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Beer maker seeks Fargo license

FARGO -- Fargo Beer Co. has always wanted to add the word "brewery" to its name.

And it soon may get the chance.

The company, which began selling beer in Fargo-Moorhead and elsewhere last year, is in the process of acquiring a site to brew beer in Fargo.

Fargo Beer is now brewed at Sand Creek Brewery in Black River Falls, Wis.

Aaron Hill, who owns Fargo Beer with partners Chris Anderson, John Anderson and Jared Hardy, said they hope to have a Fargo brewery site by mid-November.

He declined to talk about specifics until the deal is concluded.

After that, he said they will need to install equipment and secure a number of licenses, including a state license and one from the city of Fargo.

The city is in the process of putting together a brewery license ordinance that will be worded similar to state law, said City Auditor Steve Sprague, who added it will likely be the end of the year or early next year before an ordinance is finalized.

Sprague said the Fargo license will allow the company to brew beer and sell it to distributors.

The license also will allow for some on-site consumption in something like a tap room, and also allow limited off sale in the form of small kegs known as growlers.

Some businesses in Fargo have operated microbreweries under a type of license that is only available in connection with a restaurant license.

Two Fargo businesses currently have such a license, Granite City and Rhombus Guys, though at this time only Granite City is operating a microbrewery.

The only commercial brewery operating in North Dakota is Edwinton Brewing Co. in Bismarck, which opened earlier this month.

Hill said sales of Fargo Beer's Wood Chipper Indian Pale Ale and Stone's Throw Scottish Ale have been strong in the Fargo-Moorhead area and in Bismarck.

The warmer months saw good sales in Minnesota, too, he said.

"During the summer, the lakes country -- like Zorba's in Detroit Lakes -- was pretty good for us," Hill said.