Growth is good, says Bill Neurohr, especially when it’s smart growth.
As the second anniversary of the Legal Remedy Brewing Co. arrives on Saturday, co-founder Neurohr faces the best kind of business opportunity – how to expand his Rock Hill brewery while making sure his thriving operation on Oakland Avenue is well-cared for.
“You don’t want to overextend yourself and have too broad of a region,” said Neurohr. “We’re trying to take a methodical approach to distribution.”
Legal Remedy has grown in leaps and bounds since taking over the site of the former Williams auto dealership, transforming the grounds into a 16,000 square foot campus that regularly serves 600 to 700 thirsty customers in any given day.
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Legal Remedy is expecting one of its largest crowds of the year Saturday during its “Beerthday” celebration. The party, which will include new beers just for the occasion as well as several bands, will last from noon to 11:30 p.m. Customers must be 21 years old or over, and there will be a $5 entry fee that includes a souvenir glass.
The brewery’s most recent addition has come in the form of two storage buildings totaling about 6,000 square feet, which have been constructed behind the main brewpub and brewery operations.
The first was a drive-in cooler constructed just months ago that contains much of the bulk products created by Legal Remedy and brewmaster Mike Krail. The relatively small facility contains about 65 barrels ranging from tequila, bourbon and whiskey, according to Krail.
The plan is to be able to house about 150 to 200 barrels by the end of the year, Krail said.
On the other end of the building are close to 500 kegs of beer. Given the popularity of the brewpub, Krail estimates that the entire room’s stock could be “turned over” or replaced within a period of five or six weeks.
“We’ve probably tripled in size from the beginning,” said Krail. “We’ll probably outgrow this facility by the end of next year, and have to either expand more or move to a new location.”
The latest addition is the most appealing for the brewery’s patrons: It’s a 3,600-square-foot packaging building that will house a canning line.
A canning line allows brewmasters to drain a 60-barrel tank (barrels hold about 31 gallons) into cans for distribution in about two hours, according to Neurohr. That way, Legal Remedy beers could be made available for sale at supermarkets or gas stations across the Carolinas.
The latest building was originally constructed eight weeks ago, and should be finished next month, according to Krail. Assuming Legal Remedy receives a certificate of occupancy to install the equipment, it’s possible that beer could be packaged by the end of the year.
Legal Remedy has a distribution network stretching to bars and restaurants from Clemson to Myrtle Beach, and from Charlotte to Florence, said Krail.
Earlier this year, Legal Remedy purchased space across Oakland Avenue, where The Varsity Restaurant closed its operation after nearly four decades in business. The restaurant’s lot is used as overflow parking, but Neurohr is entertaining plans to try to renovate the restaurant as a prep kitchen. Outside of that, he hopes to use the space as a way to sell other Legal Remedy merchandise for customers.
But the main priority is serving his customers beer, says Neurohr.
“We’re just trying to focus on making beer on site,” he said, “making sure we have all that we can for the brewpub as well as for the distributors.”
Want to go?
What: Legal Remedy Brewing Co. celebrates its second “Beerthday”
When: Noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: 129 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill
Cost: $5 entry for customers ages 21 and older (ID required). Patrons will receive a souvenir glass.
Live bands: Small Axe, Amigo, Sinners and Saints, Greg Ellis, Da Dang Fellas, Mr. Manager, The Loudermilks
Also: New Legal Remedy Brewing Co. beers will be released throughout day:
Beerthday Lemon Drop Double IPA – A new Double IPA to celebrate the second anniversary. Brewed with lemon drop hops that give this beer a burst of lemony citrus flavor and aroma. ABV 8.9% IBUs 61.2
Beerthday Grapefruit Pale Ale – A new pale ale recipe crafted by part-time brewer, Dave Rankin, with grapefruit peels and bold hops. ABV 7.6% IBUs 38
Sequestered Cucumber Saison – A simple Belgian Saison recipe brewed with fresh English cucumbers. ABV 7% IBUs 20.4
Anniversary Witness White IPA – An anniversary edition of LRB’s wheat IPA brewed with local honey and citrusy hops. ABV 5.5% IBUs 59.5
Cask Lemonhead Lemon Drop Double IPA – LRB’s Beerthday Lemon Drop Double IPA with crushed Lemonhead candy added to a cask. ABV 8.9% IBUs 61.2
Cask Badgered Witness Witbier – LRB’s Witbier with pineapple, papaya, guava and passion fruit added to a cask. ABV 6.56% IBUs 26.7
Bourbon Barrel Aged Spiced Ale – A spiced ale brewed with a special blend of grains, hops, honey and spices that’s been barrel-aged for six months. ABV 9% IBUs 19.1