The other day a few of us were sitting on the patio at LRB and overhead a guy enthusiastically tell his approaching friends that Legal Remedy Brewing was founded by 2 doctors and 2 lawyers. “Get it? The legal and the remedy?!” Good story. Not ours.
Legal Remedy Brewing was founded in 2009 by five Fort Mill, SC friends who turned their collective passion for making and enjoying great beer into a craft brewing business. After entering and winning their first formal homebrewing contest in 2012, the group continued to refine their recipes and hired a full-time brewmaster in 2014. In 2015 a vacant Rock Hill, SC car dealership was purchased and converted into a craft brewery and brewpub. With over 11,000 square feet of space, the brewpub houses a 17-barrel brewing system along with two smaller brewing systems which can collectively produce 10,000 barrels of beer per year. Legal Remedy Brewing beers, including Alibi Ale, Witness White IPA, Sequestered Saison and Pro Bono Porter are presently served at the brewpub alongside food that is just as crafty as the beer. In addition to on-site sales, Legal Remedy Brewing beers are available in restaurants and retailers throughout South Carolina.
“Wait,” you’re saying, “there’s totally no mention of a doctor or a lawyer in there anywhere?” Just be patient. (Get it? Be ‘patient.’ Hilarious).
Here… read the long version of our story:
There’s this organization in Charlotte called Charlotte Mothers of Multiples (CMOMs). Woh – that’s a drastic segway isn’t it? Well, it is kind of how we all met. Back in around 2006, the wives belonged to this group (for reasons that would be entirely obvious if you really knew most of us) and had monthly meetings that offered support and advice to each other and other moms of multiples (that’s twins, triplets, quadruplets, and so on). While the meetings were of benefit, a close knit group started adding in a Mom’s Night Out to the mix – just to get out and enjoy one another’s company without the business of the club. With the obvious success of this deserved break, our then president Erin Neurohr offered up the idea of a Dad’s Night Out and encouraged the dads to hang out as well. The first meetings occurred at the Mellow Mushroom off of Sharon Road in South Charlotte but they were eventually moved to the community of Baxter in Fort Mill, SC, where the dads frequented Six Pence Pub. This was a great way to get the guys together so that they could also enjoy a night out and share stories of fatherhood or talk about whatever it is that guys talk about.
Hey, guess what guys talk about? Yep. Beer.
At some point during the Dad’s Nights Out, we got interested in more exotic beer varieties and decided to meet at our houses to share bottles of better beer that we had started to find at more and more local retailers. Eventually, we started frequenting Chad’s house for our beer nights and we would take turns bringing different varieties of beer to try out.
Late in 2010, we discovered a newly written book called “1,001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die” by Adrian Tierney-Jones. Upon discovering this book we decided to try to do just what the title suggested. Trying 1,001 of the best beers on the planet certainly seemed like a wise and worthwhile endeavor. If nothing else, we knew we’d probably have a lot of fun trying.
So we set out on a Tuesday night in the early winter of 2011 for a meeting with the first round of beers “from the book.” For a while we began to refer to beers as just that – a beer was either “in the book,” meaning it was probably awesome and we should try it, or it wasn’t in the book. After several weeks of approaching our favorite habit with the dedication of a hobby, we started talking about what it would take to actually make our own beer. It was in these meetings in which Chad, Mark and Joe decided to resurrect their college-day homebrewing skills and those of us that had never made beer were intrigued by the concept of actually brewing our own great beer. A kit was ordered from an online provider, some equipment and bottles were procured from a local homebrewing store, and we just followed the instructions. We were so proud of ourselves as we took turns cautiously peering over the edge of the 5-gallon pot boiling on the stove. We kept checking the timer, re-reading the instructions, and trying our best to make as few mistakes as possible. We stored it as directed for two weeks, bottled it up, and two weeks later we tried it. We brewed a batch of honest to goodness beer.
Our brewing started out as a group of guys making beer in a kitchen. We did it just for fun and because we thought perhaps we could make something drinkable. We realized that the delicious beers we were sampling at local beer festivals and the craft beers we were enjoying at bars and restaurants were far better than the mass produced products we were all accustomed to drinking. We decided we didn’t want to settle for just any beer – we wanted better beer.
At first, we really had no idea if we could even make beer that would be worth drinking. But that first official batch in February of 2011 from the kit we ordered online and bottled ourselves by hand actually turned out to be something that we could drink. A little shocked, but emboldened by this renewed success, we forged ahead. Batches two and three were not quite as drinkable. Contaminants had killed the yeast in many of the bottles. Dead yeast make neither carbon dioxide nor alcohol. So we had many bottles of sweet, flat, malty liquid. It wasn’t drinkable, and when it comes to making beer, there are few things worse than pouring out beer that you’ve made.
We learned from our early successes and mistakes and refined our process to the point that we were crafting a successful batch every couple of weeks. This afforded us five gallons of unique beer to enjoy each time we made more. There was even enough to share with family, friends and neighbors that now count themselves as lucky members of our first informal focus groups. But that was before we even had a name or a logo or the realization that our efforts, while entertaining and personally rewarding, could actually become a successful venture. As we made our batches, we realized that by carefully focusing on all of the critical parts of the process we could make quality beer that we and others would enjoy. Some batches we bottled and others we kegged. We knew we had a future because many of us routinely heard our wives talking about our ‘brewing club.’ A club?! Our habit had become a hobby, and now was a semi-official club. All we needed was a name…
(To be continued)