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Firehouse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firehouse Brewing Co.Firehouse Brewing Co.
BA SCORE
85
very good

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.01%
Active Beers: 25
Beer Ratings: 156
Beer Avg: 3.4
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

601 Main St
Rapid City, South Dakota, 57701-2735
United States
phone: (605) 348-1915

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Mitchster:
Photo of Mitchster
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%

I found the food to be particularly good (I had some sausage plate and was absolutely stuffed). Sitting upstairs on the top deck was relatively quiet and smoke-free during lunch-time. The homemade birchbeer was excellent with unlimited refills. The beers were tasty, with a reasonably priced sampler of 6 for $4. The quality of the brews were average to good. The waitress I had was very friendly, good-looking, liked to chat with us, and prompt with our service. I would go there again if in the area.

Mitchster, Aug 30, 2003
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4.44/5  rDev +19%

tomiles, Sep 24, 2014
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4.12/5  rDev +10.5%

sfdragoon, Sep 03, 2014
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2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

WoodBrew, Aug 21, 2014
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4/5  rDev +7.2%

jplopez21, Aug 20, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Adrial, Jul 13, 2014
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2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

juicebox, Jul 07, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

ItsYourBoyBlue, Jul 07, 2014
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4/5  rDev +7.2%

heytomcat, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Mothergoose03
3.58/5  rDev -4%

This was stop #39 for my wife and I on a 21-day pub-crawl from Michigan to N. CA and OR. We stopped in town for an overnight on our trip home, and pre-planning caused us to know that there was a brewery in town. This place is located in the downtown are in a former fire station (hence the brewery’s name), and the interior was decorated in old fire-fighting antiques, etc.

It was a Friday night and the pub was busy, but we were seated right away. We ordered a sampler flight of all 9 of the beers that were available to go along with our dinner. Each of the beers was brewed to style or slightly better, and two Amber Ales that were on tap were the most notable. None of the beers fell into the exceptional category, but overall, the beers were very good.

Our food was also very good, so this place has the real deal with good beer and food, and those are two very good reasons to stop here.

Mothergoose03, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of vwbus7
5/5  rDev +34%

vwbus7, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev +7.2%

DarthKostrizer, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of elkinbrown
3/5  rDev -19.6%

elkinbrown, May 19, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Hopheadjeffery, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of kgrichards
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

kgrichards, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of jonnyconndor
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

jonnyconndor, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of cbcrunch
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

cbcrunch, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of The_Last_Crazy_Person
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%

Quickie review: I genuinely believe this to be one of the best experiences and most worthwhile stops in all of South Dakota. After 3 years of living in South Dakota and dining/drinking at the Firehouse I am in love with everything about this place. I am so grateful to have such an extraordinary brewery right down the road while I am so far from home. If you like good food, great atmosphere, amazing service, and some of the best damn craft ales you will ever have then this needs to be on your list for your visit to Rapid City.

Full Review:
Atmosphere: The Firehouse Brewing company is literally the former firehouse for rapid city converted into a restaurant. The firefighter theme is carried throughout the restaurant from the miniature firefighter taps to the patches from real firehouses around the country posted around the walls. Inside, the bar dominates the first floor surrounded by high tables with some standard seating in the back. The second floor is all classic dining seating if you prefer a more "civilized" dining experience. It also provides a great view of the bar area below. There is also a large outdoor dining area if you prefer to sit outdoors. Two firepits and an assortment of torches provide extra atmosphere and a stage often offers live, local music.

Quality: I could go on and on about the quality of food however it would be simpler to say that I have never had a meal at the Firehouse that I did not thoroughly enjoy and to my knowledge all of my friends/family I have brought there have had the same experience. They brew their own beer in house for the beer snobs and offer a selection of common domestic beers and hard alcohol in case you need a clear indicator of which members of your group are intellectually unfit and/or communists (because who else would go to a craft brewery and not order their craft beer?). Any criticism I have of their beers is a matter of personal taste and in no way a question of quality.

Service: I love the staff at the firehouse. As a regular, most of them know me by name and vice-versa. All of them are very friendly and professional. You may occasionally get a waiter in his/her first few weeks of training that is still learning the ropes however I do not feel this is a representation of the overall quality of the service. If you find yourself attending on my recommendation, ask for Jon and tell him "Mug #8 recommends the Swarthy Beaver" and he'll know who sent you.

Selection: There will be food you like at the Firehouse. Their menu covers the entire spectrum from salads to steaks to Mexican to burgers. I have taken many people to the Firehouse and not one has complained of not being able to find something they like. The beer selection varies from week to week however you can always expect at least 6 and as many as 9 of their craft beers to be on tap. The selection is drawn from their list of approximately 20 regular beers as well as a wide assortment of extras that come and go with the seasons and/or the mood of their brewmaster. The Firehouse is primarily an ale brewery though it does offer a selection of wheat beers, porters, stouts, and other styles to augment their Ale dominated selection. Lagers are rare but not unheard of, however even a Lager drinker will find something else they like on their diverse list of beers. My personal favorite is an English Pale Ale called Swarthy Beaver followed by an American Red Ale and Firehouse namesake called Firehouse Red.

Food: I believe I inadvertently covered this topic under "Selection" however I will reiterate: You WILL find something you like at the Firehouse.

Value: Expect to pay $40-$50 for dinner for two. Firehouse Brews run at $5 a glass. Appetizers at $5-$8, entrees at $10-$16 ($20-$25 if you want steak), and desserts at $5-$8. I have always found both their food and beer well worth the investment.

To wrap this up quickly: I highly, highly recommend the Firehouse. If you find yourself in Rapid City for any reason make an excuse to go.

The_Last_Crazy_Person, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Nohair989
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%

After having passed no less than 5 or 6 billboards complete with retired fire fighting equipment along side I-90, we decided to stop for a beverage (or two) and lunch. Firehouse Brewing is located downtown; which made parking a bear even for a Tuesday afternoon.

The food was great! The Fire Caps are a must have. My bison burger with cream cheese and jalapenos was perfect. The rueben sandwich was large enough for two people.

I had the chance to have four pints during our excursion. The Rubia Cremosa (Mexican Blond Ale) was ok, but nothing to write about. The Chukkar Ale, 620 B.C. IPA, and the Strong Scotch Ale were all very good. The scotch ale in particular was well worth the stop.

Happy Hunting!

Nohair989, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of einman
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%

In town with the family for a vacation from MN and was a little wary after reading some of the reviews on BA. I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised, I did the sampler and there was one or two of the eight that I didn't care for at all but the rest were good to great. I thought the Chukkar was good and the porter was good too. Food was excellent for us, would definitely return if in western SD again.

einman, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of FightingEntropy
2.38/5  rDev -36.2%

As one of the only brewpubs in South Dakota, I've had Firehouse Brewing on my list for a long time. I love the concept of a place built in an old firehouse, but the love affair ended there. BA reviews are lukewarm at best and it seems like beer isn't necessarily the primary focus when looking online. With a fair amount of experience researching breweries, I've started to get a pretty accurate feel for a place ahead of time. Plus, the guys at Monks in Sioux Falls said that I could find better places in Rapid City. While part of the fun is being surprised, my beer-sense was spot on for this trip.

As a walked into Firehouse at 8 pm on a Sunday night, it was full to the brim and had a waiting list. I hawked a seat at the bar after 15 minutes of lurking about and ordered a sampler of all of their beers. Inside is clearly an old firehouse and a great brick building with a stamped tin ceiling in spite of the TGI Friday's decor.

The four ounce samples in low ball glasses were generous, but I didn't finish many of them. Smoke Jumper Stout lead the pack with a drinkable smoked stout, and Smokin' Betty, another smoked beer but an amber this time, was a close second. But the rest dropped off precipitously.

The bartender was friendly and helpful, but the sampler had no order or place mat to keep track of the beer. I wrote down the beer names from the white board on the wall behind me and re-ordered them with the bartender's help to match my notes.
Firehouse is a classic tourist trap brewpub in the vein of others I've been lured into before. In heavy touristy areas, my theory is that the beer suffers because there are no/few locals to serve and the quality falls as a result. Oblivious tourists will eat and drink there no matter what, so no reason to improve--just keep serving it up. We experienced this at Oak Creek Brewing in Sedona, Arizona a few years ago on a trip to see our niece Regan. And, I repeated the optimistic error at Estes Park Brewing outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, another pub where the traffic is to the detriment of the beer, just a few days before my stop at Firehouse.

At Firehouse, the menu boasts the best food and brew in the Black Hills; I don't know about the food, but head to Spearfish and Crow Peak for the best beer in the area.

FightingEntropy, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of Seanibus
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%

Nice atmosphere - an old firehouse done up very well, with lots of fire department patches,fire memorabilia, and general fire-related doodads. There is an attractive downstairs bar and a fun upstairs balcony. The problem is that the food and beer is merely OK - an amber wheat that was buttery and thick and a brown that was dull and conventional. The beer selection is paltry - just four selections the night I tried it - and of merely passable quality (two wheats, a stout, and a brown. Nothing to write home about). The food is passable but unimaginative - a cobb salad that is, well, just a bunch of lettuce with stuff piled on top, a grilled cheese that is just a grilled cheese, and a buffalo stew that felt processed. The service is wildly enthusiastic, but not knowledgeable (I asked if at least one of the two wheats on draft was "an American wheat" and the waiter looked stricken, stammered, and replied "well, yeah, we brew them here." Which is true, as far as it goes).

This place is far better than the chain places out by the highway, but not worth a pilgrimage.

Seanibus, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of chodez
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%

Mediocre food and poor beer quality really stand out. The atmosphere is better with friendly servers and good service, also the patio makes a nice place to hang out in the warmer months. I understand this place is highly tourism based but the beer is just really not very good, summer or winter. I think I've managed to drink just about all the beer they have to offer and the best I can say is the red ale is fairly drinkable at times. Most of the beers are lacking in some way or another, either body/carbonation or hops/malt. And it isn't cheap by any means. For better beer in the black hills, go to Crow Peak.

chodez, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of tbrink
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%

Stuck in a Rut
Once upon a time, the Firehouse was the only place in the western half of the state to experience craft brew, which was a pretty big deal for beer lovers. Over the decades they've relied and coasted on that status for a long time. I feel like they could use an infusion of new energy and ideas.
They have a mug club for $25/yr which entitles you to happy hour prices for beer and appetizers plus one free beer a month.

Their food is decent yet fairly conservative, and the attempts at doing something different are varied. their fish tacos are good, but i would steer clear of the ceviché. i heartily recommend their gorgonzola ale soup and their beer bread, along with their buffalo burger and their grilled chicken sandwich. If you want really good food, the Colonial House restaurant & bar is the place to go.

But you're not reading this because you love to hear about pub food, so let's get to the point. They usually only have 3-5 beers on tap, and that's on a good day. I was there on 01//0/11 and they had Firehouse Red, Moose Drool and Boulevard wheat on tap, which was very surprising since I've never seen a beer on tap there that wasn't made in-house. Apparently they ran out of all of their beers over the weekend and made a special purchase of the two commercial kegs.

Sometimes it feels like the brewmaster is just phoning it in. The same four beers are offered--chukkar, smokejumper stout, wilderness wheat, and firehouse red without much variation. However, right before Christmas they snuck in a fantastic russian imperial porter, and i was very glad to have been able to get a growler of that ($13) before it was gone.

I read that they are branching out and developing a winery in addition to the brewery, so maybe that's where the brewmaster's attention is being held. Maybe this will prove to be the infusion of new life that they need.

As a local, I go to the Firehouse at least once a month (I gotta get my free beer!) and have been a regular for at least a decade. I would recommend going in the Spring or early Summer--the brewmaster tends to get a little more creative and offer some decent seasonals. During the winter, you'd be lucky to see twenty people inside after the dinner rush, even on a Friday or Saturday. They have promise, and i genuinely wish continued success for them, but i have to admit they've risen to the highest level of mediocrity and are comfortable with that.

tbrink, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%

Located right in downtown Rapid City, this brewpub sports two interior levels and a definite firehouse theme.

You can see the entire brew room through somewhat cloudy windows that run the entire length of one side of the pub.

The food is typical bar fare with a few stand up items. The execution of the dishes is lacking but, hey, it's a bar.

Sadly, they never seem to have more than 3 beers (all their own brand) on tap.

The ales are good but nothing really stands out. The Smoke Jumper Stout is good. The Chukkar Ale is nice. The Firehouse Red is really drinkable.

The service always seems friendly indoors or our with the exception of the two young teenagers who always stand at the entrance. I assume they are hostesses but you literally have to spell out exactly what you want in slow, single-syllable phrases otherwise you are doomed to a stare-off with vacant expressions that cannot be beat.

I am glad this place is here to at least give microbrewing a foothold in Rapid but it is not a destination on the beer map by any standard.

ForWhatAlesYou, Dec 17, 2010
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Firehouse Brewing Co. in Rapid City, SD
85 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.