Take a tour of Greenville's growing craft beer industry with The Brewery Experience.
The tours, on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, make stops at three, and sometimes up to all four, of the city's four craft breweries: Thomas Creek, Brewery 85, Quest and Swamp Rabbit Brewery. They have a rotating schedule of stops, and though it isn't posted on their website you can always call ahead to find out.
Jon Richards, who is a Cicerone-certified beer server, leads the tours. He also teaches beer education classes at the Growler Station.
Each three-hour tour begins and ends at the Greenville Growler Station. Tour buses shuttle visitors to the breweries. At each stop, participants can tour the facilities, see large-scale brewing equipment and sample what's brewed there. They usually meet the brewer who explains the process and answers questions.
Here's Richards' take on the four brew spots:
Thomas Creek has been in Greenville about 16 years and for a long time has been "really carrying the banner for good beer in Greenville." It's the state's biggest volume brewery.
Quest opened in July 2013, but the brewer has more than 25 years' experience. Some of the beer is unique, such as a fantastic cucumber and jalapeno saison.
Brewery 85, which opened in February 2014, is "doing more traditional European styles with some American kicks."
Swamp Rabbit Brewery opened in Travelers Rest in March 2014 and "feels more like a brewpub," with the equipment in the same room as the bar.
The tour ends with social time at Greenville Growler Station.
The tour costs $55. Tours for private groups also can be arranged. For more information call (864) 400-8327.