Beer-making underway at east-side brewery for July opening

June 18, 2019

The owners of Obscure Brewing Co. are busy making beer and putting the final touches on their taproom as they get ready to open their east-side brewery in early July.

“We have a lot of people who are excited to come have a beer, and we are too,” said Don Choate, who owns Obscure with his wife, Jackie, and minority partner Mike Nussbaum, who will be the head brewer.

Choate and Nussbaum started brewing their first beer June 5, also known in South Dakota as 605 Day because of the state’s area code.

“That will be easy to remember,” Choate said. “It was a very emotional day for the both of us. … It’s been such a roller coaster to get this started and to finally do what we both worked to do.”

Obscure Brewing, which is north of Arrowhead Parkway at Grant and Foss, is expected to open after the Fourth of July, he said.

“We should have at least six beers on tap,” Choate said, and they’ll offer other local craft beers until they fill out their production. Last week, they started on the fifth batch.

The two started out making beer at home and have worked at other breweries in the area.

“They’re our own recipes that we’ve refined over the years and scaled up for our brewing system,” Choate said.

The 15-barrel brew house has “bells and whistles” that the two are learning.

“The process is always same, but the equipment is different,” Nussbaum said.

The signature beer for summer will be Sodakolsch, a kolsch-style brew that Choate describes as an “easy-drinking, lighter style.”

While Choate and Nussbaum will do most of the work themselves on the brewery and taproom floors, they’re still looking for someone to run Obscure’s kitchen, which will offer a simple bar food menu.

Up in the taproom, which overlooks the brewing floor, the bar has been installed. FBT Sawmill in Steen, Minn., crafted the bar top from a red elm tree that Jackie Choate’s great-grandmother planted over a century ago.

“It’s almost too nice. It’s like grandma’s furniture – don’t put your beer there without a coaster,” Choate joked.

In another family touch, Jackie Choate’s father crafted a sign for the brewery out of wood and made all the tap handles.

The taproom will seat 105 beer drinkers at wood tables crafted by FBT Sawmill. A garage door on the west side of the taproom will open to a patio that will seat 45. The patio will be ready when the brewery opens in July.

While they’re extremely pleased with how the building has turned out, the focus of everything is the beer.

“This is a craft brewery,” Choate said. “We want to make really exceptional beer.”

Come inside for early peek at east-side brewery

Beer-making underway at east-side brewery for July opening

The owners of Obscure Brewing Co. are busy making beer and putting the final touches on their taproom as they get ready to open their east-side brewery in early July.

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