“Backspace Brewing Co. started as an idea between a couple of us that were home brewers,” said co-owner Chris Allington. “I had been home brewing for some time, and Tyler Schindler had dabbled in it a little bit and decided he’d wanted to start doing an all-grain brewery, which is where you are milling the grain like you do in a professional brewery.”
He began brewing with his co-owner in Schindler’s garage.
“After a couple years of that, we decided we wanted to give this a shot as a business,” said Allington. “Over the next year to 18 months or so, we sat down and looked into what you needed to do to start a brewery, and we wrote a business plan.”
On January 8, 2021, Backspace Brewing opened on Walnut Street in Yankton.
“We approach brewing with a sense of creativity and try to use a lot of culinary flavors,” said Allington. “We do a lot of things with fruit, herbs, and spices.”
They’ve had all kinds of flavors from Pumpkin Pie Conundrum made with pumpkin, Madagascar vanilla, and pumpkin pie spices to In the Cloud which is a rotating cream ale series of beers based on sweet recipes like apple pie and strawberries and cream.
“We approach things by trying to model a beer after a flavor versus just coming up with a beer first and then going in that direction,” said Allington.
“It’s a place that facilitates sitting, talking, and having a good beer amongst friends.” – Chris Allington
Other examples are the Maple Pecan Blonde Ale, made with maple syrup and roasted pecans, and Bricklayer Brown Ale—an English brown that’s dry with a hint of coffee and caramel.
At any one time, there are 14 brews on tap.
“We have a couple mainstays, but we’re always trying to do different things and experiment to come up with new recipes and new flavors,” said Allington.
River’s Edge Wheat is a wheat beer with a crisp, tart tangerine flavor. The other mainstay is the Lancer Lager, which is a pineapple- and floral-noted lager brewed for sports teams at Mount Marty University.
Backspace brews on tap rotate and may be subject to change.
Check backspacebeer.com for the latest updates
» Irish Dry Stout
6.1% ABV | 25 IBU
The Dankest Hive
» Double IPA
8% ABV | 40 IBU
» American Light Lager
5% ABV | 15 IBU
Cherry Limeade Seltzer
» Hard Seltzer
» Farmhouse Ale
5.5% ABV | 21 IBU
History + Atmosphere
“We’re in a building that was a brewery pre prohibition. It was Schwenk-Barth Brewing Co. initially,” he said, noting that it was built in 1902.
Allington says when they were setting up the taproom, they were trying to adhere to the rustic, industrial nature of the building. To do so, they hoped to acquire some materials from SE SD Rough Sawn Lumber out of Lennox.
“We reached out to them, and they had a big black walnut tree that they had just put through their saw mill and came from a farm in South Dakota,” said Allington. “Once we started talking about the dimensions, they thought they’d have enough material to make a bartop out of it.”
Backspace hosts a musician two to three times a month, and the summer brings frequent food trucks. They also participate in events going on around the community like Mount Marty tailgates and appearances at Music at the Meridian.
The company proposed doing resin work on the wood, and now hops and grain are sprinkled within the stretch lit-up resin filling a divot in the middle of the bartop.
“With it running right down the center like that, we feel it represents the Missouri River for us as we’re right on the river bank,” said Allington.
“We like to go to other venues that serve our beer and do tap takeovers.” – Chris Alligton
With the bartop in place, the space brings conversation and a place for friends.
“It’s a warm, rustic, and industrial space. You get a sense of the history with this building being over 100 years old,” said Allington. “You come in, we have board games. Yes, we do have a few TVs, but you’re not walking into a sports bar.”