A new brewery, XIX Brewing Co., plans to open on Main Street this year using the current Fullerton Lumber Co. building. XIX Brewing was developed by USD Alumi Katey Ulrich and Ed Gerrish.
Ulrich met Gerrish through his wife, Leslie. Because of Gerrish’s experience with brewing beer, Ulrich decided to invite Gerrish to the project. Leslie and Gerrish have also had experience in Vermillion businesses, as they both run the Cow and Spoon together.
“I was talking with Leslie about how perfect the Vermillion community would be for a brewery and that I have always wanted to open a bar,” Ulrich said. “We started working through what the process would look like and now here we are.”
With XIX planning on selling both wine and home-brewed beer, Gerrish will oversee the process of creating new brews at the facility. Because of its location in Downtown Vermillion, XIX Brewing Co. will be the closest brewery to the USD campus.
“Many community members have commented that this is something Vermillion needs,” Ulrich said. “It is something the community has really rallied behind since we started talking with people about it.”
Ulrich and Gerrish ultimately themed the brewery around Vermillion and Clay County. Both USD and Vermillion are apparent throughout different aspects of its branding. The most evident symbol of Vermillion appears in the brewery’s name.
“The inspiration for the name comes from the county number, 19, for Clay County on South Dakota license plates,” Ulrich said. “We met with a group of community members to brainstorm the vision and vibes we are hoping to have at XIX Brewing Company. We were looking for a way to represent the community through our name and 19 rose to the top of the list.”
Along with being the county number, highway 19 also runs directly through the Vermillion area. The brewery has also been collecting license plates donated by Clay County residents for decoration. Throughout the building, there are doors and windows showing off the brewing facility.
“Our taproom will be in the same building as the brewing facility, so you will be able to see the area where the beer is being fermented, brewed, and filtered, Ulrich said. “Breweries have become extremely popular, and we are excited to expand the craft beer world to Vermillion.”
While XIX develops many prototype brews, no official opening date has been set. Even without a finalized date, Ulrich and Gerrish are planning to hold events in the upcoming months related to the brewery.