Three weeks after a brewery and pizzeria opened on Stuart Street downtown, it got the go ahead on Friday to serve beer.
Baker & Brewer opened in late March without its liquor license, which meant Holy City Brewing, which partnered with EVO Pizza and Craft Bakery to open the restaurant, wasn’t able to pour beer made in a small brewing system on site. Meanwhile, the brewery operated bring-your-own beer style.
"We lost the excitement of a grand opening," Abe Versprille of EVO said. “ It’s like we opened with half of our vision, like it was for nothing.”
Why the hold up?
South Carolina Department of Revenue was concerned that Baker and Brewer would be violating the three-tier distribution system, which prohibits producers from selling directly to consumers.
Shortly after Baker & Brewer's legal team got involved, the liquor license was approved.
The operation is structured as a Holy City taproom, with EVO cooking in the brewery's kitchen.
“We knew we set up everything right,” he said. “So, after legal got involved, it was a relatively short process.”
Baker & Brewer started pouring beer on Friday and, to celebrate getting its license, will offer $3 pints throughout the weekend. Pints will typically cost $6.
“We’ve been staring at a tap list for the last few weeks and not able to serve beer,” Versprille said. “Now that we can, we thought, ‘Let’s announce that to Charleston.’”
All of the 15 beers on tap are new for Holy City Brewing and specific to Baker & Brewer. The list ranges from a blonde called Goldy Locks to a dry stout called Check Ur Head and a mixed ferm IPA called Kazaam.
“It’s a chance to play around with new stuff,” Chris Brown, Holy City’s lead brewer, said. “It’s all new beer that you can only get here.”
And, Brown said, it’s a “relief” to be able to serve them.
Baker & Brewer is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The space also houses Craft Bakery, which opens at 7 a.m. daily.