In the past year, several Charleston breweries have opened, expanded, and announced future plans to grow. Local breweries have also become go-to stops for popular food trucks and of course they're the place to find the widest selection from your favorite brewers. Perhaps the highest profile collab in the local beer scene is between EVO Pizzeria and Holy City Brewing Co., getting off the ground downtown, but details are a little scant at this point. In the meantime, Holy City and two other breweries are making moves to expand their footprint in the Charleston area.
New Horizons: Ship's Wheel Hard Cider to open East Montague tasting room this spring
Family owned and operated Ship's Wheel Hard Cider is continuing work on their first combination cidery and tasting room, set to open in 2019. The City of North Charleston recently approved their use of a Park Circle location at 1033 East Montague Ave., just footsteps away from other favorites like Madra Rua and Orange Spot Coffee. Ship's Wheel takes pride in their pure and refreshing flavors as a lighter alternative to most sugar-heavy ciders. "Many of the ciders available locally have a sweeter profile," says general manager Scott Jamison. "Our cider is less sweet which appeals to a lot of people. We have several options available from our Original Blend which has a crisp apple flavor to our bittersweet Dry Hopped cider." Each of their ciders are gluten-free with apples sourced seasonally from high-quality partner orchards. "We have equipment on order and have hired an architect, the Middleton Group, to help us design the space," says Jamison. This will include the equipment needed to press and ferment cider onsite, a process that previously took place solely at the orchards. "We plan to open this location next spring, but an exact date is hard to pinpoint at the moment," say Jamison. "For now, we continue to market and distribute our ciders in South Carolina with a strong focus on Charleston."
A new lease: Holy City Brewing has big plans for their new location
For over seven years, Holy City Brewing has been creating some of Charleston's favorite craft ales and lagers. What started as a small home-brewing project in a garage is now an acclaimed craft brew operation with a wide reach. The company distributes throughout South Carolina and portions of North Carolina and has seen a staggering increase in demand over the years. The time has come to expand. Within months, production will begin at a larger 20,000 square foot building they've purchased situated just south of Park Circle. "The facility will initially be closed to the public. By next year, we plan to move completely into the new building," says owner Chris Brown. The facility, located at 1021 Aragon Ave. just off Spruill Avenue, is the former North Charleston Public Works building and is nearly five times the size of their current location. In addition to its beautiful location on Noisette Creek, the new brewery will include a larger taproom, indoor and outdoor space, and all new state-of-the-art equipment. "We have some big plans for the facility, but we aren't prepared to give too much away yet," says Brown. In the meantime, you can continue to enjoy Holy City's brews and bites at their original Dorchester Road brewery.
Standing Ground: Coast Brewing begins construction on new taproom despite setbacks
Following substantial complications and expense, Coast Brewing owners David Merritt and Jaime Tenny have finally broken ground on their expansion project. "We've been working on this for two and half years. I'll have some great stories to tell when it's over," says Tenny. "I'm almost afraid to talk about the construction because we might jinx it," she laughs. The husband and wife duo are opening their first "proper taproom" in the lot adjacent to their production facility on the old Navy Yard in North Charleston. Every utility for the surrounding buildings was buried beneath the empty lot and required relocation before the project could begin. "We had an underground utility issue of epic proportions," they said in a statement. "All of our time and resources have been spent on working this thing out." But history has proven that Tenny and Merritt don't back down from sticky situations. In 2005, restrictive alcohol laws stood in the way of their dream to open a brewery. Instead of giving up, Tenny led a group called Pop the Cap that advocated for reform. With their help, the laws were relaxed, which paved the way for Coast Brewing to open its doors in 2007. The local craft brew pioneers also created the first all-organic beer to be commercially brewed in South Carolina. Ten years later, Coast's incredible success has allowed them to self-fund the building of their new 5,000 square foot taproom, complete with an outdoor garden space. While official opening dates haven't been set, you can find project updates on Instagram.