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Fat Pants Brewing Co.

Beer, by a Beer Drinking Family

Don Anderson is a hard man to buy presents for. This makes life difficult for a lot of people, because Don is a father of six. Eager to impress their father all the same, Don’s kids banded together a few years ago to buy him a homebrewing kit. In spite of all seven Andersons’ combined efforts, the inaugural batch was dreadful: sickly sweet, barely carbonated, and altogether lacking in the characteristics a liquid must possess in order to qualify as “beer.”

But one of Don’s children didn’t give up. Elizabeth Anderson Schmidt and her father began obsessing over specific gravity, sparging, fermentation, bottle sterilization, and all the other arcane arts of brewing. They packed their garage with brewers’ paraphernalia until it began to resemble Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. They studied books, picked apart recipes, and attended classes for the love of their craft.

And for all their hard work, what did they get? Beer so divine that it could unite an entire community.

“As we sat in our garage drinking our beers, we’d often joke that we should start our own brewery,” said Elizabeth. Wilder ideas have been conceived out of beer drinking. “I finally took all that talk to heart, and incorporated Fat Pants Brewing Co., LLC as my present for Father’s Day in 2017.”

The name of the brewery began as an inside joke. One day Don and his wife met their friend Rick Reinert at a bar. Rick arrived wearing Vikings-colored Zubaz pants – a nightmare in purple and gold, which Don immediately lambasted as too ugly to exist, let alone to be worn where people might see. “What?” Rick defended himself. “These are my fat pants!” Putting on one’s fat pants became synonymous with drinking beer from that day onward.

“We set out to build a community,” said Elizabeth. “We’re all from Eden Prairie. My dad grew up here, I grew up here, and nearly all of the people we love are right here as well. It almost feels lazy to compare Fat Pants to Cheers, but everybody does know your name here, when you’re a regular, and we’re always glad when anyone comes. All we’re missing is Ted Danson behind the bar.”

Today Fat Pants is able to turn out about 750 barrels of beer per year. That’s 186,000 pints, or 6.2 Milwaukee fraternity parties depending on your preferred volumetric unit. And all of that beer is exceptionally delicious.

“Like the name of the brewery itself, most of our beers are named after our family’s inside jokes,” Elizabeth continued. “Our strong and citrusy Monkey Grinder Mosaic IPA goes back to when we used to mill all of our grains by hand. Rick would huddle over the bucket while my dad or I would pour the grain. One day my dad told Rick that he looked like an organ grinder monkey, and the name just kind of stuck. We’re all much nicer to Rick than I’m making us out to be, I promise.

“Our Love You More chocolate cherry stout is named after my family’s standard response whenever anyone tells someone that they love them. It’s an appropriately sweet beer, not unlike Queen Anne Cordial Cherries, which we often pour over ice cream to serve as a dessert.

“Our family has always loved IPAs, which is why that style of beer has become our primary focus. My favorite beer is our Devotion, a Centennial IPA that we began fine-tuning early on during our garage days. Our Hunnay Bear brown ale is actually the final rendition of our first batch which we botched so badly. It’s named after my parents’ unique pronunciation of their favorite pet name for each other.

“Fat Pants Brewing Co. is also an event center. We host regular karaoke nights, bingo games, dance classes, cooking classes, improv comedy shows and live music performances. Our space is also available for private events like birthday parties, weddings and corporate gatherings. We can accommodate approximately 130 guests, and naturally the beer element of the party is already taken care of when you join us.

“I feel like we’ve achieved our mission. What Rick, my father, my stepmom Linda and I have created here with the help of our staff and the Eden Prairie community feels like a dream come true. I joke that I have to pinch myself sometimes to remind myself that this is all real – or, better yet, I’ll have a glass of beer.”

Fat Pants Brewing Co. is located at 8335 Crystal View Road in Eden Prairie, where they are open every day. They have a full kitchen and serve lunch and dinner, as well as happy hour Monday through Thursday. They even have a gift shop (but regrettably offer no hideous pants for sale). You may learn more about Eden Prairie’s family-owned microbrewery at

  • Rick Reinert, General Manager & "Lord of the Squeegee"
  • Don & Linda Anderson, Co-owners
  • Don Anderson, Elizabeth Anderson Schmidt & Linda Anderson