When: Mon., Dec. 20, 4-6 p.m. 2010
What: Four years ago, Charlestonian Edward Westbrook was experimenting with his first batches of homebrewed pale ale. This year, he oversaw the organization and construction of Charleston’s newest microbrewery in Mt. Pleasant. Built from the ground up, the brewery took shape as an 18,000-square-foot, two-story structure featuring a full-sized brewing area, a fermentation room, a small bar, and a lobby area. This week, the Westbrook Brewing Co. celebrates its official launch with the release of three signature ales — the Belgian Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, and White Thai. Made with an authentic Belgian yeast, the amber Belgian Pale Ale has a crisp toasted malt flavor. The hoppier India Pale Ale features the grassy and citrusy flavor of super-bitter American-grown hops and a variety of pale malts. The exotic White Thai is a unique fusion of styles — a classic Belgian witbier (a pale wheat beer with spices), with a dose of lemongrass, fresh ginger root, and a dash of Japanese-grown Sorachi Ace hops. Master brewer Smith Matthews (formerly of Sweetwater Brewing Co. in Atlanta) based the recipes for these beers on Westbrook’s original batches. On Monday, Westbrook will be on hand at the Charleston Beer Exchange from 4-6 p.m. for growler fills and a meet-and-greet. He’ll also attend the casual release party Chai’s that evening from 6-10 p.m. Samples of all three ales will be available on tap. Look for bottles in stores this week.