We’re highlighting Minnesota’s 100-plus craft breweries with our flight series – four questions for the people behind the beer. This week is F-Town Brewing.
"The vision has always been making approachable beers for approachable people. We want to make beer that people enjoy," Travis Temke, one of F-Town's founders, told GoMN when we visited in June.
Since opening, F-Town has added seasonals and small batch beers to its offerings, and this spring released two other beers – Moon Boots Peanut Butter Porter and Be Here Now Golden Ale – that have helped F-Town make a name for itself in Minnesota's craft beer scene.
I sat down with Temke to sample a few beers, including the peanut butter porter (stop what you're doing right now and try it, it's amazing), and ask him a flight of questions.
What's the best reaction you've gotten to one of your beers?
Temke told the story of being at a craft beer expo a week after they released Moon Boots, and they ran out of the half-barrel tasting keg with 2 hours left of the event. He happened to have three cans of the beer on display at his booth, so he put them on ice.
"I reached in to see if they were cold enough and I pull it out and put it on the counter ... and I had a grown man in his 30s jumping up and down, so excited yelling 'Moon Boots, Moon Boots, Moon Boots.' ... That was the most excited I've ever seen anyone for any beer, let alone our beer – that was quite the moment. I'll never forget the guy who was jumping up and down like a child getting an ice cream cone or something," Temke said.
What's a food that you have to have a beer with?
"I'm that weird guy that does not like to drink my beer with food. I really enjoy a couple good beers before I eat, then I'll have water while I eat and then go back to beer. I guess for me, if I'm having good food I really like to have that flavor be what I'm eating. ... It drives my wife crazy. I will not drink a beer with food," Temke said.
For people who say they don't like craft beer, which beer of yours would you recommend they try?
"Moon Boots. It's been that way, it's crazy. Before it was our lager – our lager is approachable, it's easy to drink," Temke said.
"Unfortunately it was a lot of the scenario of 'I don't like craft beer at all' and then when they have the lager they say 'OK, I can get through this.' It bothers me because you should try other things to get you past it.
"We have a lot of drinkers in Faribault that would only drink Coors Light or a lighter beer and now those are the guys who come in here asking 'What's the newest IPA? What's the newest, hoppiest thing?' It's just getting them engaged."
In 10-ish words, what would you tell someone to get them to come into your taproom?
"Engaged customer service while enjoying approachable beer," Temke said.