Posted by Kate Ropchak

Don Anderson -  Founder of Fat Pants Brewery

Don Anderson, the founder of Fat Pants Brewery, likes to say beer is in his blood. Growing up around brewing, Don was inspired to start experimenting with different beers in his garage with his wife, Linda, and best friend Rick. Don pointed out that the only thing holding him back from going public and starting a brewery was convincing his wife, however he had always harbored an entrepreneurial spirit. When Don’s daughter, Elizabeth, finally helped him realize that he was at a point in his life where he could accept all the risks and go for his dream, Fat Pants Brewery was born.

Gratitude makes up a large part of the Fat Pants business, whether it’s directed towards patrons, the Eden Prairie community, or employees–a passion for giving back is “what makes Fat Pants a business,” according to Don, especially in relation to the support of the city during COVID. To represent this, Don shared that Fat Pants has given back to their community spectacularly since the start: they’ve hosted fundraising nights, contributed to auctions, paid off $12k in school lunch debt in the last school year, and donated to over 100 charity organizations. Also, the Fat Pants family keeps 4 commitments in mind when thinking about the brewery: good fun, good for the earth, good people, and good food and great beer. These commitments are religiously upheld, meaning Fat Pants uses almost completely recyclable or compostable materials, has virtually no carbon footprint, creates job opportunities (including spots for high schoolers!), and shares their atmosphere with clubs like Rotary, creating a space to hangout and talk to people, rather than just a spot to grab a bite and watch TV.


One of the most inspiring parts of Don’s journey was the amount of work he and his team put into learning and DIY-ing most of their business from the ground up–Don stated explicitly, “If you didn’t need a license to do it, we did it ourselves!” They built the bar, put together the brewhouse, decorated the restaurant, and even cut an entire truck in half to create the food truck!! Don’s 25 year career in IT left him unprepared for the immense generosity and kindness he received when putting together the brewery, and realized that the risks he took had paid off. It’s never too late to try!

Today, Don loves catering, especially beer fests, and giving out beer with the original Fat Pants crew, although today they’ve expanded to nearly 40 employees! Fat Pants was recognized in 2023 by Minnesota Best Of for the Best Brewery, Best Beer Selection, Second Best Burger, Second Best Chicken Wings, and Third Best Family Restaurant in the state. Looking ahead, Don wants to host more groups now that the event center is built, and also hopes that a new line of Flying Cloud THC beverages will take off. What’s the story behind the brewery’s unique name? Linda and Rick used to joke about putting on their “fat pants” or Zubaz pants when they got home, and Don wanted to embody that spirit of relaxation and familiarity!

Vocational - Janna Berkholtz

Janna is from Rochester, Minnesota. She has a degree in IT and computer science, and for 30 years she's worked in that field, mainly doing consulting work. Janna helps people technologically grow their businesses This past summer, Janna went to Europe and spent time with family. She desires to do something that she cares about, something that's mission-driven. She has interest in human services and eco-friendly work, such as solar panels.






  • People’s Patchwork Community Garden Watering needed – Lori Thune
  • Back to School Backpacks – Blake Cadwallader
  • Snow Pants, coats and mittens – Blake Cadwallader
  • Coming Soon: Pickleball in September
  • Flying Dutchman Distillery in October
  • Global Traveler’s E-Club

Upcoming Meetings

  • September 14 – Swallowship (5:00-7:00 at Fat Pants)
  • September 19 – Erik Backler – The Four Fundamental Forces of Leadership
  • October 3 – District 5950 Governor – Jewelie Grape
  • October 17 – Bill Goodwin – Priority Living – “Live 2 Lead”