Three years ago, they bought a building on Lead’s Main Street. They came up with the idea of creating craft beers on a small scale, but first the building needed a complete renovation. They also invested $60,000 in brewing equipment. In May 2015, they opened their nanobrewery, catering to a loyal following of craft beer lovers.
They have intentionally kept the scale of the business small. Dakota Shivers Brewing is open only on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Generally they have six different brews on tap, changing out the selection with the seasons and with the preferences of their customers.
A favorite is their 5280 Pale Ale, named for the mile-high altitude of the brewery. Another is the Dark Matter RyePA, a pale ale with rye that is named for Lead’s landmark Sanford Underground Research Facility, which is studying dark matter and other physics phenomena deep within the former Homestake Mine. They also serve a Whistle Blowin’ Stout flavored with Colombian coffee beans.
When Steve retires from USGS, he plans to join Linda full-time at Dakota Shivers. This is how New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and other well-known craft beer brands got their start, but Linda is quick to say they are happy with the scope and scale of Dakota Shivers.
“Never say never. We’re very small, very mom and pop,” she said. “The feedback has been positively overwhelming. Will we get bigger? Yes. When? I have no idea.”