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Hartford's Brewery Brewing Up Interest In Downtown Area

HARTFORD, S.D. - Breweries aren't just for big cities anymore. Here's a first look inside Buffalo Ridge Brewing, opening to the public Saturday in Hartford. 

Chris Tuschen started making beer when his family gave him a home brew setup several years ago. 

Since then, he's dreamed of this. Tuschen, along with his wife and another couple, Damon and Krystal Sehr, are behind Harftord's first brewery.

"We can hardly go anywhere without someone saying, 'You're with the brewery. We're so excited,'" Callie Tuschen said.

Buffalo Ridge's 80 ticket private party ahead of Saturday's grand opening sold out within hours.

"We want to expand into a bigger facility and hopefully distribute nationwide at some point," Tuschen said.

Hartford city leaders hope this new venture will brew up more businesses in the downtown area, and it seems to already be working.

"This brewery isn't even open yet, and we've already had businesses that are interested in moving downtown," Hartford Chamber and Economic Development Director Jesse Fonkert said.

That includes a boutique and a flower shop within the same block. A coffee house could also open soon. 

"It's important to bring businesses downtown because we can't build this infrastructure again. These central business districts are so important. If we don't revitalize them, they're just going to be torn down," Fonkert said.

Building up a downtown thanks to a brewery.

"We manufacture beer, but we want to be more than that. We want to be a gathering place," Tuschen said.

A gathering place that hopes to put Hartford on the map. 

Buffalo Ridge will host a grand opening celebration with food trucks and live music Saturday from 2 to 11 p.m. 

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