Mon - Sat 3pm - 10pm
Sunday 3pm - 8pm
Don't take our word for it:
50 Best Nanobreweries in the US
50 Best Breweries in the States
Best Underrated Brewery in the State
A Renaissance in Rapid City
Before it was Rapid City, it was Hay Camp. This historical perspective is maintained at the tavern where commerce is held equal to community. Both being Rapid City natives, Karl Koth and Sam Papendick are the owners and brewers at Hay Camp Brewing Company. After graduating from Stevens High School, Karl moved to Minneapolis to earn a degree in Physics and Sam moved to Fort Collins to earn a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering (interesting how both locations are craft beer meccas). After receiving their bachelors degrees, they were reacquainted when pursuing graduate degrees from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
One evening at a local Rapid City ale house, they began talking about beer and homebrewing. Sam had a great garage and Karl had nearly 10 years brewing experience, so they began brewing beer in Sam's garage almost weekly. Equipment was accumulated, techniques were shared, and plenty of free beer was available for their friends. Karl was finishing his M.S. in Geological Engineering and Sam was in the middle of his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering when they decided to go legitimate. The LLC was formed in August 2012 and they entered the Student Governors Giant Vision Award contest, where they placed third, winning $2500.
It took nearly a year to find a suitable location, but they finally settled on an unused and beat up garage at the Fairmont Creamery (current location). After six months of renovation, the tavern opened January 1, 2014. The beginning was modest, with a 1.5 bbl brewehouse, a 42 gal Blichman fermenter, and two 1.5 bbl single walled fermenters, but their limited time and production complemented their limited overhead.
Karl received his Masters degree and began working at the US Geological Survey and Sam was still finishing his PhD, so the beer was brewed on the weekends and Friday was the only open night. In August 2014, two additional 3 BBL jacketed fermenters were installed, essentially tripling their production capacity. In January 2015, Hay Camp opened on Thursday nights, where they collaborate with Black Hills Vinyl for live music and bingo.
The patio opened spring 2015, which expanded seating capacity and overall fun. Patrons could play corn hole, country bucket, or just soak up the nice summer sun. In July 2015, they ordered a new 3 BBL brewhouse and expect the delivery late fall.
Long term, Hay Camp Brewing Company will remain true to it's Rapid City roots. The current plan is to move toward a 10 BBL production brewery and begin distributing to local drafts. Growth is iterative, however, so stay tuned for adaptation post perturbation.