As you might have noticed, I base a lot of my travel plans around what breweries are in the area. But when you’re traveling through South Dakota, breweries are pretty few and far between.
On Day #5 of the infamous Mondakoming Workcation, my boyfriend and I stopped for a road trip break at the Crow Peak Brewing Company in Spearfish, South Dakota. We had previously stopped at a terrible “Mexican” restaurant next door, called Guadalajara.
*Note to self: never try ethnic foods in places that have no population for said ethnicity.
After washing down our cold, fake cheese and wilted lettuce, Crow Peak did not disappoint. The brewery was housed in a new-construction over-sized log cabin and was quite pleasant inside as well. Apparently, the brewery got a major overhaul in 2009, expanding to include a large tap room, thirty-barrel brew system, and a can line.
There was a bus outside, naming one of their flagship beers on the side. I’m not sure what the purpose of the bus is, aside from advertising, but I sure it’s used to transport drunk people around. This place isn’t exactly in the downtown area, so a little last-call transportation could do a town like this some serious good.
I respect Crow Peak’s eco-friendly approach to canning their beers as well. Cans are easier to transport (and sneak into festivals), the keep beer fresher longer, and they’re more recyclable than glass bottles.
But what about the beer, you ask? Here’s what they had on tap:
- Cream Ale
- Lean Horse
- 11th Hour IPA
- Black Ale
And yes, I tried all of them. We snagged two samplers, at $4.50 each and settled in on the upstairs porch to enjoy some sunshine and warm wind.
The Cream Ale didn’t exactly blow me away, but it did have a full bodied flavor. I wanted to like it more. The Lean Horse was pretty bland and I had absolutely nothing to write down in my notebook as a I drank it. I thought the Bitter would be bitter (naturally), but it wasn’t. It tasted similar to the Lean Horse, in blandness anyway. The Spear was Hoppy, yet drinkable. As much as I generally dislike IPAs, I could actually drink a pint of this one.
Conversely, the 11th Hour IPA embodied exactly what an IPA should be. For my taste buds, a small sample was plenty. The Black Ale was somewhat hoppy but pleasantly drinkable after the 11th Hour.