Mark Fesche

Years of Participation

Since the early 90’s, a passion for craft brewing has led Mark Fesche around the U.S. His career
is marked with successful stints at internationally recognized breweries to small, start-up
brewpubs in small towns along the East Coast and now to Charleston, SC, where he’s serving
as the first brewmaster at Cooper River Brewing Company.
After graduating from Towson University, Fesche headed west to pursue his dream of
becoming a Brewmaster. Fesche knew that his only opportunity to realize this dream in 1992
was to head to Bend, Oregon—home of Deschutes Brewing. After starting as a keg scrubber
and helping expand their production facility, Fesche was elevated to brewer on their 10-barrel
brew pub, eventually advancing to run their 50-barrel production facility.
Looking to advance his brewing knowledge, Fesche enrolled in the famed Siebel Institute of
Technology in Chicago. In 1997, he earned his Diploma of Fermentation Science, which
brought Fesche closer to his dream of owning his own brewery.
With his new degree in hand, Fesche decided to give the legal field a shot, heading east to
attend law school at the Baltimore School of Law. While there, Fesche and some friends
started Twin Lakes Brewing Company in (town?) Delaware. After passing the bar, Fesche’s
interest in brewing was too strong and he dedicated his full attention to brewing, operating a
25-barrel brewhouse and a 50-barrel cellar system. Using Post and Beam construction and an
art studio in the tasting room, Twin Lakes fit perfectly with Fesche’s artistic background.
After five years with Twin Lakes, Fesche sought a fresh start and pursued an opportunity to
build a new brewery in 2007. He relocated to Raleigh, NC, which was beginning to establish
itself as a new brewery destination on the East Coast. Helping to create a magnificent 7-barrel
brew pub with a 200-seat restaurant overlooking the City, Fesche ran brewery operations for
Boylan Bridge Brewpub.
Following Boylan Bridge, Fesche went on to help other breweries, including Huske Hardware,
Ocean City Brewing and Below the Radar. At Huske in Fayetteville, NC, Fesche ran a 15-barrel
brewpub and a 350-seat restaurant. At Ocean City Brewing in Ocean City Maryland, he
designed and built a 30-barrel brewery and created two dozen unique recipes overseeing
every aspect of production. His final position before moving to Charleston was in Alabama,
consulting for a new brewpub in Huntsville.
In the end, Fesche’s love of the coast left him with a strong desire to be closer to family in
South Carolina. Fate would bring him together with the founding partners of Cooper River
Brewing, who were in the midst of a search for an experienced head brewer to round out their
team. After extensive interviews throughout the country, Cooper River Brewing hit a dead end.
An ad on for a head brewer in Charleston, SC caught Fesche’s attention, and the partnership was formed. Fesche’s passion for well-crafted beers can be seen in Cooper River’s debut lineup, which includes a Golden Ale, India Pale Ale, Anniversary IPA and Stout.