A BIRTHDAY is always an event worth celebrating but when you are a business celebrating not only a year of success but growth and recognition in your field, it’s worth celebrating in a big way. On July 23, Service Brewing Company, Savannah’s local veteran owned brewery, will be celebrating just such a year by throwing a big party with music, food and a special beer.
Each year for their birthday Service brews up a special beer called Anniversary Brew, Service Brewing Company (SBC). SBC2 is a pale American-Belgo style ale. This beer is brewed with citra hops and blood orange zest so you can expect a big juicy, fruity beer.
The brewery used their house yeast, cultured from the Service beehives, to brew SBC2. This yeast will bring additional fruity and floral flavors along with some spice. SBC1 was a complex and flavorful, SBC2 promises to continue this trend.
Tickets to the Second Year Anniversary party include not only plenty of beer but also entertainment and food. This year’s event will feature concert performances by Charleston based band Susto and Athens favorites The Whigs on the Service tasting groom stage. Big Bon Pizza will provide event food, showcasing wood fired pizzas made with local ingredients.
I spoke with Service co-owner Kevin Ryan, a former U.S Army Company Commander and the Veteran in Veteran owed, and Meredith Sutton, Service’s Creative Director about the growth of Service and of craft beer in Savannah.
“Craft Brewing in America, as well as Savannah, has continued to experience unprecedented growth,” Ryan says. “More and more people are being introduced and opening their palate up to different styles and most of all, appreciating well crafted beer that incorporates quality ingredients.”
Service’s tag line is “How do you Serve?” Many of Service’s events benefit one non-profit or another. The Two Year Anniversary Party benefits The Tiny House Project. This project, organized by the Chatham-Savannah Authority of the Homeless will build 60 small scale, 128 square foot, homes for the homeless on a site off Wheaton Street.
The first twelve of the structures to be built are designated for homeless veterans. Service has previously given to numerous organizations including Homes for our Troops, Honor Our Heroes and K9 for Warriors.
“We have been able to really give back more than we expected in our first two years. Since our launch we have supported nine well deserving charities in our tasting room along with sponsoring fundraising events and have given back over $28,000. The checks are getting bigger and we plan to keep that pace as we move into year three,” Ryan says.
“When choosing our Tasting Room seasonal charity, Meredith and I do a ton of research to find the organizations that are giving at least $0.90 of every dollar back to the organization. Over the past two years, we have supported some really incredible local, regional and national non-for-profits,” Ryan says.
The brewery recently had a young man and his family visit with a Service Dog by his side.
“His reason for visiting us was to tell us thank you. One of the first charities we supported was Healing 4 Heroes,” Ryan says. “We really connected with this charity on multiple levels, they help save two lives, a dog and a veteran. These dogs are all rescues that are then trained and placed with a veteran in need. That season of fundraising brought this former soldier and his Service Dog together. It’s that kind of experience that inspires us.”
Celebrating their second anniversary is major milestone for the brewery but Service has many plans for the future.
“We have plans to expand our canning line with a shrink wrap labeling solution that will allow us to move our seasonal offerings to cans and to offer more styles, like our Scouts Out Honey Saison, and Battlewagon Double IPA,” says Ryan.
Canning isn’t the end of Services growth, it’s just the beginning; “Additionally, we have blueprints in hand to build a climate controlled barrel room for our upcoming barrel aging program. We’ve got a lot to be grateful for and plenty of work to keep us busy.”
Ryan tells me “Savannah has truly lived up to the name, Hostess City. We have been overwhelmed by the embrace that the Savannah community has extended to Service Brewing. We have met so many wonderful people and organizations in our first two years that have recognized our brewery, our beer, and our mission as a beneficial partner.”