Food & Drink

Brewery opens (at last) in Lexington’s old mill

After a long wait, the taps are finally flowing at Lexington’s newest brewery.

Hazelwood Brewing held its grand opening on Saturday, more than a year after owner Matt Rodgers had started planning to open the new brewery at Lexington’s Old Mill Pond.

The bar is located in the former boiler room of the old mill on Lexington’s Main Street, where Hazelwood boasts 10 rotating taps plus a wine selection.

“After a month of running a little under the radar we are ready to show off a little bit,” Hazelwood posted on Instagram ahead of Saturday’s kickoff event. “We’ve got a nice tap list now and a special cask the day of the grand opening.”

Rodgers started planning to open the brewery as far back as 2018, to coincide with repairs to the Old Mill Pond dam. The dam failed during the floods that swamped the Midlands in 2015. When the dam is repaired and the pond refilled, the brewery will be powered by the mill’s hydro-turbine.

“We have the turbine from the original textile mill, so we can be on our own power and off the grid,” said Rodgers. “Once it’s up and running, we’ll be one of the most sustainable breweries in the country.”

Since 2013, Rodgers has been the head brewer at Old Mill Brewpub, which is also located in the old mill. Hazelwood will be operated in conjunction with the brewpub, but Rodgers said he wants both breweries to keep their separate identities.

Hazelwood will produce “lots of fruity beers, lots of IPAs” and lots of yeasty farmhouse beers, “like an American version of a Belgian,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers’ own farm produces the hops for the beer, while the beans used in coffee brews are provided by Indah Coffee of Columbia.

“We have a farm in Camden where we’ve been growing hops for 15 years,” he said. “We harvest by hand and try to brew them right away... We grow almost everything we use in our beers,” including blueberries, herbs and pumpkins.

Snack options include cured meats and cheese plates, chips and hummus. Food trucks will also be a staple at the brewery on weekends, the brewery’s website says.

Hazelwood Brewing is open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Bristow Marchant is currently split between covering Richland County and the 2020 presidential race. He has more than 10 years’ experience covering South Carolina. He won the S.C. Press Association’s 2015 award for Best Series on a toxic Chester County landfill fire, and was part of The State’s award-winning 2016 election coverage.