Woodgrain Brewing Company Hosts Second Annual Homebrew Party
For the second year, the Big Sioux Brewing Society will host a home brewing festival, attracting brewers from across the region.
At the event, which will be held at Woodgrain Brewing Co., there will be up to 40 brewers. The festival is also free for the community, ages 21 and up, and will be held July 31 from 2-5 p.m.
Last year the event was held at Severance Brewing Company, which was limited to 20 brewers, half of this year’s attendees.
This year the festival is a little different.
There will be three categories including People’s Choice, Home Brewer’s Choice and Brewery’s Choice. Woodgrain employees will pick their top pick, with the winner getting the chance to brew their recipe on a larger scale.
Entrants must provide at least five gallons for sampling and their own pouring systems. Brewers are limited to entering the contest with one beer, but there are no guidelines for beer styles.
“We wanted to give more opportunities,” said TJ Tedrow, who is part of the Big Sioux Brewing Society. “Obviously with a community like this…we’re a bit spread out. There’s people in Hartford brewing at home. There’s people in Watertown and other kinds of rural areas – they can join the community and enter.”
Organizers hope the event can continue to grow and said they have promoted the event in the state as well as Iowa and Minnesota this year.
“It might take a while… We hope to at least take that and hopefully do something with it. As long as people are willing to participate, we will always do so,” Tedrow said.
The law that made the event possible
A few years ago, event organizer Bud Molyneux and a friend went to a homebrew festival in Omaha, and that’s what sparked the idea, he said. Molyneux got his start after his postman gave him information about homebrew products.
While he wanted to start the festival earlier, he was unable to do so due to South Dakota law. It wasn’t until 2021 that the South Dakota legislature passed the 35-1-5.4 code.
“(We) went there (to Omaha)…I thought it was fun, so we thought we’d try something here now that the laws have changed, we could actually do it,” Molyneux said. .
The law included cider and permitted the bringing of home-brewed alcoholic beverages into licensed premises, and also stipulated that premises must be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages themselves.
An amendment added provisions on the sample size, which is three ounces, and South Dakota’s 35-4-66 code also included a provision that exempted homebrewers from needing a license to carry homemade alcoholic beverages.
Finding Community in the Home Brewing Society
In addition to being a home brewer since 2003, Molyneux was also the head brewer of Hydra Beer Co., which was acquired by Lupulin Brewing Co., in 2019. Hydra Beer Co. opened in 2015.
Molyneux has been part of the homebrewing movement in Sioux Falls since the early 2000s. Initially, the group started as a Yahoo Group.
The group has since grown and evolved into the Big Sioux Brewing Society, where members get together to try samples from each other and talk about the brewing process.
“We have built, I think, a pretty good community of home brewers in the area. I think there’s a lot of really good talent out there, and this homebrew festival is like the epitome of what a lot of those people want to do,” Tedrow said.
“Instead of family and friends,” he added, “we can share with strangers and kind of play the role of a professional brewer for a little while.”
The Big Sioux Brewing Society is also gearing up for another homebrew fest after this one, to be held at Remedy Brewing Company on September 24 from 1-3 p.m. during the brewery’s Oktoberfest celebration.