I am a Seattle, Washington poster child. I grew up in the same city Bill Gates lives. Macklemore went to my rival high school. My father worked at the Boeing plants (North and South) and my mother consulted for Microsoft on their Xbox launch (my brothers, my friends, and I were paid to test video games!). I love Nirvana, Starbucks, Seahawks, The 1995 Seattle Mariners Team, and I hate umbrellas.
So believe me when I say it wasn’t easy watching my family slowly dissipate from this amazing city (even though I started it). I left for the UO chemistry program in 2006. Both brothers moved east of the Mississippi for their college experiences, and 2 years ago my father was offered a huge Boeing promotion with the stipulation that they move to the North Charleston, South Carolina plant. It was sad to be the last Garves on the West coast. But…
New City means New Beer.
I visited this past week for five days and when mom asked what I wanted to do there, immediately I requested a brewery crawl. We lined up our three choices (man are things spread out over there): The Frothy Beard Brewing Company, Holy City Brewing, and Revelry Brewing. Each unique in its own way, and each providing delicious brews and good times.
The Frothy Beard
My father bought me one of these shirts way before I had even been to Charleston. I love the logo and I love the brewery name, so I wore that shirt fondly. Now I wear it proudly. Frothy Beard is a nanobrewery in a little corner warehouse. The walls are plastered with movie posters, video game references, and beer paraphernalia. Kegs line the edges and a sweet dog named Murphy greets you excitedly as you approach the Irish-pub-song-blasting bar. The tap handles are beautiful. Hand carved wood tap handles outline various beard styles. They had 6 of their brews on tap and our party tasted 4 of them. Each one was phenominal. I myself had their Don the Savior Quad (I’m a sucker for ’em), and the family tried the Sumter Street Amber, A’ndale Pale Ale, and The Albatross IPA. While sitting at the indoor picnic tables, we were mere feet from the 1.5 barrel brew system. The fermenters were in a temperature controlled room next to the cooler. Smells of yeast and malt wafted through the tasting room/brewhouse. The tour was quick and didn’t require much walking, but the head brewer was incredibly knowledgeable and obviously dedicated to quality. I can’t wait to return this fall and experience their latest creations!
Holy City Brewing
Every restaurant we visited in Charleston had Holy City on tap. In fact my first beer in Charleston was their Brown Chicken Brown Cow American Brown Ale. So when our little party bus pulled up to the brewery I was stoked to see a huge outdoor patio, 16 taps, and a huge crowd of people eating, drinking, and having fun. Holy City boasted a 15 barrel brew system and probably one of the cleanest open-to-customers cellar I’ve encountered. Tables propped up with barrels lined the concrete floor and at first glance it seemed we wouldn’t be able to find a spot to sit. The place was PACKED! But being busy didn’t stop Holy City from producing a helluva good time. We were immediately invited to pull up a pint next to some friendly strangers, and handed a brunch menu that can only be described as “We ordered one of everything.” My sister and I shared the chipotle deviled eggs while the rest of the family passed around plates of chili verde, bratwurst hash, and peanut butter french toast. It all paired well with our beers. We sipped through the German Pilsner, Slanted Porch Pale Ale, Yeast Wrangler, Trebek’s ‘Stache Imperial Red (how could you say no?), The Gruesome Twosome dunkel, and the delicious Clementitious. My mother and my grandmother indulged themselves on a bottle of red wine. It’s no wonder that they are all over the city – these brews were each so unique and so good. We stayed here the longest, chatting with the locals and drinking quite a few pints. It was tough leaving, but we had one more brewery to attend.
The first thing we noticed as we pulled up to Revelry was the amazing art work. All along the outside and inside of this brewery was incredible beer related artwork.
The second thing we noticed was the live 2 man band belting out Bob Dylan. Already this place was 2 for 2. As we walked up to the rectangular bar, it was hard to focus on the tap list with the band standing in front of the brew-house, the art on the walls, and the barrels along the wall. So much to look at and enjoy! Eventually we all managed to order our pints and giggled as the beerista poured our choices from red trumpet tap handles. Finding a corner without a crowd we drink our beers, tapped our feet, and oogled the cheeky art. We drank the Small Victories Imperial Red, the “Welcome, This Is A Farmhouse,” Adventures In Shandyland blonde ale, Not So Crosstown Brown, and I gave into the high gravity Oh My Darlyn! Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale. Again and again South Carolina keeps providing my thirsty family with incredible brews. We cheered as the lead singer tuned up his Tom Petty impression, pulled out the harmonica and we danced and sang along with Mary Jane’s Last Dance. It was our last stop and our last brew.
Thanks South Carolina for the wonderful breweries, great beers, and incredible people!
I’ll be back.