Put this one in the SC beer history books: Today – Wednesday, December 11 – Greenville’s Brewery 85 held its first brew day on its full-scale system.
After months of preparation and construction, the Upstate brewery today fired up its brewhouse and began production on its large system. Brewer Will McCameron has been brewing out of his garage but will now move operations into the brewery itself. Up first: Southern Style Pale Ale
A tentative grand opening day has been scheduled for January 18, 2014, and the brewery will likely be on hand at Brewvival in Charleston February 22.
Thomas Creek‘s ongoing expansion got a bit bigger recently as the brewery finally received a wealth of new brewing equipment, including four 120 BBL fermenters.
Located in the brewery’s new brewing facility, the massive new equipment will greatly expand Thomas Creek’s brewing capacity by nearly 3,800 gallons. And that’s not the end of it: The new brewing facility has room for a total of 16 fermenters of the same size. Additionally, the new kettle and exhaust system is now in place as well.
When all is up and running, the expanded brewery will be able to produce 25,000 BBL a year, with a maximum capacity of 65,000 BBL annually in the next five years, up from the original 60,000 BBL estimate. The expansion was scheduled to be completed December 1 but should now be finished in January.
Paste Magazine, the online music and culture publication, has picked Mount Pleasant’s Westbrook Brewing Co. as one of their top 20 best breweries of 2013.
In its best-of list for the year, Paste says the coastal brewery might “perhaps be the best young brewery in the US” due to its rise from regional favorite to national spotlight this year. They also tout barrel-aged Mexican Cake and Gose as reasons for the brewery’s growth in popularity.
Westbook’s in good company on the list, joining the likes of The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, Russian River, The Bruery and more.
You can see the full list here.
Mark your calendars: Columbia’s Conquest will release The Finisher, its highly desired 17.5% imperial stout, on Saturday, January 25.
Conquest has long-planned to release the massive imperial stout – brewed with brown sugar and honey and fermented with champagne yeast – around the time of its first anniversary. And after fermenting for a few months, the beer will soon be bottled and readied for sale at a special release party.
Due to state law, the beer cannot legally be sold on draft, so it’ll be released in 22 oz. bombers only. If you’ve been to the Conquest tasting room, you’ve seen the design for the label artwork (affectionately known as “Angry Jesus”) looming over the bar. No word yet on per-person bottle limits or how many bottles will be available.
The beer’s name comes from the eponymous track by metal band Oh, Sleeper. The brewery recently received approval from the band to use the song’s lyrics on the label artwork.
In addition to the release of The Finisher, Conquest will also debut its 10.5% Brutus imperial stout and possibly another unannounced new release. Plus, there will be a food truck rodeo featuring nearly every mobile food vendor in the Capital City.
Find more details about the event here.
Greenville’s Brewery 85 has come a long way since I first got a look at the place earlier this year. From a thicket of brush to a full-fledged brewery, development at one of SC’s newest beer spots has been moving along full steam ahead all year. And they’re confident enough in their progress to pencil in a grand opening date: January 18, 2014.
Tuesday evening, the brewery posted an update about its progress so far. In short, the first couple of batches will be brewed beginning next week and should hit the Greenville market soon after. While opening day isn’t set in stone, things are going smoothly enough to put a potential date out there. A tour and tasting schedule hasn’t been announced yet but will be announced once the brewery’s new website launches.
Greenville’s Community Tap will soon be relocating, although not too far from its current digs.
According to The Greenville News, the Upstate beer and wine store will be moving to a new shop just three doors down from its current home in the Stone’s Point shopping center. With the new store comes a 50% increase in space, a (future) outdoor seating area for about 30 people and the ability to begin serving food, primarily cheeses and other munchies suitable for beer pairings.
Inside, there will still be a 12-tap system for both beer and wine, but with the new addition of separate taps for ciders. Cooler space will also be expanded from three to six for more chilled grab-and-go options.
Expect the new Community Tap to open in January. Read more about the move here.
Looking to help donate to kids in need and enjoy some super-rare beers at the same time? Then you’ll want to head over to Holy City this Saturday, December 7.
This coming weekend, HCB will be hosting a toy drive in partnership with Debi’s Kids, a Charleston-based charity that helps collect Christmas toys to give to families in poverty. The brewery will be collecting unwrapped gifts and offering kids (or adults) the chance to have their picture taken on Santa’s lap.
And to bring out the kid in all of us, HCB is tapping some unique and rare barrel-aged offerings. The brewery’s Collision imperial stout has been aging in three different bourbon barrels: A Knob Creek barrel from Husk, Willet 21 Year barrel from Bottles and a Jack Daniels barrel from HCB’s own stash.
The event runs Saturday from 3-8 PM at the brewery. You can find more details here.