It’s about damn time.
For years, rumors have endlessly swirled about how Columbia, SC, would finally get its first full-fledged brewery. For too long, Hunter-Gatherer - which, don’t get me wrong, is fantastic - has been the only place in Columbia to get locally-brewed beer. Time after time, those in the know have said this will be the year the Capital City finally get a brewery all its own. And year after year, the rumors never came to fruition.
That finally changes in 2012.
Columbia’s Free Times has a story in this week’s issue about Conquest Brewing Company, the brainchild of Matthew Ellisor and Joseph Ackerman, the go-to beer guy at Green’s on Piney Grove. Details about the brewery are light for now, but here’s the gist from the article:
- The brewery will be located on Stadium Road, right next to Williams-Brice Stadium, the home of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. (Go Cocks!) That means the brewery will likely be a hot spot on game days.
- Equipment will be arriving in July, test batches will be brewed in August and the brewery itself - complete with a tasting room and growler station - should be online by September.
- The operation will be small, but with an eye for expansion. The initial three-barrel system will allow the brewery to supply local bars with beers and build up capital in hopes of expanding to a 15-barrel system.
- Three launch beers are planned: Artemis Blonde, Sacred Heart IPA and Brutus Stout. Experimental brews will be released under the Cyclops brand.
This is an exciting prospect for Columbia. For too long, Charleston and Greenville have been South Carolina’s big beer cities, and Asheville has overshadowed all as the beer city in the Carolinas. Conquest won’t change that overnight, but it’s a great start and will hopefully - finally - get the ball rolling on more local breweries. And while I don’t know Ackerman well, I know he knows his beers, and that gives Conquest a lot of promise.
Opening day - which I’ll certainly be at - can’t get here soon enough.