The demand for craft beer has soared exponentially in recent years as the number of breweries operating in the United States has grown to over 7,000, but even with the upward trend it's still only small slice of the beer market.
"With the amount of breweries that are opening there is just a tremendous amount of excitement about the industry and even those 7,000 breweries that are opened up coast to coast we're still only looking at controlling about 13 percent of the market," said Jesse Scheitler, co-owner of Lost Cabin Beer Co.
"So even with those 7,000 breweries, it's still kind of a David versus Goliath kind of mentality out there and I think there is a lot of room for growth still. There are a lot of new breweries coming up that as long as you make quality beer there's room in the market for you," Scheitler added.
One of those new breweries, Zymurcracy, opened its doors in December.
"We're what’s called a three-barrel brew system," said Jay Waldner, co-founder of Zymurcracy. "A barrel is 31 gallons so we can brew 93 gallons at a time, but we do have a fermenter and a bright tank which we can double batch and move the beer in too, so we can brew up to 186 gallons in one day if we want to do that and we do that occasionally for some of our more popular beers. But we're pretty small in comparison to some other breweries. We think that gives us a little bit of an advantage in that we can brew in a lot of different styles quickly and try to move them out a lot quicker and always be talking to the customers and see what they want to have next."
It was a long time coming for this brewery to become a reality.
"We started this probably about over 10 years ago after we went to a home brewers conference and got excited when we heard about some professional brewers were speaking and talking about how to open up your own brewery."
So what does "Zymurcracy" actually mean?
"Zymurcracy stems from the Greek word zymurgy, which means the science of fermentation and distillation," said Waldner. "So we took the first part of that word and added the suffix like in democracy to create a group of people who are interested in the science and art of fermentation."
Zymurcracy is located on the south side of Rapid City on Creek Drive right off of Elk Vale Road. They boast a 2,000-square-foot production area and a 1,000-square-foot space for their customers to enjoy one of their many beers on tap like their American Rye or their Imperial Coffee Porter.
"We love having kid of an open concept to our brewery and making it inviting for people to come in. We don't necessarily have TVs in here per se to watch TV. We think it's kind of a community gathering place where people can come in, have a conversation, talk about anything they want with their friends, family, neighbors," said Waldner. "We even have some games for people to play some cards or games across the table while they enjoy a beer and just relax and kind of hang out and let down a little bit."
Sawyer Brewing Co. joins Crow Peak Brewing and Spearfish Brewing Co. as the newest brewery in Spearfish. In 2019, 1,000 more breweries are expected to open nationwide.
Reprinted by permission of KOTA TV.