Starting at 4 p.m. today, Lowes Foods will open its Simpsonville location to the public. Until this point, if you wanted to have a beer while you shop for groceries, you either had to shop online with a beer in your hand or drive to the Greer location.
It gets better: Lowes Foods in the Village Market-East shopping center on Woodruff Road and Sunnydale Drive will be the first grocery store with an actual brew pub inside their Beer Den, the largest of 52 Beer Dens across their dozens of stores in the Southeast. Wondering where the name Beer Den came from? Bear + deer = beer.
It started as a growler concept and grew into an entire space for people to hang out – a brewpub themed around old English folk lore. Even the beers are named after fairy tale classics like Rapunzel, Grimm, and Joe the brewmaster’s favorite: an English Mild called Whuppity. He lived in England for over a year and said this brew is spot on to some of the flavorful beers found over there. But the ingredients didn’t come from abroad. Every ingredient is local to the Carolinas and produce (used for flavor) is chosen from the Pick & Prep area, like using fresh peaches to brew cider with Bold Rock.
Lowes Foods does so many collaborations within the beer community, which is growing rapidly in this area, that they even created a new word: collaBEERations. The company is known for investing and being involved in the community, and these collaBEERations are a great opportunity to foster local relationships and distribute to other Lowe’s Foods stores. The house brews are not bottled and sold in stores but if you want to take some home, there are a few different growler sizes to choose from behind the bar. Oh, and did we mention there’s an area to buy pizza about two feet away? Pro tip: Try the ham and pineapple pizza. It can be ready to eat in just over 90 seconds.
If beer isn’t your thing, stop by the Beer Den Friday through Sunday for mimosas with fresh-squeezed orange juice starting at 9 a.m. The beer starts flowing at 10 a.m. during the week, at which point a friendly competition starts between the beer crew and the coffee crew to see how many people have coffees or beers in their cart cup holders.
Ideas for the future of Lowes Foods’ brewery include using new and differing ingredients from various areas in the store to play around with flavors, like adding bread to the brew mash. They also plan to lend out some of their own flavor to SausageWorks. We could continue telling you how good it all is but really, the best way is to check it out for yourself.
You don’t even have to shop while you drink beer if you don’t want to.