In late October Samantha and I needed to begin planning our north shore brewery trip with our friends Megan and Mitch. There was no better place than F-Town Beer Company, one of the many newly opened breweries of 2015. I had heard good things about them, so after meeting up and carpooling we headed down the interstate to Faribault, MN.
In the summer of 2015 Faribault once again welcomed locally brewed beer to its town in the form of F-Town Beer Company. It had been over 50 years since the Ernst Fleckenstein Brewing company, known for Fleck’s beer, had closed. Chris Voegele, Travis Temke, and Noah Strouth joined forces in 2013 to continue that brewing tradition with F-Town. Their goal is to brew great beer and introduce new styles to a farming community not used to craft beer.
Two large garage doors greeted us as we approached the taproom with windows giving us a good look within. These will most likely be open in the warmer months for their patio space, which was understandably closed during our visit. Near the entrance was the food truck Uncle B’s Last Chance BBQ Shack, also a local Faribault business. Samantha and I would later grab a brisket and pork sandwich which went down easily alongside the beer.
The seating inside was communal with wooden tables and benches. The decor is brick, stone, steel, and wood. It gives the place a rustic feel, which makes the televisions seem a little out of place. This isn’t something I typically look for in a taproom, but I can understand wanting to attract some additional patrons. I didn’t get a chance to see too far into the brewing facility itself, but from some of their recent pictures on Facebook they have an excellent space that they are also making available for events.
Samantha and I had tried some of their beer earlier this year from a growler that F-Town had given to my father, and Megan and Mitch had also had a couple of their beers earlier in the summer. So we were all anxious to dive into their full selection. Flights of six were available, so each couple selected their beers and began sampling. I chose the #1 American Pale Ale, Ipalicious, Nutso, Bitter Betty, Oho Rojo, and F-Town Black. Two of them stood out from the rest. The Nutso is a brown ale which was creamy and smooth, with a definite flavor and aroma of roasted nuts. The Ipalicious is their requisite IPA. It was fruity, with citrus notes and a maltiness that sets it apart from other beers in the style.
We missed out on their special halloween beer, and from what I understand they currently have a good selection of beers available only in their taproom. I love when there is a large amount of rotating taps because it keeps people coming back to try something new. I counted twelve taps so there is certain to be a lot of variety. When we were there they only had seven beers available, and I am sure this number has grown since. While we definitely enjoyed our visit, I think they need a little time to work on their beers to get them to that next level. They are definitely filling a gap in the craft beer scene south of the metro and will certainly be successful. I hope to visit again and see what improvements they’ve made.