What do five friends with four separate occupations have in common? Beer, of course. Legal Remedy Brewing Co. rose out of a mutual passion for craft beer and a desire to make their award-winning homebrew legally (maybe that’s because they had a lawyer with them). Ideas that had been fermenting for years, finally spilled out when the five friends purchased an auto dealership and converted the space into a custom-built brewing facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Only a few years later, they added a speed canning line, increased cooler space, and the capacity to brew 10,000 barrels of beer per year. Now Legal Remedy Brewing Co. (LRB) operates a Riverwalk Cantina and an LRB pizza truck in addition to their original brewery and pub. Not bad for five friends who just really like beer.
Over time the folks at LRB realized that local ingredients made better beer and tastier bar food. Sitting on their shady patio, you can reach out and touch the hops growing right there in their own backyard, and you might not even realize that above you a 30kV solar array is gathering energy to brew the beers like the one in your hand. About 35% of their total energy, from the brewery to the kitchen to LEDs in the taproom, comes from those solar panels, and in 2018 Legal Remedy won first runner-up in Brews From the Sun, a solar-based brewing competition. In addition to harnessing the power of the sun, LRB recycles heat from the brewing process and actively composts anything they can’t recycle or donate.
When a server drops off a pulled-pork sandwich topped with LRBeer barbecue sauce, its safe to guess the pig was probably raised on the spent grain used to make the beers on tap. Not only does LRB donate their spent grain to nearby farmers, but they also source local ingredients as much as possible for both their brewery and their kitchens. Executive Chef, the “Warden of Woodsmoke,” Mike Ramsey serves on the board of The Catawba Farm and Food Coalition (CFFC), an organization dedicated to creating a long-lasting, sustainable food system. Chef Ramsey sources many of the ingredients for his legendary, pun-filled menu from the CFFC itself, and all the food served is fresh and made from scratch. He doesn’t even keep a freezer in the kitchen! The meats are smoked daily to ensure the freshest, best flavors to compliment LRB’s large selection of beers.
As they’ve expanded, Legal Remedy Brewing Co. has approached sustainability from the ground up, literally. When constructing their Riverwalk Cantina, the boys at LRB installed a bioretention area into the ground of the parking lot. This bioretention area helps filter the water runoff from the parking area, removing suspended solids and even petroleum. Knowing that their water runs into the Catawba River, LRB stationed the bioretention area to prevent potentially hazardous materials from entering that important, living water source. Solar panels also decorate the roof of the Cantina providing ample energy to keep the lights on and tax incentives– you can tell two of the founders were bankers. It’s this top-to-bottom approach to sustainability, brewing, and pub grub that keeps customers coming back year after year, and it’s the reason why, six years after five friends started a brewery in an old car dealership, they are still serving justice one pint at a time.