By: Patrick Anderson, The Argus Leader
Sean Weber and his buddy started fermenting barley and hops in the garage of their Brookings rental.
For years, it was a hobby.
But Weber, a 29-year-old project coordinator for Daktronics, has already started to take beer making beyond what he calls the “third stall.” He and his partner plan to open Eponymous Brewing Co. on March 2 in Brookings.
“I don’t think it’s going to be hard to go to work,” Weber said.
Eponymous Brewing will be located at 126 Main Avenue S. in a newly built mixed-use building on the southern edge of the college town’s downtown.
The brewing equipment is already set up inside. When the brewery opens in March, it will feature a taproom with about 50 seats. There are plans to add a kitchen and patio later, as funding allows, Weber said.
Weber’s roommate-turned-business partner Kyle McElhany has a science background, which he uses in his work at 3M. McElhany’s interest in science also led him to homebrewing, which uses single-cell microorganisms (yeast) to transform sugars into the malty beverage enjoyed by so many beer drinkers.
“He’s a microbiologist, so naturally that flowed into beer,” Weber said.
Weber describes Eponymous’ beer menu as experimental, following the pair’s taste.
He and McElhany brewed a sour ale this week, which will go into barrels to be aged for one to two years.
Weber expects people who come to Eponymous’ opening will be able to enjoy a range of different brews, including a Citra IPA, a caramel porter and a raspberry wheat. Eponymous will also offer guest taps for other South Dakota-made beers.
“We’re just learning as we go,” Weber said.