Craft beer fans, history buffs and foodies will find a lot to love at Rhombus Guys Brewing Company in downtown Grand Forks.
For starters, this place is gorgeous. The Rhombus Guys gastropub is easily the prettiest craft brewery in the state of North Dakota.
It was built in 1890 as the Metropolitan Opera House. Operas, vaudeville acts and illusionists like Houdini graced the stage. It was, perhaps, the most impressive performance venue of its kind between Minneapolis and Seattle.
The building fell into disrepair and was damaged even more by the flood of 1997 that took out most of downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, just across the river.
They saved some of the seats from the original opera house.
After the clean-up, the upstairs floors were transformed into lofts but the ground floor was sat empty until Matt Winjum and Arron Hendrick (who run Rhombus Guys Pizza down the street, as well as locations in Fargo and Mentor, Minnesota) converted it into a craft brewery and restaurant in 2015. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The name recognition helped bring people in the door. But instead of pizza, diners will find pub food classics from around the world at Rhombus Guys Brewing Company.
I ate here with my sister and the women of the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau. (Thanks for dinner, ladies!) We tried everything from fish and chips to made from scratch pretzels to tacos al pastor.
There are some very good sandwiches and addictive Scotch Eggs on the menu too, although the latter weren’t quite as hard boiled as I prefer. (I worked as a short order cook in high school and it ruined runny eggs for me forever.)
But don’t let my preference for hard eggs put you off. The food is good and hearty and you’ll definitely find something you like. (And now I’m going to get lots of comments telling me I’m crazy not to love the eggs that way, I just know it…)
Head brewer Chad Gunderson’s beer is pretty fabulous too. He’s back in Grand Forks (he’s a UND alum and a former Happy Harry’s bottle shop employee) after brewing at Leech Lake Brewing Company in Walker, Minnesota, Lewis and Clark Brewery in Helena, Montana and Mighty Mo Brewing Company in Great Falls.
Chad’s beer is accessible and true to style. There’s enough variety to appeal to new beer drinkers and beer nerds alike.
I was particularly into the cloudy, fabulous wheat ale called Doc’s Remedy and Derailed, a kettle soured blonde ale made with rhubarb and strawberries. I also really liked the Into the Darkness Porter, which is unusual for me. I tend to go for stouts over porters, so that was a nice surprise.
There was also a large selection of IPAs and pale ales on tap when I visited. They went well with everything I was snacking on during the two days I spent curled up with my North Dakota beer book research.
Two confessions: 1. I think IPAs actually go well with everything, even though cicerones will totally disagree with me. And 2. Yes, I researched beer while drinking beer. It’s like Method acting, just for beer writers. Or something. 😉
Newbies will like the Illusion Amber (a homage to Mr. Houdini) and the best-selling Iconic blonde. Beer fans in eastern North Dakota and the Fargo-Moorhead metro can find cans of Iconic Blond and Invincible (an American Pale Ale) in liquor stores as well.
As of 2017, you’ll be able to find Rhombus Guys beer in the Twin Cities and more of western Minnesota too. If a growler is more your thing, you can fill one up at the brewery or at either North Dakota Rhombus Guys Pizza location.
So what about you?
What’s your favorite beer style?
What do you think of Rhombus Guys Brewing Company?
What should I eat or drink the next time I’m there?
Rhombus Guys Brewing Company
116 South 3rd Street
Grand Forks, ND
Bus Routes: 1, 2, 5, 13, Tripper Routes (Monday-Friday)
You won’t miss a single post when you subscribe to Prairie Style File. Just look for the “Follow Prairie Style File” sign-up on the right side of the homepage or the bottom of the screen if you’re on a mobile device. Or follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Snapchat as PrairieStylFile.
Tag your pics and travel tips #PrairiePeople and #PrairiePlaces on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You could inspire an upcoming post on Prairie Style File. Prairie Style File is curated by Alicia Underlee Nelson. All rights reserved