I posted recently about my disappointment over the lack of breweries in South Dakota. After writing that post, I thought it might be interesting to pursue a news story about the state’s lack of breweries for my day job at The Daily Republic.
I already knew from writing the blog post that there had been a recent presentation at the Cultural Heritage Center about the history of breweries in South Dakota; I also knew from my research for the blog post that there is a new brewery in Spearfish. I figured I’d start gathering info for my story by calling those two places and asking about the history and current status of beer-brewing in the state.
Ken Stewart, who delivered the presentation about the history of breweries in South Dakota, told me that there are no "commercial" breweries in the state right now and that the state’s last commercial brewery closed in 1942. He defines "commercial" as a brewery that engages in a significant distribution effort.
Jeff Drumm, who founded Crow Peak Brewing Company in Spearfish with his wife, Carolyn Ferrell, told me that he is currently building a new, bigger facility and hopes to begin distribution early next year. If he succeeds, Crow Peak beer will be available in restaurants, bars, liquor stores and supermarkets all over South Dakota — and maybe in other states in the region.
So the story turned into a very timely one about Crow Peak Brewing Company potentially reviving commercial brewing in South Dakota some 67 years after the state’s last commercial brewery closed.
If you want to read the story, you can click here.
If you want to stay abreast of the breweries operating in South Dakota, you can click here to see a list maintained by the Brewers Association.