There once was an imposing castle on North Main... It belched coal soot into the air, but it produced barrels of beer by the thousands!
The brewery was built in 1874 (though details are sketchy on what it was called) by Knott & Nelson. By 1875, Nelson was wanting to retire and Charles K. Howard took an interest in his position. At this point the company was called G. A. Knott and Company, and the brewery was named The Sioux Falls Brewing Company. By 1885, they were cranking out 100,000 barrels of beer a year.
South Dakota adopted prohibition from 1890-1896 and from 1917-1918. The Brewing Company survived during this time as it was still able to produce and sell its wares to other states.
|By 1902 the Sioux Falls Malting company building was built (right). This facility produced the barley and hops for the Sioux Falls Brewery as well as others. In 1904 the new brewery was built across the street (left). Notice the tiny house in the bottom-right. I'm not sure if the house is full-sized, but the scale just doesn't look right to me. If it is, the buildings in the background are HUGE!|
In 1919, the 18th amendment made alcohol illegal to produce, import, export, or drink. That meant curtains for the Sioux Falls Brewing Company. The Crescent Creamery moved into the old building, attaching a huge crescent moon to the front of the building to make it their own. They delivered milk and dairy products to Sioux Falls and surrounding areas using horses until the 1950s.
|Crescent Creamery started up in 1912 and apparently provided grade C chocolate health food drinks to the masses. Grade C? Can you even get such dreck nowadays? I heard that once upon a time, they used to take the expired and nearly expired milk and turn it into chocolate milk. Is that where grade C health food drinks come from?|
|The Home of Crescent, the sign proudly proclaims. This picture circa 1927. Crescent Creamery was purchased by Foremost Dairy in 1953 which brought about suspicions of dairy monopoly in the area, though there were at least three other dairys in the area selling their wares to local consumers.|
The Malting Company building burned down in the 1960s. On October 10, 1987 the old Sioux Falls Brewery building burned down. Its imposing presence forever erased from the Sioux Falls skyline. Local hot dog vendor Clyde Twiggs was left homeless as a result of the Saturday morning blaze. He was out of town at the time. The investigation revealed the cause of the fire was arson. More on that as I discover it.
While I did live here at the time, I don't remember ever seeing the beautiful old brewery. It breaks my heart to have been ignorant of its existence and I'll be forever sorry I didn't get any pictures of it in the autumn of its life.
Page Updated: 04/11/2007
The Sioux Falls Brewery Co. picture came from Greater Sioux Falls, which Mark was kind enough to lend me.
Much of the info on this page was gleaned from:Still more was culled from:
and the Siouxland Public Library's Argus Leader on microfilm.