North Dakota’s craft beer revival has spread to West Fargo.
Flatland Brewery is the first taproom and brewery in the city and it’s in prime position to make a mark. Located just off I-94 on the Veterans Boulevard exit, this modest public house offers a selection of small batch craft beers and house-made sodas to folks in the neighborhood, travelers and the nearby Scheels Arena crowd.
Founders Frank, Chris, Aaron, and Jeff are friends and home brewing veterans. They plan on keeping a few favorite beers on tap all year long and rotating a few seasonal varieties into the mix. The brewery also sells made from scratch sodas for non-beer drinkers. (More on that later in this post.)
Flatland Brewery’s current beer line-up includes the light Sommer’s Blonde Ale, a citrus-y Post Holer APA, Flatlander Irish red, spicy, clove and rye Roggen, a smooth Oatmeal Stout, an American IPA and Flatland’s West Fargo Weisse, a Berliner-style Weisse. My friend Willow and I sampled everything except the Roggen (we ran out of time!) and found the brewery’s offerings to be balanced and subdued.
This is not beer for die-hard hop heads. It’s not about zany logos or esoteric experimentations. Flatland Brewery offers subtle twists on classic beers that can convert industrial lager drinkers, and enough variety to appeal to craft beer aficionados. The Oatmeal Stout and mellow Sommer’s Blonde Ale were especially good, smooth and drinkable — and on opposite ends of the beer spectrum in pretty much every way.
If you want to find your favorite, I always recommend a beer flight. Flatland Brewery offers four beer and six beer flights, which give you a lot of options to choose from.
My friend Shayli isn’t a beer drinker, so she ordered the Maple Cream Soda. It was so good — sweet and maple-y and incredibly rich yet somehow refreshing — that I immediately ordered my own. (Okay, the fact that I had to drive later might have had something to do with that as well. But seriously, order this.)
The guys at Flatland hope to reserve two taps for sodas and they’re working on Lemon-Lime, Grapefruit and a Lavender Cream Soda, which all sound pretty fabulous. On the beer front, they’re excited about a new Cream Ale, which will be coming soon. They also plan to release a Hefeweizen, Kolsch, a Session Pale Ale and a Barleywine-style ale, so look for those in the taproom soon.
Oh, before I forget, the Flatland Brewing taproom is a 21+ space. There’s free popcorn available to snack on, but if you’re hungrier than that, you can order grinders and pizza (including pizza by the slice) from Spicy Pie just down the block and they’ll bring it right to you. The taproom vibe is as chill and unpretentious as the beer, so Flatland Brewing should fit in nicely with the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood (Pub West, Blvd Pub, the new Loren Lee’s) that have turned this West Fargo neighborhood into a surprisingly vibrant and walkable nightlife spot.
How about you? What do you think of Flatland Brewery? Which beers do you want to try? What’s your favorite kind of beer or soda? What’s the best nightlife neighborhood near you?
3140 Bluestem Drive
West Fargo, ND
Bus: 23 (Be prepared for a walk of more than a mile. This neighborhood is evolving and bus service hasn’t quite adjusted yet.)
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