The Unknown Brewing Co., one of the more recent breweries to open in the Charlotte area, will expand distribution into South Carolina’s Upstate beginning next month.
The year-old brewery, which is located in the shadow of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, recently finalized a distribution deal with Advantage Distributing and will begin sending product to the Greenville and Rock Hill areas beginning in early November. Statewide distribution could be completed as early as summer 2015.
Unknown Sales Manager Larry Suggs said the brewery has been wanting to expand into the state for some time, and now that their production schedule is flowing, they have the opportunity to reach across state lines.
“Our No. 1 goal is to get Charlotte beer out to more people, because we have such a great beer scene up here and we want to share that with more people,” said Suggs. Charlotte’s NoDa Brewing Co. and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery also distribute to portions of South Carolina.
Unknown opened their taproom in November 2013 and began brewing on site in February 2014. The brewery houses a 40 BBL brewhouse and four 120 BBL fementers, plus a 30 BBL fermenter for one-off and specialty releases under their Now or Never Series.
Launch events for both draft and packaged products will begin in early November throughout the Upstate, including meet the brewer events, tap nights and more. The initial lineup will include Unknown’s flagship 6.9% Over the Edge American IPA (available both on draft and in cans), 5.6% Head First Pale Ale, 5.1% No Shame Wheat and 4.5% Pre Game Session Ale. Their 6.4% Tele-Porter Coffee Porter will arrive toward the middle of the month.
Two of Unknown’s recent limited releases will also be available in limited quantities. Vehopciraptor, their 9.9% double IPA brewed with seven hop varieties, will be one, and their upcoming La Jornada del Escorpion en Fuego – a 10.1% Imperial Mexican Lager aged on tequila oak staves and brewed with agave nectar, Serrano peppers and food-grade scorpions (yes, real scorpions) – will also be available following its Nov. 9 release.
The Unknown family has been impressed and encouraged by the passion of South Carolina craft beer fans, said Suggs, and he thinks the brewery will be able to add a new twist to store shelves and tap lines.
“We’re definitely a unique brewery. I can’t think of a brewery in South or North Carolina who has our kind of culture,” he said. “And that’s what we’re trying to share: I like to think of us as more of a culture than just a brewery, and the more people we can have as part of that culture, the better.”