Stacey and Dan Berry own Covert Artisan Ales in Sioux Falls. Last week, they were named "Mash Madness" champions for their Pineapple Hwhip sour. Cmtv News chatted with them about the winning brew, the local craft beer scene and their personal beer identities.

Answers are edited for length and clarity.

How did you ‘get smart’ about brewing beer – i.e. what in your background prepared you for running a brewery?

Stacey: Running a brewery is not something I’d ever anticipated in life. Everything I’ve learned has been from Dan, and he’s a pretty good teacher.

Dan: Through our venture I have realized that brewing and running a brewery are two different things. Luckily, the brewing community is a great resource for both, and we wouldn’t be where we are without our friends.

We’re all about simplicity here. Can you describe the Mash Madness winning Pineapple Hwhip in 10 words or less?

Stacey: Probably not. Pineapple sorbet and sugar cone?

Dan: Who doesn’t love pineapple?

What’s something people most often misunderstand about craft beer? (And, if you could politely correct them, what would you say?)

Stacey: The first (thing I would correct people on) is there really is a beer for everyone.

  • You don’t have to only be familiar with domestic styles to find and love craft beer. Lagers and pilsners are classic styles, and most craft breweries make at least one.

We also get a lot of folks that say they don’t like beer that’s too “beery.” I absolutely love meeting those individuals, and introducing them to Covert Artisan Ales.

  • The majority of the time, I can find something they’ll enjoy. I’m a little biased, but Dan is a wizard when it comes to creating unique flavors. We’ve made beers that taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, one that tastes like key lime cheesecake, and one that tastes like a creamsicle.
  • Beer flights are one of the best ways to try several beers without full commitment.

The biggest misconception about Covert Artisan Ales absolutely has to be that we only make sour ales.

  • We have expanded the styles we make to include lagers, IPAs, pilsners, gluten-free ales. Don’t get me wrong, we still love making sours, but we’ve got a little something for everyone. Dan: That we are all the same, it is ok to like more than one brewery. Sioux Falls residents are fortunate to have so many great breweries in our area, don’t be afraid to let them know.

Dan: That we are all the same.

It is ok to like more than one brewery. Sioux Falls residents are fortunate to have so many great breweries in our area, don’t be afraid to let them know.

If you had to describe yourself as one of Covert’s brews (past or present) what would you choose and why?

Stacey: We make a sour red ale named Erzen.

For starters, it’s my maiden name, so I guess that already makes it me? It’s just an incredibly complex sour that combines several years of blending to make it just how we want it. It’s definitely got some bite to it, but there’s this sweet red berry flavor on the finish that’s hard to describe.

  • I always call it the Disney berry, as it’s like some sort of made up flavor. It’s a wild ale, so it can be a different experience every time you try it.

Dan: Seriously, this is a question…(Editor's note: sorry not sorry)

Well if I must, I think it would be In Fate’s Hands our Sponteneous Ale, one we allow the beer to cool down in ambient air outside to draw in any wild yeast and bacteria ,and then transfer in a barrel to ferment.

  • It takes time, patience and you never know how it will turn out, but that is the romance of it.

What’s your advice for someone who wants to learn more about Covert or the local craft beer scene?

Stacey: Come in and check us out.

  • I’m always happy to talk about what we’ve got going on, or share a sample or two.

Reach out to us on social media. We’re ready to answer all of your questions.

  • For anyone who wants to learn more about Covert Artisan Ales, the absolutely best way is to just come down and try some beer.

As for the local craft beer scene, you mostly just have to come downtown. In all of the cities we’ve been to, I’ve never been to a city where so many breweries are within walking distance of each other. We really are pretty lucky in that aspect.

Dan: Stacey and I are extremely approachable and will happily answer any questions you may have.

Anything else you want the people of Sioux Falls to know about you, Covert or the local craft beer scene?

Dan: We now carry wine, and we also have our food license.

  • So we will have pizza provided from Pizza Cheeks and we are looking at adding some additional options down the road.