AUGUST FEATURED BREWER
BEN’S BREWING CO.
Thirsty? With Ben’s Brewing Co. in Yankton, draft and craft beer lovers alike always have some place to go. The brewery, taproom, and full bar are open every day. As Heckel says, they stray from the norm of following different style guidelines, starting with an idea for the final beer and working backwards.
“We feel like it’s a good business model to have people know that we’re always open,” said owner Ben Hanten.
Aside from changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the local staple is open 365 days a year.
Hanten said, “If it’s Christmas Day, if it’s the Fourth of July, we’re here. And we take pride in being open until 2 a.m. and being a place where people never have to guess if we’re open.”
Ben’s Brewing, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary July 3, is a decently small operation, brewing out of a two-story 1880s building with a basement.
“We exist out of a really small budget, and so I think that we absolutely make the most of what we’ve got—the most of our space, the most of our time, the most of our staff,” he said
Each of the three levels of the building is home to a different function. The basement houses a walk-in cooler as well as the five-barrel brewing operation, where they can produce about 150 gallons of beer.
The second floor is home to the speakeasy, The Copper Room, which Hanten says is a space for mixology and meetings. Open Wednesday through Saturday at 5 p.m., the space typically hosts events like dinner clubs, trivia nights, vinyl nights, comedy shows, and more.
And on the main floor, the “high-end dive bar” welcomes sports fans with TVs playing anything from baseball to football to golf. Plastered on the wall and on coasters is the brewery motto: “Good people drink Ben’s beer.”
“We just take that to mean that there are a lot of cool and interesting people who walk into this space,” said Hanten.
Peering into the future, Hanten says that he has recently secured more land and hopes to create a full-production brewery in the future.
He left off, “I would float out a goal of 2021, but we’ll see what happens the rest of this year.”
Milkshake IPA | ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 45
The Watermelon Genius is an IPA with Centennial, Dakota Challenger, and Citra hops with watermelon, vanilla bean, and milk sugar.
Take a look at what other tasty brews are being served up around the state.
MINER BREWING COMPANY
Fruited IPA | ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 56
SEVERANCE BREWING CO.
MIDWESTERN MILKSHAKE W/ MANGO
Milkshake IPA | ABV: 6.6% | IBU: 44
WOODEN LEGS BREWING COMPANY
Vanilla Kolsch | ABV: 5.1% | IBU: 24
SAWYER BREWING CO.
Stout Ale with Cocoa Nibs, Milk Wugar, & Marshmallows | ABV: 5.9% | IBU: 25
A HOMESTEAD BREW
BARREL AGED KEY LIME SOUR ALE
American Wild Ale | ABV: 4.5% | IBU: 8
BUFFALO RIDGE BREWING
Belgian Wit with Blood Orange | ABV: 5.1% | IBU: 20
SKIP DAY SPIKED SELTZER
Fruit Punch Hard Seltzer | ABV: 4.3% | IBU: –
REMEDY BREWING CO.
Dakota Common | ABV: 4.7% | IBU: 31
LOST CABIN BEER CO
Sour Milkshake IPA | ABV: 6.3% | IBU: –