Travel: Joel Flowers Invades South Carolina
No doubt about it – the craft beer community is thriving in Arizona – but what about those summer vacations? You’ve got to find some trendy breweries to visit! I’ve had a South Carolina trip planned for months, meticulously pinpointing 4 places I had to visit (thanks to Instagram, Google, and Facebook). These suggestions come in the order I visited them and are not reflective of any kind of ranking system. Special shoutout to Victoria, Aunt Lee, and Aunt Pat for being my drinking buddies at all the stops. My aunts aren’t super into craft beer, so it was a lot of fun getting flights of different styles and figuring out what they preferred.
Ghost Monkey Brewery – Mount Pleasant, SC
When doing pre-trip research for breweries, Ghost Monkey immediately caught my eye. I mean the logo is a monkey skull! What’s not to love? Ghost Monkey is tucked back off a side road in an industrial area. You won’t see it till you’re right up on it, but thankfully Google Maps had my back. The outside is pretty unassuming with a standard warehouse exterior, the monkey skull on the door is the first hint that you’re in for more than you might have bargained for. Inside you’re greeted with a spacious lounge setting and dive bar aesthetic, including an entire wall with a “Stranger Things” homage. They even had a music trivia event; it was fun without being so loud that you couldn’t talk. And if something really strikes your fancy, you can get a monkey-skulled crowler to go!
Beer to Try
Black Jelly Bean Brown Ale
Very laidback vibe, unique beers, and sweet merch
Revelry Brewing – Charleston, SC
Rooftop Bar. ‘Nuff said. Seriously.
If you’re traveling with a group that might not be into the brewery vibe, take them to Revelry. They have made full use of their sprawling building that includes a walkup bar downstairs and a full draft/can list upstairs. Revelry lives up to its name with a massive draft list and lively trumpet beer taps to enhance the festivities. With a Belgian strong golden ale in hand and a seat up at the rooftop bar, I was very much hoping that this vacation would never end. They also have a very nicely set up merch/beer corner downstairs around the bar that gives you plenty of options to take home.
Beer to Try
Gods Favorite – Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Rooftop bar, lots of to-go can/bottle choices
Frothy Beard Brewing Company – Charleston, SC
We hit Frothy Beard around dinnertime, and with the beer plus pizza combo it did not disappoint. You can’t miss this place – a giant bearded face of their mascot Finn adorns the outside. Frothy is unique in that there is a full-fledged pizza shop inside called Zombie Bob’s Pizza, not just your typical food truck scene. The sourdough crust for the pizzas is actually infused with craft beer, which is a nice touch. And the pizzas are massive! Frothy Beard is also very family-friendly with a whole kids’ corner to entertain the little ones while parents enjoy adult beverages. The whole setup was very family-friendly while still having a wide draft selection for the craft beer connoisseur.
Beer to Try
Andale! – Jalapeno Cilantro Pale Ale
family friendly, huge tasty pizzas, diverse draft list
Westbrook Brewing – Mount Pleasant, SC
I ended my trip with what was clearly a craft beer enthusiast’s kind of spot. The taproom was a bit on the smaller end but was more than made up for with a huge draft list of quality stuff. Westbrook was also notable for having a reserve list of bottles they have been cellaring with some bottles going back to 2014. While I was there I even saw a group go in on a $200 bottle of barrel-aged Mexican Cake! The only catch is these bottles are for on-site consumption only. But they had plenty of other amazing bottles and cans to take home! Westbrook seems to have a wide distribution on the East Coast, so they had plenty of different beers to choose from, there really isn’t a bad choice. Be sure and check times before you head over there, though, as hours of operation can be a minimap depending on the day.
Beer to Try
Mexican Cake (and if you can afford it, the reserve bottle variants)
craft beer enthusiast type of brewery, cellar list for on-site consumption
My trip back home was not only a nice visit to see family but also a refreshing opportunity to finally try diverse breweries on South Carolina’s craft scene; and I only scratched the surface. In Charleston alone there were several other stops I did not have time for. So next time you’re in the lowcountry be sure to check out these spots, and let me know what you think! Regardless of where you visit, I highly suggest using social media outlets like Instagram to find breweries that interest you.