Mount Rushmore State
The beginning of beer from South Dakota came with the arrival of the German and European immigrants in 1866. These immigrants brought their expertise of farming to South Dakota and began turning grain to ale, producing beers that thrived through the 1800s and up until the beginning of the Prohibition.
Charles Rossteuscher was the first to arrive and build his establishment. At this time, beer was seen as a good beverage, replacing whiskey and turpentine which some referred to as “poison.”
From 1866 to 1942 around 55 South Dakota breweries were operating. Of course, Prohibition, which came early in 1917 and lasted late into 1935, led to some decline in the brewing industry for the state. But some of the best breweries in South Dakota have since been thriving, including the first brewery to produce South Dakota craft beer: Firehouse Brewing in Rapid City.
South Dakota beer laws state that beer can be sold Monday through Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m., although the sale of some other alcohol is prohibited on Sundays.
Another important law to know revolves around the South Dakota beer alcohol content. Back in the day, just after Prohibition a law was created that stated, beer from South Dakota must fall below 3.2%, because it was believed intoxication could not occur at an ABV this low.
Today in South Dakota, most beers are sold at breweries and beer pubs, with very little production and distribution of packaged beers.
With so many incredible South Dakota beers, we have found the most popular and visited South Dakota breweries are:
• Crow Peak Brewing Company
• Hydra Beer
• Wooden Legs Brewing
We have had the pleasure of featuring craft beers in South Dakota from Fernson Brewing Company. We are always looking for new South Dakota craft breweries to add to our monthly craft beer subscription boxes, and hope to have more in the near future. Cheers!