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Brewing A Business

July 5, 2013, 10:11 PM by Austin Hoffman

Brewing A Business
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Many of you fill your spare time with hobbies. For some it's gardening, for others maybe woodwork or collecting. Now an age-old hobby is growing in popularity. There are even stores popping up to quench every need.

"Absolutely. It's American's number one, fastest growing hobby," Debbie Plucker with Barrels & Bottles said.

Plucker and her husband have been making their own home brew for some time. And for them, it stuck.

"Because its so fun. I tried it myself a few years ago and I just had a great time and I involved my husband and it's kind of our date time. So we thought, well, were just gonna let other people enjoy it," Plucker said.

That’s exactly what they are doing. The couple recently opened up Barrels & Bottles in Sioux Falls, offering everything you need to brew your own beer or make wine.

"It was actually just kind of a whim. Last year before Thanksgiving I was sitting on the couch and thought I should just, out of the clear blue, I should make some wine, but I was thinking the clear glass jug with a balloon and grape juice, I wasn't thinking of this at all," Plucker said.

They offer everything from a beginner's kit all the way down to the uncrushed grain itself.

"We have a lot of people that do all grain, they're the experienced people. They're the ones who have been doing this for a long time. So we carry the grains, we crush them if they would like to have us do that," Plucker said.

The same goes for wine. You can grab a kit or get everything you need to press your own fruit.

And for either, the possibilities are endless.

"I compare it to making a cake. If you can make a cake you make wine, you can make beer. It just depends on how difficult and what kind of cake you want to make. You start out with just a white cake, then you go to a pineapple upside down cake, the next thing you know you're doing the fondant frosting. So that's exactly what it's like," Plucker said.

They are also selling yeast, one of the most important ingredients in brewing beer, made in Sioux Falls by Wyatt Bordewyk with Union Labs.

"It's very nice. It's very exciting as well. But we still have a long to go ourselves. We’re only offering one strain right now but we are planning on offering multiple strains in the future. So getting to the next point is going to be a challenge," Bordewyk said.

He's a home brewer himself and says it's not only great to have his yeast sold in the same town it's made, but to have the brew shop so close.

"If we didn't have the local home brew shops we’d have to mail order all of our equipment, all of our supplies, typically from places in Minneapolis or California. So you have that immediate access to that equipment and material that you need. So it’s very nice," Bordewyk said.

Bordewyk also says the fresher yeast you use, the better your brew will be.

"Yep, you can tell. The reason a lot of folks like to use liquid yeast is because the viability is generally much better than like a dry yeast. So the more fresh the yeast the better the beer you're going to make,"Bordewyk said.

And if you're one of the many do-it-yourself type of people who like the idea of enjoying your own brew, Plucker says they'll be ready.

"As long as we have people who need it, we're going to be here," Plucker said.

They also offer wine tasting and are going to start wine-making classes starting this month.

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