FARGO -- Breweries here will now be able to serve beer as early and as late as any other liquor license holder, the City Commission decided earlier this week.
"We were getting lots of customers who had one of our beers on tap somewhere downtown and wanted to come visit the brewery after dinner, but we were closed due to the hours restriction," Mark Bjornstad, a founder of Drekker Brewing Co. downtown, said in a news release.
Drekker and the other two breweries in Fargo argued that the city's laws are stricter than those of neighboring cities such as West Fargo. They also argued that allowing them to stay open later would not cause more problems of public drunkenness because their products are premium beers that people savor not guzzle.
Before the restrictions were lifted, Class Y license holders, breweries, were allowed to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restrictions apply specifically to them. Now, like other liquor-license holders, they can be open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on most days except Sunday, when they may not open until noon.
Drekker's taproom at 630 1st Ave. N. will now be open until midnight on weekend nights, Bjornstad said.
Fargo Brewing Co. at 630 N. University Drive, will continue to close at 10 p.m., said Zachary Click, operations manager. Though the taproom doesn't open until 4 p.m., Click said staff there have often worked all day in the brewery and are ready to close by 10.
Jan Wigen of Kilstone Brewing Co. said the north-side brewery will consider extending the hours of its taproom at 764 34th St. N., though not right away. It might just stay open later on weekend nights and nights when there are football games, she said.
The move doesn't affect the metro area's other taproom, Junkyard Brewing Co., as it's in Moorhead, but Junkyard's taproom at 1416 1st Ave. N. has already been open until midnight on weekend nights.
Fargo's Class DD license holders, distilleries, may still open only from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.