VALLEY SPRINGS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s no shortage of craft beer options in Sioux Falls, but not every local brew is created inside city limits.
13 miles east of downtown Sioux Falls, tucked away on a gravel road near the South Dakota-Iowa border, you’ll find A Homestead Brew.
A Homestead Brew is off the beaten path, but close to home for owner Lee Anderson.
“Looking at our family farm, we looked at the water ways, the PH of the soil, we checked a few different spots and we landed on this one,” A Homestead Brew Owner Lee Anderson said.
His ancestors established the family farm just down the gravel road in 1882. Nearly 140 years later, the Anderson Homestead lives on within the brewery.
“All the barnwood behind me was the original claim shack that my grandfather was born in. The floors in the house are our tables now, so think about how many harvests, Christmas, just celebrations that are on this. Beer’s really sensory. How cold is it? What does it smell like? Hopefully when you’re walking onto the farm you get those same feels,” Anderson said.
A Homestead Brew opened its doors in 2017, but Anderson started growing hops five years earlier. He considers himself a brewer and farmer.
“Conditions, time of year, soil PH, nutrient regiments. There’s a lot of chemistry that goes into growing a really good crop and hopefully the weather and things like that are conducive to what we’re doing,” Anderson said.
Anderson used to have 96 rows of hops. He now has eight due to market price. What was once hops is now fruit as Lee added 468 bushes this spring.
“Raspberries, blackberries, black currents, maple trees, so hopefully we can concentrate a little bit more on other varieties and then sit back in that brew room and try and put a good quality product out,” Anderson said.
“This hop farm is right out in the middle of farm land and it adds to the cool factor and the unique factor of this place,” A Homestead Brew customer Jordan Scott said.
Jordan Scott lives and farms just a stone’s throw away from A Homestead Brew.
“It’s kind of like a fly to a bright light. I get over here plenty,” Scott said.
He’s a fan of the beer.
“You know, you can tell Lee is passionate about the beers he brews, you can taste it in the different types of beers that he has. I’ve never had a bad beer here and it’ll keep me coming back,” Scott said.
Anderson is also passionate about history and says memories play a major role in the creative process. Leland’s Elixir is a nod to his grandpa.
“It’s mixing tonic water, honey, lemon juice, it really tastes like an old time soda and watching him make those for me, trying to replicate beers that bring me back to those moments,” Anderson said.
Fluffhead brings Lee back to one of his first jobs.
“When I was 12 years old I got to work at the state fair and I got to make all the cotton candy I wanted. It was a week long process and just going back to those memories. Cotton candy’s not something that you see everywhere and it just puts a smile on me, so hopefully that goes to you too,” Anderson said.
“Couldn’t quite wrap my head around it when I first heard about the edible glitter part, but the blue raspberry cotton candy, the lemon warheads and the glitter, everything that goes into it, you pour that into a glass and it just screams fun,” Dylan said.
Isak Dylan is the Wine & Spirits Manager at Hy-Vee on Sycamore Avenue in Sioux Falls. He says Homestead has captured an audience with its sour beers.
“Homestead’s been a really great brewery to catch on to that category to create those fun, fruity, crisp, sour, tart and refreshing fruity beers,” Dylan said.
You’ll find a long line of Homestead creations on Dylan’s shelves, which means something to Anderson.
“Everything. It’s all the work outside, it’s all the years of building, the time in growing, brewing and putting it together to finally get it in front of people,” Anderson said.
You can grab a beer straight from the farm for a few hours each week…
“For us to be able to be in the brew room, selling the beer, outside growing all the plants, it just makes the most sense for us to be open Friday’s from 5:00-9:00 and Saturday’s from 2:00-9:00,” Anderson said.
…But don’t forget your map.
“I’m surprised at how many people will make the trek out here and drive down a gravel road for a good beer, but it is unique and it brings people out to see the farm and keep coming back,” Scott said.
“A lot of people don’t know maybe how to get here or when they walk into the environment what it’s going to look like, but when everybody leaves I think we have a good foundation started,” Anderson said.
In addition to growing hops and brewing beer, A Homestead Brew hosts a long list of events, ranging from private parties to professional wrestling.