The crew at Fernson Brewing Company had a crazy May. Not only did they release their summer ale, the 2018 Zoo Brew (a portion of proceeds goes towards the new African Lion exhibit), but they took home the gold medal for Farmhouse Ale at the 2018 World Beer Cup. Don’t think they’re slowing down, as they have the 3rd Annual 605 Day on June 5, Fernson Field Day June 16, and the 605 Summer Classic June 22 and 23. 605 chatted with brewers and co-founders of Fernson, Blake Thompson and Derek Fernholz, to see what they’re doing in and out of the brewery that “brings you closer to those around you.”


I enjoy walking downtown. I live up the hill in the Cathedral [of Saint Joseph] district, and most Saturdays I walk down and go from brewery to brewery/taproom, taking in SculptureWalk [1] and businesses in between.

One of my favorites at Fernson is our crowler machine [2] because it allows you to take any beer we have on tap and put it in a can to take home. We only offer five of our beers in cans right now, but the crowler machine gives you access to many more.

As a fly fisherman living far away from traditional fly fishing water, I have recently taken up fly fishing for carp with local author and legend Dan Frasier.

I’m often going to the Washington Pavilion or for a walk to The Falls [3] with my wife, Hilary, daughters, Faye and Hattie, and our dog, Alice.

As an avid member of the Sioux Falls Curling Club, you can find me curling for 7-10 weeks in the fall and spring leagues at the Scheel’s Iceplex.

In general, I love to take in the food and drink that Sioux Falls is creating and am always proud to show new people to the area some of my favorites.


My wife and I like taking my kids to the Great Plains Zoo [4], especially with the nice weather.

I’m a huge fan of playing disc golf at Tuthill [Park] [5] and riding my bike on the bike trails.

Running is a passion of mine, and I especially like to run at Great Bear [Recreation Park] with my dog.

I’m pumped about our new five-barrel brewhouse [6], because it allows us to test recipes and experiment on a smaller scale. These small-batch recipes will keep our taproom offerings ever-changing and exciting.

When I’m not brewing, it’s always great to cook at home with my family.

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I served nine years in the South Dakota Army National Guard as a truck driver. Did one deployment to Iraq in 2004.

I have a degree in Software Engineering from South Dakota State University.


I started making wine in California before I started making beer.

I went to UC Davis to get my Master Brewers Certificate.

I have had the opportunity to travel to every continent besides Antarctica. Hopefully I will get to go there someday, too.





Fernson Field Day
A day full of games, food trucks, prizes, and their newest beers in cans.

June 16 // 1-10 p.m.

Fernson Brewing Company
1400 E. Robur Dr.
Sioux Falls

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