Discover the Best Breweries in North Dakota: A Craft Beer Lover’s Guide

Seeking the top spots for craft beer in North Dakota? You’re in the right place. Our guide cuts through the noise to bring you the best breweries in North Dakota, where local ingredients meet innovation.

Prepare to explore everything from Fargo’s Drekker Brewing Company to the unique experiences offered at Laughing Sun Brewing Co in Bismarck.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the state’s most distinguished breweries and find out what makes them the toasts of the town.

Key Takeaways

  • North Dakota’s brewery scene is thriving, with local favorites like Drekker Brewing Company in Fargo and creative hotspots such as Laughing Sun Brewing Co in Bismarck providing unique craft beers and cultural experiences.
  • Emerging breweries are making their mark, with West Fargo’s new-wave breweries and Valley City ventures offering innovative brews and food pairings that blend tradition with novel flavors.
  • Brewery visits in North Dakota offer more than just beer, including tours, community events, fantastic food pairings, and the opportunity to enjoy unique settings from urban taps to rural retreats.

Exploring North Dakota’s Premier Breweries

Variety of craft beers at North Dakota's premier breweries

We commence our beer journey by visiting some of North Dakota’s best breweries. From Drekker Brewing Company, hailed as a Fargo favorite, to the cultural hub of Bismarck, Laughing Sun Brewing Co, the state is brimming with craft beer excellence.

Grand Forks too, is not to be missed, with its craft beer gems offering an array of unique flavors and brews.

Drekker Brewing Company: A Fargo Favorite

We kick off at the Drekker Brewing Company, where patrons are invited to experience the brewery’s commitment to creating unique brews and nurturing a strong community.

Located just outside downtown Fargo, the Viking-themed ambiance is the perfect backdrop to their rotating selection of craft beers ranging from IPAs to sours. Recently re opened, this brewing company continues to impress beer enthusiasts with their innovative beers.

Laughing Sun Brewing Co: Bismarck’s Hub for Beer and Culture

We then head over to Bismarck, where the Laughing Sun Brewing Company is brewing up an amazing atmosphere. Here, beer is a cultural experience, paired perfectly with live music and local art, making it a hub for beer and culture alike.

Grand Forks’ Craft Beer Gems

We carry on our expedition to Grand Forks, where Half Brothers Brewing Company and Rhombus Guys Brewing Co. are serving up diverse beer offerings. From IPAs to non-alcoholic options, and unique flavors like the Pickle Rickle Golden Pickle Beer, Grand Forks is a treasure trove for beer enthusiasts.

The Rising Stars of North Dakota Brewing

As we immerse ourselves further into North Dakota’s lively beer scene, we encounter a host of rising stars. These include the new wave of breweries in West Fargo, pushing the boundaries of the local beer scene, and Valley City’s ventures in brewing, offering a unique blend of tradition and innovation.

West Fargo’s New Wave Breweries

Emerging breweries in West Fargo are redefining the local beer landscape. With a vast selection of craft beers, ranging from hazy IPAs to robust stouts, these breweries offer a dynamic experience that goes beyond the beer. Their modern taprooms and innovative approaches make for a unique beer tasting experience.

Valley City Ventures in Brewing

Meanwhile, Valley City is establishing its own identity in the brewing landscape with unique food options that align with their efforts to marry new tastes with traditional methods. From Elk Chili to potato rutabaga mash, these food offerings provide an interesting twist to the typical brewery visit.

The Essence of North Dakota Brews: Ingredients and Innovation

The unique flavors of North Dakota craft beers are largely attributed to:

  • Local ingredients
  • Progressive brewing methodologies
  • Local honey and native hops
  • Techniques like barrel-aging

These factors play a crucial role in the creation of unique beer recipes and add an extra layer of complexity to the brews.

Local Honey and Native Hops

Breweries in North Dakota have been leveraging the use of locally produced honey to create sweet profiles in their ales. This not only supports the local beekeeping industry but also adds a unique local flavor to the beer.

Native North Dakota hops varieties, known for their highest quality, are also being utilized for their robust and unique flavors influenced by the local climate and soil conditions.

The Art of Barrel-Aging in ND

Another adopted technique by North Dakota breweries is barrel-aging to introduce complex, nuanced flavors to their beers. From high ABV bourbon barrel-aged ales to lower ABV options, these breweries cater to a wide range of taste preferences.

Atypical Brewery & Barrelworks, for instance, specializes in crafting barrel-aged sour ales, offering a unique tasting experience for craft beer enthusiasts.

Brewery Experiences Beyond the Beer

While beer tasting is a rewarding experience, breweries in North Dakota have much more to offer.

From hosting events and engaging with cultural activities to providing quality food options, these breweries have more to offer than just beer.

Let’s explore some of these experiences beyond the beer in the taprooms of Half Brothers Brewing Company, Fargo Brewing Company, and Icewind Brewing Company.

Taproom Tastings and Tours

Guided tours are available at North Dakota breweries that provide visitors with a comprehensive look at the brewing process. From Fargo Brewing Company to Stonehome Brewing Company in Watford City, visitors can explore the facilities and sample a range of beers in a relaxed setting.

And for those who want to try several brews without needing a full glass, many breweries offer sampler flights.

Community and Events

In addition to serving beer and food, breweries also function as lively community hubs. Some examples include:

  • Laughing Sun Brewing: Live music events
  • Half Brothers Brewing Company: Live music events
  • Pixeled Brewing Company: Arcade experience
  • Gideon’s Brewing Company: Mug Club Membership with benefits like discounts and exclusive member parties

These activities and offerings enhance the sense of community at breweries.

A Taste of North Dakota: Food and Beer Pairings

Exploring the food and beer pairings is an integral part of the brewery tour in North Dakota. Whether it’s Dickinson’s ale and BBQ combos or Minot’s culinary craft beer scene, these pairings provide a complete sensory experience.

Dickinson Delights: Ale and BBQ Combos

Phat Fish Brewing in Dickinson is a prime example of a brewery that offers excellent food and beer pairings.

Their Jalapeno Honey Blonde Ale, recognized by the United States Beer Tasting Championship, is an ideal craft beer to be paired with BBQ for a rich taste experience. Plus, their family-friendly environment makes it a perfect spot for all ages to enjoy their craft ales and BBQ pairings.

Minot’s Culinary Craft Beer Scene

In Minot, Souris River Brewing offers:

  • A great tap list
  • A pub menu rich with burgers and a variety of sides
  • High-quality local North Dakota beef highlighted in their menu
  • A selection of appetizers and meals that pair perfectly with their craft beers and ciders.

North Dakota’s Iconic Brewery Locations

The craft beer journey in North Dakota encompasses not only the beer but also the distinctive locations of these breweries.

From the urban oases in the heart of cities to the rural brewery escapes in the countryside, there’s a perfect spot for every beer lover.

Urban Oasis: Breweries in the Heart of Cities

In Fargo, Bismarck, and Moorhead, urban breweries like Drekker Brewing Company, Fargo Brewing Company, and Swing Barrel Brewing offer unique taproom experiences set in historic settings.

From a historic railroad shop to a refurbished historic building and a repurposed bank building, these breweries bring their own unique charm and character to the bustling city centers.

Country Retreats: Rural Brewery Escapes

For those seeking a serene setting, rural escapes like Stonehome Brewing Company in Watford City provide an ideal setting.

Not only do they serve as a brewery, but they also serve as a focal point for local community life, hosting live music and community events amidst the serene North Dakota countryside.

Plan Your Brewery Tour: Practical Information for Visitors

Given these appealing choices, it’s time to map out your North Dakota brewery tour. From creating your itinerary to knowing what to expect, we’ve got you covered with practical information to help you plan a hassle-free visit.

Creating Your Itinerary

For planning a brewery tour, geographically plotting the breweries can be beneficial. This allows you to maximize the number of stops while minimizing travel time, ensuring you get the most out of your North Dakota brewery experience.

Know Before You Go: What to Expect

Prior to setting off on your brewery adventure, remember to:

  • Call ahead for reservations, especially for larger groups.
  • Be aware of local laws regarding alcohol consumption and transportation, and plan for a designated driver or an alternative transportation method if sampling multiple beers.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask brewery staff for recommendations – they’re often knowledgeable about their beer offerings and can provide guidance based on your preferences.


And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to North Dakota’s craft beer scene.

From the diverse beer offerings of the state’s premier breweries to the rising stars of the brewing scene, from the unique local ingredients and innovative brewing techniques to the cultural and community experiences that go beyond the beer, North Dakota offers a beer journey like no other.

Whether you’re a casual beer lover or a seasoned connoisseur, there’s something for everyone in the Peace Garden State. So, why wait? Start planning your North Dakota brewery tour today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What city in the US has the best breweries?

If you’re a beer lover, you should check out Portland, Oregon. With more than 70 breweries and a strong reputation for good brews, it’s often considered one of the best cities in the U.S. for beer enthusiasts.

What 3 states have the most craft breweries?

California, Colorado, and New York have the most craft breweries, with over 500 each. Cheers!

What is the largest brewery in North Dakota?

The largest brewery in North Dakota is Fargo Brewing Company, known for its award-winning beers like Fargo Original Lager, Wood Chipper IPA, Stone’s Throw Scottish Ale, and Iron Horse Pale Ale. So, if you’re in the area, be sure to check them out!

What are some of the best breweries in North Dakota?

You should definitely check out Drekker Brewing Company, Laughing Sun Brewing Co, Souris River Brewing Company, and Rhombus Guys Brewing Co for some of the best breweries in North Dakota. Cheers!

What kind of beers can I expect at North Dakota breweries?

You can expect a wide range of beers at North Dakota breweries, including IPAs, lagers, hard seltzers, and various sours, as well as unique flavors like the Pickle Rickle Golden Pickle Beer at Half Brothers Brewing Company. Enjoy your beer tasting adventure!