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New brew in town

Half Brothers Brewing Company will offer 11 beers at their grand opening on Friday, October 6, 2017 in downtown Grand Forks.

Nick Nelson

Half Brothers Brewing Company will offer 11 beers at their grand opening on Friday, October 6, 2017 in downtown Grand Forks.

Shelby Johnson, Features Editor

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“Local. Local. Local.”

Chad Gunderson’s goal is to make his brewery a community space for the people of Grand Forks. From the artwork hung on the wall to the local bands that will play for the whole brewery to hear, he wanted to create a space that everyone could enjoy.

Although he grew up in Bemidji, Minnesota, Chad fell in love with Grand Forks during his college years at the University of North Dakota. He studied business and had a couple of part-time jobs while enrolled.

“One of those (part-time jobs) was at Happy Harry’s north so that kind of sparked the brewing side of things,” Gunderson said. “So I started home brewing and kind of looked over their craft beer section which was very small at the time when I was going to school here. We kind of grew that at Happy Harry’s and also grew my passion for brewing.”

“This is more of a brewery feel to it. It’s wide open. We’re not a restaurant, per sé. We’re more of, like, a tasting room. We’re trying to be a community space. A place you can come down and hang out.””

— Chad Gunderson, President-owner of Half Brothers

Gunderson knew that his biggest competitor in Grand Forks would be Rhombus Brewing. He wanted to take a different approach than the well-known restaurant.

“This is more of a brewery feel to it. It’s wide open. We’re not a restaurant, per sé. We’re more of, like, a tasting room,” Gunderson said. “We’re trying to be a community space. A place you can come down and hang out.”

Walking into the new brewery, wide open are perfect words for the space. Unlike Rhombus, customers can see the brew room while they drink the beer it came from. The bright and rustic furniture fits the bare brick walls completely. The large space is original and creative everywhere you look.

Half Brothers Brewing Company offers a taproom open to all ages featuring local art and custom-made furniture.

Being a part of the community is very important to this business. Instead of paper to cover the windows while the renovation was going on, Gunderson wanted local artwork to be displayed. He asked on Facebook if anyone would be interested in creating something they could display in the eight big windows that cover the front of the brewery.

“It really blew up,” Gunderson said. “It was really cool.”

His dream of making this brewery a community space started to come together right away. Since the soft opening, the artwork was taken from the windows and scattered around the brewery for people to continue to enjoy. Gunderson believes that making the space unique will make it stand out over the other restaurants, bars and breweries in town.

The brewery’s soft opening calmed Gunderson’s worries. He needed to know that his staff and himself were ready for the public. Gunderson was pleasantly surprised.

Gunderson said that he couldn’t wait for the next step for his brewery. Their grand opening is Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. Also, you can follow them on Facebook to watch their success step by step.

Shelby Johnson is the features editor for Dakota Student. She can be reached at shelby.marie.johnson@und.edu

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New brew in town