A new microbrewery boasting eight original craft beers is coming to Bluffton.
Southern Barrel Brewing Co. will open its first location in February at Buckwalter Place, the company announced Wednesday.
The brew pub will sport a tavern that serves food, an outdoor beer garden and a 10,000-square-foot production facility. It will rise next to CareCore National and Ace Hardware, according to plans.
Owner Stewart Taylor, a businessman with a second home on Hilton Head Island, said he became fascinated with microbreweries when several opened near his home in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
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He saw it as a burgeoning industry and decided to start his own.
"I think the way things are going to build out in Bluffton, it's the perfect place to build our first location," he said.
Taylor hired brewmaster Walter Trifari to lead production. Trifari was most recently head brewmaster at Fordham & Old Dominion Brewing Co. in Delaware.
His staff will brew lager, amber, stout, wheat and India Pale Ale, among other varieties.
Visitors will be able to watch the brewing process inside the tavern, according to a news release.
Taylor estimates the facility will produce 12,000 to 15,000 barrels a year. The company owns space behind the brewery where it could expand and produce three to four times that amount, Taylor said.
He said the company will hire about 10 people and become Bluffton's first microbrewery.
Other craft-beer operations in the Lowcountry include Hilton Head Brewing Co., Wooden Skiff Brewing Co. on Hilton Head, and River Dog Brewing Co. in Okatie.
Bluffton officials touted Southern Barrel as an economic victory as craft-beer manufacturers continue to expand across the country.
"We realize the craft-brewing industry is growing fast, and on behalf of the town, welcome this new industry to our community," town manager Marc Orlando said.
Follow reporter Dan Burley at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.