Columbia breweries bounce back from COVID-19 with expansion, stability

Press

2/18/2022
Sara and Greg Middleton, whose family is known for upscale and entertainment-focused restaurants, like The Grand on Main and Main Course, have plans to open a new 66,000-square foot brewery and entertainment complex on North Main called Peak Drift.

Sara and Greg Middleton, whose family is known for upscale and entertainment-focused restaurants, like The Grand on Main and Main Course, are bolstering the brewing scene, with their newly-opened Smoked, an oyster bar, restaurant and microbrewery on Main Street.

They also have plans to open a new 66,000-square foot brewery and entertainment complex on North Main called Peak Drift. It will be the state’s largest capacity brewery, with 25,000 barrels, according to Jason Snyder, director of sales and operations.

The brewery will have spaces for people to try drinks and socialize, a packaging system that will allow them to can and label their own drinks for distribution and the ability to make beverages besides beer, like hard ciders and seltzers.

Peak Drift will be the first brewery in the North Main area since Cottontown Brew Lab, which has remained closed throughout the bulk of the pandemic.

Peak Drift joins 95 other breweries that operate across South Carolina. Across the country, the number of craft breweries has risen steadily since 2016 and hit an all-time high in 2020, according an annual production report from industry group the Brewer’s Association.

The expansion and growth of the industry are all positives for those involved, brewers said.

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