On Aug. 29, 2015, Full Spectrum Brewing Co. held its grand opening in 1,800 square feet in a business park off S.C. 160.
Little more than a year later, the brewery is planning a grand re-opening, this time in 6,000 square feet a few doors down from the original shop.
Fort Mill native and Full Spectrum CEO Charles Bergman cautioned his partner and head brewer Troy Bigelow about opening too large of a space last year. Bergman felt it best to start small, to determine whether Fort Mill was ready to support its first brewery.
“Troy makes one hell of a product,” Bergman said. “The response has been overwhelming. We got more support in the first three months than I thought we’d get for the first 12 months.”
“After the second month, I said, ‘We’re going to need some bigger vats,’” Bigelow said. “We’ve been maxed out since November.”
Not only have patrons supported the tap room, but local restaurants and bars also have been eager to serve Full Spectrum beers. Grapevine owners Melanie and Dave Sills, Hobo’s and Flying Saucer in Columbia have been big supporters. Diners at the Pump House restaurant in Rock Hill have a taste for the brewery’s Shamrock Stout in particular.
York County government has also been extremely supportive, Bergman said, with officials reworking and tweaking ordinances to ensure that the county is welcoming to prospective breweries and taprooms.
“York County has been amazing to work with,” Bergman said.
64,000 pints at a time
In the original brewery, Bigelow could brew 225 gallons of beer at a time. In the new space, he can concoct the company’s signature ales, IPAs, stouts and other varieties with a 30-barrel system. That’s 8,000 gallons – or 64,000 pints at a time, if you’re keeping track.
The new and improved Full Spectrum has a 37-foot bar inside its much larger tap room and space for lots of tables. A soft opening is today and the grand re-opening will follow Oct. 1. There are no immediate plans to prepare food at the brewery, but patrons can still bring in their own food to enjoy with their craft beer.
“The focus will still be all about the beer,” said Bergman
On tap will be the brewery’s flagship beers, including Infrared IPA, Shamrock Stout, Pale Blue Ale, Crimson Amber, Alabaster Cream Ale and Upstate Orange Wheat. The beers are named for light waves on the color spectrum, with a variety of beer “for everyone on the spectrum,” Bergman sai. Recent bestsellers are the Alabaster Cream Ale and Green Monstah IPA, a New England style IPA, “very sweet, not bitter,” Bergman said.
There’s coffee, too!
Coffee roaster and collaborative partner Forte Legato, based in Fort Mill, will begin roasting coffee in space in the back of the tap room. Bigelow used the roaster’s coffees in the Café Kolsch and Reaper Roast Ale, which is also made with Fort Mill-based Puckerbutt Pepper Co.’s Carolina Reaper peppers. The peppers are certified as the hottest in the world, giving the coffee-flavored beer a hot – but not too hot – afterburn.
Response to the spicy beer has been “shocking,” according to Bigelow and Bergman, and the beer will remain in regular production.
Bergman and Bigelow both remember their first craft beer. For Bergman, it was New Belgium Fat Tire, which he hated, but loved New Belgium’s 1554. For Bigelow, it was Genesee 12 Horse Ale. Both men got their start in the craft beer world with homebrewing and take pride in creating quality beer in Fort Mill.
“I want a beer that someone has put a lot of time, sweat and tears into, and I’m willing to pay more for that than every day mass production,” Bergman said.
Turns out, Fort Mill does, too.
Want to go?
A “soft opening” of Full Spectrum Brewing Co.’s new, larger shop is today 4-9 p.m. at 2180 Carolina Place Drive, Suite 101, Fort Mill (just a few doors down from its old location).
The new Full Spectrum Brewing Co. is holding a grand opening noon-4 p.m. Oct. 1 for its new, larger space. This event is free to attend, but pints are four for $22. You will receive four tokens for pints at the door that can be shared in any way you'd like. Individual pints will not be sold for this event. For advance tickets, go to eventbrite.com/e/full-spectrum-brewing-regrand-opening-tickets-27990522406
Hours are Thursday and Friday, 4-9 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.