Sipping Through Spearfish: A Guide to Navigating the Craft Beer Scene | Black Hills Travel Blog

Sipping Through Spearfish: A Guide to Navigating the Craft Beer Scene

  • Sipping Through Spearfish: A Guide to Navigating the Craft Beer Scene
    Sipping Through Spearfish: A Guide to Navigating the Craft Beer Scene
Friday, April 21, 2023
By : 
Visit Spearfish

Welcome to the ultimate guide to unleashing the taproom treasures of Spearfish! Ever since the Cullen-Harrison Act passed in 1933, freeing America's thirst for the amber nectar, their establishment has flourished. With over thirty breweries to choose from throughout South Dakota, three of them are here nestled in the hills of Spearfish.

The brewing scene has really taken off here in recent years, and the breweries represented here are a testament to that, including the suds-slinging masters at Crow Peak Brewing, Spearfish Brewing Company, and Sawyer Brewing Company. But with the plethora of styles and lingo, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Fear not, for we are here to point you in the right direction. The best way to begin your journey is to discover which style suits your palate the most. Every variety of beer has its characteristic tastes, flavors, and colors that make it unique. Bear in mind, though, that not every style is for everyone, but appreciating the craft can help you find that perfect pint!


Lagers are a popular choice when it comes to exploring craft beers. With a clean and crisp taste, lagers are commonly fermented with bottom-fermenting yeast at colder temperatures. Light lagers are well-known by many, and the Black Hills and Badlands offer some excellent local lagers to try. For instance, the Venner Beer at Spearfish Brewing Co and the American LOGG-RR Lager from Sawyer are great options to enjoy while savoring the region's unique beer-making experience.


Fancy a dark brew? Then look no further than Porters! Made with a deep-roasted malt that results in a black, bittersweet taste, it's perfect for chilly winter nights. Luckily, the Black Hills and Badlands area has a great selection of breweries that make their own unique versions of this hearty brew. Crow Peak Brewing is one of the longest-serving makers of Porters in town, with their Pile O’ Dirt Porter being a fan favorite. And for those looking for even darker and stronger brews, Sawyer Brewing's Coffee Oatmeal Stout is the perfect alternative to Porter, with their similar tastes bound to impress. So grab a pint and savor the taste of one of the Black Hills and Badlands' most iconic drinks.


Try wheat beers for a lighter refreshing option than stouts and porters. Belgian wheat beer or "witbier" has a distinct citrus flavor and golden hue, perfect for a mellow flavor profile. Find great wheat beers in the Black Hills and Badlands region, like the Termes Beer made by Spearfish Brewery and the Pick Your Path Pilsner from Sawyer Brewing. Locally made, these beers reflect the region's unique character and taste.

Indian Pale Ale (IPA)

When it comes to beer, the Indian Pale Ale or simply IPA, is a newer style and has become increasingly popular in the US. These beers are typically golden to deep amber in color with a highly concentrated hop flavor that gives a bitter yet refreshing taste to the beverage. Luckily in Spearfish, you don't have to go far to taste a delicious IPA with the classic hoppy taste. The region boasts of local breweries such as Crow Peak, where you can enjoy their signature 11th Hour IPA. Another exciting take on the IPA style is the Powder Dayze Session IPA from Sawyer Brewing. These session IPAs offer a more citrusy taste that's perfect for any adventure you might have in the Black Hills and Badlands.


Sours are becoming increasingly well-known in the world of beer. As their name would suggest, they're sour to taste! This style of beer provides a wide range of sourness, and often includes fruit-based flavors. Brewers can add spices and flavors to create new and unique taste sensations. Bobcat Logic Kettle Sour from Spearfish Brewing offers an intense sour taste for those looking for the true experience. On the other side, Sawyer Brewing's Strawberry Cheesecake Sour offers a more gentle introduction to the genre, and illustrates the variety of flavors that can be included in sours. Try one of these freshly made sours from the Black Hills and Badlands region to experience the fullness of this new craft brewing trend.

Next time you find yourself in Spearfish, be sure to check out these amazing breweries and indulge in some of the finest craft beer that South Dakota has to offer. Whether it's a refreshing lager or a bold IPA, the beer, food, and views at these Spearfish breweries are sure to leave you with lasting memories. So grab a friend, or two, and come experience the local brews and ambiance of these three unique Spearfish breweries. Cheers!

Sponsored by Visit Spearfish