Our Story

Proud to be in the beer business for over 1% of it’s entire history

Civilized people have been ordering beer for more than 6,000 years. We’ve been serving them for over 60. So even though we’ve figured out quite a bit about the business, we still come to work like we just landed the best job in the world.

And you want to know a secret about Dakota Beverage? It’s not about what we do. It’s about why we do it.

Yes, we have statistics for you: a tight-knit family of 110 employees who take care of more than 1,100 accounts, 40 suppliers, over 300 brands of beer, thousands of refreshed customers all across Eastern South Dakota. That’s just proof we make good on our real passion: the celebration business.

It’s a calling we’ve answered with enthusiasm for quite some time now.

Dakota Beverage got its start in 1953, when a young entrepreneur named Jack Gores II was brazen enough to break into beer wholesaling, humble enough to make service his focus and sharp enough to go after premium products.

With just one brand in his warehouse, Blatz Beer, Jack established DB as a partner his customers could count on. It didn’t take long before he grew his product line to include brands like Schlitz, Schmidt’s and Heineken. Over the next 40 years, he continued to grow by adding premium brands and acquiring four different distributors in the region around Sioux Falls.

And we’ll tell you what, we love this guy.

As the years have gone by, Dakota Beverage has established itself as a leader in the import and specialty beer markets, as well as being a formidable adversary in the local domestic market. With over 300 brands representing 12 countries, Dakota Beverage has grown to become one of the most influential and successful distributors in the area.

The Next 60 Years

When Jack passed away in 2005, he left a 52-year legacy of relationships, service and passion for the obsessives who brew great beer and the people who drink it. With the company in the capable hands of his son John, who’d been working with his dad for over 30 years, the Dakota Beverage family kept chasing Jack’s dream. Just a few years later, John led the company’s fifth acquisition and the start of a new era of growth.

And that brings us back to why we’re here in the first place. One mission continues to drive us: wherever people are ready to have a good time, Dakota Beverage is there to make it happen.

And when it comes to pouring friends a cold one, we think a little decorum is in order: Here’s to our friends. Count on us to keep you well stocked.

Since we’re kind of big on history, we’ve got a good idea where we’re going. The way we see it, our job is to make people happy. Beer is a great way to do that. Whether you brew, drink it or sell it for a living, the people of Dakota Beverage are your Masters of Ceremony.


Jack Gores, Master of Ceremony, on the right. Note the smile on his customer's face.


Two generations, hundreds of thousands of customers, countless changes to lapel size, and one purpose: to make happy people.


Dakota Beverage folks and friends celebrating the introduction of Lagunitas beer in the Sioux Falls region.