Rows and rows of craft beer cans boasting fun graphics and quirky names, shelves of wine shoulder to shoulder, and a flask designed to look like a sunscreen container can only mean one thing: Fort Mill has an adult candy store.
Technically, it’s a craft beer and wine store, but The Tipsy Barrel owner Hitesh Patel has his shiny bar taps and inventory arranged in a way to invoke all the right emotions of a 21+ kid.
The Tipsy Barrel is a beer and wine store and bar nestled between its sister store, The Tipsy Bottle, and Charanda of Fort Mill, on Carolina Place Drive across from Baxter Village. Patel also owns the liquor store The Tipsy Bottle, and he wanted to also open a place that could offer craft beer and fine wines to customers.
“People drink when times are good and drink more when times are bad,” Patel said with a smile, explaining why he left the construction business for the alcohol business in 2008-’09 after the mortgage crisis hit. Patel and his wife, a pharmacist, and their two children live in Rock Hill. When Patel decided to open The Tipsy Bottle six years ago, he wanted to find a storefront in Fort Mill because he saw strong growth with no end in sight.
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Patel started to see another growth trend soon after – and that was craft beer. When the space next door to The Tipsy Bottle became available, Patel saw another opportunity. He initially planned for it to be a retail store only, but then he thought, “Why not have a place to drink, too?”
As a result, the bar has 12 taps with a steady beer rotation and is able to send customers home with growlers. So far on the retail side, The Tipsy Barrel sells 120 craft beer varieties. The shop also offers 150 variations of wine and a gift shop area, where customers can pick up a sunscreen flask.
“You can take it anywhere you go!” Patel explained.
Open since March, the store attracts an after-work crowd, Patel said – people who want to relax with a cold beer after a day at the office. Customers can smoke cigars or bring their dogs to the patio, and Charanda and Empire Pizza will deliver dinner to those who are hungry.
Speaking of hungry, Patel said he is adding a kitchen at the end of the month; the bar will offer light fare: cheese, crackers, olives, hummus and naan, as well as Panini sandwiches and soup.
“A sandwich, soup, and a pint of beer will be great for the fall,” he said.
“Also, we will have the perfect dessert.”
Patel went on to describe alcoholic root beer floats with ice cream flavors such as bourbon chocolate, mocha moonshine and peach moonshine.
The Tipsy Barrel also offers fun events and specials for the community, such as tap takeovers and wine tastings. Recently, the shop hosted a charity event for a Fort Mill child with cancer, and they were able to raise more than $6,000 to go toward the family’s medical bills.
Starting now, Tuesdays are nights where veterans, police officers and service members, current or past, can get 10 percent off of their bar or retail purchase at The Tipsy Barrel. This will pare well, Patel said, with the half price house wine night on Wednesdays and 10 percent off for everyone on “Thirsty Thursdays.”
Bar manager Tim Sharp, who has been in the beer and wine industry since 1978, said being part of the community is what makes his job fun. He said he enjoys “talking to people, communication with customers, and getting to look at beer all day long!”
Melissa Oyler: email@example.com @melissaoyler
Want to go?
The Tipsy Barrel is located at 1504 Carolina Place Drive, Suite 111, Fort Mill
Open 11a.m.-8 p.m.(ish) Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.(ish) Friday-Saturday, and closed Sunday
Tuesdays: 10 percent off for veterans, police officers, and service members, current or past
Wednesdays: Half price house wine night (House wine is Trinity Oak varietals)
Thursdays: 10 percent off for all customers
Saturdays: College football games shown