We recently had the honor to host the Ale Riders Homebrew Club as they brewed a beer to mark their 20th anniversary. We would like to thank the club for all of their support year round and for letting us lend a hand during the brewing process. The recipe was a collaboration by many great beer minds – try The Ale Riders 20 Year Stout while supplies last at Firehouse Brewing Company.
The Ale Riders – South Dakota’s first home brew club – began of necessity. When the club was founded in 1995, Rapid City’s retail beer selection was meager and consisted primarily of domestic lagers. The idea was to create a better beverage through homebrewing, so the founding members (around 20 at the time) ordered malt extract and brewers kits from catalogs and set up shops in kitchens around town.
Craft Brewing is both an art and science and in the beginning there was much trial and error. Occasionally, beer bottles would explode or a skunky batch was created but with each new recipe new knowledge and techniques emerged. This knowledge was then passed on to fellow club members and the community grew. Throughout the years they have become a staple of Black Hills Beer Culture.
As of 2015, the club has grown to nearly 100 members and the benefits have expanded. In addition to brewing help and advice, members have access to beer equipment, discounted ingredients and invitations to multiple group brew sessions, picnics and camp-out events. Membership is $40 yearly and meetings are held on the second Saturday from September through July; all are welcome to attend.
Cheers to 20 years!