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Junkyard Brewing more than doubles indoor space with new addition

Junkyard Brewing Co. has opened their new 1,500-square-foot addition at 1416 1st Ave. N., Moorhead. David Samson / The Forum1 / 4
Aaron Juhnke is one of the owners of Junkyard Brewing Co, 1416 1st Ave. N., Moorhead. The microbrewery has opened a 1,500-square-foot indoor addition. David Samson / The Forum2 / 4
Eleven beers and a cold brew coffee are featured on the menu board and tap wall in the new addition to Junkyard Brewing Co., at 1416 1st Ave. N. in Moorhead. David Samson / The Forum3 / 4
The new addition to Junkyard Brewing Co. is now open at 1416 1st Ave. N., Moorhead. David Samson / The Forum4 / 4

MOORHEAD—There's a bigger junkyard to prowl at Junkyard Brewing Co.

The popular Moorhead microbrewery quietly opened its 1,500-square-foot indoor addition Monday, Sept. 10, co-owner Aaron Juhnke said.

That more than doubles the indoor space that beer lovers will have to enjoy a cold one in the midst of frosty Fargo-Moorhead winters.

Juhnke was working on the sound system for the new addition on Tuesday as Junkyard opened for customers.

"We are really pleased to get it opened up on the tail end of summer," Juhnke said.

That will give customers who enjoy the patio, but drift away when the cold weather sets in, a cozy place when winter arrives to play board games and drink one of Junkyard's constantly rotating selection of craft beers.

The rough-hewn beams that support the roof of the addition at 1416 1st Ave. N. come from a farm and a factory in Wisconsin, Juhnke said. Wood paneling on the walls comes from an old church, he said.

Bartender Andrea Anderson is a fan of the new indoor seating area, with its mix of mostly two- and four-seat tables.

"I love it. I love all the new artwork. It has a lot of nice seating, which is nice if you don't want everyone to hear what you're saying," Anderson said.

Fargoans Drew Haaland and Michael Bartz, who had finished their workday at nearby 99 Bottles, were sampling some of Junkyard's offerings.

"I really like the open floor plan," Bartz said.

"It's beautiful, spacious, welcoming. Very nice," Haaland said.

Like the original bar, a second bar in the addition features 11 beers on tap, with one tap reserved for cold brewed coffee. A board above touts brews with names like Ice Auger Lager, Hippie Hut, Czech Rice Lager, Wild Rice Lager, Mosaic Experimental IPA and Mango Shake-O-Matic.

Junkyard started as a nanobrewery operation in 2012 at another spot on First Avenue North, not far from their current address. It's owned by Aaron Juhnke, his brother, Dan Juhnke, and three silent partners.

They sold their first beers in 2013, and moved into the current location in fall 2014.

Now they are firmly in microbrewery status, with a 10-barrel brewing system in the back of the brewery putting out more than 3,000 gallons of suds a month, Juhnke said. He said plans call for the old three-barrel brewing system to be brought back online, so that the brewers can do more experimentation.

"To truly experiment, you have to get out of your comfort zone," Juhnke said.

And experiment they do. Junkyard has made about 200 beers, if all of the variations are included, Juhnke said.

Juhnke said demand spurred the construction of the addition, completed with the help of their landlord, Dave Hunstad, who owns neighboring First Avenue Promo and Old Lutheran.

"People don't like it when you run out of beer" or don't have a place for them to sit, Juhnke said.

Juhnke said that beyond Fargo-Moorhead, a major market for Junkyard is the Twin Cities area.

"A lot of people are really excited about our beer," in the Twin Cities, he said. A delivery truck is easily emptied in a day, he said. "It makes sense for us to drive down there."

Juhnke said the next improvement project for Junkyard is the patio area. He said that a pergola and natural gas fireplaces are being considered, with plans to have them ready by next spring.

"It will just feel a lot more cozy out there," he said.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.

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