Our Story

It all began with a University of South Carolina student exchange to Bamberg, Germany – home to some of the best beer
(and Bierkeller) in the world...
In 1993, Bierkeller founder, Scott Burgess, took part in the University of South Carolina student exchange to Bamberg, Germany. The experience would transform his life – and his perspective on beer and beer culture – forever.

Bamberg, a city of 70,000 people, is home to 9 breweries, with around 350 more within a one-hour radius. Each village seems to have its own brewery and beer garden (or Bierkeller as they are known locally), and each beer seems to reflect the subtle, unique differences of its village.

Scott ended up spending the better part of a decade in Germany. And to this day, he considers Bamberg his second home. For the past seven years, Scott has been developing his own beers, maintaining a strict focus on just a handful of old favorites – or as we like to call them, "old friends" – from that time in Germany.

Under the tutelage of an award-winning brewer – a finalist in multiple National Homebrewing Association competitions as well as the 2011 Sam Adams Longshot competition – those recipes and processes were refined into the beers they are today.

As the Germans say, every beer needs a home ("Bier braucht Heimat "). Bierkeller beers are meant to both reflect their German heritage as well as to feel right at home here in Columbia, SC. All Bierkeller beers are full-flavored while remaining highly drinkable – a key in our "famously hot" climate. They are meant to be enjoyed both inside and outside in nature – which we have in abundance in our city of three rivers. And they are meant to be easy to settle in with – just like life in Columbia.

Starting in 2016, Columbians can experience a piece of Bavarian beer culture right here in the Midlands. So come out and meet your newest "old friends"...and see what the freshest beer in its natural setting is all about. Prost, Columbi-Ja!