The slogan at RJ Rockers is “Handcrafted. Every beer. Every drop. Every time.” But it’s not just an empty boast or vacuous marketing B.S. – it’s a true reflection of the passion for beer that comes from the top of their organization and flows down to all employees. As head brewer, founder and owner Mark Johnsen still crafts each and every batch of beer with his own hands.
The RJ Rockers story begins when Mark was stationed in Germany after serving in the Gulf War in 1991. Germany is of course towards the very top of the list of fantastic places to live if you love good beer, and there’s no better place to learn the art and science of brewing if you have the interest. We’ve lost track of how many American brewers we’ve featured over the years who awakened to the world of beer during stints with the military in Germany, but it’s a very large number. Mark was no different, and he took full advantage of his prime location to study as much as he could about the brewing process.
After an honorable discharge, Mark was ready to jump into the brewing industry himself. Originally from New Jersey, he decided to settle in South Carolina, and he opened RJ Rockers as a brewpub in the historic Morgan Square area of downtown Spartanburg in 1997. Over the next few years RJ Rockers developed a strong following of devotees, and it became well-known as a local meeting place and watering hole, featuring live bands and games of trivia hosted by Mark himself.
After five years of growing his brewpub’s following and building a reputation for great high-quality microbrewed beer, Mark took RJ Rockers on the leap from brewpub to full production brewery, offering bottled and draft beer to pubs, restaurants, and stores throughout the Southeast. A new building was acquired to serve as brewhouse, and a 30 barrel brewing system was put in, giving the brewery an annual capacity of 25,000 barrels – quite a step up from their brewpub system!
To learn more about RJ Rockers Brewing Company or scheduled brewery tours, visit www.rjrockers.com
or call 864-585-BEER.