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The Nation has been all about beer, but could the microbrewery hype be on the decline?

While some microbreweries are closing nationwide, Firehouse Brewing Company has been around for 30 years
Barrels at Firehouse Brewing Company
Barrels at Firehouse Brewing Company(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Updated: Apr. 23, 2022 at 1:00 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Micro breweries have been popping up in city after city all over the nation.

However, early data for 2022 suggests brewery closures are on the rise, which could be attributed to increased costs and supply chain challenges that are tough for small businesses to overcome.

With more breweries making their way into the Hills, Firehouse Brewing Company has been around for decades.

“We’re South Dakota’s oldest brew pub,” says Rob Keghron, Firehouse Brewing Company’s General Manager. “So, people know us in town as a place they can come and relax and have a beer.”

As brewing becomes more popular, and more micro breweries are interested in joining the area to create new innovative beers, Firehouse Brewing Company isn’t opposed. In fact, they say cheers, because “the more reason for people to come to downtown Rapid City,” explains Keghron, “whether it be to try out a bunch of breweries and their beers, or to try out all kinds of different food, that’s a positive for the community. It’s certainly a positive for us.”

He says as the population grows and the interest in beer with it, “brewing is a lot about trying to figure out what people like.” Which takes an intricate and creative process moving beer from vat to vat, adding hops here and there, wheeling around some barrels and eventually finding its way into a glass, and for a person seeking unique flavors. He says those lips hitting the rim of the glass are made up of “a lot of times different tastes that come through our doors on a daily basis.”

Taste buds Firehouse knows are sometimes searching for brews true to their roots, which is why he says that they “have classics that will always be here.” Success found in decades of dabbling with recipes and knowing what works, and “sticking with what you do really well, but also evolving as the tastes and needs of customers who come through our door change. So, yeah we want to be consistent. But, if we’re not evolving as tastes and preferences change, then obviously we’re going to have some issues.”

Being Rapid City’s first brewery, they’ve got years under their belt of both keeping up to speed with change, but also leading the charge. Which, to them is “a great sense of accomplishment and pride for us that we have this great long history.”

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