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The Knuckle Brewing Company Crafting Brews with South Dakota Flavor

Friday, July 18, 2014

An already popular South Dakota bar is likely to increase in popularity as its owners set out on a new venture to open a brewery. The Knuckle Saloon of Sturgis will cut the ribbon on its newest venture – The Knuckle Brewing Company – July 23 at 5 p.m. MDT. The Knuckle expects to add 10 jobs to the Sturgis community when the brewery opens.

Since 2000, The Knuckle Saloon has become a destination hot-spot during the annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™. The Knuckle, which features everything from live bull riding to concerts to a restaurant, has 12 full-service bars and employs almost 40 people year-round and almost 200 during rally season.

But one venture The Knuckle Saloon hadn’t dabbled in was a brewery. In 2011, dreams of a Sturgis-based brewery began to emerge. Earlier this year, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development helped make that dream a reality with financing from the SD Works Program.  “It is always rewarding to see our programs help South Dakota businesses grow,” said Pat Costello, Commissioner, Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Pat Kurtenbach, president of the Sturgis Economic Development Corporation, shares Costello’s enthusiasm. “The Knuckle Brewing Company promises to be another attractive draw for locals and guests as part of our community’s downtown revitalization efforts.”

To understand why the Knuckle was interested in expanding to add a brewery, you need to look no further than owner and manager Bryan Carter. “I saw the direction and success of other breweries in South Dakota and decided in 2011 it was time to take my company up to the next level,” Carter said. “We wanted to start a business that would not only be a good fit for Sturgis and the rally, but a company that would help our community grow and prosper. Not just during the rally either, but year-round.”

So later that year, Carter and his business partners put their heads together and started moving forward with their research. As a starting point, two other regional breweries helped fuel their interest which later turned into their passion. “What we ended up discovering was that this was a much larger task than we anticipated,” Carter said.

But that didn’t stop Carter and his colleagues from moving forward. During the next couple of years, Carter and his colleagues traveled to Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming to tour other breweries. “With each brewery we visited, we learned a little more,” Carter said. “And each one was different. Each one had something special, something almost personal, so we knew when we got our brewery up and going that we needed to stay true to our South Dakota roots. Ultimately, we needed to stay true to The Knuckle Saloon’s reputation.”

And then, The Knuckle Brewing Company was born.

During that time, The Knuckle Brewing Company hired Andrew Maguire as the company’s head brewer. Not only did he enhance the research and planning of the future Sturgis brewery, but he also had a background as a home-brewer, and always hoped for the opportunity to become more involved in a micro-brewery.

“It’s been a long journey and we’ve learned a lot along the way,” Carter said. “But we’re happy to announce we’re up and running and ready to serve our customers some quality Knuckle-crafted beer.”

The Knuckle Brewing Company, located at 918 2nd St., will host a grand opening following the annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™. More information on that event will come later.

For more information on The Knuckle, visit www.theknuckle.com or call Bryan at 605-347-0106.  For more information on GOED financing programs, please visit www.sdreadytowork.com/finance.

Media Contact

Members of the media requesting more information should contact Natalie Likness at Natalie.Likness@state.sd.us or (605) 773-3301.