A beer flight at Conquest Brewing Co. Photo by Jonathan Sharpe
My fellow South Carolinians, we are witnesses to the birth of a new era.
Just a few years ago, South Carolina-brewed craft beer was a rare thing indeed. But as of this writing, there are at least 14 breweries making beer in the Palmetto State, with many more due to open soon.
So, what happened? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you. We’re also going to give you the tools to put together one hell of a road trip. You probably can’t do it all in one weekend, given that most South Carolina breweries have pretty restricted visiting hours, but you can certainly map out some excellent forays around the state.
A note on breweries vs. brewpubs: Under state law, brewpubs are limited to producing beer for in-restaurant use and growler sales, while breweries are making beer you can buy at your neighborhood bar or beer store. No one can deny the awesomeness of Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Ale House here in Columbia, or the Aiken Brewing Co., or the recent upstart Old Mill Brewpub in Lexington. But it’s breweries that state law made so impractical to operate for so long, and it’s breweries that are currently undergoing a major renaissance in South Carolina — so we’ve limited ourselves to breweries here.
Now go forth and taste some craft beer. — Eva Moore
Open since 1993, Palmetto is South Carolina’s oldest brewery. It’s currently rebuilding its tasting room and hopes to open for tours and tastings again in March. Starting Jan. 24, though, the brewery will relaunch its free concert series; stop by Fridays between 6 and 9 p.m. to buy a few pints and hear some music. After a hiatus over the past few years, Palmetto drafts and six-packs will be available in Columbia again starting Feb. 3.
Westbrook Brewing Co.
510 Ridge Rd., Mount Pleasant, S.C.
(843) 654-9114 westbrookbrewing.com
Tasting room and tour hours: Thu-Fri 4-7 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
Named one of the best new breweries in the country for 2013 by Paste Magazine. A lovely space with stellar brews.
River Dog Brewing Co.
591-H Browns Cove Rd., Ridgeland, S.C. riverdogbrewing.com
Tasting room hours: Wed-Fri 3-8 p.m.;Sat noon-8 p.m.
Leashed dogs are welcome at outdoor tables.
New South Brewing
1109 Campbell St., Myrtle Beach, S.C.
(843) 916-2337 newsouthbrewing.com
Tasting room hours: Tue, Thu and Fri, 4:30-7 p.m.
Tours with tastings: Tue and Thu, 3:15 p.m.
Offerings include a lager, a white ale, a nut brown ale and various seasonals and specialties.
Located on a farm in Lancaster. Owner Bryan O’Neal is expanding the brewery from 1.5 barrels to 50 barrels this year. No regular hours; check Facebook page for occasional visiting opportunities.
226-A W. Main St., Spartanburg, S.C.
(864) 585-2337 rjrockers.com
Hours: Thu-Fri 5-7 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
Having opened in 1997, R.J. Rockers is one of the earlier entrants in South Carolina’s craft beer boom. On Thursday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (noon), $5 gets you a pint glass, four 4-ounce samples of beer and a tour of the brewery. Open for growler fills Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
These listings are up-to-date as of Jan. 9. However, breweries are popping up rapidly and expanding willy-nilly in South Carolina’s current fertile craft beer climate, so we can’t guarantee this information will remain accurate for long. Call when possible to verify hours.
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Make your own beer and wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop, 736 St. Andrews Road. Click to find out how!
Trustus Theatre Presents Evil Dead, The Musical
This musical version of Sam Raimi’s cult classic films promises to serve up more humor than horror. You can read more and purchase your tickets here.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info