PEAK DRIFT: New brewery opens in NoMa district and plans expansion

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The past few years have seen many entrepreneurs open breweries in the Columbia area.

Now, one group of local entrepreneurs is opening a brewery in a less developed area of town. 

“City council has spent a long time over this past year emphasizing the importance of growing our small businesses. When small businesses succeed, communities succeed,” said Aditi Bussells of the Columbia city council.

Many leaders in Columbia see the potential for economic growth in the city’s North Main or NoMa district. 

 “You got nice sidewalks, streets widenings, lights and underground utilities,” said Columbia councilman Paul Livingston. “You know how many folks are jealous?”

Speaker of the House Murrell Smith says his hometown of Sumter has seen economic growth thanks to the opening of a brewery.

“It made one of our main streets a thriving area of Sumter,” Rep. Smith said. “People come all the time and say ‘Wow, I didn’t know y’all had this. You even have a brewery over here.’”

The Middleton siblings, entrepreneurs who live in Columbia, decided to try a similar idea in NoMa and open Peak Drift Brewing Company. 

“My brother’s a real estate agent. We both love historic properties and have a passion for it,” said Sara Middleton Styles, co-owner of Peak Drift Brewing Company. “How do you bring something beautiful back to life? You have to have a vision for that.”

Peak Drift’s owner believes more businesses will come to North Main, but points out that there’s already many local businesses, such as in the historic Cottontown neighborhood.”

“It’s this beautiful historic area but for so long people think that because it’s not fully developed, there’s nothing there, but there really is,” Middleton Styles said. “It’s one of those hidden gems.”

She hopes Peak Drift will be one of the gems of the NoMa area. The brewery celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday. 

“It’s just exciting to be out in the community with people tasting the product that we know is so good,” Middleton Styles said.

Peak Drift products can be found in select Midlands area bars, restaurants and stores.

The brewers plan to make non-alcoholic beer and hard seltzers in addition to craft beer, all using the choicest ingredients. 

“Not only can we get the freshest of fruit but we can source locally. We’ve already been working with some farms to get fruit for our beers,” said master brewer Ashley Kinart-Short.

Peak Drift is also working to open a taproom and entertainment area. It is expected to open later this year.

“We’re incredibly blessed and thankful that the vision is coming to life,” Peak Drift’s owner said. “This is only phase one. Keep an eye out.”

Categories: Local News, Richland