Ever thought about vacationing in South Carolina before? I didn’t either until I found out they have a massively growing beer culture!
Although it may be hot during the summer months, Charleston is actually quite mild the rest of the seasons. This means perfect beer-drinking weather for three out of the four seasons (cue happy music)!
Make sure to use this site for scoring wildly cheap flights to countless destinations, including Charleston.
Let’s dive right in and explore the best breweries in Charleston, South Carolina. Let this list be your Charleston brewery map!
Make sure to check all websites for COVID-19 information.
Disclaimer: This list is not ranked in any particular order.
1. Charles Towne Fermentory
Tucked away in a small garage space, this modern-day brewery, and fermentation spot has everything a beer-lover could ever want. With foosball tables and plenty of tap handles, this brewery feels like hanging out at your favorite college hangout spot (but with good beer, instead of the cheap stuff).
Focusing on specialty beer, with an emphasis on both hops, and special fermentation techniques, this brewery has something for every beer drinker’s palate.
This is one of the local’s favorite hangout spots. Grab a nice refreshing beer after a long day in the South Carolina sun. With live music most nights, and free tours of the brewery, this relaxed, laid back setting is sure to leave a good impression on you and your taste buds.
2. Holy City Brewing
This tasting room also happens to be in an old garage space, which seems to be a popular theme nowadays! Some of my favorite breweries back in Minnesota and Wisconsin are also set in old garages.
Located in North Charleston, this brewery serves up a little bit of everything in their tasting room. From a wide variety of beers and a refreshing selection of food options, this brewery has something that will fit everyone’s needs. Add this to your list of Charleston breweries with food!
Started with four friends who came together for the common love of beer, Holy City Brewing has made a big name for itself amongst the locals and reaching beyond just North Charleston. With a bit of hard work and determination, these beer-loving friends joined together and overhauled their 4,000 square foot warehouse and turned it into something special.
Quickly outgrowing their first space, they recently moved to a 20,000 square foot warehouse and overhauled that as well. Their new space can hold over 360 people, plus they have acreage in the marsh out back, filled with picnic tables. And an event space above the taproom that holds fifty people.
This brewery has taken off in ways the owners couldn’t have imagined when they first started with their small homebrew equipment. The locals keep coming back time and time again, and that speaks for itself. So I can only imagine how their beer tastes!
3. Frothy Beard Brewing
Three good buddies started Frothy Beard Brewing in 2013, and haven’t looked back since. Relocating to a bigger, more capable facility in 2017 they have gained quite a bit of press and attention from the locals.
Their beers have a nice variety from light to dark, something for every type of beer drinker. Anything from a good sour beer, to a dark porter for the fall. And of course, everything in between! If you’re brave enough, try their Sweater Weather on Nitro, it is the perfect pumpkin spice blend to spice up your fall day.
With Zombie Bob’s Pizza thrown in the mix, this taproom is sure to leave your belly full and satisfied. They even use a beer: Back From the Dead Porter from Frothy Beard Brewing in their super top-secret sourdough recipe for the crust of the pizzas. This is all the information I could find about this pizza dough, so they’re doing a good job at keeping the recipe top-secret.
This group of friends knows how to serve great beer and pizza, at an affordable price. What more could you ask for from a hometown brew!
See Related: 16 Best Amsterdam Foods You Need to Have
4. Munkle Brewing Co.
This brewery definitely has a bit of a backstory to it, and that’s what we love about breweries. Every establishment has a different backstory about how they got started brewing their beer.
The tale of this brewery is a bit different than most, but the knowledge from learning the old, traditional ways to brew beer from monks is something most cannot obtain.
Any beer geek knows the monks paved the way for us modern-day beer drinkers, but rarely gain recognition.
This brewery was started by a nephew which was inspired by his uncle. “Uncle Rob” started brewing beer at a Benedictine monastery in Three Rivers, Michigan. A lucky find of old homebrew equipment in the basement of the monastery, Uncle Rob began mastering the art of brewing honored by monastic tradition that has been passed down through many generations.
Their old-world style beer has made waves around the downtown Charleston area. The fact that the owners have sampled beer from all over the world is something truly special. Learning the authentic, historic ways to brew beer is something not every brewery has taken the steps to learn.
Munkle Brewing Co. leans towards brewing old-world style beers with the true monastic presence represented in most of their brews. Belgian, German-style Trappist and other monastic beers are brewed in the spirit like it was done hundreds of years ago.
If your taste buds want to go back in time with a sip of traditionally brewed beer, take them to Munkle Brewing Co., surely they won’t be disappointed.
5. Revelry Brewing
Revelry Brewing is best known by the locals for having a good atmosphere, and even better beer.
With a glorious selection of great tasting beers, this brewery needs to be on your Charleston brewery list. There are definitely a few beers on my list that I want to try from them. They have beautiful fermentation blends such as Quenched: a blend of grapefruit puree, citrumelo, Meyer lemon, red lime, and kumquats. My mouth is watering just typing those succulent ingredients.
In the heart of Charleston, this is one brewery that is going to be very hard to miss. If I were you, and I had some time to kill in South Carolina, this is where I’d be going for the afternoon.
See Related: 20 Best Traditional Cafes and Brasseries in Paris
6. Freehouse Brewery
Freehouse Brewing is South Carolina’s premier organic brewery. Specializing in organic beer, their focus is on Mother Nature and the people who drink their beer. There are zero pesticides and chemical fertilizers used in any production stage of their beer. With zero GMO’s and artificial ingredients, their craft is truly pure beer. Plus organic agriculture is better for the environment, so in turn, you can feel good about drinking their products.
On the banks of the Ashley River in Charleston, this quaint little taproom serves up cold drinks and warm smiles on a hot summer day. With views of the marsh and the river, Freehouse is the perfect place to drink beer on a beautiful weekend.
With the classic IPA’s and lagers, this brewery also presents deliciously sour wild ales, all brewed with local ingredients from all over the Carolina’s. These beers are sure to quench your thirst on one of those hot South Carolina days. With plenty of seating outside, this dog-friendly brewery is sure to make your mouth both pucker and smile (from the delicious sour beer of course).
7. Fatty’s Beer Works
While Fatty may or may not be a fictional character…we do know that the beer Fatty serves is an absolute treat.
The story behind each beer that is brewed in Fatty’s taproom can be found here. Some of them are quite intriguing.
Fatty’s taproom and brewery is something special in Charleston. People come for good laughs and even better beers.
Specializing in sour beers and IPA’s, Fatty’s has a beer for everyone’s style. They even have a stout that is brewed with local oysters! Now that sounds like a beer I would be interested in trying. With a dog-friendly atmosphere and live music on the weekends, this spot is hard to beat. According to the locals, get there early on the weekends, because otherwise there won’t be much parking left!
See Related: 8 Best Paris Wine Tasting Options
8. Pawley’s Island Brewing Company
Located in North Charleston, this quaint little brewery serves up delicious brews. The locals say the atmosphere is friendly and incredibly laid back. They are one of the key breweries at the heart of the craft beer boom in South Carolina.
With a good variety of beers on tap, the crew at Pawley’s Island Brewing Company knows what they’re doing both in the public eye and behind the scenes. With a nice selection of light beers, sours, and IPA’s, they aren’t afraid to go a little darker, made famous by their Gray Man Stout. They have beers for every season, especially the ones that pair well with sunshine and warm weather.
They also have warm hearts at Pawley’s Island Brewing Company. They teamed up with South Carolina Aquarium, a local nonprofit, and brewed two beers specifically made for the aquarium. The proceeds are funded to the aquarium and help aid their mission of cleaning up the shorelines and saving the sea turtles and their habitats.
9. Westbrook Brewing
Located northeast of Charleston, this brewery is worth the short commute.
Specializing in sours, light beer, and IPA’s, this brewery is also not afraid to go to the dark side. They have a range of dark beers with Mexican cake influences (which are extremely popular, limited, and sell out almost immediately) and barrel-aged specialties. This is a place where you can drink any type of beer you are in the mood for. No matter the weather outside.
With a wide range of beers on tap, every palate will be quenched with the refreshing beer that is served in their tasting room.
Westbrook Brewing Company is a brewery that puts thought and effort into crafting its beers. They leave their customers wanting just one more sip because it’s just that good.
See Related: One-Week Costa Rica Itinerary
10. LO-Fi Brewing
With minimal information on the actual brewery or owners of this establishment, LO-Fi Brewing leaves the mysteries to be answered by the beer they brew.
Checking out their incredible website will not give you much insight as to how or who runs this place, but I love it regardless.
With only three or four options of beer on tap, they are confident you will like one of four options, if not all of them. Nothing will top their signature beer: LO-Fi Glitter Pony. As described on their website as a “complex modern classic”, it seems this beer has a bit of something that everyone wants in a beer. Fruity, spicy, and deep golden, this beer will leave you both confused and also wanting more.
The locals say that the location is odd, but don’t let that scare you off. People don’t complain about the small selection of beer, because they know when they go to LO-Fi, they’ll be getting a good glass of beer regardless of how many choices are on tap. Locals and non-locals alike rave about the Glitter Pony and their Mexican lager.
This brewery is small, with minimal choices, but the quality of beer and service keep people coming back time and time again.
So next time you’re in Charleston, South Carolina, and have a few hours or days to kill; make sure to check out the breweries on this list. There is a brewery on the list that has a beer for everyone! Check out what the locals have to say, and knock back a couple of cold, refreshing, (sours, for me), lagers, IPA’s, or stouts to wind down the day. Enjoy what Charleston has to offer, and explore their booming beer culture while you’re at it!