You could probably drink at a different Charleston Brewery for a month and still not hit them all, it seems. Every day you hear about a new brewery opening, moving locations, or hosting a new festival or event. I've had the opportunity to go to several Charleston Breweries since moving here five years ago. Five years ago, due to state laws that limited the servings breweries could provide patrons, there were only a few breweries. The main three I can remember from that time are Westbrook, Palmetto, and Holy City. Now there are dozens! Below are a list of the ones I've gone to and my thoughts on each.
Holy City is one of the originals and is probably the first brewery I went to in Charleston. The first time I went to Holy City I was nervous. It is not necessarily in the "nicest" area of town, and it is hard to find because it is behind a building off the main road. What I like about Holy City is the indoor/outdoor feel. It is a great spot in the spring and fall when it's not scorching out and it's not chilly. Holy City is probably my favorite brewery when it comes to actual beer. I love their Holy City Washout Wheat and their Pluff Mud Porter. I will say the last time we went to Holy City (probably about three or four months ago), it was the first "hotter" day of the year and the bugs were out in full force. Also, it wreaks of garbage and rot because they keep all their brewery supplies outside.
I've only gone to Palmetto once or twice since being Charleston. I like the fact it is downtown and it had a nice feel inside. I honestly don't have a strong opinion on the brewery because it didn't leave a lasting impression. I remember their being live music outside, but it was a chilly night. I don't recall off the top of my head what I drank or how I liked it. I know Palmetto beers are in a lot of other bars (their tap is made of Palmetto leaves and is pretty eyecatching), however, I don't typically gravitate to their beers for some unknown reason.
Revelry is probably one of my favorite breweries since they have added their rooftop space. It is pretty easy to get to from my house (literally a 5 minute drive on 26). There is typically plenty of parking and you can walk to Home Team BBQ, Edmund's Oast, and a few other downtown spots as well. The Rooftop is a cool space to hang out. It gets pretty crowded on a nice day. The overall crowd is younger. They do have a few sandwiches and food items on site, which is great. Revelry's beers are okay. They have a pretty decent wheat beer (in case you can't tell, I'm a huge wheat/light beer fan.) The downstairs and picnic table area is nice too. Again, they have a great indoor/outdoor feel .
When it was announced a year ago that Frothy Beard was moving from North Charleston to a shopping center right across the street from us, we were ecstatic. What made it even better was they were partnering with one of our all time favorite food trucks, Zombie Bob's Pizza. We were so excited about Frothy Beard's opening that we went the first day they opened. Overall, I like the space, but since it also draws a lot of people because of Zombie Bob's it gets really crowded with the tables and people sitting down and eating pizza. We've gone back several times and each time had an issue. The bar space is really tight, so there is not a good place to come up and grab a beer from the bartender. You have to wait in line to get a beer, order food, or just close out your tab. It's quite frustrating when the line is long. The lines have since died down a little and it isn't so bad. The first couple times we went we would order a slice or a whole pizza with no issue.
About a month or so ago, my husband and I decided to stop in for a beer and a slice before heading to the Riverdogs game. We were meeting a friend who had our tickets at the gate of the stadium so we were on a tight schedule. We had an hour to kill so we decided to just go ahead and grab a bite and a beer. When we got there we went to the bar and ordered a beer and our food. My husband ordered a slice of pizza with some toppings, I ordered just a cheese slice. We sat down, enjoyed our beer. After about 20 minutes we were starting to wonder where our food was. We had about 30 minutes until we had to leave for the game. We didn't want to be "those" people so we just continued to wait. After about 30 minutes, we went up to the kitchen and inquired. They said it was coming right up. My husband's slice came out about 5 minutes later, and my very basic slice didn't. I waited another 10 minutes for my slice before following up again. They said they just put it in the oven. Five minutes later we had to go. I asked if they could wrap my slice up to go. We waited and still no pizza! We ended up asking for a refund for my slice (since I never received it). The fact that we had to ask to be refunded and they didn't offer, infuriated me. I am not a difficult customer, but some customer service skills go a long way with me. Anyways, we went to the bar where they "supposedly" refunded our money to our card. The refund never came through.
After that horrible experience I had no desire to go back, but since it was right near the house other friends of ours liked it, we decided to go back a few weeks later. My husband got there before I did (about 10 minutes or so), and ordered our food knowing it may take a while. Again, I ordered just a cheese slice. Again, we waited 30 plus minutes for our food, with our breadsticks coming out after our food. From what I gathered, if you order a cheese slice, you apparently get pushed to the back of the line. We went back to Frothy Beard this weekend (because again it's like .25 miles from our house). This time we ordered a whole pie to split with four people and breadsticks. Surprisingly the food came out pretty quick. Lesson learned, always order a whole pie, even if you want the slice. My biggest complaint from this past weekend was that they were out of pretty much all of their beers. I ended up with the Low Tide (a guest tap) Wheat. It was really, really good. (Side note, the manager of Zombie Bob's reached out to me. He was quite nice and apologized profusely. A little apology goes a long way with me!)
Low Tide Brewery
A few weeks back, after a few drinks in West Ashley, we decided to meet some friends over at Low Tide Brewery on Johns Island. Other than the brewery being quite the haul from our house, I really liked it. It had the traditional/industrial brewery feel. I felt like I was at a legit brewery and not a restaurant. They had a lot of picnic tables inside with corn hole boards inside as well. I don't recall what I drank, however, as I mentioned above, I really liked their Wheat beer. I would definitely love to go back, it's just so far away from us.
We went to Twisted Cypress a few Saturday's ago after attending a Derby party. It was a group of about five of us. The brewery is right around the corner from our gym so we were eager to try it out. Surprisingly the place was dead for a Saturday. I could tell the place has a more laid back vibe (not trying to be as trendy as Frothy Beard). They had some good live music, but again there was no one there. We played corn hole outside, however, the corn hole boards were next to a fence and if you (drunkenly) overthrow the beanbag, it lands it someones yard and is hard to retrieve. The beer was good. Again, I'm not sure what I had. I just wish the place had a more lively vibe. I wish it was a happy medium between dead and Frothy Beard. I would love and try it again.
My Favorite Place
My favorite place to grab a local brew is a place called Craft Conundrum. Craft, as we call it, has a ton (not sure the exact number but thinking like 50+) brews on tap. Most of their beer is local. The owners are amazing and treat you like family. We have been going to Craft since they opened three or so years ago. The owner used to operate the Beer Garden in the old Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) next door. When the Pig closed, he renovated the space next door. Originally it was more a retail space, but over time it became more a bar scene. Craft, unfortunately, doesn't have a really vibrant outdoor space, like some of the other spots, but that's what makes it such a great winter bar. I love going to Craft and trying out all the local brews. They typically have food trucks on the weekend. One of my husband and I's favorite things to do is go across the street and get sushi at our favorite sushi restaurant (Zen), then head over to Craft and have a couple beers. They also have Cards Against Humanity and some other games, so it's fun to go with friends, grab some beers, and play some games.
Haley Parler Moore
Charleston resident. Digital Marketer. Crazy Crossfitter. Bulldog Mom. Gamecock fan. Constantly clad in Lululemon.