Sunday, November 30, 2014

Indepdendent's Day--Independent Ale House

The traditional definition of an ale house is a place where ale is sold and served or another name for a tavern or pub. Though Rapid City’s Independent Ale House fits this definition, it is definitely not just another tavern or pub. It is a unique environment, from food to drink, and a great place for all to enjoy.

Just one example of the unique and fun atmosphere.

Excited to enter the Independent Ale House.

Warm and modern surroundings. 

Some friends and I had the opportunity to stop at the Independent Ale House on a recent chilly afternoon. The atmosphere was warm and inviting as we entered and slowly made our way through the beer menu. It is no wonder it took us a while to read the beer options: there are 145 choices of bottles and 40 choices on tap. To say there is a brew here for everyone would be an understatement! There are the “usual suspects” (as the Ale House’s web site puts it) of beers like Bud Light and Coors Light. However, those who love unique and unusual beers are covered with pilsners, ales, stouts, lagers, bocks, and IPAs from around the world, primarily from small, independent producers (hence the name, “Independent” Ale House). There are even gluten-free options! The forty choices on tap are always rotating, so new selections are available, even for the frequent Indy guest.   

Feature board.

Beer board for the constantly rotating forty beers on tap.
 Of course, everyone knows beer and pizza are a natural pairing, and the Independent Ale House has this area covered as well. Fresh, hand-made pizzas are made to order with special options like Buffalo Chicken Pizza (with Buffalo wing sauce, chicken, and blue cheese) to daily menu options like Pizza Bianca (with alfredo sauce) and Three Little Pigs (with pepperoni, sausage, and bacon). These are just a few of the options that had the entire establishment smelling of mouth-watering garlic and cheese as we entered the building.


Now, most know beer is not my first choice. However, wine drinkers like me still have some excellent options at Indy. Though the list isn’t as extensive as the beer menu, it carries both by-the-glass and by-the-bottle selections, starting with a house red and a house white. Other whites include many varietals ranging from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay. There are even multiple sparkling and sake choices.  For reds, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and (my personal favorite) Pinot Noir begin the menu. Indy’s best night for wine drinkers would be Monday, when half-price wine is the special. During daily happy hour, dollar discounts are given on wine (and beer too).  

Of course, I went with an Oregon Pinot Noir!

 Yes, the Independent Ale House on St. Joe Street in downtown Rapid City fits the traditional definition of an ale house—it is a pub—but this definition does not go far enough to detail the food and drink opportunities offered here. Indy should be any beer lover’s choice for unique, quality beers, with almost 200 from which to choose. Plan to stay for a glass of wine or a house-made pizza. Independent-minded drinkers will be happy they did!

The place to go for the independent thinkers and drinkers--Independent Ale House.