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A True South Dakota Brew

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A South Dakota brew is hard to find. A South Dakota beer with ingredients grown in the state is even harder to find. But, Gandy Dancer Brewery has something new on tap, an India Pale Ale from the soil of South Dakota.


There are not many things smoother than a cold libation pouring into a glass and once that frothy head hits your lips, your cares melt away. But, the story of this beer starts well before a satisfied customer licks their lips after trying a new brew and before the golden amber liquid falls from an artsy tap. This beer's story starts on a farm near Valley Springs, South Dakota.


“We are one of four hop farms in South Dakota.


Anderson Hop Farm harvests four types of hops.


“Schnook, Nugget, Centennial, and Pearl,” said Janelle Johnson of Anderson Hop Farm,


Normally their hops head out of state or to western South Dakota.


“It's a new aspect of the South Dakota brewing industry, to use South Dakota hops and South Dakota yeast,” added Johnson.   


The yeast comes from a far less picturesque place; Union Labs and Testing.


Barry Bordewyk usually grows yeast for home brewers. After he and his partner noticed yeast mainly comes from the West Coast they opened a lab in Sioux Falls.


“We're moving it closer. So, it's fresher and they don't have to pay as much for it,” said Bordewyk.


South Dakota hops and South Dakota yeast lead to a beer named ‘Last Call IPA.’ 


Jerry Hauck owns Monk's in Sioux Falls and a new local microbrewery, Gandy Dancer, calls the bar's back room home.


And Last Call IPA, one of a hand full of beers marked by a railroad spike, is truly a South Dakota brew.


“As far as I know, this has not been done, where a beer brewed in South Dakota has used both yeast and hops from South Dakota,” said Hauck.


The journey of a Last Call IPA is a short one, with less than a few miles between field and taste buds. And that's why it stands out a bit more from the other beers at monks.

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