Swamp Rabbit Brewery planned for Main Street in Travelers Rest
- Wednesday, 24 July 2013
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – Plans for a brewery located on South Main Street in Travelers Rest are moving forward, and the owners of the future establishment – Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom – anticipate opening in late 2013.
On Wednesday, Ben and Teresa Pierson will sign the lease on the brewery's new home, the dark gray building that shares a wall with the former 24 on Main restaurant. Over the next few months, they will stay busy planning and renovating the space that was once the city’s post office and past home of Leopard Forest Coffee.
Once running, the brewery will feature a comfortable taproom where guests can sit back, relax and sip on American, European and seasonal ales poured directly from the tank. The beer variety draws from Ben’s training in American, English and German style brewing in companies everywhere from Portland to Munich.
And he's started a few breweries of his own, too. Ben estimates this to be their sixteenth and final location, as Travelers Rest joins a slew of twenty-five years’ worth of breweries across Greenville, Chattanooga, Roanoke and St. Louis, to name a few, that he has had a hand in creating.
"We got tired of the traveling," Ben explained. "It was time to do [brewing] for myself, so when I had the opportunity, I took it."
As a fairly small brewery, the Piersons foresee selling around 1000 barrels of beer a year in the new location; nevertheless, the duo has high hopes of attracting locals as well as visitors from all over to Travelers Rest.
"We’re not trying to be as big as Sierra Nevada," Ben said. "But people are definitely willing to travel for craft beer, so I have no doubts that the audience is there."
The inception of Swamp Rabbit Brewery, along with the opening of Copperhead Mountain Distillery a few doors up the street in March, perhaps underscores a deviation from the Dark Corner’s once-held reputation of law-breaking tradesmen and illegal moonshine.
"People appreciate the artisans that are in the area – I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard a bootlegger called an artisan or an artist, but they certainly are," said Ben. "Travelers Rest is ready for us, from what I hear. We will make a lot of friends because we’re gonna be making some good beer.”
The Piersons said they plan to open the Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom to the public in late November or early December. In addition to serving samplers, pints and growlers, the brewery, which will have an outdoor beer garden, will include daily tours of the indoor taproom.
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