Part of the groundwork has been laid for a small brewery to set up shop in Grand Forks.

City Council members on Monday gave preliminary approval to a pair of measures that would remove a piece of land near Judy’s Tavern, the bar near Washington Street and Gateway Drive, from the tavern’s legal premises and grant a taproom license to the newly removed portion, the former Tastee-Freez ice cream shop -- which is now set to be Ox Brewing Company. The council will consider giving final approval next week.

The brewery is a joint venture between Mike Opp, who owns the tavern and a portion of Oxford Management Group, a property management firm in Grand Forks; Christopher Kiley, Opp’s longtime business partner who also owns a stake in the management company; Matthew Kasper, who owns pieces of Sledsters bar and Kaspers Bar & Bottle Shop; and Robert Nelson, who’ll be the head brewer.

Opp said they hope to install a five-barrel brewing system and four fermenters in the building. A barrel of beer is 31 gallons -- two kegs’ worth.

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