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From the Earth Brewing Company (FTE), co-owned by husband-and-wife duo Tim Stevens and Lisa Stevens, opened its Beer Garden on the River this past Friday next to Azalea Park. The space, about a fifth under an acre, welcomed around 150 people on Saturday, despite getting rained out, and a little over 200 people on Sunday in its soft opening.
The beer garden was six weeks in the making as Tim Stevens had many of the pieces for a beer garden already in-place.
“I’ve been wanting to do something on the water forever,” Stevens said. “So I’ve always been very interested in putting something like this together.”
FTE currently has its food and draft truck in the beer garden, serving snacks, frozen drinks, and (of course) beer. However, Stevens is planning on expanding FTE’s garden menu to include some of its greatest hits such as fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese fritters, shrimp tacos, and impossible burgers, totalling up to around 15 different options.
“While I would love to say, ‘yes, the focus is on the beer or the food,” it’s really on the land because it’s such a beautiful space,” Stevens said. “We’re really trying to make a fun, safe community gathering space that people can really enjoy right by the river.”
Although FTE is known for its alcoholic drinks, the garden they have built is family-friendly, and there’s a non-alcoholic drink for children. However, the space is not yet dog-friendly, though Stevens hopes to change that in the future.
For safety during the coronavirus, hand sanitizer will be available around the space, which can hold 1,200 people even with social distancing in place. However, FTE has capped capacity at 250. The staff will also be wearing masks and recommend visitors wear one too.
For now, while FTE is working on getting better lighting around the area, the last call will take place at sunset with a toast every Friday and Saturday night.
“We were out there on the first night, we were setting up on Thursday,” Stevens said. “We saw this beautiful sunset, and I’m like ‘okay, we’re going to do a sunset toast every Friday and Saturday night and that will be our last call because it’s just so gorgeous.”