Lupulin Brewing sets targeted opening date

Aug. 6, 2019

Lupulin Brewing Co. is starting to turn the former Hydra Beer Co. into its home in South Dakota.

The Minnesota-based craft brewer took possession Monday of the leased location at 2425 S. Shirley Ave.

It expects to be licensed to sell beer later this month and has set a targeted opening date for the evening of Aug. 22, with a grand opening to come later in the year.

“Our intention is to have at least 16 different styles of Lupulin beers on tap for that opening, with potentially one or two of our Scribbled Lines brews, our sours,” said Jeff Zierdt, who started the brewery with Matt Schiller in Big Lake, a town of more than 10,300 people that’s 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Lupulin is the yellow gland of a hop plant in which the hop acids and the essential oils can be found.

The brewery just started distributing its beers in South Dakota in late April, so customers will benefit from the taproom’s flights that will be available for sampling.

“People will be able to choose from three to six different styles to try,” said Zierdt, who packed up half of the flight paddles in Big Lake to bring to Sioux Falls.

Lupulin takes pride in its IPAs, which are pale ales made with extra hops. Its flagship beers are Hooey, which was named one of the top 34 IPAs by Thrillist; the double IPA Blissful Ignorance, which has won people’s choice and professional awards in Minnesota; and Belgian Blonde, which Zierdt describes as an approachable-style light ale that has been available since day one.

The remaining eight taps will be filled with beers from other local brewers and eventually will be taken over by Lupulin adventures into brews such as kettle sours, cider and mead, and collaborations with other brewers.

Lupulin also cans some of its products, and those will be available in Sioux Falls too.

“When we open it will be a taproom only,” Zierdt said. “We’re waiting for a federal license. That is the final step to reopening the brewery, and we will do that. We will brew beers there that aren’t being brewed here.”

Lupulin bought Hydra’s 10-barrel brewhouse, and Zierdt estimates producing 350 to 400 barrels a year. Big Lake started out with a 10-barrel brewhouse but recently completed a $4 million expansion that will increase its capacity to 25,000 barrels a year. Agreements with distributors have expanded its sales across Minnesota and into neighboring states.

Zierdt doesn’t anticipate doing a lot of remodeling work for the new taproom. Some of Hydra’s finishes will remain, including the wood that’s behind the bar, he said.

The biggest change will be in signage, with Lupulin’s yellow, black and white logo featuring a hop dominating the new look.

While selling beer is the focus, part of the taproom will be set aside for Lupulin-branded merchandise. The brewery offers items such as T-shirts, hats and glassware.

When it comes to food, like Hydra, Lupulin will serve Roskens Dakota Pizza, and it will allow customers to bring in meals or have them delivered.

“We will also be working to coordinate food vendors on-site to serve up their specialties on weekends,” Zierdt said.

To start, taproom hours will be similar to Hydra’s, with late-afternoon openings on weeknights, longer days Friday and Saturday, and shorter ones on Sunday.

While Sioux Falls is a much larger market than Big Lake, Zierdt said they plan to operate the brewery and taproom here following the same philosophy and strategy. Lupulin’s three principles are “making the place feel like family and home,” community involvement through donations out of the taproom and “idiocracy,” which is where the brewery’s slogan comes into play: “Work sucks, drink beer.”

“It’s being fun, creative, getting a little silly at times.”

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Lupulin Brewing sets targeted opening date

Lupulin Brewing Co. is starting to turn the former Hydra Beer Co. into its home in South Dakota.

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