Fireforge Crafted Beer
"We're not beer snobs, we're beer geeks."
Nicole Cendrowski, Co-Owner of Fireforge
Exclusive Photography: FishEye Studios, Greenville, SC
Meet the Cendrowskis. Brian and Nicole are co-owners of Fireforge Crafted Beer, a newly opened brewery in downtown Greenville.
Take a look…
The new brewery will offer 12-16 beer selections, plus a variety of wines, ciders, local mead, and non-alcoholic choices. We tried John Hopcock (IPA), Salty Socialite (Gose), Pool Honeys (peach milkshake IPA), and the Pale Young Gentleman (pale ale). All delicious, no matter what you choose.
Fireforge is looking not only to serve the locals in Greenville, but it’s also part of the growing amount of breweries opening here. Good luck keeping it on the DL, because you’ll want to share the incredible brews with all your friends.. We know it won’t stay ‘off the grid’ for long.
Harvin prefers the title “harbinger of delights” to tap room manager. She has been over-served with personality and when asked why the brewery will be successful she responds, “Well I’m here for one.”
It’s true. We love her. But to break it down she also mentions:
*The location is amazing for walk-in downtowners.
*The team is in complete agreement on the vision and fully enthusiastic to serve.
*And the beer is stellar.
Catherine McElhany is the company COO or as Brian likes to call her, “our consiglieri.” With a couple of master’s degrees and 30 years in the corporate world, Catherine may be overqualified for the position. She came from several global multinational roles with BP as director of procurement to getting into bartending at Fireforge (she also teaches pilates). She loves the challenge of a start up and is amazed by the clear vision of the enterprise.
Why the name Fireforge? Brian says, “It evokes a sense of fiery passion and creativity while suggesting the beer is handcrafted.” Nicole adds, “Sometimes the name of the beer comes first, while other times the recipe generates the title.”
How does one create a successful small-batch brewery?
“I liken it to playing poker,” says Brian, “Good beer is the ante that sustains the brewery. People come for the beer and they come back for the enthusiasm and kinship.”
Plus, “We like the idea of creating camaraderie where folks want to be part of the fun.”
With 12 other partners that all hang out or bartend, our sense of playfulness is obvious.
According to Harvin, “We’ve got options here for all taste buds. We try to help by providing words to communicate what our guests enjoy. I encourage our bartenders to stay away from descriptions like mouthfeel, yeasty and acidic and instead use a more relatable vocab like layered, hoppy, or fruity.”
Harvin continues, “We all benefit from Brian’s brewing passion. We want to appreciate the complexity of flavor in all our beers and to learn about the process. Everyone is expected to taste Brian’s latest creation for feedback, usually in a group discussion. Invariably Brian will say, ‘That’s a pretty damn good beer. How can I make it better?’ It’s our job to taste and respond.” Sign us up!
Fireforge has big plans. They currently offer a “finer things in life” membership to the Vorlauf Society, their small private beer club offering special dinners, first flavor pours and behind the scenes gatherings. The beer garden in front is coming along nicely and the next big thing is to open the kitchen for the local lunch crowd. Stay tuned for more of their exciting plans. Congratulations to these two beer geeks!
Fireforge Crafted Beer
311 E Washington St, Greenville, SC 29601
Writer: Lianne LaVoy