This Uptown spot might feel like it’s been around more than its two years, because the beer brewed here is some of the best in Charleston. From Gullah Cream Ale, a 2016 Gold Medal winner at the US Open Beer Championships, to Dr. Shepard’s Specialtea made with Charleston Tea Plantation tea, Revelry is giving the Holy City something to celebrate. Brew that with a hopping NoMo spot and a newly opened rooftop terrace and, well, shall we meet you there?
Pretty much around the corner from big dog Westbrook Brewing, nano-brewery Ghost Monkey has quickly made a name for itself for more than just proximity reasons. The tasting room is comfy, the food trucks that visit are crowd favorites (chow down on the likes of Food Box and Rolled Quesadillas), and the beers are more than just a name. From JoJo the Nitro Coffee Stout to Haymaker, a farmhouse ale, Ghost Monkey is brewing up damn good additions to Charleston pint glasses.
Tradesman can be easy to miss since it’s in a nondescript building behind an old-fashioned service station on James Island. That “working-stiff” vibe works perfectly for the brewery, which champions “regular beer for regular folk.” There’s method behind that motto; Tradesman has firmly established itself on the scene through -- you guessed it -- hard work and good beer. The Welder’s Wheat Ale is the most popular of its offerings, but increasing seasonals and collaborations with the female Brewsters club hint of bigger things to come.
North Charleston/West Ashley
Fans of this brewery will soon have more access to an innovative small-batch taproom bonanza, after FB moves from its Peppermill Parkway digs to West Ashley later this year. From Holy Water (a saison) to Sumter Street Amber and Its Cucumber Thyme! Wheat, there’s always something really interesting on tap. There’s also a lot of it -- Frothy Beard has 15 taps going at any one time, which is impressive for the size of the brewery. And there’s even more reason to celebrate -- the new locale will have pizza!
Some people said an organic brewery couldn’t be done in SC. We don’t know those people -- we’re too busy drinking organic beer at Freehouse on the beautiful banks of the Ashley River. Its saisons and sours really hit the spot during Charleston’s hot days, while the river location offers a (somewhat) cooling breeze. Freehouse also has a bottle program for aging beers, including the Pink Squirt Saison that’s super-tart and citrusy (it’s even more fun to order).
Currently without a taproom, this company is nonetheless making a sudsy splash on the Charleston scene with its Blueberry Wheat IPA and Mexican Lager. Look for Lo-Fi brews on taps all across the region, from Tattooed Moose to the Bar at Husk. You’ll be able to find them by the psychedelic-colored tap handles (which match its equally psychedelic website).
East Bay St
Now occupying the former Southend Brewery & Smokehouse on East Bay St, big brewer Lagunitas put down roots in the Lowcountry. The California company now has an outpost that also includes 10 exclusive-to-Charleston Laguintas brews. It opened last month, and its visible location, big name, and proximity to the cruise-ship dock has created a “buzz” already.