As you head around South Dakota, you can find a brewery or winery in about every corner of the state. If you travel just 20 miles northwest of Sioux Falls, you will find the newest – and only – brewery in Hartford. Buffalo Ridge Brewing opened on November 10 and has already made a significant impact on the Hartford community.
Chris Tuschen and Damon Sehr are co-owners of Buffalo Ridge Brewing. Tuschen is from Hartford and has wanted to open his own brewery for about six years after learning how to home brew his own beer. He met Sehr, originally from Valley Springs, through a mutual friend.
Sehr grew up around the business sector and has a passion for it and finding new business ventures. He and Tuschen seized the opportunity to bring their interests
together and from there, Buffalo Ridge Brewing was born.
Tuschen and Sehr became familiar with the downtown community quickly due to the many hours of work they put in to get the brewery up and running. They got to know their neighbors well, some of whom would bring them coffee during their late nights of working.
Downtown Hartford was in need of economic growth so the community was ecstatic when they heard Tuschen and Sehr wanted to bring new business to the neighborhood. In fact, Hartford economic development officials were so enthusiastic about the project, they gifted the city-owned land to Buffalo Ridge Brewing.
“We have had a huge community backing,” said Tuschen. “We have had a good partnership and a great reception from [the area].”
The community support made opening the brewery a smooth process. Buffalo Ridge Brewing has a large front porch as well as a backyard area that Sehr says he is excited to utilize when the weather warms up. The taproom inside is large, seating up to 90 people.
“the community is proud of us, and we’re proud to be a part of the community.”
Sehr says while the building is a new structure, they designed and furnished the brewery with reclaimed materials to give it a historic and outdoorsy feel.
Buffalo Ridge Brewing currently offers eight beers on tap with more to come. Their main focus when it comes to crafting beer is melding flavors together to create solid, balanced brews. They have a Bone Trail Black Ale with a crisp finish, an Oaksville Amber Ale that Tuschen says is hoppier than most, and a Lady Renegade Belgian Blonde that has unique citrus and peppery flavors.
Along with the craft beers, Buffalo Ridge Brewing has plans to partner with others locally to offer featured guest taps. They also want to offer non-alcoholic drinks such as a special root beer and a nitrogen-infused coffee, options that may benefit those traveling from out of town.
“We’re a localized community establishment. We offer the same great beer that others are delivering, but in a smaller town,” said Sehr. Tuschen and Sehr believe the small town feel of Buffalo Ridge Brewing is welcoming and will appeal to a wide audience, from those new to the craft beer scene wanting to give it a try to the seasoned connoisseurs.
“Our entry into the craft beer market shows that with the right mix of ambiance and high quality product, people from surrounding areas are willing to frequent smaller towns and experience their charm,” said Tuschen.
For more information, visit buffaloridgebrewing.com.