by Sam Spence
Scotland-based Brewdog is the latest brewery to float the idea of setting up shop in the Charleston area as it looks to grow its brew base into the East Coast U.S. market.
For some time, Brewdog has said it is looking for a site in Columbus, Ohio, but late last month, Brewdog co-founder and managing director James Watt told a UK-based beer blog that they're also considering Charleston.
Brewdog is a fast-growing operation that brings a nontraditional approach to bankrolling their expansions. Through public offerings as part of its "Equity for Punks" program, Brewdog sells shares of the brewery to consumers who in turn receive discounts and access to exclusive benefits in the company's online store and brick-and-mortar bars.
But Charleston is up against some tough competition recruiting Brewdog. Watt cites a Chamber of Commerce line that a huge chunk of the American population lives within 500 miles of Columbus, making distribution easier. The Columbus Business Journal rightly points out that their state's low excise taxes do give them an advantage over South Carolina.
"There are two locations on the shortlist, one in Columbus, Ohio and another in Charleston, S.C. Columbus is one option, probably the preferred option at the moment, but we haven’t completely finalised that."
The killer selling point for Charleston over Columbus may be the mild climate that hangs around for most of the year.
"The only bad thing is that the weather sucks as much as it does here in Aberdeen. It would be nice if I could rock up every day in shorts and flip-flops but ... no."
No word on where things stand with Brewdog in their search at the moment, but the weather continues to do its job for economic development. After all, it's another shorts and sunglasses week here in Charleston.