Southend Brewery and Smokehouse
161 East Bay St. Downtown.
Ten years ago, this spacious, three-story brewpub — housed in a handsome, red brick building on lower East Bay Street — had the reputation of featuring some of the cleanest hand-crafted ales and lagers in town. In recent years, inconsistencies in quality, especially with the lighter beers, unfortunately hurt the brewery's rep. Two years ago, they even stopped brewing for a few months. Luckily, things at Southend got back on track in a big way under the guidance of new brewmeister Ahren Warf, who got his start a few years ago at the Blue Ridge Brewing Co. in Greenville, S.C. As downtown Charleston's only genuine brew-pub, Southend currently offers six house specialty and classic-style ales, with a rotation of "seasonal beers," such as the Chocolate Porter and the Harvest Spiced Ale. A new White Ale, made with additional herbs and spices, is due in March. Cheers to that.