Richard Drawdy, Head Brewer at Bank Brewing Company

From Left to Right: (Richard Drawdy - Head Brewer, Ryan Jensen - Brewer, Colby Reineke - Intern, Jon Koehler - Festival Hand)

From Left to Right: (Richard Drawdy - Head Brewer, Ryan Jensen - Brewer, Colby Reineke - Intern, Jon Koehler - Festival Hand)

Who are you and your current job?My name is Richard Drawdy and my current position at Bank Brewing Company is Head Brewer. We are a small brewery so my job involves a high variety of duties. I play a key role in the execution of beer production - everything from an idea for a beer to getting it made, branded, promoted, and into a package is within my realm of responsibility. 


What was the inspiration behind your brewery? I started brewing at home and my interest continued to grow beyond myself so I started to share with my friends. The beer scene was starting to grow in Brookings, a short drive from the Bank. My home town Brookings got its first Micro brewery in 2013. That early brew success lead to me creating a brew club the “Brew Kings”. That brew club is what landed me my job at the Bank in the beginning. Our concept is built on being unique and innovative to bring interesting flavors to this young market and teaching consumers that beer can be so much more. We’re known for our IPAs and sours. We have the Hop Lab series, which is our most popular, and we change the hops in it consistently in the spirit of exploration. So right now, we have Hop Lab White, which is all El Dorado hops. In the tanks we have Hop Lab Blue, which is all Citra. Then, Hop Bandit and Sour Bomb are always on.

Can you give us a tour of your beer scene? Well, half of Hendricks lives in South Dakota and a half, in Minnesota. The border goes right through the center of Lake Hendricks. We sell more beer right now in South Dakota than we do in Minnesota. To me, the coolest part about this whole thing is the comradery between the breweries. We have more new friends because beer has brought us together in the whole process. We share with multiple breweries everything we know and they share with us, and it’s been very cool to be part of that. It’s like we’re all growing together. 


One of the benefits that we’ve had is that we’re in an area where we were one of the first to start up so we are training many of the new brewers within a 100-mile radius. So, it’s all upside for us. Sioux Falls has added three breweries since we opened up. Brookings is adding another one. Watertown added a brewery. We got a new one in Montevideo. Granite Falls is adding a brewery. So, all these little towns, all that does is help build our area. Which is very cool.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery?

Be well funded, educated, and determined. Have creativity, kindness, and passion.