Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thomas Creek Brewing Co. is growing, upgrading

Ten-year-old Thomas Creek Brewing Co. in Greenville, S.C., is running through an amazing expansion as we speak.

Within the last year, co-owner Tom Davis said, he added four new fermentation tanks with the capacity of 6,000 barrels of beer. He upgraded the brewery's bottling equipment within the past four months, moving its capacity from 18 bottles per minute to 49 bottles per minute.

Part of the expansion is due to contract work. Thomas Creek is brewing for Orange Blossom Pilsner out of Florida.

But the microbrewery has plenty going on with its own label - a logo change, for one thing, and a new graphic design for packaging. The first beer with the new logo and design went out Thomas Creek's door about four weeks ago. New t-shirts arrived at the brewery three weeks ago, and logo glasses arrived earlier this week.

Davis has also made small changes in the flavor profiles of his beers, but "nothing major," he said. He also decided to drop his multi-grain beer, but he has added an India pale ale and a porter.

Davis said his Up the Creek Extreme IPA - a 12-percent beer, separate from his standard IPA - will be released either in a four-pack or in a special corked bottle, tentatively in the fall.

Also for autumn, Thomas Creek is planning a "Trail Mix" variety 12-pack of the brewery's beers.

"Ten years," Davis said. "Slowly, slowly growing for ten years. Now we've reached what my father calls the tipping point." His father, Bill Davis, is co-owner.

For more information on Thomas Creek, visit www.thomascreekbeer.com.

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