SENECA, S.C. (WSPA) – Downtown Seneca has been growing over the past few years.
One piece of that occurred a little over four years ago with the opening of Seneca’s first brewery.
Not far from Lake Keowee, you’ll find Keowee Brewing Company at the corner of Main and Walnut, in a building that has a little history to it, according to co-owner Alex Butterbaugh.
”We did go down to the county and trace it back to 1889 so it’s a much older building that we ever imagined it was. In 1911 it was a post office.”
“When we took ownership of it there was a florist that was operating out of about the front third of this building. It’s been used as a Zumba dance studio. A few years before somebody told us it was a Radio Shack at one point.”
Alex owns the brewery with his wife Allison. They grew up in Spartanburg and attended Clemson.
Alex got into brewing while working in Wisconsin.
“We knew we wanted to get back to Seneca because that’s where our family was. We settled on starting our own brewery which, you know at the time sounded a little easier than it was.”
Now, it’s a gathering place, indoors and out.
Weather permitting, you’ll see Monday trivia, Wednesday music bingo and live music on Fridays and Saturdays in the outdoor space behind the building.
Alex said they’re pet friendly, too.
“Absolutely, we love our pets. We always say well-behaved pets are allowed with well-behaved humans.”
Inside, the taps pour My Blood Runs Orange, their flagship IPA that’s brewed with blood oranges. This, along with Good Friends Kolsch, have been at the brewery from the start.
Twelve beers are on tap; seasonal rotation means they’ll make about 50 different styles a year.
They rotate seltzer flavors, too. You’ll also see releases of different barrel-aged stouts.
Also in regular rotation: helping area organizations. Allison keeps that rotation going.
“All month of October we do a fundraiser for the Oconee Humane Society. We do a portion of our proceeds for the month go to them as well as accepting donations.”
“Every Christmas we work with Christmas For Kids, which is a local children’s group that provides Christmas presents for children who may not have a good Christmas.”
They’ve also made special beers, with a portion of the proceeds going to assorted causes.
One such cause is Ripple of One, a local organization that helps people to become independent of public assistance.
Alex said it’s all part of being one with Seneca.
“We wanted to make a place where everybody could come and everybody would feel welcome and valued and appreciated and I think that’s one of the most rewarding things we’ve been able to do is to be able to provide that to the community.”