If you're visiting Charleston, South Carolina, to take in the historic city and its beaches, resorts and golf courses, sooner or later you're going to work up a thirst. What better way to quench that than with Lowcountry craft beers?
There's nothing like a fresh, frosty brew after 18 holes in spring, summer, fall - or winter, for that matter. Changes in state laws governing brewing and spirits have resulted in a "beer boom" in the Holy City, with a handful of brewers (and more to come) vying to win fans' hearts.
Charleston breweries' wares are available in groceries and beverage outlets; others can be tried at tasting rooms or local brew pubs. A great way to experience Charleston beer is by taking several local beer tours.
The "Brews & Birdies" tour even combines three rounds of golf and three nights' accommodations with an afternoon of beer sampling.
It's a great time to love Charleston, sightseeing, golf and beer. Here's our guide to help you navigate the sudsy scene:
COAST Brewing Company: Beers include Dead Arm Pale Ale; 32 degree/50 degree (kolsch); Alterior Motive; Angry Mash Oatmeal Stout; Aye SB Extra Special Bitter; Belafonte (Belgian); Belgian Wit; Beth Death Smoked Porter; Blackbeerd Imperial Stout.
Edmund's Oast: Beers include Farrago No. 2; Mandarina; Peanut Butter & Jelly; Evil Twin-Julian Was Here; Pale in Comparison.
Holy City Brewing: Beers include Pluff Mud Porter; Holy City Pilsner; Washout Wheat; Slanted Porch Pale Ale; Chucktown Follicle Brown; Overly Friendly IPA; Yeast Wrangler.
Revelry Brewing Co.: Beers include Mel's Helles; Gullah Cream Ale; Hotel Rendezvous; Pass the Lemongrass; Back Off War Child; Welcome, This Is A Farmhouse; Achtung! Drive-By Fruiting; Lean Or Fat; The Bristow; Oh My Darlyn; Funkmaster Brett and The Furious Hops; Strange Magic; Poke the Bear.
Freehouse Brewery: Beers include Ashley Farmhouse Ale; Folly's Pride; Green Door IPA; Hibiscus Lemongrass Saison; Hoodoo Imperial Stout; Kiwi Blueberry Sourlina.
Palmetto Brewing Company: Beers include American Red Amber Ale; American Pale Ale; Charleston Lager; Espresso Porter; Homefront IPA.
Frothy Beard Brewing Company: Beers include Albatross IPA; Zingiber Pale Ale; Choconaut stout; It's Cucumber Thyme wheat; Beet York Prickly Ash blonde ale; Shardik the Great Bear imperial stout; Modified Neck Breaker IPA.
Tradesman Brewing Company: Beers include Bricklayer Red; Welder's Agave Wheat; Circuit Breaker IPA.
Southend Brewery & Smokehouse: Beers include Love Me Two Times Blonde; Watch It Grow Wheat; Castle Pinckney Pale; Rip Tide Red; Pict's Stout.
Westbrook Brewing Co.: Beers include Mexican Cake; One Claw; Poppin' Pils; Orange Bliss; Bearded Farmer; The Raver; Udderly Stout; 100% Brett Lichtenhainer; Weisse Baby; Shane's Big Dipa; Cap'n Skoon's Ballistic Stout.
Charleston Brews Cruise: Visit 2-3 breweries (breweries vary daily; include Palmetto, Westbrook, Holy City, Coast), 3-4 hours, departs Charleston Visitors Center @ 1:45 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, 12:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday
The Original Pub Tour: Bus tours visit three breweries in 3-4 hours starting at 11 a.m. daily; pub tours visit 3-5 historic pubs in 2-3 hours
GOLF AND BEER:
Brews and Birdies: Includes three nights at the Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview, three rounds of golf at any of eight courses (Coosaw Creek CC, Dunes West GC, Legend Oaks Golf & Tennis, Pine Forest CC, RiverTowne CC, Club at Wescott, Links at Stono Ferry, Wild Dunes Resort Harbor Course), and a 3-4 hour tour of breweries.