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    'Semi-Viking' style Big Lost Meadery & Brewery breaks ground ahead of 2025 opening

    By Vanessa Carlson Bender, Sioux Falls Argus Leader,


    Big Lost Meadery is expanding and has chosen Sioux Falls as its second location. The new meadery and restaurant will be built facing the glistening waters of Lake Lorraine near Hyatt Place Hotel.

    A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday afternoon at the future site of Big Lost Meadery & Brewery and Ranch & Roost, a Gillette, Wyoming, meadery and restaurant.

    Opening remarks were given by Ryan Boschee, chair for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and regional vice president for First Interstate Bank.

    Owner Sam Clikeman spoke next, mentioning during the last year and a half, they have been searching around the country for their first expansion location, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Tampa, Florida, before selecting Sioux Falls.

    “This community truly is incredible," Clikeman said. "The vibrance of the hospitality industry, the vision for the future and its voracious growth is pretty special. It’s part of what drew us here. But, ultimately, the people here made that key factor in our decision. While this city is growing, you guys are still a small community, and you act that way.”

    Steve Van Buskirk, president of Van Buskirk Companies, said they had met with Cindy Monnin and Patty Vognild, daughters of Warren Friessen and Hilda Lorraine Hooshagen, of Freissen Construction Company, Inc., who shared their family’s legacy of “wanting to leave something better behind for the community.” Freissen Construction Company founded the lake project, and partnered with Van Buskirk in the 2010s to market the site for development. Van Buskirk Companies is co-developing the land for this project also, along with Friessen Construction.

    Sioux Falls council member Mark Zelberg, and Lawrence & Schiller CEO Scott Lawrence, also shared their enthusiasm for the project.

    The two-story structure will host about 140 people within its nearly 9,500 square feet.

    Guests will have the option of indoor or outdoor seating on multiple levels. The brewery will be on-site and the mead will come straight from Wyoming.

    Clikeman said the business will bring its “semi-Viking, mountain man, very rugged Wyoming cowboy theme,” with a distinct South Dakota flair.

    In 2007, Big Lost Meadery’s humble beginning took place in a run-down, remote cabin in Logan, Utah. Clikeman and his friend Ned Vasholtz started with brewing beer. Then a suggestion from a friend introduced the idea of mead, which Clikeman said he was initially reluctant about.

    After finding a honey producer in Montana, Clikeman ventured into making mead, which then fermented into Big Lost Meadery in 2014 and was eventually distributed nationwide.

    The cuisine of Ranch & Roost will feature “smash burgers, chicken sandwiches, hand cut fries, and much more,” according to its website. Clikeman also said they will be expanding the menu some for the Sioux Falls location, which will include chislic, a South Dakota staple.

    The project is anticipated to be complete in the first quarter of 2025.

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