GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – In March of last year, an old video production facility on Airport Road in Greenville became home to Think Tank Brew Lab.
Founder and brewer Ryan Kurlfink started his brewing career in Colorado in 1994 and spent a decade brewing at the original location of Blue Ridge Brewing Company in downtown Greenville as a run-up to Think Tank.
The term “think tank” is a shout-out to the investors that made the brewery possible.
The “brew lab” part is more obvious as Ryan gives us a brewery tour.
“Fermenter one here…this is a new one, it will be the lead IPA in a new series of experimental IPAs that we call lupulo sapien. Lupulo being the Latin root for hops.”
What makes an experimental IPA?
“Experimental in that I’ve never used this particular blend of hops before so a lot of this is experimental,” said Kurlfink.
Hence, the brew lab, there ya go.
“We’re very proud of our beers, no doubt about that.”
Beer that flows into the taps not from kegs, but from refrigerated tanks, a part of keeping it fresh.
Think Tank typically has eight beers available at once; a Hefeweizen and a pale ale join a Munich Helles lager as their most popular.
Their German beers are made with German ingredients, with the exception of Greenville water.
The warehouse-like building means lots of room, inside and out.
One thing Think Tank wanted to ensure was that the space next to the brewery was going to remain a green space, about an acre and a half worth of where their beer garden is located.
They are also located next to where the extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is going to be.
The indoor space includes their Hop Loft, a relaxed area to simply chat or watch sports on TV.
Different areas to relax with friends will soon be joined by an expanded kitchen, along with a future banquet hall with a music stage.
Ryan is proud of Think Tank as a gathering spot.
“Our facility is welcome to everybody. We have a huge space, we love seeing families, people from all walks of life come in and enjoy themselves, get acquainted with our beers. We love meeting them and getting to know our customers.”
An upcoming project Think Tank is working on centers on a special whiskey barrel-aged beer from barrels provided by Medicinal Whiskey: a charity that raises funds for childhood illnesses. This beer will be sold at a June 11th brewery event to raise money for the BI-LO Children’s Charity Cancer Center.
“Working with these charitable groups in the Upstate, it’s amazing how much support and how giving the people of the Upstate are. That’s humbling and inspiring and being a part of that is the most rewarding.”