Many great companies began in a garage: Disney, Apple, Mattel, and even Google were conceived in the same room that you would keep mouse traps and paint stripper in. (Those mouse traps may have even played some part in Disney’s formation.) In the future, however, all of those companies will be seen as massive failures, because they made pointless things instead of beer. Bismarck Brewing, which was founded by stepbrothers Peter Bopp and Jordan Everaert, will be remembered as one of the few enterprises born in a garage that got things right.Peter and Jordan first started brewing as a way of unwinding after their shifts as restaurant managers. (That job would make you want to ensure you had a never-ending supply of beer.) “Home brewing started out as just a weekend hobby, but the depth of it quickly drew us in,” said Peter. “Jordan and I soon started asking ourselves why each batch we’d made tasted the way it did, and we became absorbed with different tests, playing around with mash timing, and experimenting with certain temperatures and water qualities. Eventually the garage became too small for our science.”
Peter’s and Jordan’s friends and family convinced them that it just wouldn’t do to keep their delicious concoctions a secret, and that they ought to go into business together to delight and inebriate first the Bismarck area, and then the world. The two listened and became certified brew masters, bid tearful goodbyes to their restaurant jobs, traded in their ten gallon home brewing system for a 15 barrel Newlands brewing system, and founded Bismarck Brewing.
Bismarck Brewing puts the Midwest first. Their base malts come from nearby Two Track Malting, their barley from Goodrich, ND, and many of their specialty ingredients from Shakopee, MN. Even their grain silo was built in Richardton, ND by a company named, fittingly, Amber Waves. As the result, Bismarck Brewing’s beers reflect the very best of our terroir. (Their hops come from Yakima, WA, because they grow best there — at least at the moment. Peter and Jordan are closely keeping track of enterprising horticulturalists who might successfully bring quality hop production home.)
Bismarck Brewing showcases their home-raised beers in their taproom, which is modeled after the public houses so ubiquitous in Europe. Here you can try their Brady’s Belgian Wit, a classic wheat ale with notes of citrus and spice, Liquid Lunch, a dark and complex beer with hints of caramel from its long boil time, and Ghost in the Machine, a chocolatey roasty stout with a creamy mouthfeel, among many others. In addition to their standbys, they’re constantly experimenting with new ingredients and techniques to make new beers never before tasted.
Bismarck Brewing’s taproom is connected to Bismarck Ale Works, and offers the restaurant’s full menu of German-inspired fare including bratwurst, Reubens, and jaeger schnitzel. These dishes all pair well with Bismarck Brewing’s pints, and your bartender will happily advise you which ones make the perfect accompaniments. The good old Otto von would approve of so authentic a German experience being offered right in his namesake city.
In addition to their taproom and Ale Works, Bismarck Brewing’s beers are available at fine restaurants throughout the Bismarck/Mandan area. Some of their more intriguing seasonal and varietal beers are only available on-site, however. Never fear — you can go to their taproom at 1100 Canada Ave, Ste 1 Tuesday through Sunday and take home a growler or crowler of their latest. Visit bismarckbrewing.com for their hours and to learn more about a brewery that’s soon going to take things over.
By David Scheller