It’s easy to assume that Sawyer Brewing Co. is named after a person. But while Spearfish’s newest brewing company is owned and run by one couple – Lee and Ali Eddy – the name carries the weight of four generations, all loggers, otherwise known as sawyers.
“No, it’s not anyone’s name,” said Lee. “I wanted to go with something I liked, and Spearfish still has a sawmill. It also points to the forestry industry in the Black Hills.”The rest of the story can be found on the brewery’s website, where Lee outlined how each generation, from Grandpa Mack and Grandpa Eddy, all the way down to his dad and him, have had a hand in the logging industry. Lee worked on the trucking and construction side of logging prior to opening Sawyer Brewing Co. last December, saying running the brewery has definitely been a change of pace.
“Having a brewery is totally different from what I did prior to this,” he said. “I’ve never owned my own business or had other employees, but I can’t complain.”
Like many brewery owners before him, Lee started out in the beer brewing world by experimenting with home brewing, hosting parties for friends, and drying out different techniques. Those parties were also where the Eddys first tested their wood-fired pizzas on a wider audience, deciding to add pizza to Sawyer’s menu as a complement to the brews.
“Pizza and beer was kind of the idea behind what we wanted to do,” said Lee. “I tried out brewing and just really enjoyed it. I’m more about the process behind the brewing than the science of it, but I just really like seeing what we can come up with.”
Though the brewery’s only been open since the winter, Lee hasn’t wasted any time in establishing Sawyer in the Spearfish community. A rotating menu of 11 beers characterizes the brewery’s drink offerings, and while some staples will remain, Lee hopes to switch things up on the tap menu every so often.Pizza, on the other hand, stays simple, he says. Customers won’t have to look hard to find a Margherita or All Meat pizza, but signature creations like the Potato and Popper also dot the menu.
While creating the menu was one thing, according to Lee, crafting Sawyer’s space was totally another.
“there’s a lot of steps in the process with starting any small business. it took a lot of patience, but i’m happy with how it turned out.”
BEERS ON TAP AT SAWYER BREWING CO.
» BEAVER SLIDE STOUT
» CHAINSAW SERIES 070 IPA
» COLD CREEK CREAM ALE
» GUNSHIP COFFEE IPA
» RIDGETOP PORTER
» SMOLDERING SCOTCH
“We wanted there to be a lot of conversation going on and for people to really take things in and enjoy it,” he said.
The brewery also has a patio looking out on nearby Spearfish Creek, a space Lee hopes will see its best days a the weather turns warmer.
“Spearfish is definitely a destination spot,” he said. “People come to the Hills from a five-state region, so we’re excited to start introducing more people to our beer this summer.”Along with participating in a number of beer festivals and hosting Sawyer’s own events in the coming months, Lee says he hopes to start distributing small batches of beer locally, establishing relationships with other brewery owners while still focusing on diversifying the Sawyer taproom.
“The best part of running the brewery is just having people come in and enjoy the space and what we have to offer,” he said. “That, and the compliments we get on the pizza and beer.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT SAWYERBREWINGCO.COM.