In September my sister and two of her friends from Fargo made the trip to Bismarck where we met up with another friend to complete our fantastic fivesome! Our mission? To taste all the beer in Bismarck-Mandan. OK, not quite, but we wanted to visit the 3 breweries in our lovely cities and a few other places. Game on! We met up at our hotel where we enjoyed a lovely gose (a salty citrus beer) growler I had brought back from Miner Brewing in Hill City, SD. That stuff was amazing!
My idea of a perfect day most certainly includes tasting beer – this day was NOT a disappointment. All of us girls got to know each other when we lived in Fargo for the most part. Fargo is fairly well known for their craft beer. BUT, I wanted to show the ladies what Bismarck-Mandan had to offer. Here is the rundown/highlights of our beer tour.
Buffalo Commons Brewing Company, 2307 Memorial Hwy, Mandan. Open Thursday and Friday 5:30-8 p.m. and Saturday1-5 p.m. If you are new to craft beer drinking I highly recommend you visit this brewery first. Actually, no matter what, visit here. I think the owners (husband/wife Ted & Linda) are some of the nicest people.
They are willing to answer any questions you might have. The flights are excellent and you can easily get a tour on the weekend. The building is a bit hard to find, it is in the industrial park off the strip and they have yellow flags on the highway where to turn. You might think you are lost, but you are probably in the right place. The Windblown Wheat is easy to drink and I also like the Salem Sue Stout. I recommend a flight of beer and if you are lucky and they have something they are working on, you might get to taste a sample. Hours are limited so plan accordingly.
Bird Dog Brewing at Main Street Bar Drive Thru Liquor, 1005 East Main St, Mandan. Open Mon-Thursday 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri-Sat 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. and Sunday noon – 6 p.m. You might wonder why they open so early but the drive thru also has coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but have heard good things. We were lucky to receive a quick tour of the building which used to be a McDonald’s, so perfect for a drive through.
This is the only liquor store/bar/brewery/coffee store in the United States. They are definitely unique and I love the atmosphere. There is a small patio and several TV’s showing sports. Besides offering Bird Dog beers, they offer other beer on taps, bottles and liquor. They have popcorn and frozen pizzas for snacking. You would hardly ever have to leave if they didn’t close. The day we were there they ran out of glasses for flights. I got a Harvest Wheat which is an easy drinking beer. Definitely check out this gem in Mandan.
Laughing Sun Brewing Company, 107 N. 5 St, Bismarck. Open Mon-Thursday 4 p.m.-midnight, Friday-Sunday 2 p.m. – midnight. I have to be totally honest. Laughing Sun does not have my favorite beer. I will usually try them but they just don’t really turn my crank. That said, I have a lot of friends that like their beer, especially the Feast Like A Sultan IPA. However, I love their setup and vibe of this brewery. They often have bands and feature local art. It is kind of hippy/laid back and the service has always been great. If you are hungry, Fireflour Pizza is next door and will deliver. If you are bar hopping downtown, they have a great location to not be missed.
These three breweries have beer served at establishments throughout ND, be sure to check their websites for more details. In Bismarck, you can likely find them at Peacock Alley, Reza’s Pitch, Sickie’s Garage, JL Beers, Mackenzie River and more. In Mandan, try Main Street Drive Thru or Station West Bar & Grill.
We went to a few other bars including the Colonnial, Strawberry, Moscow, Elbow Room and Luft. Before going to Luft, we popped into the speakeasy 510.2 on the second floor of Humpback Sally’s. This is a super cool, small bar serving swanky cocktails. They do have a dress code and most drinks are around $10 but they are worth it as they are very boozy. Such a fun place to try with friends.
I know it’s fun to hit your favorite hangouts but be sure to try out some of these fun place Bismarck-Mandan has to offer.