WEST FARGO-West Fargo will soon have its own beer and soda brewery as the popularity of craft beers and home brewing just keeps bubbling up in the metro area.
Frank Clemens, president of Flatland Brewery LLC, said he hopes to open the brewery at 3140 Bluestem Drive by July after the city approved a conditional use permit for the business at its Monday, March 21, meeting.
Flatland Brewery will brew craft beers and sodas, and offer seating inside and outdoors on a patio similar to those already owned by Pub West and Spicy Pie, restaurants in the same complex.
Patrons will be able to purchase snacks or have food delivered to Flatland Brewery, but the brewery will not include a restaurant. Clemens hasn't ruled out a restaurant in the future.
His focus will be on keeping a wide, ever-changing variety of microbrews and sodas on the menu.
Flatland Brewery will be the first public brewing house in West Fargo.
"Everyone we talked to in West Fargo, leading up to this, they said they'd like to have a neighborhood (brewery)," Clemens said. "We have them around, but depending on where you live it could be a 15- to 45-minute drive."
Clemens has been brewing beer at home for about 10 years before partnering with three other men who have long had an interest in brewing beer.
"Collectively, we have more than 40 years of brewing experience," Clemens said.
He said Flatland Brewery plans to brew small batches of beer and soda at a time.
"We'll start with a lineup of beers that we think will be popular and make adjustments as we go," he said. "We want to add more beers so we have a continually rotating tap line with a lot of seasonal brews."
Clemens said he expects to settle on a few mainstays-beers that will be on tap year-round-once customers get a taste for their favorites.
The design inside Flatland Brewery will likely feature an upscale rustic decor.
Local breweries operating in the Fargo-Moorhead area now include Fargo Brewing Co., Drekker Brewing, Kilstone and Junkyard Brewing.