Firehouse Brewing Co. turns 25



The Firehouse Brewing Company, South Dakota’s first brew pub, is the creation of a group of Rapid City locals who developed the idea of creating an onsite microbrewery after frequenting one of Denver’s downtown pubs. The idea was to return the building’s interior to its original fire-hall glory with the added feature of a brewery visible from behind glass enclosures. The new decor included polished brass and fire fighting equipment to adorn the walls, the bar,
and even the ceiling.

The Group of partners walked in the door with sledge hammers and crow bars in hand. The project, now a part of history, was completed 93 days later.
Today the Firehouse is a favorite with locals and tourists alike and features a brewery,an indoor restaurant and bar, an outdoor patio complete with band-shell for live music, a Theatre, a winery and a mercantile.




My journey at the Firehouse Brewing Company began March 15, 1995, as a cocktailing, bartending and serving job to put myself through college. After graduation in 1999, I was asked to join the management staff. Thanks to the Firehouse, I was able to enjoy my job while raising my daughter Sammantha who is 25 now, and happily married. She has blessed me with a beautiful granddaughter Kiera Lee and another grandchild is on its way.

The Firehouse has seen many changes and faces in the last 25 years. In addition to being South Dakota’s first brewpub, our restaurant has always provided great food and service. On our 3rd floor there was the crazy fun Fat Boys Beach Club, the silly fun Brew HaHa Comedy Club, back to crazy with the Big Kahuna and now the floor has matured into our quaint Firehouse Theatre. Our customers, investors and staff have become family to me. Many of my teammates are lifelong friends.

There are so many memories within these brick walls, from parties to weddings, to babies, tray racing down the Fat Boys stairs, dancing on the bar and even a close call with a fire truck and a swimming pool. Don’t forget about the jeep in Rapid Creek (always beware if Bob Fuchs tells you “this will be so much fun”). We have had our downs as well, the one that sticks out the most to me is losing a treasured investor, Mark Polenz. We miss him every day.

Looking forward to the next 25 Firehouse Brewing Company!!

Thank you for being a part of my wonderful life!!


Laura Whitney

Firehouse Brewing Co. Front of House Manager

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