Although I am currently a resident of the city that is so endearingly titled “Famously Hot,” I recently transplanted from Charleston. After finishing undergraduate there, I even stuck it out through graduate school hoping that would validate my decision to stay in Neverland another few years. All that to say, I learned in school a thing or two about beer joints in the Holy City. Too bad a degree in that does not exist. Anyway here it is, kids, Charleston’s Beer Bible Part 1: The Basics.
Tattooed Moose//1137 Morrison Drive
North on the peninsula, this one is a little off the beaten and trampled tourist path, which is one of the many reasons I love it so much. The Moose does not have a lot of beers on tap, but it does have a great bottled craft beer selection that rotates with the season. Since its appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, its popularity has exploded, so I would suggest skipping the lunch crowd and heading up that way for a late dinner instead. Nothing pairs better with a delicious craft brew than an outdoor patio and some duck fat fries.
Selection: 4 taps, 40 bottles, 17 cans
Highlights: Holy City Seasonal on tap
Gene’s Haufbrau//827 Savannah Highway
Known as Charleston’s oldest bar, Gene’s Haufbrau is the epitome of a solid neighborhood watering hole: great beer, good pub food, billiards, shuffle board, darts, board games, and friendly bartenders. Where else can you play Jenga with locals while taking your pick from an extensive beer menu? A best of Charleston winner, Gene’s has been around since 1952 and is located in the Avondale neighborhood of West Ashley.
Selection: 13 taps, 175+ bottles,
Highlight: A whole menu dedicated to high gravity beer
The Griffon//18 Vendue Range
Right in the vicinity of Waterfront Park is the spot where the Deep South meets the UK. Charleston’s very own British pub with a fantastic dive vibe has 16 beers on tap and the best fish and chips in the area. Post up with a cold one in a well worn wooden booth and make your mark at The Griffon by slapping a dollar bill to the wall. When you are satisfied, head out down the pier to soak up a great view of the harbor.
Selection: 15 taps, 17 bottles
Highlight: Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils on tap
Closed for Business//453 King Street
With an atmosphere that feels like a trendy ski lodge, CFB has more than enough beers on draught to satisfy any consumer, with everything from local brews to Belgian imports. A daily revolving draught list continues pulling imbibers back to see what brews are new. Best part? All beers on tap come in three sizes: 10 oz, 16 oz, or a liter. So if you are scared of commitment, the bartender will be happy to serve you with a 10 oz pour. And if you just can’t get enough of your new favorite beer, order a liter and stay a while.
Selection: 42+ taps
Highlight: Coast Event Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale on tap
House of Brews//1537- C Ben Sawyer Boulevard Mount Pleasant
Drinking at House of Brews is like hanging out at your buddy’s house, that is if your buddy has 310 different bottles of beer available as well as a 4 hard-to-find brews on tap. (If you have a friend like that, let me know because we need to meet.) Even though House of Brews does not stay open late, beer lovers can either take a growler home or enjoy their selection on the property, inside or out in the backyard.
Selection: 8 taps, 600 bottles
Highlight: Evil Twin Femme Fatale Brett on tap
For now those are the basics, five of the coolests spots with the best brews. Imperative to enjoying a beer to the fullest is drinking it in the right surroundings. I believe that in all of the aforementioned locations, you could enjoy yourself heart and soul and brew, but don’t take my word for it. Have your own Charleston pub crawl and let me know what you think. Stay tuned for updates and future installments of Charleston’s Beer Bible.