Decibel Metal & Beer Fest Brewery Profile: Hydra Brewing Company

Hydra Brewing Company
Sioux Falls, SD
Start Date: 2015
Signature Metal Beer: Unholy Vanilla Sweet Stout

The bands that will be performing at the upcoming Decibel Metal & Beer Fest are no doubt familiar to Decibel readers, but we wanted to shine a little light on the craft beer underground by spotlighting the breweries that will be pouring their beers at the festival. Next up is a chat with the owner/co-founder of Hydra, Nick Murphy.

Everything about Hydra is metal—from the label and merch imagery to the beer names—but is it a hard sell to get South Dakota drinkers to support you?
The community here has been very supportive. Our location is surrounded by motels, as well, so we get a grip of craft beer-loving travelers that we love to see return when they come back to town. I think people can appreciate something that’s one-of-kind, and unique. We knew starting a heavy metal brewery in the small community where we live was a gamble, but I think people were able to see that we were, and are not, willing to compromise on the things that we love and make us happy. We always want to surround ourselves with those things.

What’s the playlist in the brewhouse like and do you offer employees 15-minute headbanging breaks?
We encourage headbanging throughout the shift for our employees. Hopefully they continue that on their way home, and forever. We run Pandora for Business, on which we play certain band-themed stations throughout the day. The current rotation includes Morbid Angel, Dark Tranquillity, Carcass, Khemmis, Gatecreeper, Cattle Decapitation, Ulcerate, Deicide, Crowbar, Vallenfyre, Behemoth, Meshuggah, Slayer and even Hank III on some days. We very rarely get any complaints about it. We may get the occasional “Can we change the music in here?” to which we reply, “Absolutely not, may I get you another beer?”

What’s the most metal beer Hydra brews?
Unholy Vanilla sweet stout is our most metal—from the imagery, to the name and all the way down to the 6.66% ABV. We worked with Brandon Holt of the VACVVM art collective out of the Twin Cities on a lot of the original artwork that we released. We are very happy with all of the pieces he has created for us, Unholy being no exception.

Why should attendees of first annual the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest seek out Hydra beers at the festival? Give Decibel readers your best pitch.
You do not have to be a beer aficionado to hail the Hydra. We have beers for the most palate-seasoned craft beer drinker, to the one who is just beginning to test the endless waters of the spectrum. Beer is there to be enjoyed, and to bring people together. Come by our booth and let’s talk metal over a cold one. [Owner/co-founder] Chad [Petit] and I have been playing in metal bands here in the Midwest for more years than we would care to mention. We wanna share those experiences with you, and hear yours.

Anything you’d like to add, any upcoming projects?
We are looking to expand this year, to hopefully make Hydra Beers more available to all Decibel readers. We are known to put on shows for bands coming through the area. We enjoy having bands stop by the brewery prior to heading to the club for the gig for meet and greets. Sioux Falls’ metal scene is growing everyday and is filled with passionate people. So have your booking agents hit us up at [email protected].

We are also currently brewing an IPA for Swedish legends The Haunted called “The Haunted Made Me Brew it,” which will be available a little later this year in the States and overseas.

To get tickets to the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest, go here.