Brewery 85’s Barrel-aged Yeoman’s

Brewery 85 finally made the post I’ve been waiting months for:

Brewery 85 Bourbon BarrelsMy favorite Greenville beer in barrels of my favorite liquor?! This post deserves 5,000 exclamation points, but I’ll refrain.

Best of all, the wait is practically over: Dust off your growlers and stop by the brewery this Thursday, November 20th, from noon to 7 p.m. for a pour. Yeo-lovers can purchase up to 96 oz per day to take home. Dark Corner Diner will also be around for their final service at the brewery, so don’t miss this kick-ass beer and food!

Also, be on the lookout for more barrel-aged specialties from this new “Backwood Series” of beers.

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An Eventful October

Free this weekend? Or not free until next? No worries: There’s something to entertain your beer-loving spirit all month long.

NOMA Square, Oct 1-3
The second annual Oktoberfest brings beer, live music and German food to NOMA Square in front of the Hyatt. Keep in mind, this is a cash-only event.

Greer State Bank Greer Station Oktoberfest, Oct 4
A combination of local love and German celebration, Greer’s event features both artist exhibits in the midst German food, beer and music. Sip a beer from Warsteiner or Thomas Creek and join the festivities in downtown Greer.

Quest, Oct 11, noon-8 p.m.
Pair a new German beer with the Mechanical Owl food truck’s German food at Quest. Three bands will also be playing throughout the day, so you can easily pop in at your convenience.

Brewery 85, Oct 18, noon-5 p.m.
If you missed Leon’s Lederhosen Oktoberfest beer during it’s preview period, then you’ll get your first taste at this grand party. Expect a full range of beers, German eats, music and brewers in lederhosen.

Swamp Rabbit’s “Boo”ery Monster Mash, Oct 31
Who says Halloween is a kid’s holiday? Don a costume, sip a beer, and savor Good to Go food truck while you dance the night away to a DJ.

Thomas Creek’s Brewery Bash, Nov 1, 1-8 p.m.
Start preparing your costume now for Thomas Creek’s Halloween celebration. For $20, you’ll enjoy three pints, all-you-can-eat BBQ and beer brats, and music.

Saturday Beer Events x2

You have no excuse to be bored this weekend, thanks to a double dose of beer events:

Septembrew
What’s better than spending a Saturday drinking at your favorite Upstate brewery? Drinking at ALL of them! Swamp Rabbit Brewery in TR is hosting the first annual SC Upstate Septembrew festival to bring together Brewery 85, Thomas Creek, Quest, Blue Ridge and RJ Rockers, along with live music and food truck goodness. Grab your ticket now!

Swamp Rabbit Brewery Septembrew

Euphoria
This popular annual event may often be summarized as a food & wine experience, but they also have a beer garden. Get a ticket for Saturday’s big Tasting Showcase to pair local and regional beers with fabulous foods. Saturday night also brings Traffic Jam, a food truck rodeo with plenty of beer and booze for all. I’ll be at this sold-out event in Brewery 85 shirt, so come say hi!

euphoria

Craving some craft but not ready to commit to an event? Then stop into a tasting room for a few pints and a tour. I’ll be pouring beer at Brewery 85 from noon-4, so come try the new Leon’s Lederhosen marzen (in short supply!) and Doubtfire ESB.

Goodbye, American Craft Beer Week

How did you celebrate this epic week?

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I chose Quest for my first event, where I put in my vote for the Brewers vs Bartenders competition. The respective groups brewed their own beersan oak-aged Scotch Ale and a Black IPA. Did you try them? Which one did you prefer?

20140513-195438.jpgI also stuck around for the latest cask: an Imperial Stout with Granny Smith apples and bacon.

This was a big week for Quest, which launched a new app on Google Play to help you keep up with the brewery and also released the Ponce cucumber-jalapeno session ale. I wrapped up my ACBW with another visit to Quest, where I chose an Ellida hop-experiment rather than the new Ponce. I’ll be sure to post about it when I finally get to try it.

With a mid-week Fitz and the Tantrums concert down in Charleston, my local adventures were limited. I returned on Saturday to attend Brewery 85’s Wheatfest, the official release of the 864 Weizen. There is not question that Will McCameron and the Brewery 85 staff knows how to party. The lovely Darby Wilcox lilted for drinkers, while Bavarian Pretzel Factory kept everyone fueled for another round. This classic hefeweizen offers a gorgeous golden color and a nice effervescence, something drinkers will be craving on the brewery’s expansive patio this summer.

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Southern Pale Ale at Poe’s Tavern, Sullivan’s Island

Speaking of great beer and summer, I’m planning to visit in the coming weeks since Westbrook should be releasing Mexican Cake! If anyone hears an exact date, do share. Though my trip this week was brewery-free, I did at least get to sip something new: Freehouse Brewery‘s London 2014 India Porter, which paired well with my Tattooed Moose dinner, and Natty Greene‘s Southern Pale Ale. What a tasty showcase of Cascade hops! This Greensboro, NC-based brewer just began releasing in South Carolina earlier this year, so I’ll be looking for more in the Greenville area.

 

New Beers on the Way

It’s been a little too quiet around here partly because I’ve been working on some other beer-related projects but mostly because I’ve been busy blabbing on Twitter. Come say “hi” at @SCBeerChick! More posts are on the way soon, including a review of Greenville Growler Station’s Beer 101 classes (a new semester begins tomorrow!) and an update on the Stone Bill.

This past week has welcomed a number of new beer announcements. Here are a few of my most anticipated brews:

River Rat Brewery
As luck would have it, my Mother’s Day visit to Columbia this weekend will include a new beer! River Rat’s Lost Port Porter, brewed with Madagascar vanilla beans, hits the taproom along with live music and BBQ Bus.

Brewery 85’s 864 Saison
It’s a beer release and a party all in one May 17th. This Bavarian-style Weizen boasts a unique recipe, with German hops melding with Southern-grown ingredients.

Seminar Brewery
Florence’s first commercial craft brewery has finally opened its doors! I’ve been patiently awaiting Seminar’s beers since I first stated their work at BrewHaHa last fall. A beer road trip is in order!

Swamp Rabbit Brewery
Nichole is letting secrets slip (thanks!) and tweeted today that Ben Pierson is giving a nod to his Lexington Avenue Brewing days with his Raspberry White Ale. If you hear a release date, please share.
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Are you excited about any new beer release? Do tell in the comments!

Meet Brewery 85’s 864 Weizen

Brewery 85's 864 Weizen

Guess who got a little excited and drank 75% of her beer before taking a picture.

The first batch of 864 Weizen graced Brewery 85’s taps this evening with all it’s wheaty glory. Let’s not beat around the bush: it’s pretty damn good. Yeoman’s Brown Ale is still my favorite, but 864 takes a very, very close second.

And what’s up with the 864 name? With the help of Riverbend Malt House and SouthYeast Labs, Brewery 85 has produced a beer made entirely of locally sourced ingredients. It’s a taste of the Upstate!

I had a great time at the bar, chatting with a variety of Proterra employees, Meredith McCameron and Jeremy. Everyone at this brewery is so friendly; don’t be afraid to pop in alone for a pint.

Remember that lemony, one-off beer I wrote about tasting during the tour? Turns out it’ll be available at Brewvival this weekend as Sweet Tea Sour. Don’t miss this last chance to sip a unique beer!

Don’t miss another beer release from the talented Will McCameron and his new brewmaster, who starts next month. You can follow Brewery 85 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Untapped.

Brewery 85 Tour + Tasting

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Will McCameron’s enthusiasm was palpable as the tour began Thursday night. Six friends and I visited Brewery 85 to partake in the tour and tasting I won in a scavenger hunt last fall. This impressive brewery, set on a quiet cul-de-sac along an I-85 frontage road, is poised to be a major contributor to Upstate beer culture.

Will McCameron

“Don’t be shy–keep up!”

The evening began with samples of the three options on tap: Yeoman’s Brown Ale, Southern-style Pale Ale and Quittin’ Time Helles Bock, which will all be available at the grand opening on February 1st. I can honestly say that every beer we had that night was stellar. Yeoman’s is definitely my favorite of the trio, and it’s nigh impossible to choose a second favorite. The pale ale is very drinkable, with enough bitterness to tickle the pallet without being overwhelming. On the other hand, you just can’t beat a good bock.

With mason jars in hand, we walked around the bar to begin the tour. The brewery has a unique, open layout—you can see sip a beer in the tasting area and watch a new batch of beer being brewed.

Will shared a little about himself, including his homebrewing history and experience training in Germany. We even had the pleasure of meeting his friend Brandon, who trained with him. Will gave a very enthusiastic, but realistic picture of the efforts that go into brewing; it really is a job you have to work hard for! I loved his regular geek-out moments, which gave us insight into the science behind the brewing process.

Five of my friends are Clemson grads, so they were delighted to find that Will is not only a graduate, but also keeps the university at heart when planning brewery operations. His interns are Tigers, and at the end of the brewing process, he “recycles” his spent grain to a nearby Clemson alum who feeds it to his cattle.

Like Ben at Swamp Rabbit Brewery, Will has his eye set on utilizing local elements in his beer and business. He’s using local yeast and has plans to grow hops and an orchard on site. After showing off the large outdoor patio, which houses fire pits and promises beautiful sunset views, Will shared some of his bigger dreams of partnerships and programs that expand brewing education in this region.

Kegs and Bourbon Barrels

I spy bourbon barrels!

Back inside, we headed to the cooler, where a variety of kegs sat ready for Saturday. Will also pointed out a collection of barrels from Van Winkle, Heaven Hill and Knob Creek. Bourbon-barrel aged brews—as if I needed another reason to love about this brewery! I may have done a tiny, happy jig at the sight of these beauties.

We wrapped up the tour at the tanks again, where Will treated us to a taste of the very first beer he brewed. This golden, lemony beer, reminiscent of Shock Top’s Lemon Shandy or Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, was a hit; perhaps Will was convinced to try to replicate it.

As far as future beers go, Brewery 85 patrons can expect to see brews like Oktoberfests and an IPA later this year. The next release will be the (864) Weizen, an exclusive beer to this area.

In case beer alone isn’t entertaining enough, Will has grand plans for brewery events, including live music, game nights and food truck visits.

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Thank you, Will, for a fantastic tour!

Opening day celebrations start at noon on Saturday, February 1st, and run until 4 p.m.

The public is invited to this non-ticketed event; everyone may order up to three pints (per SC law), each at $5. Though cash is preferred, credit cards will be accepted. Pack a chair, a jacket and your good spirits for an exciting opening afternoon!

And if for some absurd reason you are abducted by aliens or enlisted by the government for a secret mission in Kazakhstan and miss the opening day, you can try Brewery 85’s first beers at Mac’s Speedshop, Liberty Tap Room and Barley’s. Keep an eye on the website for brewery hours to post soon.

Follow Brewery 85 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Untapped.

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A First Taste of Brewery 85

Tonight marked Brewery 85‘s retail launch, the first time their beers were available for purchase. I popped into Community Tap just after the 5:30 p.m. start time and found an enthusiastic crowd already imbibing!
Community Tap crowdThe chalkboard above the taps announced pour #1: Brewery 85’s Southern Style Pale Ale and pour #2: Brewery 85’s Quittin’ Time Bock.  I squeezed my way to the counter and asked for a sample of the pale ale.

This first brew poured a darker, amber color. The flavor was bitter, though on the milder side, and I almost asked for a whole glass before trying the next one. In the end, though, the honey-colored, wheaty bock won out as my glass of the night—and at 8.5% ABV, it made for a good single drink.

Will McCamaron I also got a chance to catch up with Will McCameron, who I haven’t seen since I won the Brewery 85 Scavenger Hunt last fall. Naturally, I can think of a lot of smart questions now rather than when I’m standing by him, but c’est la vie. He told me to expect these two beers plus a brown on opening date. I was intrigued to hear him say he’s not completely satisfied with these first beers, but it’s the kind of dissatisfaction you welcome from a perfectionist and beer nerd who is always hunting for something to improve his beer.

One drink down, I headed to Roost for DJ Trivia night. My first visit to Roost was a success: the trivia was fun, the food was good and the beer list had a lot of great craft brews to offer. I tried the Chocolate Rye Porter, from River Dog Brewing Company in Ridgeland, SC, but ended up ordering Lazy Magnolia’s Jefferson Stout after “sweet potato” caught my eye. This sweet potato flavor was mild, with coffee and chocolate flavors taking the lead.

Roost Beef MenuAlthough my team’s score plummeted by the game’s end, the drinks made up for some of the upset. I wrapped up the night with the rich, dark Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company.

All in all, this night was a rousing success for beer. I’m eager to try more Brewery 85 offerings and peruse Roost’s menu again.

Taproom Grand Opening at Brewery 85

I’m excited that my first real post on this blog is to share the Grand Opening of Brewery 85! The newest addition to the Upstate’s breweries, Brewery 85 is opening February 1, 2014, at Exit 48 off I-85.

Brewery 85

I met the founder, Will McCameron, back in September when I was the first person to follow the clues and discover the brewery’s location. Though I was only able to tour a shell of this future beer oasis, Will shared a few details of the big picture, which includes great beer, on-site gardens and orchards, outdoor drink space and a food truck area. Sounds like the perfect place to hang out with a pint.

Brewery 85 Taproom

Will gave me a tour of the in-progress brewery

Follow Brewery 85 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Untapped to learn more about their beer and opening day events.

Photo Credits: Brewery 85 website; Brewery 85 Facebook page