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Wedding & Event Venue Near Saint George, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Saint George, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Saint George, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Saint George native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Saint George, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Saint George, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Saint George, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Saint George, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Saint George, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Saint George, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Saint George, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Saint George, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Saint George's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Saint George.

 Wedding Venue Saint George, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Saint George?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Saint George, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Saint George, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Saint George, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Saint George, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Saint George, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Saint George, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Saint George, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Saint George, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Saint George, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Saint George, SC

Latest News in Saint George, SC

Explore Lowcountry History in Culture-Rich St. George

Small town hospitality and historic charm are hallmarks of St. George the county seat of Dorchester County. Originally known as George’s Station along the South Carolina Railroad, the Town of St. George was incorporated in January 1875.Before the construction of Interstates 26 and 95, St. George was a popular stop for tourists traveling to Florida by way of U.S. Highway 15. Today, the Town of St. George is easily accessible from the interstate.Dive deep into the town’s local history at ...

Small town hospitality and historic charm are hallmarks of St. George the county seat of Dorchester County. Originally known as George’s Station along the South Carolina Railroad, the Town of St. George was incorporated in January 1875.

Before the construction of Interstates 26 and 95, St. George was a popular stop for tourists traveling to Florida by way of U.S. Highway 15. Today, the Town of St. George is easily accessible from the interstate.

Dive deep into the town’s local history at The Heritage Museum, located in the former County Courthouse at 101 Ridge St. A nonprofit formed in 2014, the Dorchester County Archives & History Center is dedicated to preserving the past for future generations. The organization is working to digitize more than 100,000 documents for researchers. Plus, a detailed photo collection of the Lowcountry donated by Brandon Coffey is available to view at the museum. Visit Tuesday through Saturday; tickets are $5 each for adults.

Appleby’s Methodist Church is a one-story wooden Methodist church built between 1840 and 1850. Visit today to see how the church looked in the mid-1800s – an example of Greek Revival meeting house style – with two rows of pews thought to be the originals. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Feb. 14, 1978.

Indian Field Camp Ground is a rustic and simple Methodist campground still in use today. It was built in 1848 with 99 wooden cabins that form a circle around a large wooden tabernacle and preaching area. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 30, 1973.

Another of the area’s Methodist camps is Shady Grove, a place of worship created by former slaves in 1870. The campground consisted of rustic cabins – known as "tents – that have been passed down from generation to generation. Fire destroyed the original tents in the late 1950s. Even though they were replaced, many of those tents burned in two more fires. Much of the camp was rebuilt in the early 1990s. Families continue to gather each October for camp meeting of fellowship and worship.

There are also two additional Methodist campgrounds in the surrounding area, St. Paul and Cypress, making this part of the county a time capsule for long-standing religious traditions.

Don’t miss the historic Koger-Murray-Carroll-House, so named in honor of its past owners. Dating back to at least 1775, was once an important stagecoach stop between inland settlements and Charleston. The exact construction date remains unknown, but it's thought to be the oldest house in Dorchester County.

Located in the heart of St. George is the Klauber Building. Built in 1894, it was first a mercantile serving a community bustling with railroad commerce. Today, the building houses an area chamber of commerce, visitor center and town museum. It’s open each weekday.

The Klauber also hosts the weekly St. George Farmers Market. Stop by from 3-6 p.m. each Thursday through Oct. 27 for local farm fresh produce, foods, art, culture and music.

Also situated in the center of St. George at 206 Parler Avenue is the Lourie Theatre, built in the 1920s to show silent movies. In the early 1980s, the theatre closed, and the building began to deteriorate. Several years later, a group of dedicated community members banded together to restore the theatre – now a vibrant performing arts center for the town.

Constructed in 1925, the Rosenwald School was a six-teacher school created by educator Booker T. Washington and the philanthropic president of Sears & Roebuck, Julius Rosenwald. The two men began a program to construction schools for African-American children. They completed 5,400 schools in states around the South. Thousands of children attended these schools between 1912 and the late 1950s when schools became integrated. In 2014, the school, located at 205 Ann Street, was given in trust to the Town of St. George and work began on the restoration and preservation of the building.

Before you start your journey exploring St. George stop by the Klauber Building at 225 Parler Avenue for tips and directions.

You’ll see many beautiful vintage homes driving around St. George, including the 1912 Badham House, pictured here.

Ex-Gor Mahia coach Nuttall clears air on St George SC exit

The Scottish tactician has stated he achieved what he was asked to do by the Ethiopian Premier League sideFormer Gor Mahia head coach Frank Nuttall has explained why he left Ethiopian giants St George SC.The 53-year-old former Township Rollers coach has explained he was only hired on a short-term deal by the Ethiopian top-flight side and contrary to the rumours he was sacked, he left his position after achieving what he was asked to do."Contrary to false information circulating in some media, I am happy to confirm t...

The Scottish tactician has stated he achieved what he was asked to do by the Ethiopian Premier League side

Former Gor Mahia head coach Frank Nuttall has explained why he left Ethiopian giants St George SC.

The 53-year-old former Township Rollers coach has explained he was only hired on a short-term deal by the Ethiopian top-flight side and contrary to the rumours he was sacked, he left his position after achieving what he was asked to do.

"Contrary to false information circulating in some media, I am happy to confirm that I have completed my contract satisfactorily with Saint George SA Football Club in Ethiopia," the former Hearts of Oak coach wrote on his Facebook page.

Nuttall highlighted the highlights of his time with the Addis Ababa club, among them the integration of junior players into the senior team.

"I was invited by the club to lead them in the last nine matches of a difficult season for them. I enjoyed the experience, including improving the team, winning the derby against Ethiopia Coffee and giving first-team debuts to three youth team players," he added.

"I wish everyone connected with the club good health and good luck. I now look forward to returning to my family and watching Scotland at the Euros whilst preparing for my next role in football. Stay safe!"

At St George, Nuttall was coaching Kenya goalkeeper Patrick Matasi, who was recently involved in a road accident in Rift Valley while travelling from his upcountry home to Nairobi.

The Kenya international was planning to jet out of the country and join his teammates for pre-season training.

Since leaving Gor Mahia in 2016 after a successful Kenyan Premier League season, Nuttall has had fairly short stints with the clubs he has taken charge of.

K'Ogalo won the league unbeaten with a squad that boasted of Michael Olunga, Musa Mohamed, Khalid Aucho, Boniface Oluoch among others, in its tranks.

He joined Zamalek as an assistant coach in 2016 before he moved to Ghana where he served Hearts of Oak from 2017 to 2018. Between 2018 and 2019, he was with Al Hilal Obeid of Sudan before he joined Botswana against Township Rollers in 2020.

Region 9 soccer: DH road win sets up showdown vs. SC next Tuesday

ST. GEORGE – Brooklyn Lott scored two goals off Kodee Bracken assists and Desert Hills rode a stingy defense to a 2-0 Region 9 victory over Dixie in girls soccer on Thursday.The win, coupled with Cedar’s 3-2 win over league-leading Snow Canyon, sets up a showdown between the Thunder and Warriors next Tuesday at Thunder Stadium.“We started region out slow when we weren’t able to get the rhythm we wanted,” Lott said “As the season went on, we were able to find feet and put it i...

ST. GEORGE – Brooklyn Lott scored two goals off Kodee Bracken assists and Desert Hills rode a stingy defense to a 2-0 Region 9 victory over Dixie in girls soccer on Thursday.

The win, coupled with Cedar’s 3-2 win over league-leading Snow Canyon, sets up a showdown between the Thunder and Warriors next Tuesday at Thunder Stadium.

“We started region out slow when we weren’t able to get the rhythm we wanted,” Lott said “As the season went on, we were able to find feet and put it in the back of the net. We have a lot of talent and finally are together as a team, get our rhythm and finish.”

The Thunder (5-3-0, 8-4-2) defense kept the Flyers (2-5-1, 6-5-1) from getting many shots on goal.

“They’ve just stepped it up,” DH coach Benji Nelson said. “They’ve worked hard and become a family back there.”

It’s been quite week for Lott, who scored twice Tuesday night in the Thunder’s win over Cedar High. She now has eight goals on the year and has helped Desert Hills pull to within three points of the Warriors.

Brittany Moore continued to be a stone wall in goal, recording her sixth shutout of the season. Desert Hills has now shut out three straight opponents and five of the last six teams the Thunder have faced have come away without a goal.

DH, with 15 points, is just three behind Snow Canyon with two games to play, including Tuesday’s head to head match at DHHS.

Dixie, with seven points, is five behind Cedar in the chase for the fourth playoff spot with two games remaining.

Cedar 3, Snow Canyon 2

Chloe Riddle scored the game-winner 20 minutes into the second half. The Lady Reds (4-4, 5-6) got two other goals from Julia Hunt.

“We played a good game and got some momentum going into next week and the playoffs,” said Cedar coach Scott Kamachi.

Heidi Smith and Serena Lindsey scored first-half goals as the Warriors (6-2, 9-5-1) took a 2-1 halftime lead.

“We’re going to have to win a game or two next week,” said SC coach Kenny Kunde.

It was Riddle’s first goal of the year, while Hunt leads the team with eight net-finders.

Cedar, with 12 points, can clinch a playoff spot with a win Tuesday at Pine View.

Snow Canyon, with 18 points, is still in first place by three. The Warriors are at Desert Hills Tuesday and close the regular season with a home match next Thursday against Dixie.

Hurricane 1, Pine View 0

Tye shutout was a clutch home win for the Tigers.

“We knew Cedar had won and leap-frogged over us in the standings so we needed to get the win,” said Tiger coach Luke Stevens. “We had lots of chances and our defense was solid. In the 72nd minute, Mylee Moon got a through ball and crossed it to Jaydon Langford, who put it in. We got the result we wanted.”

Hurricane (4-3-1, 8-5-1) is in third place with 13 points with two games remaining. Pine View (2-6, 3-10) is in sixth. Four teams qualify for the state class 3A playoffs.

Region 9 Girls Soccer Standings Team Region (pts) Overall Snow Canyon 6-2 (18) 9-5-1 Desert Hills 5-3 (15) 8-4-2 Hurricane 4-3-1 (13) 8-5-1 Cedar 4-4-0 (12) 5-6-0 Dixie 2-5-1 (7) 6-5-1 Pine View 2-6 (6) 3-10

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Prep soccer: SC Warriors still unbeaten with road shutout

ST. GEORGE – Snow Canyon didn’t hold back against Pine View as the first-place Warriors won in shutout fashion 4-0 Tuesday night at Panther Stadium.Snow Canyon scored early and often to go up 3-0 by halftime, finishing at the net to put the game in its favor well before intermission.“We came out strong and scored three (goals) in the first 20 minutes,” SC head coach Marc Wittwer said. “It was good to see the boys finish shots early tonight.”PV head coach Ryan Duckworth...

ST. GEORGE – Snow Canyon didn’t hold back against Pine View as the first-place Warriors won in shutout fashion 4-0 Tuesday night at Panther Stadium.

Snow Canyon scored early and often to go up 3-0 by halftime, finishing at the net to put the game in its favor well before intermission.

“We came out strong and scored three (goals) in the first 20 minutes,” SC head coach Marc Wittwer said. “It was good to see the boys finish shots early tonight.”

PV head coach Ryan Duckworth said he he knew his team had a big challenge with the unbeaten Warriors.

“We played a really good team tonight. There’s a reason why they’re undefeated,” he said. “We made some early mistakes that put us in the hole, and we just couldn’t find our rhythm to get back into it. We had an off night and everyone knows that. The Panthers were not ready to play tonight.”

Quinn Hargis recorded the shutout, but Wittwer was really impressed with his back defensive line.

“(Our) defense was awesome as always,” Wittwer said. “Our back line – Adrian Torres, Kadin Dorius, Avery Schmutz and Zachary Hatfield – did an outstanding job of shutting down Pine View’s attack and earning the shutout.”

Richard Vichi scored two goals (first and last) for the Warriors, both assisted by Yetzel Carillo. Kaden Wittwer scored the second goal on a Ben Kemp assist, and Dillon Hargis scored the third goal off an assist from Max Kemp.

The win keeps Snow Canyon out in front of everyone else in the region with 19 points. Pine View is holding on to that fourth spot, which includes a playoff berth, with six points, just ahead of Cedar and Hurricane, who are still tied at four points.

“Tonight after the game we talked a lot about the fire that is required at this stage of the season,” Duckworth said. “Being in the position we are in with the three of us duking it out for that last seed. It’s going to really come down to our desire to put forth the effort that is needed to make the playoffs.”

Snow Canyon will be looking forward to its next match against Dixie, which earned a tie against SC and is the only blemish on the otherwise perfect Warriors record. The match is set for a Friday 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

“We played them well last time, we just need to finish,” Wittwer said. “We’ll just attack as a team. Hopefully someone steps up and gets a couple in. If we’re moving and working hard, we’ll get them.”

Pine View will travel to Desert Hills to take on a Thunder team trying to stay close enough to Snow Canyon and Dixie to possibly make a year-end strike. That match is also set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“Desert Hills is another good team in the region,” Duckworth said. “What we spoke about with the boys tonight is that we need to figure out how to beat good teams. If we hold on to the fourth-place spot, we’re going to have to figure out how to beat the good teams. We had a close match against Dixie, we consider them a good team. We have to step the tempo, we need to strike first rather than try to dig ourselves out of a hole.”

Dixie 2, Cedar 1

Dixie came from behind once again against Cedar to win with the same score as the first game, 2-1.

Cedar scored first thanks to Abe Brower. That score held through halftime.

Dixie’s Jose Morales and Kian Rocha scored a goal each to claim the victory in the second half.

Dixie will play its rematch against Snow Canyon, this time on the road Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Cedar has the rest of the week off from games, but is back at Pine View next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Desert Hills 5, Hurricane 1

The Thunder led 3-0 at the half, but continued to put the hurt on the Tigers in the second half to win big.

Bryant McCoy, Garrett Cottle and Kelton Holt helped the Thunder take the big lead into halftime. Walker Heaton and Will Schroeder each scored a goal in the second half for the Thunder.

The Tigers’ Dan Brubaker scored his eighth goal of the season.

Desert Hills will host Pine View next with a Friday match at 7:30 p.m.

Hurricane will take the rest of the week off from games and play at Dixie next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

REGION 9 SOCCER STANDINGS (team, region, points, overall) Snow Canyon 6-0-1 (19) 10-2-1 Dixie 5-1-1 (16) 9-2-2 Desert Hills 5-2-0 (15) 9-4-0 Pine View 2-5-0 (6) 3-9-0 Hurricane 1-6-1 (4) 3-8-1 Cedar 1-6-1 (4) 3-11-1

Pine View's Firew "Kai" Kuma (4) and Snow Canyon's Adrian Torres (3), Pine View vs. Snow Canyon, Soccer, St. George, Utah, Apr. 18, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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Dorchester County farmer builds state’s first malt house

In the rural farming community of St. George, surrounded by fields of nearly-mature cotton and peanuts, the state’s first and only malt house operates around the clock to create a malt made from locally-grown barley.Malted barley is used by brewers to make beer. Malting is the first step in the process of making those widely-consumed fermented beverages. Until recently, South Carolina’s breweries sourced their malted barley from out of state companies. But now the Palmetto Malt Company is providing South Carolina-grown, ha...

In the rural farming community of St. George, surrounded by fields of nearly-mature cotton and peanuts, the state’s first and only malt house operates around the clock to create a malt made from locally-grown barley.

Malted barley is used by brewers to make beer. Malting is the first step in the process of making those widely-consumed fermented beverages. Until recently, South Carolina’s breweries sourced their malted barley from out of state companies. But now the Palmetto Malt Company is providing South Carolina-grown, harvested and malted barley.

Owned and operated by Jared Weathers, the Palmetto Malt Company is located on the very land that Weathers’ family has farmed for more than 50 years. Last month Weathers and his business partner, Alex Reeves, completed their first batch of malted barley and Wide Awake Brewing Company, a start-up craft beer microbrewery in Berkeley County, is brewing the first beer made from the batch.

Farm to Froth’

When Weathers, 27, first proposed growing malting barley on his family’s farm, the idea was not received well; it can be difficult to grow the crop in South Carolina due to the high humidity. But Weathers, a craft beer enthusiast, recognized an increased demand for malted barley as more local breweries open across the region. And perhaps more importantly, as a young farmer, Weathers was looking for opportunities to diversify.

“It took a lot of persuasion to convince my dad to give up some of his land to plant barley instead of cotton,” Weathers said. “Barley yields in the South are about half of what they are in the North.”

Neither his father nor many others in his family knew much about the craft beer scene happening in the Palmetto State. Weathers himself was also new to exploring the brewing process but his interest was piqued by the agricultural side to beer making — or as he likes to say; “taking it from farm to froth.”

“The farming side is my favorite part of the (beer making) process,” Weathers said. “Getting to see barley in a field and then going into a brewery and getting to taste what you grew…”

At first Weathers considered opening a farm brewery in St. George but he quickly learned that breweries are quite competitive and he talked himself out of that idea. Instead, with his knowledge of growing and harvesting grains, Weathers decided to research the malting process. He flew to Texas to shadow a professional maltster and then he was hooked. After earning a malting certification from Colorado State University, Weathers and his business partner, Alex Reeves, planned what machines to buy and install in St. George.

Intelligent Malt

Having an established farm with a seed cleaner and a bagging line in place made it easier for Weathers to try a new crop. His family’s 2,000-acre farm already grew corn, wheat, oats, rye, and soybeans. Because barley is planted in November and harvested in April, it can be grown through the off season of other crops.

“We could plug it in where land would have been laid out,” Weathers said.

He used a special variety of barley seed called Violetta. The two-row winter barley originates in Germany and is known for its malting quality attributes, early sprouting, and resistance to disease.

Weather’s first attempt at growing the seed proved successful. He began malting his first harvest just a few weeks ago. He uses an Intelligent Malting Unit with a 5-ton capacity. The machine is the only one of its kind used in South Carolina. It is controlled with an ipad; the software allows Weather’s to build his own recipes, schedule batches and provide real-time feedback.

Malting barley involves steeping, germinating and kilning the grain. The Intelligent Malt system uses a vertical design and is modular to grow with a maltster’s operation. The steeping tank allows for control over timing and air applications before grain moves down to the germination and kilning vessels. Once in germination and kilning, Weathers can adjust the system to create custom malts.

The entire process takes about a week to complete. Weathers said the most labor-intensive part is cleaning; he has to clean constantly.

After harvesting 200 acres of barley, Weathers has enough grain to malt 10,000 pounds of product each week until the next cycle. He’s currently selling malted barley to 15 breweries and said he hopes to expand his operation soon.

“Business has been very good, we’ve gotten a great reaction from the local breweries,” Weathers said. “It’s really great to see the community of South Carolina support South Carolina farmers and South Carolina agriculture.”

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