Locally Made Creative Cans at Junkyard Brewing

"We really wanted to give each individual beer its own personality, too," says Aaron Juhnke

MOORHEAD, Minn. —  Junkyard Brewing, Moorhead’s only craft beer business, continues to draw in new customers with its unique ever-changing beer list and keeps its faithful crowd with its “Cheers-like” atmosphere.

They’ve also set themselves apart with their large beer cans they call “Crowlers” and with a quick glance, you can tell they’re a work of art.


How would you like a Retro Ski Suit or Taking Care of Biscuits Cookie Stout?

At Junkyard Brewing in Moorhead, you can get a pint filled of your favorite brew.
They range from IPA’s to stouts and sours. You can also get a cold one to go.

Aaron Juhnke says, “It’s a pretty nice to size because it’s about two glasses of beer so. I haven’t met a lot of people who can’t have two glasses of beer by them self or it’s a nice size for sharing.”

But let’s back it up. Before the cans get to the tap room’s cooler. They start in the back where the brewery magic happens.

From the large tanks to where they can each beer in house, usually done by two employees at a time, workers are hard at it.

“Now we’re able to do up to 2,000 or 2,500 cans in a day,” says Juhnke.

Aaron Juhnke, a co-founder of Junkyard, says it’s important that their beers stood out, not just in taste but design, too.

He says, “When we thought about canning beer, our first thought was we had to have some cool label on these cans. We really wanted to give each individual beer it’s own personality, too.”

Employee Corey Nebbeling says, “One that’s dear to my heart is the Galatic Falconer and I love Aaron’s artwork on it. He took an old school comic book label and tweaked it to his own creation.”

You heard right; it’s Aaron doing the drawings.

“My label designs are pretty rough around the edges and pretty basic compared to what I think a real professional artist would do but I have fun with it and people seem to enjoy it so I’m going to keep doing it,” says Juhnke.

He says he got the job by default.

Aaron first started his drawings the old fashion way, pen and paper. He has since switched to an iPad.

Which comes first: the name or the drawing? Aaron says it’s sometimes both. At Junkyard, it’s a team effort. Once a new brew is created, they turn to their trusty list of ideas that they hope will one day fit.

Allison Slavik, who works at the brewery, says, “One of my favorite designs is probably the Vladamir’s Pegasus just because I’m a big fan of unicorns, naturally and I think it’s just got a fun story being that Aaron’s daughter designed it.”

“He was like ‘wow, you drew this?’ and I was like, ‘yeah, I drew this on my own’ and he’s like, ‘wow’ and he took a picture and then it’s now on the wall and on a beer logo,” says Madeline Juhnke.

Art skills run in the family, Aaron’s eleven year old daughter Madeline is the artist behind some of work, which makes sense when some look like a scene from a children’s movie.

James Kelsey, Junkyard Brewing employee, says, “My favorite beer is midnight spider, kind of like a bedroom scene, kind of reminiscing of Monsters Incorporated where there’s a big spider behind the door and parents are checking on a kid who is freaking out in his bedroom.”

And let’s not forget about the Barrel-Aged King Size.

Madeline says, “I drew the robe and the feet and stuff cause I wanted him to be coming in the room, like, ‘Yeah!'”

Not too bad for starting when she was just in Kindergarten.

You could say it’s a family affair.

Aaron says his mom uses a digital projector to trace the designs on the walls of the two tap rooms and as time passes, you’ll notice less empty space.

Juhnke says, “We’ve grown way more than I thought we were going to grow in the past five years. We’re at a point now where we’ve reached the limits of our physical space here. We’re going to have a lot of fun making many, many more new beers, just continuing to experiment with new styles that are coming out and just learning more about brewing ourselves.”

So next time, you grab one of their brews to go. Take a moment to wonder; did a 5th grader draw this? Quite possibly.

You can buy the Crowlers at Junkyard and at various liquor stores in the metro.



Categories: Business, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead