Monday, May 26, 2014

Drinking in the Black Hills

Independent Ale House
625 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD

A couple months ago, while discussing the condition of gun laws in South Dakota, I had a friend comment that he was under the impression that the state gives you a gun as soon as you cross the state line.

Sadly, this is not the case in South Dakota, and my friend was greatly disappointed to learn this as well.

I have traveled to the great state of South Dakota more times in the last few months than I thought I ever would in my life.

Don't get me wrong, the state is beautiful. Well, at least the western part with the Black Hills.

Apparently there is a divide in the state: West River vs. East River. And apparently, these two worlds do not get along.

Personally, I still don't understand why there is a North and South Dakota, and why they can't settle their differences. It is like a Civil War due West that has never been settled.

Brother pitted against brother. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.

Anyway, back to the gun laws...

For a state as red as South Dakota and as many anti-government individuals living there, it shocks me how much work has to be done here.

Then again, it is a state completely run by Republicans, most of which are probably closet Socialists.

I could go on, but we aren't here to talk about the politics of South Dakota. Well, okay, kind of we are, but really we are here to talk about good food and drink.

And good food and drink is exactly what I got to experience at the Independent Ale House in downtown Rapid City.

After a day's worth of driving, I met up with a couple friends and already had in mind the plan to visit this establishment. I try to make a practice out of visiting any place that calls itself an "Ale House." Usually that is synonymous with "we serve good beer."

The place was pretty well packed. We ended up grabbing a few seats at the bar. Hanging above the bar was a giant chalk board, absolutely filled with an impressive list of craft beers from around the country. Giant chalkboards are usually a good sign. It means that they carry a lot of options and that those options change frequently.

The first beer I ordered was a Deschutes Black Butte Porter. This beer was delicious. Excellent malt character and good balance.

Of course, we didn't just come here for the beer. We came for food as well.

Independent Ale House is pretty one dimensional when it comes to food. They serve hand-crafted pizza.

Honestly, I don't mind the single dimension, so long as they do it well.

The menu is pretty unique, with plenty of specialty pizzas to choose from.

I went with the Althea, which came topped with Olive Oil, Fresh Garlic, Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta and other cheeses.

Strangely, I ordered a pizza without meat. What is wrong with me? I don't know, the combination just sounded wonderful, and it was. Thankfully, my friends bailed me out and gave me a slice of their pizzas which was topped with all sorts of meat, which was delicious as well.

After finishing my pizza, I noticed that I overlooked a beer on the menu from my home state of Michigan.

I couldn't believe it. Here out in the Great Plains, beer was being served from the Great Lakes State. I usually spot Michigan breweries no problem. Whether it is Bells, Founders, New Holland, etc., I am usually on my game.

Apparently, I am out of practice, because I was totally shocked to see a beer on tap from Dark Horse Brewing out of Marshall, Michigan.

And how great a name for this beer: Plead the 5th Imperial Stout.

Being that this was a higher gravity beer, I decided that it would be best to get a half glass.

It was wonderful and made me miss my homeland even more.

If you are ever in Rapid City, South Dakota, I highly recommend that you visit the Independent Ale House.

Good beer, good food, good night.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

No comments:

Post a Comment