Microbreweries coming to Bluffton

MicrobreweriesSouthern Barrel Brewing Co. recently broke ground in Buckwalter Place, where it is building its 12,500-squarefoot flagship headquarters. This is Bluffton’s first microbrewery. The state-of-the-art facility will feature a 10,000-square-foot production facility, a 2,500-square-foot tavern serving food and an outdoor beer garden.

The facility is slated to open in February 2015, with beer production starting before the facility opens to the public. Southern Barrel will begin crafting eight separate types of beer including lager, amber, IPA, stout and wheat beers. Once the facility is up and running, some of those beers will be aged in barrels formerly used to house bourbon, rum, tequila and wine.

The microbrewery is located in Buckwalter Place, next to CareCore National and Station 300. The location is central for regional towns and cities such as Hilton Head Island, Beaufort and Savannah as well as providing easy access for regional distribution.

Stewart Taylor, owner of Southern Barrel Brewing Co., said Bluffton’s progressive vibe was part of the reason he decided to locate his business here.

Microbreweries2“We researched several markets throughout the United States and decided we wanted to be in Bluffton,” Taylor said. “Bluffton’s unique, eclectic charm created the perfect backdrop for this new venture. And the fact that we’re able to work with such a welcoming business community, makes it that much easier.”

Taylor, who is based in Pennsylvania, has owned a second home on Hilton Head Island for the past 10 years. This is Taylor’s fi rst microbrewery, and he plans to hire about 10 people as the facility opens.

Taylor hired nationally acclaimed brewmaster Walter Trifari to lead Southern Barrel’s beer production. Trifari, an 18-year veteran in the microbrewery industry, was most recently the head brewmaster at Fordham/Old Dominion in Delaware.

“I am the business man, Trifari is the beer maker,” Taylor said.

“Hiring an award-winning brewmaster is the fi rst step to creating a successful brewery, and we couldn’t be more pleased Trifari decided to join us in Bluffton.”

Southern Barrel will feature a 2,500-square-foot tavern and an outdoor beer garden.

The tavern will showcase the kettles and fermentation tanks for the brewery. Visitors will be able to watch the brewmaster and his staff during the brewing process.

“Southern Barrel is exactly the type of company we want at Buckwalter Place,” Matt Green, development manager of Buckwalter Place, said. “It is a progressive, innovative, high-caliber establishment, which adds to the vibe of the business park and the town.”

Taylor said Buckwalter Place and the town of Bluffton rolled out the welcome mat for his company and that experience helped him select Bluffton as its location.

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka said she couldn’t be more pleased that Southern Barrel is locating here.

“Southern Barrel is a perfect fit for Bluffton; it’s a new company, which adds value to our economy and culture.”

Marc Orlando, Bluffton’s town manager, said this is another indicator that the town’s focus on economic development is reaping rewards.

“As a town, we are mindful to provide employers a streamlined process to do business here,” Orlando said. “We realize the craftbrewing industry is growing fast and on behalf of the town, welcome this new industry to our community.”


Salt Marsh Brewing is opening a microbrewery in Old Town Bluffton. The brewery will occupy the second floor of the Fat Patties burger restaurant set to open around summer. The brewery will have five beers available at launch but hopes to expand to 15 varieties. The beer will be served at the Fat Patties restaurant below and its outdoor beer garden. The beer will also be served at the Fat Patties location in Port Royal.

Owners eventually hope to bottle and can the beer for distribution sales.