By Tony Kiss
The Greenville News
Surviving two years in the craft beer business is a pretty big accomplishment. You need great beer, loyal customers, an understanding of business and a lot of luck. Greenville’s Brewery 85 has made it to the two year mark, and this Saturday will celebrate at the brewery, 6 Whitlee Court.
Founder Will McCameron said that opening the brewery was “the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.” But the passage of the Stone Bill and the Pint Law by the South Carolina General Assembly made it much easier for breweries to survive, he said. The Pint Law lets breweries sell up to 48 ounces of beer to consumers in a 24-hour period. Before it was passed, breweries could just offer four-ounce samples. And the Stone Bill lets breweries get a food service permit and a retail permit and not have mandated limits on on-site consumption. Breweries also can have guest taps and sell wine.
With those legal changes, Brewery 85 and others in South Carolina were given a fighting chance to survive. In 2015, Brewery 85 took another big step as it began canning its beer for sale. It now has three canned beers in stores: Quittin’ Time helles bock, GVL IPA and Southern Style American pale ale. A fourth canned beer, Yeoman’s Brown, is about a month away. And at the brewery, any of the house draft beers can be taken home in a “crowler,” a growler type package that uses cans rather than bottles. The “crowler” has become extremely popular with customers, McCameron said.
Looking ahead, McCameron has a Chocolate Stout in the works as well as a double IPA. He also wants to tap into nitro beers – using nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide to produce a creamy silky texture. Brewery 85 is on a smooth path to many more anniversaries ahead.
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Photo Credit: Bart Boatwright.