Columbia’s Peak Drift Brewing starts production on drinks

A large-scale brewery project in north Columbia has up production and running on some of its drinks.

Peak Drift Brewing Company, which is developing a multi-faceted production brewery and entertainment facility at 3452 North Main St. in Columbia, has launched its inaugural run of beer and hard seltzers, which will start popping up in select Midlands bars, restaurants and stores as soon as this week.

“Peak Drift is committed to celebrating everything that makes the Southeast special — the mountains, the oceans, the rivers, and most of all, the people,” Peak Drift co-owner Sara Middleton Styles said in a release. “Through our innovative production facility, award-winning products and new brewery coming to the North Main area, we are dedicated to industrial collaboration and strengthening our local communities.”

The Peak Drift Brewing project is a nearly $50 million deal that is still under development on North Main. The building at 3452 North Main was originally built in the 1940s and was operated for years by Stone Manufacturing. It was a garment factory for decades. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2020.

Aside from the now up and running production side, the Peak Drift site on North Main will also eventually include restaurant space with indoor and outdoor dining options, a members-only gym, an entertainment stage, a duckpin bowling alley, a merchandise shop and much more. The larger complex is expected to open in 2023.

There are a number of launch events for Peak Drift drinks at local bars scheduled for this week. Those include events at 5 pm Dec. 6 at WECO Bottle and Biergarten, 5 pm Dec. 8 at Craft and Draft Irmo, 5 pm Dec. 8 at Green’s Beverage Warehouse on Fernandina Road, and 6 pm Dec. 9 at The Grand on Main. For a full list of launch events, visit

Some of the Peak Drift drinks debuted in area restaurants and stores, per a release, including NEIPA, Golden Ale, a rotating series of Red IPAs, Berry Crumble Fruited Sour Ale and a rotating series of Fire Pit Dark Ales. A number of hard seltzers are also part of the initial run.

Peak Drift is being developed by siblings Greg Middleton and Sara Middleton Styles, whose family has been a key player in the Columbia hospitality scene in recent years, particularly in the area of ​​the 1600 block of Main Street, where the family owns the tony Smoked restaurant and Grand on Main restaurant and bowling alley. The family also runs The Venue dueling piano bar, which this month has been transformed into a Christmas pop-up bar for the holiday season.

Ashley Kinart-Short is the master brewer at Peak Drift, and is one of the few female head brewmasters in the nation.

“Between the support and collaboration from others in the industry, as well as the cutting-edge technology, this has truly been a special project. We can’t wait for the public to enjoy the great products we’ve been brewing,” said Kinart-Short.

Peak Drift keg
Peak Drift Brewing Company, at 3452 North Main St. in Columbia, recently launched production on its inaugural offerings of beer and hard seltzer. The overall Peak Drift project is still under development. Photo provided.
Peak Drift production
Production of the drink is up and running at Peak Drift Brewing Company on North Main Street in Columbia, with some beers and hard seltzers hitting shelves this week. Provided photo by Lynn Luc

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Chris Trainor is a retail reporter for The State and has been working for newspapers in South Carolina for more than 18 years, including previous stops at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Times. He is the winner of numerous South Carolina Press Association awards, including honors in column writing, government beat reporting, profile writing, food writing, election coverage, social media and more.