With their second annual Brewvival beer festival on the horizon, the staff of local retailer Charleston Beer Exchange (14 Exchange St.) achieved some great notoriety and accomplished an impressive expansion this month.
On Jan. 19, owners Rich Carley and Scott Shor held a ribbon-cutting ceremony during the official grand opening of their second Beer Exchange location in Greenville. The city's Mayor Knox White was attendance along with other members of Greenville City Council. Katie Barnes of Greenville-based microbrewery Thomas Creek Brewing Co. was on hand as well.
"We've been working on the Greenville Beer Exchange expansion for the better part of the last year," says Shor. "We knew we wanted to get to another city in South Carolina after Charleston, and we really love Greenville."
Carley has been spending the vast majority of his time at the Greenville location this month, training their full-time management team of Cameron Read and Zack Shollenberger. "I get up to GBX whenever I can, but Charleston has been keeping me pretty busy," says Shor.
The store is a bit bigger than the Charleston shop, which allows for a more extensive bottle and draft selection. The staff plans to feature rare beer events and weekly tastings. The growler station has 16 taps in rotation. Located downtown, at 7 S. Laurens Street (just a block west of Main Street), the GBX is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Visit greenvillebeerexchange.com for more.
The Charleston Beer Exchange had another reason to celebrate this week when great news came in from the online beer resource and review web site RateBeer.com. The popular site released its annual RateBeer Best lists on Jan. 27. Breweries, brewpubs, bottle shops, restaurants, and bars from around the world were awarded prizes.
"We get to take some time in order to honor many of our favorite people in the beer industry," RateBeer president Joe Tucker stated in a press release. "Because without all the people behind the beer, behind the distributors and behind the retailers, we really are nothing. The people out there that are doing the hard work to put beer in our glasses have truly earned our recognition."
The Charleston Beer Exchange was among several "gold" award recipients for Best Beer Retailers — second on the list only to Het Oude Schooltje: Struise Brouwers in Oostvleteren, Belgium.
Advance tickets are available for $50 to the Brewvival festival (admission is $60 at the door). It's set for on Sat. Feb. 26 on the grounds across from COAST at 1250 Second St. N. in North Charleston. Presented by local beer shop Charleston Beer Exchange and COAST Brewing Co., the outdoor festival will feature ales and lagers from more than 30 microbreweries from around the country. Several brewmasters from the craft brewing world will be on hand to make presentations and sample beers. Visit brewvival.com and charlestonbeerexchange.com for more details.