International Beer Day shines a light on local brewers

Brewer talks history of craft beer

“Every day is beer day with us"

Evan Smith
August 02, 2018 - 6:01 pm
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Ben Pierson, owner of the Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom in Travelers Rest, plans to celebrate international beer day by doing the exact same thing he’s always done.

“Well, I mean every day that we’re open, we’re celebrating beer,” Pierson said. “So every day is a pretty good day.  But for international beer day we’ll do what we do every day, which is talk to people about beer, drink beer with them, and just enjoy the fruits of our labor.”

That labor first began when Ben’s wife and business partner Teresa gifted him a hobbyist home brew kit back in the early 1980s. This was in the very earliest days of craft breweries and brew pubs, back when few people were making their own beers – and even fewer were doing it well.

“But now we’ve seen this huge growth not only in the number of breweries, but in the number of people who can actually make good beer now,” Pierson said. “I started out officially in ‘88 and there weren’t very many people that knew much about beer. Everybody was learning the hard way I guess.”

“That’s no longer the case,” he added, “because now you’ve got a lot of really talented people all over the country, and they take it seriously.”

We may be hungover from our big anniversary party yesterday but we’re still celebrating today - it’s our brewmaster, founder, & owner’s birthday today! Come wish Ben a happy birthday & Sunday Funday with us! #scbeer #gvlbeer #swamprabbitbrewery #travelersrest #yeahthatgreenville #craftbeer #mmmbeer #drinklocal #thatswhatwelike

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Craft breweries in particular are a unique economic success story in America, having helped to transform communities left devastated by the flight of manufacturing jobs by creating a new, locally sourced industry. Pierson said today with more than six thousand craft breweries operating across the country and more than $68 billion contributed to the US economy, we’re witnessing a golden age of craft beer.

“I’d say it’s never been better,” Pierson said. “We’ve had some spikes and declines along the way since the early 80s when it all started, back when the very first commercial home brewery and brew pubs opened up, so it’s come a long way. With more than six thousand breweries and I don’t know how many employees, it’s just a fantastic amount of talented brewing people – great people to work with.”

Taproom Trivia tonight at 7! The Groovy Dawg will be with us tomorrow night for dinner. Then Saturday, we have the Low Country Boil starting at noon followed by the Groovy Dawg for dinner. Sunday, @thegravytrainsc is with us all day. So c’mon out, the weather is beautiful! #scbeer #gvlbeer #swamprabbitbrewery #travelersrest #yeahthatgreenville #drinklocal #eatlocal #localmusic #craftbeer #mmmbeer #lowcountryboil #thinkwhileyoudrink

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As for International Beer Day, Pierson said he tries to make every day his own beer day.

“We’ll be celebrating, as we do every day,” he said. “So if you come in, you want to drink beer and talk beer, we’re glad to talk to you.  Beer is what we do.”

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