Mountain West Beer Festival 2023

Mountain West Beer Festival 2023

NOVEMBER 11, 2023


South Dakota’s largest beer festival fills a single afternoon with an insane number of brews and activities — with plenty of chances to say “hold my beer.”

With Mt. Rushmore’s four stoic busts looming overhead, the Mountain West Beer Festival, presented by Mr. Liquor, returns to Rapid City for a sixth year on November 11. Crowds pack Rushmore Hall resplendent in ten-gallon hats, bushy beards, cowgirl boots, and more than one T-Rex costume. During its four hours, you’ll have the chance to try beer from dozens of acclaimed breweries, from up-and-comers like Nebraska Brewing and Drekker, to seasoned veterans like Dogfish Head, Left Hand, and Sierra Nevada. But if the streams of bubbles floating about the hall are any indication, Mountain West focuses more on what has made beer an eternal component of human cultures: its social appeal. The name “conversation drink” doesn’t come from nowhere. 

This isn’t New York or LA, where hipster aesthetes may throw around words like “mouthfeel” and “finish.” Let’s be real. By your third or fourth sample, you’re hardly picking up on any hop-related subtleties or comparing the consistency of “heads.” Mountain West gets this, and holds open activities, such as corn hole, human foosball, and “beer yoga.”

Over 200 craft beers will be served by more than 50 attending breweries. Food trucks will line the venue hall, as well as higher-end options for VIP ticket holders, in addition to a private lounge. Mountain West Beer Festival is best be experienced by going whole hog and taking advantage of the lively atmosphere, before they have to “shut ‘er down.” 

The Specs

  • Rushmore Hall has a capacity of 4,700.
  • Tickets just went on sale on September 16th. 
  • Three ticket options are offered: Non-sampling cost $29.50; General/ Adult cost $66; VIP cost $92.
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to South Dakota here.


​​What is the closest airport to the festival?

The Rapid City Regional Airport is located a 15-minute drive (approximately 13 miles) from The Monument. 

What are the festival’s hours?

The event will run 1pm – 5pm. Early sampling access at 12pm for VIP ticket holders. “Beer Yoga” will commence at 2pm. Whiskeyfest Contest at 3pm.

Is there lodging nearby? 

The Howard Johnson By Wyndham is only a seven minute walk from the Mountain West Beer Fest. More information and promo offers may be found on the festival’s website. 

What is the bag policy?

Bags are subject to search, and policies are determined by individual event promoters. Mountain West Beer Fest does not provide any specific information as to its bag policy. 

Is the festival ADA accessible?

Yes, The Monument is ADA and wheelchair accessible, including parking, seating, and restrooms. Wheelchairs are available for guests, and further information may be found here.

What breweries will be participating?

The following breweries took part in 2022: 2 Towns Cider, A Homestead Brew, Anderson Valley brewing, B Nektar, Big Sky, Black Tooth Brewing, Blake’s Cider, Bolo Brewing, Brau Brewing, Breckinridge, Brewing Projekt, Brickway Brewing, Bud Light Seltzer, Central Waters Brewing, Cigar City Brewing, Cohort, Crow Peak Brewing, Dakota Point Brewing, Delirium Brewing, Dogfish Head, Drekker Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Empyrean Brewing, Eponymous Brewing, Fair State Brewing, Firehouse, Fizzical by Lupelin, Founders, Gruner Brother’s Brewing, Hairy Cow, Half Brothers Brewing, Hay Camp, Humble Bumble, Humble Forager, Kona Brewing, Jackson Street Brewing, Jacobs Brew, Jeremiah Johnson, Golden Road Brewing, Kros Strain Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing, Lakefront Brewing, Last Mile Brewery, Laughing Sun Brewery, Left Hand Brewing, Looks Brewing Co, Lost Cabin, Lucky Bucket Brewing, Lupulin Brewing, Miner Brewing Company, My. Liquor, Mt. Rushmore Brewing Co, Nebraska Brewing, New Belgium, Nutrl, Obscure Brewing, Odell, One Legged Pheasant, Oskar Blues, Phat Fish, Ranch Water, Remedy Brewing Co, Saro Cider, Sawyer, Schell, Schilling Cider, Shiner Brewing, Sick N Twisted Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Skip Day by Fernson, Smirnoff, Spearfish Brewing, Stone Brewing, Sturgis Brewing, Surly Brewing, SweetWater Brewing, Topo Chico, Toppling Goliath, Truly,  Vizzy, West O Brewing, White Claw, White Elm Brewery, Woodgrain Brewery, Woodland Republic Brewing, Zipline Brewing, Zymurcracy Beer Co. 


BY Sébastien Luc Butler