Commonhouse Aleworks Announces Production Brewery in North Charleston, South Carolina

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC — Commonhouse Aleworks announced today that, after more than a year and a half of planning, they will be opening a production brewery and tap house in the Park Circle neighborhood of North Charleston.

Business and brewing partners Hank Hanna and Pearce Fleming, who some may know as Octohops Homebrew, will soon break ground on a brand new 7,200 square foot facility on the corner of O’Hear and Empire Avenues, just off of East Montague Ave and very close to the new GARCO Mill redevelopment. The name of the brewery is an allusion to the old colonial common houses which were the focal point of the community where all the town’s people could gather together for communal meals, to discuss local issues, conduct religious worship, and engage in town business.

The new brewery will have an initial annual capacity of 5,000 barrels of beer which enthusiasts will be able to enjoy in a rustic, yet comfortable 1,100 square foot tap house, through 32oz. Crowlers to-go, or on draft both locally and regionally.  Future plans include packaged bottles and cans both onsite and in distribution.

Fleming and Hanna have built a reputation around town both within the beer community and the consumer market with multiple wins in local, regional and national homebrew competitions as well as their Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am collaboration with Revelry Brewing. Their Wise One Hefeweizen received accolades around Charleston before being chosen for the final judging table in the GABF Pro-Am competition in Denver in October of last year.  They have also been documenting their journey from homebrewers to commercial brewers at the website www.planningtobrew.com.

Many local retail establishments are excited about the possibility of carrying Commonhouse brands in the near future. “I was there when Hank and Pearce decided that they wanted to open a brewery and I have also sampled several of their beers along the way. I can honestly say knowing they will be opening excites me beyond words,” said Rob Davis, owner of House of Brews and renowned beer critic. “Their [expletive removed] is legit,” quipped Davis.

“Our desire is to produce an experience and a product that people want to congregate around,” said Fleming. “We will make beers that the everyday beer drinker will enjoy while also impressing the most knowledgeable enthusiast.” Commonhouse Aleworks plans to offer several core beers, including Wise One Hefeweizen, along with an array of hop-forward beers, rustic and historic beers, and some special and barrel-aged releases. “Commonhouse hopes to be the catalyst to many of the things people enjoy most in life.”

Charleston has quickly become a major player in the craft-beer production scene. With more than 15 breweries currently open and 5 more in the planning stages the question “is there room for more?” is starting to be heard more and more often. “We believe that we are part of what can be considered the Fourth Act of the craft beer movement,” said Hanna. He is referring to what is commonly being called the “Hyper-Local Beer” movement. The 1960’s saw the emergence of the first round of pioneer craft-brewers like Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. In the 80’s and 90’s, regional producers like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada began making their mark on the industry. Later in the 1990’s, there was an initial boom and subsequent fizzling out of several brands looking to take advantage of the rising tide of interest in craft-beer. Recovery started when smaller brewers increased focus on artisanship and locality. Commonhouse Aleworks plans to stay focused on their neighborhood community and allow growth to happen naturally.

“From day one, we wanted to be in a location where people could walk, ride their bikes, and even push their strollers to the brewery,” said Hanna. “There is no better neighborhood for us than Park Circle.”

“After several meetings with Pearce and Hank, we knew that Commonhouse would be a complementary addition to the Park Circle community, joining a number of other local and neighborhood-focused businesses” says Jeff Baxter, a partner with Cityvolve. Cityvolve is actively involved in several Park Circle redevelopment efforts including Marquis Station. Cityvolve sold the 4831 O’Hear Avenue location to Commonhouse Aleworks and has been managing the building project on behalf of the brewery.

“Two tenets of our value system at Commonhouse Aleworks are our commitment to quality and also being an engaged part of our community, not just a resident.  Park Circle will be our home. We look forward to making an impact there both with the quality of our product as well as our level of involvement in the community,” Fleming remarked. “We have plans to move into local and regional distribution in the future, but Park Circle will always be our focus.”

Commonhouse Aleworks is anticipating opening in the late fall of 2017. For more information, please visit www.commonhousealeworks.com.

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