Black Hills Pioneer

Sawyer Brewing receives $50K SERF loan

By Kaija Swisher Black Hills Pioneer

SPEARFISH — Another craft brewery is coming to Spearfish.

Sawyer Brewing Company, owned by Lee and Ali Eddy, of Spearfish, received a $50,000 Spearfish Economic Revolving Fund loan. They plan to open a brewpub and wood-fired pizza establishment in the Village at Creekside, a multi-use commercial development off of North Avenue, north of Creekside Elementary School and Creekside Estates. Pioneer file photo by Kaija Swisher

The Spearfish City Council Monday unanimously approved a $50,000 Spearfish Economic Revolving Fund (SERF) loan for Sawyer Brewing Company, owned by Lee and Ali Eddy, of Spearfish, who plan to open a brewpub and wood-fired pizza establishment in the Village at Creekside, a multi-use commercial development off of North Avenue, north of Creekside Elementary School and Creekside Estates. The loan would provide term financing for equipment purchases related to the brewery.

“This proposed establishment will complement Spearfish’s growing craft brew environment,” Kory Menken, Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) executive director, said.

The SERF program, a municipal financial resource created in 1992 and amended in 1993, 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2015, provides short-term, low-interest loans to manufacturers/service exporters expanding or relocating to Spearfish. There are no minimum or maximum loan amounts.

Menken explained that SEDC received a SERF application from the new entity on Jan. 10, and after reviewing it, SEDC recommended “that the loan application be approved in that the project satisfies the primary goal of SERF to complement funding sources from the private and public sectors, resulting in an enhanced and more fully developed economy in the Spearfish community,” the term sheet states.

The loan would be extended at a fixed interest rate of 5 percent per year, requiring monthly payments based upon a seven-year amortization schedule, and the loan will be secured by a shared second position on business assets (equipment, inventory and fixtures), and the personal guaranty of the borrowers, Menken explained.

He added that Sawyer Brewing Company was also approved for a $50,000 MicroLOAN from the South Dakota Development Corporation/Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

“My wife and I are excited to be joining the craft beer community here in Spearfish,” Lee Eddy said Tuesday. “Being from Spearfish, I am excited to start a business in such a neat location.”

He added that this is a new venture for the couple. He thanked the city of Spearfish and SEDC for their help with the opportunity, and he added that the hope is that the project would be underway and open for business mid-summer.

“SEDC is excited to welcome Sawyer Brewing to Spearfish as they will be an excellent addition to our growing craft brewing community,” Menken said Tuesday. “Craft breweries are becoming a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state, and national level. Small and independent American craft brewers contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 and helped to create more than 456,000 jobs. Spearfish’s developing cluster of craft breweries has the potential to serve as a strong economic engine for our community.”

The brewery would be the first business to utilize amendments made the covenants on the property.

In March 2017, Lee Eddy requested the amendments to allow for the on- and off-sale of beer and/or wine, which would allow for the brewpub and pizzeria. The Spearfish School Board and Spearfish City Council approved the amendment in April 2017.

The covenants, which prohibit the sale of on- and off-sale alcohol; adult video/book stores or similar facilities; nightclubs/strip clubs; sale of firearms/dangerous weapons; shooting ranges; sale of tobacco/tobacco products; heavy industry; and facilities for housing or processing animals, were part of the original sale of the property in 2009. Johanna Meier Della Vecchia sold property to the Spearfish School District and the city for the school and open space, and covenants were placed on the entire property, including the Meier ranch area that was later sold to Spring Creek Ranches, LLC, and is currently being developed as the Village at Creekside.

In 2014, the city and school district also amended the covenants to allow the sale of alcohol in a properly-licenses restaurant facility, creating an on-sale full service restaurant liquor license. That license price was set at $130,000.

Lee previously told school board members that that license wouldn’t fit the vision for the brewpub/pizzeria.


Spearfish Brewing Set for Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting

SPEARFISH, S.D. – Spearfish Brewing is excited to announce the opening of a brewery and taproom in the heart of downtown Spearfish at the intersection of Jackson and Main. This brand new space will offer patrons indoor and outdoor seating in a modern taproom space where they can enjoy locally crafted beers from more than a dozen classic American and international styles and a flavorful pub menu built for sharing with friends and family.

A highlight of the taproom will be a huge window that allows beer drinkers to see the brewer crafting their beverages on a beautiful new American made brewhouse. Brewmaster Nathan Venner explains, “American Beer Equipment from Lincoln, Nebraska has built us a stainless steel 10 barrel (341 gallon) two-vessel brewhouse with the capacity to brew up to 3,600 barrels a year.” The process begins with a state-of-the-art carbon and nano water filtration system that allows the brewmaster to create beers using a water profile specifically “built” to highlight the flavors in each style. Another unique feature to this new brewery is a pair of horizontal lagering tanks that will allow Spearfish Brewing to craft clean and clear amber and light lagers. According to Nathan the vision of Spearfish Brewing is to create an “honest American brewery that produces clean, consistent lagers as well as classic American craft styles like IPA and stout.”

Our brewmaster, Nathan Venner, is a Pierre native who draws on his 11 years as a commercial brewmaster and 13 years in the brewing industry in Laramie and Lander, Wyoming to give this new venture a solid foundation. In addition to the classic lager beers this brewery is built around, Nathan plans to recreate some of his favorite and most acclaimed beers from his years of brewing like a classic American wheat beer that has earned him numerous awards including two silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival, an award-winning rye beer, and a seasonal chili beer that Nathan brags, “won medals at the North American Beer Awards for seven consecutive years.”

The brewery will also have a pilot system to brew small amounts of creative and experimental beers that will be available only at the downtown Spearfish taproom. “We really want the pilot system to be part of the community,” says Nathan, “we want to invite local homebrewers and those who want to learn into the brewery space” and “use the pilot brewhouse as an educational tool.” Other community oriented events are also in the works, and Spearfish Brewing is excited to get involved in city events and festivals throughout the black hills. “Community is important to all of us at Spearfish Brewing,” says Nathan, “and we hope to promote community events in downtown Spearfish.”

Spearfish Brewing has received ongoing support from state and local economic development organizations and will be part of continued efforts to bring tourism and commerce to the local economy. “The craft beer industry has seen substantial growth in South Dakota, especially in recent years,” said Commissioner Scott Stern, Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). “Taprooms like the one Spearfish Brewing is opening is a lucrative business where tourists and locals alike can enjoy craft beer in a unique environment.” “Spearfish Brewing Company will be an excellent addition to our ever-growing business community,” said Kory Menken, Executive Director of the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC). “SEDC is pleased we were able to help play a part in bringing this exciting project to fruition.”

Food will be available in the taproom, featuring a “gastro-pub” menu created by chef Kyle Smith from the adjacent RedWater Kitchen. The family friendly taproom will also have a selection of locally produced non-alcoholic beverages on tap. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. MST on Thursday, February 1st and regular business hours start on groundhog day, February 2nd. Spearfish Brewing beers will be available on tap at local bars and restaurants by summer.

Spearfish Brewing would like to thank the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation, the Spearfish Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, our partners at Black Hills Community Bank, Pioneer Bank and Trust, GPNA LLP, and the Spearfish community for their continuing support and enthusiasm for our business and the South Dakota craft brewing industry. We would also like to thank the local contractors and tradespeople who built our brewery: Hemeyer Enterprises, Dakota Electric, Johnson Plumbing, Culligan of the Northern Hills, Black Hills CO2, Rasmussen Mechanical, Forcoli and Sons Painting, Baete-Forseth HVAC, Triangle D cabinetry and millwork, Hurley-Anderson Drywall, and Stadler Industrial.

SEDC Names Laine Mitchell as New Marketing & Administrative Coordinator

The Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) announces its selection of Laine Mitchell as its new Marketing & Administrative Coordinator. Mitchell will assist SEDC with their mission of growing the Spearfish community by bringing her skills and experience to the team. Mitchell will be responsible for administering office operations and supporting SEDC’s marketing strategy and implementation.

A Black Hills State University graduate with a Bachelors in Business Administration, specialization in Marketing, Mitchell brings with her skills and experience in promoting businesses with a passion for economic and workforce development.

“We are extremely happy to welcome Laine to SEDC,” said Kory Menken, SEDC Executive Director. “Her talent, enthusiasm and fresh perspectives will be assets to our organization.”

Most recently, Mitchell served as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator of B9Creations, LLC in Rapid City, SD.  In this role, Mitchell was responsible for the creation and implementation of marketing strategy, managing customer experience and relations, and coordinating events.

Mitchell stated, “I am delighted to be part of the SEDC team and represent Spearfish’s growth and opportunity. Through education, volunteer work, and work experience, I have developed a great determination for assisting and promoting businesses and in turn stimulate economic growth and attract jobs for our community.”

Embarking into 2018, Mitchell joins Kory Menken, Executive Director of SEDC, and Larry Klarenbeek, Special Projects coordinator.