hope to meet some of you and others in the area that share some similar interests (particularly beer, of course). I have a considerable cellar and look forward to being in the company of people who would appreciate the beer I can share!

    Thanks again, and I'll be in touch when we're heading up to visit. Take care!
  9. billybill

    billybill Initiate (125) Dec 21, 2013 North Dakota
    Beer Trader

    No that guy's right.
  10. Mississipping

    Mississipping Devotee (484) Mar 16, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Haha, duly noted. I'll stock up and bring the cellar, too.
  11. djuhnk

    djuhnk Initiate (161) Aug 28, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    You are very welcome to stop by Junkyard Brewing Co. when your in the area. We fill growlers and sample beer on Wednesdays and Fridays, but if you want to check us out when you visit you can call us to meet with us and fill a growler. Our website is and we have facebook and twitter.

    Cheers, and welcome to the area!

  12. Mississipping

    Mississipping Devotee (484) Mar 16, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Hey gang, the wife and I finally finalized our plans for a trip to Fargo to find a place to live. We'll be up there from June 8th - June 11th (possibly 12th) and would love to meet up for a beer, tasting, or bottle share. I'll bring some local goodies and cellar bottles and will also be stopping at Toppling Goliath, Minneapolis Town Hall, and Surly on the way up, so hopefully I'll pick up some other bottles worth sharing. I may also swing by Perennial on Saturday if I win the BA Abraxas lottery.

    If anyone is up for a quick meeting or hosting a bottle share, shoot me a BM. We'd both love to meet some of the locals and share some fun southern beer!
  13. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (360) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It's flat. Oh you mean about beer? Dang.
    Mississipping likes this.
  14. JAGI410

    JAGI410 Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 Minnesota

    You'll likely miss a visit to Junkyard, but certainly try it while you're here! Wurst Bier Hall in downtown Fargo usually has a couple on tap, and their food is awesome (get their pretzels and the currywurst with spicy sausage). You might be able to make a Tuesday visit to Fargo Brewing, I think their taproom opens at 4pm. Otherwise, a gathering can certainly happen!
  15. Mississipping

    Mississipping Devotee (484) Mar 16, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Thanks, JAGI410. I'd love to hear more about the $4 Furious you mentioned earlier, and we're definitely interested in making a get together happen. I'm going to start another thread for a possible get together new Monday or Tuesday evening, so hopefully that will generate more interest. I'll bring a couple locals, a couple gems from the cellar, and am planning on filling a couple growlers on the way, so hopefully it will be worth while. I appreciate the response and am looking forward to meeting!
  16. ToadiesForCody

    ToadiesForCody Aspirant (258) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    what is Mississipping?
  17. StayWhatYouAre2

    StayWhatYouAre2 Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    A play on words. Combining Mississippi and Sipping. Guess you will have to come up with a new name now that you are moving to North Dakota.
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