RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rapid City has a few local breweries and wineries, but there is also a distillery downtown. Getting there took a bit longer than the owners may have hoped, but they found a way and made it work.
After months of blood, sweat, and tears to build their dream, Jerry Sailer and Randy Decker opened their distillery Black Hills Contraband in June.
"We had to tear steam pipes we had to take old air vents down, there was a nine ton heater system. We had to cut a whole new door into the building, we built walls it was a mess," says Sailer.
Giving new life to what used to be the hospital laundry wasn't the only difficult part of opening their business. They needed a new law to be made to let them move their business from Box Elder to Rapid City.
"Box Elder was great to us they were a phenomenal place to start our business up, but we kind of outgrew the traffic pattern there. And we moved into Rapid City so we could be closer to the front of the tourism. We had to get the Rapid City council to write new laws just allowing distilleries in Rapid City because there had never been a law allowing a distillery in city limits before," Sailer says
Now selling 14 different spirits Sailer has perfected over the years, both he and Decker hope that the business can grow. They've recently obtained a beer and farm wine license to sell local craft beers and wines. They also plan to add some food options to create a welcoming and fun environment for customers.
"We want to see this turn into a nice place for the locals to come down and have fun without having to have sports on TV it's a different type of atmosphere down here. And the tourists, we just love them to come in because we love to meet new people," says Sailer.