Newest brewery in Spearfish creates economic optimism

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Spearfish Brewing Company is open for business on Main Street and already, business is good.

"We've been really, really busy,” said Jon Marek, General Manager of Spearfish Brewing Company. “It’s the second week of regular business and we had a great Sunday crowd. Great Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Just been really busy."

Led by Marek and Brewmaster Nathan Venner, the brewery has 18 tap handles, has two specialty built lagering tanks and can brew up to 3,600 barrels per year.

That’s good for business and good for Spearfish, according to Kory Menken, Executive Director of Spearfish Economic Development Corporation. In 2016, craft breweries in the U.S. generated almost $68 billion and created more than 456,000 jobs. And Menken expects positive numbers locally.

"I think they are a great fit and we really want to see our community to continue to grow, this is a great addition,” said Menken.

In a Travelocity survey of 1,000 people, more than three quarters said they would like to go on a trip where they can visit craft breweries. And with Crow Peak Brewing Company already in town, and a third one, Sawyer Brewing, looking to open its doors by the summer, Marek thinks it will draw a whole new crow of tourists.

"Three breweries will bring in a whole group of beer drinking tourists, so it will be great for the community,” said Marek. “Just a lot of great opportunities in Spearfish to come out of the Canyon, and into Spearfish, do the dining, then see two different breweries, compare notes and make a whole day of it."