Nautic Brewing to open on edge of proposed Unity Park site

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Since 2011, the name “Trifecta” has been widely associated with the Greenville craft beer community thanks to one of the local pioneers, Thomas Creek Brewery and an IPA collaboration with Quest Brewery and Community Tap.

Now, there’s a new trifecta on the brewery scene – two United States Army veterans and a self-described chemistry nerd and beer snob who’ve joined forces to found Nautic Brewing in a part of town on the verge of a major explosion of activity.

Bordering the site of the City of Greenville’s proposed Unity Park, Nautic Brewing will establish its home at 101 S. Hudson St., next to the Miracle Hill Rescue Mission on the corner of West Washington and South Hudson streets. An adjoining property will provide expansion room and parking for the brewery.

Nautic partners Steve Schofield, the chemical engineer and brew master; and Army vets Tyler Warren, providing restaurant management experience, and Brentton Lindsey, the general contractor, landed on the 2,710-square-foot building with the help of broker Grayson Burgess of the Burgess Company after making offers on other locations.

Renovation plans call for an addition off the back right of the existing building, patio space, and ample parking with a completion goal of early winter this year. The objective is to provide a welcoming environment to all with a serious focus on good beer.

“The beer is our backbone. And people should come to us for the beer. But we want them to have another experience that they can have with us the entire time. It’s a community event, not just a beer event,” Schofield says.

The location walking distance from downtown and near the park was crucial for their all-inclusive mission.

“We want to be a family-friendly, a family-oriented place, and we think our location – it being awfully close to downtown but not in the central business area – that kind of shows that you could drive to our facilities, you can park…on our property and then you go visit our establishment versus having to find parking on the street with four kids…or drive 10 miles out of town to get to a less than desirable area where you can park and have the kids running around,” Lindsey says.

Tyler Warren, Brentton Lindsey, and Steve Schofield have partnered to open Nautic Brewing at 101 S. Hudson St. Photo by Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal

This redevelopment project is one of at least three currently within the scope of Unity Park, all of which are banking on the park’s attracting thousands of people to an underserved area of town.

For instance, within walking distance from Nautic Brewing is the adaptive reuse project on Welborn Street that will house The Commons food hall. That collaboration of multiple food and beverage providers is currently under construction and slated to open later in the year. It sits squarely in the center of the park property.

On the property across the Reedy River from The Commons, which will be connected via a footbridge eventually, is the redeveloped warehouse building that now houses Soul Yoga, Swamp Rabbit CrossFit, and the new Mexican social club el Thrifty, also within the borders of the proposed park. Other neighboring properties will likely trade hands and/or be redeveloped along with the park that could break ground as soon as the fourth quarter.

All things considered, the ownership group of 101 S. Hudson St. had been looking since 2017 for the right user to enhance the continued growth when Nautic Brewing landed on their radar.

“This building and site garnered quite a bit of interest, but when we linked up with the Nautic Brewing team, it quickly became very clear that this was the right fit for the redevelopment project,” said Blaine Hart, first vice president at CBRE and representative to the site’s ownership group. “As a group, we commend their vision, hustle, knowledge base, and entrepreneurial mindset, as well as their military service and community involvement.”

Hart continued:

“Their products are incredible, but no doubt they will use their brand to do big things in the community and beyond. This concept and location will be way more than a brewery. It will be a gathering space and sense of place. We looked at several scenarios for the site, some of which involved scraping the building but we felt it best to preserve the building and greenspaces, all in an effort to create better tie-ins to the surrounding neighborhoods and the upcoming Unity Park.”

photo by Will Crooks / Upstate Business Journal

The three partners met organically without any agenda. Schofield and Warren were enrolled in the Clemson MBA program when they connected in 2016.

“It’s a great story. I show up and immediately identify the engineers and started becoming friends with them, because they’re going to do my homework,” Warren jokes.

He and Schofield became fast friends and both had independent goals. Schofield was working on a brewery plan, and Warren had aspirations of running a restaurant.

“Steve approached me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to do this?’” Warren says.

Warren currently serves as the Fellowship Program Manager and Career Services Specialist with Upstate Warrior Solution, where he met Lindsey, who had recently started a contracting company.

“I love the idea, I love the brand. I like the, you know, the location once we finally found it, and then suddenly, you know, I can help out a lot more on the partner side than just being the general contractor. And so once we sat down and talked we all agreed that it was a good idea to have the trifecta,” Lindsey says.

After completing the MBA program, Schofield attended the highly regarded, 15-week UC Davis Master Brewers program in California where he was able to grow his knowledge from the homebrew scale to the larger craft scale.

Warren, who spent 22 years working in restaurants, will serve of the front of house manager for the brewery, which will also have a restaurant component they have chosen not to reveal yet.

“Everything that we build is built around the beer,” Warren says. “You know, we want to provide great food and build an awesome building and an awesome atmosphere. But, you know, it starts with a beer in our opinion.”

Those beers will include a light American lager, a wheat ale that’s very drinkable, and also IPAs and double IPAs with a total of a dozen taps, Schofield says. 

“So we’re trying to have a unique blend of different things that everyone can kind of move on and transition, so somebody who isn’t a huge beer drinker can still get a flight at our location and not taste something and be like, ‘that’s not for me,'” Schofield says.

And while their plans include all of their staff being certified beer servers, and each beer to be served in a glass specific to the particular brew, the partners have a wider focus than just the beer.

“I mean, we want to show that fermentation isn’t just beer, that you can have a lot of different things whether it’s food, kombuchas, sodas, so there’s a lot of handmade products that are fantastic. And it doesn’t have to be alcohol, it doesn’t have to be a bunch of bros hanging around, just slamming beers. It’s going to be a very family-friendly setting,” Schofield says.


Follow Nautic Brewing’s progress on social media: @nauticbrewing

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