About Fatty's Beer Works
From South Carolina to Montana
Fatty’s Beer Works was founded by David “Fatty” McLain, a native of Aiken, South Carolina. David knew early on in life that he wanted to work in a field like math or science. By the time he graduated high school, it was engineering that piqued his interest. It’s why he made his way to Clemson in the late 1990s.
If you’re wondering where the name came from, McLain was dubbed “Fatty” by his fraternity brothers after he gained more than the infamous “freshman 15” pounds at Clemson. He lost the weight but kept the nickname.
After college, Fatty moved to Montana where his interest in brewing beer emerged. He noticed domestic beer was king and there was truly a lack of good, flavorful micro-brews. He decided to bring this knowledge back to SC, where his craft beer journey began.
Giving it a First Shot
During his wife’s pregnancy, he realized he needed a hobby, and what better hobby than to start brewing his own beer. While working his day job at a software firm, Fatty began brewing in his garage using equipment he fabricated himself. Through the mentorship of Steve Hirsch and other local brewers, Fatty learned the ins and outs of the beer business and really developed his flavor profile.
After a few years of developing recipes, he produced his first small batch brew, First Shot. The name paid homage to the first shot of the civil war happening in Charleston. First Shot started as contract brew with 60 barrel batches, all kegs. By 2015, First Shot was canned and became the flagship beer for the Fatty brand.
Moving into Meeting St
By September of 2016, Fatty decided to turn his full focus to developing good, craft beers. He said goodbye to the software world, and hello to a brick and mortar brewery, replacing an old ice factory. The first beer was made at the Meeting Street location in February of 2017.
Fatty’s goal was to create the most unique brewery experience, like no other around. He aimed to combine his love for beer and music in a fun, laid-back setting. Today, you can find Fatty often playing at the brewery along with many local musicians and bands on a converted container as a stage with his signature band, Fatty’s Fog Machine.
A Lazy Hazy Era
During the 2020 pandemic, Fatty shifted focus in hopes of coming out the other side more successful and profitable. Honing in on the hazy IPA crave, Fatty decided it was time to focus production on his second flagship beer, Lazy Hazy.
Lazy Hazy combined both a delicious hazy IPA with a well-designed, eye-catching can design. Lazy Hazy soon became the top-selling beer at Fatty’s and has since replaced First Shot as the flagship beer of Fatty’s.
A Fat Future
When it comes to the future, Fatty wants to continue evolving the experience in the taproom by adding more outdoor seating and building a new stage to host even more musicians and performers. With a primary focus on sour IPA’s and hazy IPAs, Fatty’s will continue to increase production by adding more tanks, and scaling Fatty’s to deliver to the masses.
David "Fatty" McLain