This week the StartWise Team had the amazing opportunity to talk to Chris Anderson, Brewmaster and Co-Founder of Fargo Brewing Company, the first craft brewing company in North Dakota and they started with a one-two barrel system. We discussed the state of the craft brewing market, funding issues breweries face and how does the beer-lover world works.
Some of our favorite quotes from Chris:
“You make great beer – and do it over and over and over again”.
“Brewing is a hard thing to do, but this is my favorite thing.”
“Brewing is about Physical Labor, Science, and Art.”
The interview can be found below:
What was appealing about the crowdfunding approach?
Chris – I love new concepts so the opportunity to open funding from friends, family and Fargo Brewing’s dedicated patrons was really appealing. There was huge value of being more intimately involved with our customers and build a strong community around the brand.
What is the most important part about building a craft brewery?
Chris – Capitalization. The costs of running a production brewery are high, margins are low, and there are distribution challenges. Fast growth requires a lot of cash – running brewery production operations is hard and requires to hit higher volumes every time. If you have a pub or nano brewery, it is a bit easier since you sell beer on site – it is a different business model.
What is Fargo Brewing’s culture?
Chris – Fargo was the first brewery in North Dakota – we were the market groundbreaker and we focused on the craft beer products that are approachable – Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Porter. Fargo Brewery entered a raw market that was not familiar with craft beer culture so we focused on balance and drinkability. Fargo now has a strong local following and was able to set the tone for the market in the area. Fargo Brewing’s culture is all around making great beer – to do it over and over and over again. Quality and consistency are the key of creating a following abound the beer brand.
What is an interesting fact about beer industry/brewing process?
Chris – Everybody thinks that brewing is a cool and romantic job. But if you ask people who work in the craft brewing industry, they will tell you that it is messy, sticky and a lot of hard work. People in the industry are down to earth, hardworking and they understand that making great beer requires a lot of hard work.