New brew pub opens in downtown Brookings

By: Jodelle Greiner, The Brookings Register

A hobby will turn into a business when Eponymous Brewing Co. opens its doors today at The Lofts at Main, 126 Main Ave. S.

Sean Weber, his brother Kyle Weber, and Kyle “Mac” McElhany are owners of the brew pub, which grew from their love of craft beer.

“Kyle and I and a couple of our friends got our hands on every beer that we could and just discovered the endless possibilities that a beer can have within style,” Sean Weber said.

They wanted to do more than just drink it, they wanted to make it. Call it professional curiosity.

“Kyle actually has a microbiologist background, so just the beauty of yeast attracted him to it. And really the endless things that you can do. You can make small tweaks in the beer and that will produce something completely different. That just is crazy interesting to us,” Weber said.

“Mac took off with that and decided to brew his own beer. We all just fell in love with the process. We’ve been brewing once a week for the past three to four years,” Weber said.

That’s a lot of beer, so they decided to share their passion with others.

“We’ve been home-brewing this whole time, and we can’t drink all of it, so we’ve been sharing it, obviously,” Weber said. “It’s intensely satisfying to see people really enjoy something that you’ve created.”

They made the decision to take it a step further and open a business.

“We want people to try our beer, so that was a big part. What better way than opening our own brewery?” said Weber, who has a background in business economics, “so it’s always kind of been a dream to open my own business, as well.”

The love of brewing the beer made it imperative that they open a brew pub, where they could create their own beer.

“The brew pub is more family friendly. Just kind of a calmer place to come to,” Weber said.

There are big tanks just to the right of the door; that’s where the beer is brewed. There are a few tables in the front, stool seating at the bar, and booths in the back. When the weather warms up, they plan to open up the garage door and have seating on the patio. Maybe a little karaoke in the future, too, Weber suggested.

“We plan on opening a kitchen, probably three or four months after we open. We plan on a nice, simple menu, try to have select items but do them really well,” Weber said.

The guys have done “absolutely everything here ourselves. It’s been a learning process,” Weber said.

They built and assembled the entire brew system.

“It’s kind of why we felt that we could do this properly. The smaller version, that home-brew system, was kind of like this. It was built from the ground up by Kyle,” Weber said.

It’s the beer that will remain front and center.

“We lean more toward the Belgian styles and hoppy styles. And we like to stick to the new age IPAs, typically more fruity, not so … bitter. We like to do Belgian doubles, like to do a bunch of wheats and porters, more easy drinking,” Weber said.

“Typically, we just have an idea in mind of what we want the beer to be. Mac and I have brewed enough that we know that we want a certain flavor, we can adjust different aspects of the brew process to get those different flavors.”

For those just getting into craft beer, Weber has a recommendation.

“The wheats usually are the easiest to approach. They are a little sweeter. They’re kind of refreshing, so they go down really nice,” he said.

If you know your craft beers, but want to stretch your repertoire, he has some advice.

“In this area, there’s really no beers that are properly soured. We’re actually aging some sours over here in these barrels,” he said, gesturing to large barrels along the wall. “We age them in there for one to two years, add sour buds, and they sour up. It’s usually the extreme beers.”

Whatever you like, step up to the bar.

“Really, we’re gonna do pretty much all of them. Right away, we’re gonna have five or six of our own on tap. We’ll do local taps, as well,” Weber said. “It’s all gonna be based on what we can produce.”

Find Eponymous Brewing Company on Facebook, or online at www.eponymousbrewing.com. The business can be reached at 692-BREW.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at jgreiner@brookingsregister.com.

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