Once a venue reserved for adults, craft breweries across South Carolina are now welcoming beer-drinking parents along with their kids.
These days brew houses are more like “a community center with alcohol … (for families) who just want to have fun,” says Mike Tourville, owner of Columbia's River Rat Brewery.
With families making up approximately half its customers, River Rat has embraced the successful business model, joining other breweries across the state in creating an inviting environment for young patrons.
Drew Walker, who has served as River Rat's brewmaster since it opened in 2013, says there was never a conscious decision to make the location family-friendly.
“It was just sort of organic,” he says. “We wanted a place where people want to hang out, so we put in the outdoor yard. We wanted families to come and bring their kids, so we added the playhouses and toys.”
Looking for a spot to sip a local craft beer while your youngsters have fun? Check out these kid-loving breweries.
Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom
Located on Main Street in Travelers Rest, the brewery has outdoor spaces and is a stone’s throw from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a family-oriented cycling path that runs all the way into downtown Greenville. Kids are always welcome inside the brewery, too.
Birds Fly South
Located in the revitalized Hampton Station near downtown, this brewery is surrounded by attractions: White Duck Taco restaurant is a family favorite, as are Due South Coffee and Craft Axe Throwing. BFS also has picnic tables, cornhole games and is 30 yards from the Swamp Rabbit Trail. In warm months, King of Pops craft popsicles and food trucks are on site.
There’s plenty for kids here: TVs and a large outdoor seating area, and even diaper-changing stations in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. Snacks—chips, peanuts and popsicles during warm months—are for sale, and food trucks visit often, or patrons can bring their own food. Well-mannered dogs are always welcome.
Yee Haw Brewing Co.
Established in Johnson City, TN in 2015, this brewery prides itself on creating its own unique riffs on traditional beer styles. Dog and kid friendly, Yee Haw is a great spot to enjoy both great tasting beers and fun environment!
Housed in a former tire warehouse in downtown Greenville, this hip spot offers vintage sofas, handcrafted tables and a biergarten. With 15 house-brewed beers, wines, meads and regionally made ciders, this is a place not to miss.
Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery
The brewery and cidery’s bright, well-lit and large indoor area has TVs, food and benches, plus cornhole and other games for kids and young-at-heart adults. Besides their own brews, Ciclops sells plenty of other craft beers.
RJ Rockers Brewing
The large indoor facility features games—such as cornhole and foosball—and plenty of room for kids to romp. Live music is offered occasionally. The Silo at RJ Rockers is next door with additional dining options for families.
New Groove Artisan Brewery
Located in Boiling Springs, this facility welcomes families and large groups with good food, kid-favorite beverages and indoor games. A special treat: craft sodas for youngsters and non-beer drinkers.