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Firehouse Brewing Co.
Active Beers: 14
Beer Ratings: 76
Beer Avg: 3.31
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
601 Main St
phone: (605) 348-1915
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Reviews by nickd717:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Yes, I am reviewing the Firehouse in Rapid City, SD and not the one just down the street from me in Sunnyvale, CA, which I haven't yet been to. Stopped here during a cross-country road trip. Solid place, although the beer is not very exciting. Their brews sort of pander to the ignorant masses, but oh well, it is Rapid City. I wish they had more than four on tap when I was there - that was a little weak. The brown cow ale and stout were solid. They also served a pale lager that was very bland and macro-like. Food is pretty good. I had a cheese-covered buffalo steak. It just doesn't get much better than buffalo and beer. Prices are reasonable and service is good. Nice decor. Lots of firehouse paraphernalia.
10-19-2009 16:45:00 |
More by nickd717
More User Reviews:
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$
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.
08-31-2012 02:01:43 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
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.
04-05-2011 04:26:12 |
More by Seanibus
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Mediocre food and poor beer quality really stand out. The atmosphere is better with friendly servers and good service, also the patio makes a nice place to hang out in the warmer months. I understand this place is highly tourism based but the beer is just really not very good, summer or winter. I think I've managed to drink just about all the beer they have to offer and the best I can say is the red ale is fairly drinkable at times. Most of the beers are lacking in some way or another, either body/carbonation or hops/malt. And it isn't cheap by any means. For better beer in the black hills, go to Crow Peak.
04-01-2011 17:40:31 |
More by chodez
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
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.
01-12-2011 17:32:00 |
More by tbrink
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $
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.
12-17-2010 18:49:28 |
More by ForWhatAlesYou
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3 | $$
I stopped by this bar on a trip with the family to Mt Rushmore. The premise is really cool. The bar is built in an old firehouse and has a lot of fireman decor in the place. I went with my wife and two children. We had to be seated upstairs away from the bar and tvs because all the tables downstairs have stools and I was told that was a liability for children. It was disappointing that there were only 4 options of beer on tap. Smoke Jumper Stout, Brown Cow Brown, a Pale Ale and a Wheat. I was hoping for some type of Oktoberfest or other seasonal since its that time of the year. I started off with The Brown Ale. It was under carbonated and had a sour note to it. I asked for a sample of the Stout and Pale Ale. The Stout was way over smoked, and the Pale ale was completely unbalanced with the hops. Both were also under carbonated too. I think this place is more focused on the food and atmosphere then it is on its beers. I did take a fireman hat to wear out (free) but decided against getting a shirt or hat.
10-24-2010 17:14:55 |
More by Klute
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
On my cross country trip we stopped in Rapid City, South Dakota. The atmosphere here was nice, food was good too. I think the service could have been a lot better. First of all the menu had different beers then what they had which was confusing and the waitress didn't help too much. Seemed like she had a bit of an attitude. The beer was good though. I probably wouldn't go back though. Even when I went on here the current beers weren't what was there when I was there. Kind of a problem with that
10-09-2010 01:11:18 |
More by jeffjeff1
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Stopped in Firehouse Brewing Co on a Saturday night (July 3rd) around 6pm, prior to dinner at the Corn Exchange (highly recommended). The relatively high beerfly rating gave me hope this would exceed expectations, but alas, it did not.
the place was buzzing with people in for an early dinner and probably escaping the 100 degree heat. There were a bunch of kids running around in firemen hats, who we dodged on our way to the relatively empty bar area.
the tap selection was very underwhelming - 4 taps : IPA, firehouse red, cow brown, and a wheat. I tried all but the wheat, and the firehouse red was the best of the bunch.
We didn't eat, but everyone else was - menu looked pretty standard for the area with lots of sandwiches, burgers, and buffalo-fare
If coming through the area of the Badlands/Black Hills, it's worth a stop, but don't detour too far and dont come in with high expectations.
07-06-2010 14:01:57 |
More by dirtylou
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Like most other reviews, I stopped here on a cross country trip as well. I think an important thing to mention that if Firehouse were in you neighborhood you'd love it and go there pretty often. Seeing that it's in South Dakota and if you're like most visitors "passing through" then it's a diamond in the rough. I think this was my favorite stop from Chicago to Seattle.
Atmosphere was live music and dinner outside on patio in the great fresh mountain? hills? air. From what I remember msuic was good, beer was above average, and food was great. I had/recommend the jumbalaya. Soooo good!
Not super cheap but not to bad either. Where else you gonna go Subway??
PS Rachel Ray stopped here on a TV show on the Food Network and got me to go. Not a big fan of her but she was right with this place. (maybe the first time Rachel Ray has been mentioned on BA? and I hope the last, sorry.)
04-17-2010 01:08:41 |
More by klink40
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Firehouse Brewing Co. in Rapid City, SD