Despite its desirable remoteness, the Black Hills’ craft brewery scene ranks among the Midwest’s best. Several tourism booms near the turn of the century led to a whole new crop of Black Hills breweries, the first such establishments since Prohibition. The modern era of South Dakota craft beer began in 1991 when Firehouse Brewing Co. opened its doors. Slowly but surely, over a dozen long-standing Black Hills breweries followed suit, mostly in the communities of Rapid City, Hill City, and Spearfish. Because the region is a family-friendly destination, most of these local businesses offer stellar suds and yummy grub, much like your average brewpub.
The 3 Best Black Hills Breweries
Rushmore Express, one of the only hotels near Mount Rushmore, is a short drive from nearly a dozen Black Hills breweries, including the three stalwarts listed below. These three taprooms have many things in common, including high-quality beer, comfortable (yet sleek) architecture, and pleasant attendants. Let’s start this hoppy, self-guided craft beer tour in nearby Hill City, at the always marvelous Miner Brewing.
1. Miner Brewing Co. – Hill City, SD
Miner Brewing is the whole package: a top-notch taproom, a multi-purpose venue, and a surprisingly-exceptional eatery. Because of its rare combination of warmth, acreage, and tasty ales, Miner is quite the attraction during summer’s hearth. Thirsty travelers line up at 11 a.m. every day to taste-test a variety of innovative brews, munch on a light lunch, and nab some merch. The front porch, spacious (and well-kept) lawn, and covered bar area provide more than enough space for social distancing. Some of our favorite pours as of late have been the blueberry-infused Miner IPA, hazy East River IPA, and roasty Chokecherry Brown.
Bonus stop: Sick-N-Twisted Brewing Co., located only 0.3 miles west of Miner.
2. Zymurcracy Beer Company – Rapid City, SD
Rapid City is the gateway to the Black Hills for so many, particularly for those visiting the region from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois via I-90 (which covers over 410 miles of highway). Many families exit Custer State Park for a couple of hours in hopes of regaining a small semblance of home in Rapid City, which does feel a lot like a prototypical Midwest municipality. It’s home to several Black Hills breweries, most notably Zymurcracy and Lost Cabin, located on separate ends of the city. Zymurcracy, loosely meaning “a community of individuals dedicated to the principles and art of fermentation science,” is pronounced zy·mur·cra·cy. Despite its hard-to-spell (and pronounce) moniker, Zymurcracy remains a craft beer beacon—one that focused heavily on dark, robust beers. However, the tap list is ever-evolving. The crushable Hefeweizen, velvety Peanut Butter Oatmeal Porter, and tropical NEIPA #2 are three of our favorites.
3. Lost Cabin Beer Company – Rapid City, SD
Lost Cabin and Zymurcracy narrowly thwarted Dakota Point Brewing, a worthy alternative. In combination with its head-turning taproom, Lost Cabin’s Omaha Street locale makes it an essential Rapid City brewery. It’s the highest-rated establishment in the Black Hills, according to Untappd’s community of beer lovers (a reputable, gratifying app, if you’re looking for a new hobby). We couldn’t think of a better place to stave off winter than inside this “lost cabin,” home to the game-changing, bourbon barrel-aged Lord Grizzly. Meanwhile, the tart Wizard Cow, silky Smokewagon Coffee Stout, and well-balanced SoDank West Coast IPA are all thirst-quenching home runs.
Classic Keystone Lodging near Mount Rushmore
Rushmore Express is a family-friendly outpost in the heart of Keystone. It’s RV, motorcycle, and UTV-friendly, for those traveling through the Black Hills via a novel mode of transportation. As the quintessential Rushmore hotel, we welcome travelers from all over the globe, many of whom are making their first trip into the area. Thus, it’s important to note the many ways to explore the Black Hills, including self-guided ATV tours, Custer State Park exploration, backcountry hiking, and a long-awaited stroll at Mount Rushmore. Rushmore Express itself features spacious yet affordable accommodations, as well as high-speed Wi-Fi, extra-large televisions, fireplaces, and kitchenettes.
To start planning a well-deserved vacation to sunny South Dakota, please click the Book Now button at the top of the screen (or call us directly at 800-323-6476).