Bemidji Brewing Co.

This article comes courtesy of our partner site, Thanks to David Duffey for the profile on Bemidji Brewing! Bemidji recently passed all of their state and federal licensings and have the green light to brew!

Do yourself a favor and spend some time in Bemidji; you won’t be disappointed.  It’s a pleasantly bustling, yet relaxed town with plenty of nature around to admire and get lost in.  In fact, if you stop by on a weekend you can sample the Mexican-Scandinavian fusion food truck, the Local 303.   The novelty of a lefse fish taco made with walleye should alone be reason enough to bring you in, but I’ll give you more: it will soon be the only place to find the beers offered by the Bemidji Brewing Company.


The seeds of the Bemidji Brewing Company were sown while Tom Hill, Tina Hanke and Justin (call him Bud) Kaney were in college.  There, they experimented with homebrewing and developed a passion for good beer and always harbored an inkling they would someday make a living out of it. Their careers took them, collectively, across the country from Alaska to Rhode Island, Texas to Montana and gave them some great experiences with craft beer.  In those years, Tom became a Certified Cicerone and worked at Northern Brewer while Tina and Bud had become well-practiced in community organizing, programming and marketing.  Feeling need for a change to the daily grind, the three chose to come back to their Northern Minnesota roots (Tom and Bud are BSU grads) and make their passion for beer into a full-time endeavor. The first step, though, would be getting back to Bemidji.  When they decided to launch the business, Tina and Bud were in Missoula while Tom was in Saint Paul.   These geographic limitations meant Skype meetings and document sharing were the norm while the three of them hashed out their plan for the brewery.  They launched (and successfully funded) a Kickstarter project [see the profile of the Kickstarter trend here] and their nano-brewery was off and running.

Running in place, that is.  With a plan, but without a facility, the three were entertaining the thought of working from a shared-space when, by pure serendipity, Harmony Co-Op  in Bemidji opened the doors to their Community Kitchen.

Harmony Co-op Corner

One of the co-op’s visions for the kitchen is to be the extra push needed for a food producer to get a professional business off the ground and Bemidji Brewing’s plan presented a great opportunity for both the brewery and the co-op.

Making it work

This fortune came with a unique twist when it came time to obtain federal approval.  The TTB informed them they were the first brewery in the country to operate out of a shared space and as such, required more detailed assurances than normal.  Harmony Co-Op proved to be a steadfast supporter and was willing to assist with making necessary adjustments to obtain the federal approval. Working within a shared space means, among other things, Bemidji Brewing needs to clear out at the end of a brew day, so their equipment needed to be nimble, compact and for the most part, portable.  They found this in a custom-built steel brewing stand that is equipped with two burners and can hold three 30-gallon kettles. Perhaps most importantly, the entire stand can be loaded in and out as needed. To utilize the available fridge space in the co-op they use 26-gallon keg-style fermenters and a caged area in the existing walk-in cooler will house the finished product.

Finally, the three founders of the Bemidji Brewing Company are back, settled in, and finished with Skype meetings and long trips away from home.  The facility is set and the equipment is at the ready.  Federal approval came in August 2012 and now with state approval pending, Bemidji Brewing is only waiting to start selling beer and become a success story for the Co-Op’s Community Kitchen.

Expect to see Bemidji Brewing beers on tap this fall at select Bemidji locations. Keep up with the latest on their website  and on Facebook.

FermenterBrew Stand


JL Beers WF Taps New Beers

JL Beers has tapped some new beers:  Boulevard Stingo, Deschutes Green Lakes, and Fargo Beer Coompany Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Fargo 2012

Oktoberfest Fargo 2012

Date(s) - 10/12/12 - 10/13/12
All Day

Downtown Fargo
Broadway between Main and NP Ave
Fargo, ND

Friday Oktober 12th – Oktoberfest Kickoff!

  • 4:00 – Tapping of the Keg ceremony (Official Kick Off to Oktoberfest)

Saturday Oktober 13th

(All events take place on Broadway between Main and NP Ave unless otherwise noted)

  • 10am– Oktoberfest Opens
    • Food Vendors
    • Beer Garden
    • Oktoberfest games
    • Friendly Smiles Games to Go Games open (free)
    • Costume Contest begins
  • 11am – Pub Crawl Begins at all participating locations – You do not need to consume alcohol to participate
    • (The Old Broadway, Sports Bar, Sidestreet, Rooters, Pickled Parrot, Rhombus Guys Pizza, Bomb Shelter)
    • First 500 to finish at Oktoberfest receive a NEW commemorative Pub Crawl medal
  • Fargo Tire Bean Bag Tournament begins
  • O’Dell Bratten begins
  • Noon – Beer/Liquor Sampling begins – brought to you by Shock Top, the official beer of Oktoberfest
  • Registration for Wiener Dog Costume Contest begins
  • 2pm – Running of the Wieners – Presented by Shaggy’s Dog Wash
  • Costume Contest closes
  • O’Dell Bratten ends
  • 5pm – Hot Dog Eating Contest – sponsored by Broadway Dogs and The Old Broadway
  • 6pm – Oktoberfest King and Queen and Wiener Dog Costume winners announced
  • 6:30pm– Live music on stage
    • Games to Go close
  • All Day Events: Costume Contest – Win prizes for dressing up

More information at


‘Buy’ the Glass Summit Beer Tasting

'Buy' the Glass Summit Beer Tasting

Date(s) - 10/06/12 - 10/07/12
All Day

HoDo Lounge
101 Broadway
Fargo, ND

$25 gets you a Jon Offutt blown beer glass (hand-crafted from Summit bottles) and a tasting of 5 different Summit beers

Saturday Oct 6, noon – close
Sunday Oct 7, 5pm – 11pm

Reserve a glass at 701.478.1000


Prairie Homebrewer’s October Meeting

Prairie Homebrewer's October Meeting

Date(s) - 10/10/12
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

1423 35th St SW
Fargo, ND

The October meeting of the Prairie Homebrewing Companions homebrewing club will be held on October 10th starting at 7:30PM at the AmericInn.  Bring a glass if you would like to sample some of the homebrews.


Muddy River Mashers Oktoberfest 2012

Muddy River Mashers Oktoberfest 2012

Date(s) - 10/06/12
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Sertoma Community Center
300 Riverside Park Road
Bismarck, ND

Oktoberfest 2012!

Are you ready for a huge selection of brews, cloverdale brats, door prizes, and a brew demo!?! Of coarse you are! The Muddy River Mashers Homebrew Club is throwing their fourth annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 6th, 2012. Every year it gets bigger and better!
What: Oktoberfest 2012
When: October 6th, 3pm-7pm
Where: Sertoma Community Center, 300 Riverside Park Road, Bismarck, ND

Why? Because it’s fun! Oktoberfest is the opportunity for local area homebrewers to bring out their best beers to share with you. With prizes and pride on the line, you can be sure it is the cream of the crop. Vote for your favorite brews, participate in a brew demonstration, help yourself to delicious Cloverdale brats with the works, and win prizes just for showing up!

Oktoberfest tickets will be for sale through your Masher members and online starting September 4th. Must be 21 or older to enter.

More information here


Hoppy Halloween Challenge 2012 Awards Banquet

Hoppy Halloween Challenge 2012 Awards Banquet

Date(s) - 10/27/12
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Howard Johnson Inn
301 3rd Avenue North
Fargo, ND 58102

The Hoppy Halloween Challenge is the largest homebrewing competition in the Dakotas approaching 500 entries from all across the United States.  The Awards Banquet features great food, homebrewed beer, a guest speaker, and the presentation of the awards from the competition.

Hoppy Halloween Website


Brewers Fest

Date(s) - 10/12/12
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

V.F.W. Post 612
420 East Washington Avenue
Fergus Falls, MN

Sample homebrewed beer and wine from local brewers.

$12 in advance
$15 at the door

Otter Tail County Historical Society
V. F. W. Post 612

Proceeds Benefit the Otter Tail County Historical Society
For More Information Please Contact Us: 218-736-6038 •

Category(ies) No Categories

Second Annual Fargo Brewer’s Ball

Second Annual Fargo Brewer's Ball

Date(s) - 10/05/12
7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Hilton Garden Inn
4351 17th Avenue South
Fargo, ND 58103

Friday, October 5th, 2012
Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo
7:00 pm – midnight

This unique event offers guests the opportunity to sample a variety of handcrafted microbrews from a number of the region’s best microbreweries. Enjoy gourmet pub food, local restaurants and bars’ favorite craft beers, live entertainment, raffles, silent and live auctions and more!  All to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis

Tickets start at just $75.00 and sponsorships are available.

More information here.