Mom and Pop Brewery in Lead: "A Long the Way"

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It's a small town that's known both boom and bust.
And *now* they have their own little brewery.

It's a taste of new life---sprouting from an old vacant building.
We found it "A Long the Way" in the Northern Hills.

At 717 West Main Street in Lead, a Mom and Pop brewery sits a bit like a gemstone.

Linda Shivers says, "It was probably the scariest thing that we ever did was opening that door and starting to sell our beer."

Open less than a year, the creation of 'Dakota Shivers Brewing' looks far more like the photos of a love story, than the pages of a business plan.

Steve Shivers says, "Well our initial goal was to get where we are now: very small room, craft, craft brewery, a very small tasting room that we can operate ourselves and that I can continue with my day job."

Steve and Linda Shivers have been married about 35 years: they love each other, they love their 3 kids, and they love their time together.

Linda Shivers says: "One of our hobbies whenever we travel is to find new breweries or old ones with new things on tap to try."

And over the years, they've sampled some good ones.

Linda Shivers says, "Beer's pretty awesome."

Steve's career at the US Geological Survey has meant moving.

Linda Shivers says: "Hood River Oregon, Anchorage Alaska, Haymarket Virginia and now here."

And here in the Black Hills, is where they plan to stay. Quickly falling in love with Lead, they soon spotted an opportunity.

Steve Shivers says, "When this building came for sale it was so cheap, it was like we gotta buy this building, it's just not very expensive, we get it for nothing, and fix it up ourselves."

So they bought the old building for just 40 thousand dollars, but converting it to 'Dakota Shivers' took time, a lot of time.

Linda Shivers says: "3 years, yeah, a lot of hard work, a lot of lathe and plaster to rip out downstairs."

Steve Shivers says, "We had to basically gut that level and put in a concrete floor and floor drains, you can't have you know, thousands of pounds of beer in fermenters, you know sitting on a wooden floor, it'll go right through so we had to tear out every inch of that basement and structurally reinforce it."

A labor of love, but a labor nonetheless. And that shiny brewery equipment cost more than the building itself. The price tag 60-thousand bucks.

Steve Shivers says: "There's a mash ton and a boil kettle and 4 fermenters."

Collected from Colorado, Oregon, and California. They're not a big brewery , in fact, they're what's considered a Nano-brewery, which essentially means small.

Linda Shivers says: "We do about 70 gallons at a time when we brew."

Steve and Linda are the only 2 employees. And Steve still works full time at the Geological Survey in Rapid City. But together they finally have : their own brewery.

Linda Shivers says: "I like to write a recipe and let it set and a little bit and then kind of look at it again and think about it."

Steve Shivers says, "It's a blast. It's 99% a really good time and there's 1 percent where you cuss a little bit."

Linda Shivers says, "We have some Munich, some care pilsner, just all these different malts either add character, flavor, color."

For now, they're only open limited hours.

Linda Shivers says, "We are open Friday and Saturday 4 to 8 p.m., we might go a little later than 8."

Their signature beer, the "5280" is a name play on Lead's signature elevation.

Steve Shivers: "We are at exactly 5280 feet. We are at a mile high."

A small operation: Steve's commuter car is also their keg cart to get the beer from downstairs where it's brewed upstairs to the tasting room where it's poured.

At some point they plan to expand their hours, and maybe their operation. But Linda's dream is pretty simple.

Linda Shivers says: "Him and I working side by side, just us."

Because 'Dakota Shivers' truly is more about a love story, than a business plan.

If you've met someone cool "Along the way", please e–mail or call us with your story ideas.

The Shivers moved to South Dakota about 8 years ago. When Steve eventually retires from his day job, he'll go to work full time at the brewery.

All 3 of their kids are members of the Army National Guard. All 3 have been deployed to the Middle East, and one is about to go back.