Every Sunday night, Junkyard Brewing Company brings together two of North Dakota’s favorite things: alcohol and religion.
While many might say there is no way this could ever work, this local brewing company has been successfully nabbing customers for this weekly event since December.
Junkyard Brewing Company has been around for a while, nestled in the heart of downtown Moorhead, Minnesota. The nanobrewery (smaller than a microbrewery) was granted their beer manufacturer’s license in 2013. Recently they have been using that license to cater to their newest business endeavor.
Aaron Juhnke, one of the owners, said they got the idea for Beer and Hymns from one of their friends who went to a similar event in another location. While the actual inspiration behind “Beer and Hymns” came from another brewing company or bar, this regular occurrence is certainly unique to our area.
The brewing company has teamed up with The Gathering Church of Fargo-Moorhead to bring live gospel and bluegrass music to the business. This church has held Beer and Hymn events before pairing with Junkyard, but they were relatively sparse.
Now, they have a weekly space and location where people from all walks of life to come together, drink beer and loudly sing music that could be found on the folk-filled “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack.
A typical Sunday night involves the building opening up at 4 p.m. Many show up right away for their refillable growler special, so there are usually several customers before the music begins at 7. By about 6:30p.m., people start filing in until the house holds the crowd of people this event brings in, ranging anywhere from 80 to 150 bodies.
At 9 p.m., the hymns end, but not before hundreds of people have sung along loudly to religiously themed music. There are always live bands for this event. Sometimes the artist is completely independent of the sponsoring church, but there are also a myriad of acts that regularly perform at The Gathering Church.
Juhnke said that he “likes the community aspect and the fellowship of it all. Everyone is just having fun and socializing.”
Juhnke also said he loves that people come to his brewing company on Sunday nights just to be with each other and enjoy the company of their friends in an environment outside of what’s typical.
For anyone interested in this event, Juhnke wants you to know that “it’s very casual and informal. Everybody and anybody can come to drink beer or just listen to the music.”
Fun is the key focus of this event, so if you are tired of being spiritual in a church don’t be afraid of worshiping with a cold one.