Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#FANDango in Fargo: In Full Effect

#FANDango series goes on all week. Check out part 1.

Thursday. Our first full day in Fargo and we started it out right, with some honest to God crispy bacon! None of this streaky rasher b.s. from the UK. We had the option of touring the Fargodome in the morning but that's when our pals John Shuster and Tyler George were playing each other, and dag nabbit, I was there to watch us some curling!

Which we did. In the Conventions and Visitors Bureau suite. While getting interviewed by Prairie Public Radio. With a fridge full of beer.

The problem with watching a game where you wish both teams could win, is that one team is going to lose. Unfortunately that was Tyler this time in a close game. But we'd be back in the afternoon as he attempted to make it to tie breakers. The women's side was a close affair as well, where Team Brown wrapped up the round robin in a tight match against Pottinger to finish tied for first and set themselves up for a best of three in the finals on Friday.

But now it was time for beer. Team #FANDango headed off to the Fargo Brewing Company to get a personal tour. It is an unassuming building, but inside is everything you need to make great beer, specifically, four dudes who love the craft and love their city.

Their signature beer is their Scottish Ale, aptly named Stone's Throw, complete with an image of a curling stone on it. Something tells me this is going to be a hot seller at the new Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club. And by something I mean someone told me that, they're going to have it on tap once their license kicks in. They also have their flagship Wood Chipper ale, because, you know, Fargo.

After the tour we had a tasting of all they had to offer. Everything was great. The Stone's Throw was solid, the Snozbeer tasted like Snozbeer, and the Sodbuster porter could be my favorite porter.

The vision these guys have for this place is great. It's a perfect example homegrown business and adaptive re-use. There's a derelict laundry mat across the street that someone needs to snap up and turn into restaurant to complement the brewery. We headed out with an armful of swag and a case of Stone's Throw, ready for lunch at JL Beers. This place is a cool little burger place with a ton of beer on tap, including my incumbent favorite porter, Deschutes Black Butte! I got to directly compare these two beers and I don't know if I could pick a favorite now. I'd probably have an easier time picking a favorite kid.

Aside from having the best burger I've eaten in two months, I got to talk more with Steve Saxlund, 3-time NCAA wrestling champion, who works for the Fargo Conventions and Visitors Bureau. He was one of our hosts and will put me through the ringer a couple days later. I used this opportunity to pitch my new Fargo slogan.
We're gonna make it a thing. Look for it at the Merch Table soon.
He asked how they compared and I told him not to ask so many questions. Anyway, it was time to get back to the rink for the next draw where Jen and I were schedule to be on 12th End Sports as the fifth end break interview and hop in the booth to call an end with the infamous Tuckinator. If you missed it, it went something like this.

My stint in the booth was pretty unremarkable, and Jen was silent save for her "Go Team Bond Girls!" shout out at the end. If I get another chance, I'll do my best Greg Stink impression. In this draw, Shuster played Fenson in a game of mostly take-outs. The loser of which would play a tie breaker against George if he had won. George played McCormick and lost, setting up the Shuster/Fenson 3 game finals, while McCormick and George retired to the Holiday Inn bar. 

Before we could join them, we still had some #FANdango action coming. First, I met Mark de Celle, author of How Fargo of You. We had a nice conversation on the effects of globalization on Fargo, the changing nature of social interactions among its citizens, and the way technology has allowed us to be anywhere we want (Fargo for him, Scotland for me).
Mark, Dave Peck, Jen, and myself.
We probably could have chatted for some time, but we had a schedule to keep and it was off to the brand new Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club. Marissa had arranged a game with some locals when their opponents had to forfeit the first night of league. The club had only been open for a week at that point, and it marked the second club I was able to break in after it just opened (Evergreen being the other).

Example of an in ice ad at the FM Curling Club.
The ice was great, the curlers even better! It had that new club smell and everything. Looking forward to making it out for a bonspiel one day. Even better, like Voltron, Team #FANDango was completed as Liza showed up with Flat Stonely. The fun could officially begin.

But damn, was I tired. Glad we only played six ends. Steve gave us some night life tips, but basically said the Holiday Inn is where it's at. He was not kidding. Live music, gambling, cheap drinks. It was a mix of locals and folks staying in the hotel. In this case curlers blowing off steam and football parents in town for the tournament. Then there were two guys doing a synchronized Footloose dance. And there may have been some twerking.

On that note, it was time to crash. Another two full days of Fargo madness to follow.

1 comment:

  1. I still can't believe the Holiday Inn bar is where it's at.

    Fargo, the Paris of the Mid-west.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about the rest of your week!