Photo Courtesy of Falon MeinzerPhoto Courtesy of Falon MeinzerCourtesy Photo

Badlands Distillery expands with additional building in Kadoka

Badlands Distillery LLC is currently in the processing of adding an additional building to its main headquarters in Kadoka. Originally planned over three years ago, the building officially began construction in November of 2020 as a way of having a bigger outreach. 
The Distillery plans to finish the building in March if all goes well. The new building is another way the company is hoping to reach more customers. They also have been airing a commercial on RFD-TV, a national channel that focuses its programming on rural interests and concerns. As of five years from the date this article is published, RFD-TV is available in over 40 percent of United States households with television, approximately 52 million. 
Just this year, the Distillery patch sponsored a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Barrel Racer Jessica Routier. A Buffalo, SD native, she is a two-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier in barely racing. Her accolades include winning the Cherokee (Iowa) Chamber PRCA Rodeo, the Sheridan Saddle Club PRCA Rodeo (Plentywood, Montana), the Black Hills Roundup (Belle Fourche, S.D.), the Mandan (N.D.) Rodeo Days, the Eastern Montana Fair Rodeo (Miles City), the Catfish Stampede (Onida, S.D.) and the Sikeston (Missouri) Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo.
Product-wise, the distillery is available statewide. Plans are currently in place to have their product available in other states in the future. 
“We are hoping to add in a variety of new flavors as well as add in a line of ready to drinks that are going to hopefully cater to more the malt beverage drinking audiences with its lower alcohol content. Be prepared to hopefully be seeing quite a bit more about your favorite local distillery in the near future,” Falon Meinzer said.
For those unfamiliar with the local distillery, Meinzer is the manager of the business. The business started a few years ago when good friends, Mark Eschenbacher and Jim Herber, combined their distilling skills and general love of South Dakota to make Badlands Distillery LLC. They are currently half owners. Their team currently consists of Meinzer, Herber and Mark and Sandy Eschenbacher. 
The team received a $178,000 loan from the South Dakota Value Added Finance Authority (SDVAFA) back in 2015 to start the distillery. Jim Herber is a descendant of a prohibition bootlegger and is one of six distilleries in the state. Their company is the only one to use local grown grains in developing their products. Herber’s family had operated illegal stills during the prohibition years in the early 1930’s along Sears Creek in the Weta Basin, near present-day Badlands National Park. 
You may remember them from their efforts to combat the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. They had been receiving emails in late-March of 2020 about the possible use of making a disinfectant from their alcohol. With distilleries nationwide already making the decision to do so, it was relatively easy, especially with relaxed guidelines from federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shipments of the hand-sanitizer were soon donated to local nursing homes, banks and local government offices.
The formula for making the disinfectant used an 80 percent denatured alcohol base, with glycerol and hydrogen peroxide, ultimately following World Health Organization guidelines.
“Everyone was affected in some way by the pandemic and we were really lucky enough to keep in business and keep going with what we were doing,” Meinzer said, “But really, donating sanitizer to people who needed it was really reassuring.”
You can visit their website, to stay up-to-date on their products and news.

The Pioneer Review

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