On a brief foray into South Dakota recently, I stopped by Dempsey’s Brewery Restaurant and Brewpub for lunch. I’d heard from a fellow beer blogger that they could be inconsistent, and my lunch definitely fell on a bad day for beer.
We tried their sampler to get a feel for their offerings, and I didn’t bother ordering a pint to follow with my meal. So, technically, I think it was more than a bad day. Three of the six beers I tried were running through dirty lines, the pale ale was nearly hopelessly hopless, the stout was thin at best, and all of the beers were flat. One of the two lagers seemed like the bad lines were masking a potentially good drinker, and the winner of the day was the red ale, of which my uncle ordered a pint.
The food was tasty, yet in small portions. Since their serving size matched their apparent grain bills and hop additions, I’d say these guys are trying to save cash by cutting corners. The experience suffered for it, and this is not the way to win repeat customers or good word of mouth buzz.
According to their website, the brewmaster was recently named South Dakota Champion Bagpiper. I’m not sure if his beers have won any awards.
This place had great Celtic character and tons of potential to be a wonderful local hangout, as well as an oasis for weary travelers, but beerwise, it’s not there yet.