The state’s vast, diverse outdoor spaces are worth toasting. This is a message that South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks hopes we carry with us always, but especially during 2018 and 2019, when we commemorate “100 Years of Outdoor Tradition” in our state. In 1918, South Dakota established its first pheasant hunting season, and then in 1919, Custer State Park became the first S.D. state park. GF&P is marking the occasion with a new reason to raise our glasses – the first-ever New Brew competition.
“The main driving factor behind the competition was to engage a newer, younger audience,” said GF&P Information Officer Shuree Mortenson. “People who are engaged in the outdoors and participating in the outdoors – what else are they involved in? Really, the social aspect keeps coming back. It’s not just fishing and hunting, it’s the social aspect of getting in the outdoors and engaging in all kinds of activities.”
GF&P announced the New Brew competition in January at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, inviting the state’s commercial brewers to create a beer inspired by their own experiences in the great outdoors. Voting will be open through mid- November, and the winner will be announced at the 2019 tourism conference in Pierre. The champion will be declared “The Official Taste of Outdoor Tradition.”
Nine out of 22 South Dakota breweries answered the call, not only coming up with something to pour into a mug, but sharing the stories behind the brews, as well. Firehouse Brewing Company and Spearfish Brewing Company each found inspiration in campfire memories with “Mallow Out Stout” and “S’morter.”
Spearfish’s story for its S’morter begins with this mouth-watering morsel:
“The perfect s’more is an outdoor delicacy and, above all, a smoked food. Carefully prepared above a bed of coals, slowly rotating a marshmallow on a wisely selected branch, browning and warming it through the center to melt a chocolate bar upon impact.”
“The Official Taste of Outdoor Tradition”
Who will come out on top?
- CROW PEAK BREWING COMPANY – SPEARFISH
TRADITION ALE 100
- DAKOTA TERRITORY BREWING COMPANY – ABERDEEN
THE NEXT HUNDRED YEARS PALE ALE
- DEMPSEY’S BREWERY PUB & RESTAURANT – WATERTOWN
THE HAMMER & THE FALLS
- FERNSON BREWING COMPANY – SIOUX FALLS
PRAIRIE COAT RED ALE
- FIREHOUSE BREWING COMPANY – RAPID CITY
MALLOW OUT STOUT
- HIGHWAY 79 BREWING COMPANY – HOT SPRINGS
(SUBMISSION COMING SOON – CHECK WEBSITE)
- LOST CABIN BEER COMPANY – RAPID CITY
“THE JACKALOPE HUNTER” HAZY PALE ALE
- SPEARFISH BREWING COMPANY – SPEARFISH
- WOODGRAIN BREWING COMPANY – SIOUX FALLS
Firehouse’s story echoes the nostalgic tenets of s’more perfection, adding a healthy dose of personal narrative:
“What I remember most fondly, however, was the time around the campfire after dinner. My parents, no longer distracted by work or phone calls, would just sit by the fire and chat. My siblings and I would be worn out, but still excited from the day’s activities. Then the real fun would begin when we started roasting marshmallows to make s’mores.”
The landscape itself served as muse for other brewers, like Fernson Brewing Company with its Prairie Coat Red Ale – a play on “Coteau des Prairies,” a flatiron-shaped plateau located partially in southeast South Dakota’s Newton Hills State Park.
The GF&P team has delighted in the enthusiasm shown by participants. Mortenson says a couple of the breweries have really gone above and beyond to promote the contest, and hopefully, gain much-coveted votes.
“WoodGrain [Brewing Co.] in Sioux Falls held a special launch party in September to introduce their new brew,” she said. “And Lost Cabin [Brewing Co.]… the name of their beer is ‘The Jackalope Hunter,’ and they were selling jackalope hunting licenses on their website.”
Mortenson adds that her team is excited by the participation of the breweries and response from the public, but she hopes that this is just the beginning.
“After the competition is over, we really just want to keep people enjoying the outdoors, supporting our local breweries – and keep viewing the outdoors as a social setting,” she said.
Visit gfp-100-years.sd.gov to learn more about the participating breweries, read the stories behind their creations, and then cast your vote for the one that deserves the title.