Last Monday was an absolutely perfect day to take a day trip. Where to you ask? Asheville? Morganton? Nope…we ventured to Lancaster, SC.
From where I live in Charlotte it is a straight shot down Hwy 521. Once you pass through Ballantyne and Indian Land the landscape starts to change and farm land appears.
Roughly 55 minutes later you are in downtown Lancaster. At one glance you can tell this town has history and potential and I loved it from the moment I hit Main Street.
Tucked in downtown on Main Street is The Craft Stand, Lancaster’s first craft beer destination. The Craft Stand is owned by Don and Brandy Geraghty. I met Brandy at one of my Charlotte Girls Pint Out events and was immediately ready to go and visit their new shop. These two are true craft beer lovers and trust me they are ready to share the knowledge they have with the town. While we were there kegs were being kicked and new beer was put on immediately.
I asked Don about how the town was receiving their new business and he said:
THE WHOLE TOWN HAS REALLY BEEN ACCEPTING.
Not only does The Craft Stand carry bottles and cans for your beer fridge at home but they also have 24 taps of fresh craft beer. Don explained to me that he would like to have 18 out of those 24 being North and South Carolina beers. The tap list is creative and they have a beer for just about everyone. I had the Palmetto Brewing Company Huger Street Wheat IPA and it was delicious. If you are not a beer drinker they even sport a root beer tap.
The Craft Stand doesn’t serve food but never fear they allow outside goodies and the restaurants near them are more than happy to help you with your take out needs. I hear there is a great hot dog place that I need to try.
After a beer and great conversation, Hubs and I ventured down the road to Benford Brewing. The brewery sits off of the main highway and down a side road, you may actually think your GPS has once again gotten you lost. Once you see the metal sign with the brewery logo turn into the driveway.
Benford Brewing is literally on the land that owner and brewer Bryan O’Neal lives on. There is no shiny tap room but there are local people enjoying great beer sitting on picnic tables. Bryan has created a laid back spot for people to come by, take a deep breath and relax. You literally grab your beer in the same space that he brews it in. The equipment is all right there and it is truly impressive.
Benford Brewing creates bold, beautiful beers. Many are familiar with The Problem Solver (an Evil Twin Collaboration). I’m waiting for Sweet Tater to make its appearance around town, it’s the perfect fall beer with the sweet potatoes adding a sweetness that plays well with the hop and malt profiles. While we were there I got to snag a little taste right out of the tank and it was awesome reinforcing why it’s such an amazing beer.
Every once in awhile it truly pays off to take the road less traveled. I was so happy to see the craft beer community spreading out with people enjoying and appreciating all the effort it takes to brew great beer.
My advice is take a Saturday head to Lancaster, SC. You will not be disappointed. Tell Don and Brandy I sent you for a pint.