South Dakota colleges, tech schools might get OK to distill spirits


PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - With America’s passion for micro-brewing and micro-distilling comes the need for educated staff.

But getting an education in brewing or distilling at a South Dakota school is a little tough when they can’t make the product. That’s where House Bill 1081 comes in, introduced in the South Dakota Legislature Thursday.

The bill would allow colleges and technical schools to produce up to 200 gallons of distilled spirits, malt beverage or wine each year; and use it in research as well as bona fide educational courses. Naturally, the students would have to be at least 21 years old.

The schools would also be barred from selling or donating the alcohol. It must be only for consumption as part of the class or research.

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology does have a beer brew course but it was conducted off campus at the Hay Camp Brewing Company in Rapid City. If lawmakers approve HB 1081 the school would be able to use its labs on the campus.

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