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Take a tour of your local brewery

COAST and Westbrook open for tastings and growler fills

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COAST Brewing Co., North Charleston's family-owned craft brewery, and Westbrook Brewing Co., Mt. Pleasant's new brewery, both offer tours and tastings, giving beer fans a fun opportunity to get their geek on.

On the old Navy Base in North Charleston, COAST opens their doors to the public on Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Guests can stock up on regular offerings like the 32/50 Kolsch for $12 per growler and $6 for a 22 oz. bottle. The HopArt IPA, which COAST describes as "a work of art" with its sweet malt and alluring hop flavors, is $14 for a growler and $6 for a 22 oz. bottle. The brewery also features Milk Stout and Bulls Bay Oyster Stout, which is made with actual oysters and oyster shells. Seriously. We're told it's kind of briny.

In Mt. Pleasant, at Westbrook's Tasting Room, you'll find the year-round White Thai, Belgian Pale Ale, IPA, and a special collections brew, the Belgian Imperial Porter. Hours for the Tasting Room and tours are Thursdays 4-7 p.m., Fridays 4-7 p.m., and Saturdays from 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

Owner Edward Westbrook and head brewer Smith Mathews will also fill up your empty Westbrook Brewing growlers for $12-$16 depending of the brew. You can get a maximum of four filled per person. The cost of an empty growler is $5. Westbrookbrewing.com provides more information and an interesting blog for avid fans.

Both breweries charge $4 for four samples and have a four number sample limit. But be sure to stash you wallet with a few bills before you come. Both COAST and Westbrook only take cash and you definitely don't want to have a frothy beer in your hand just to realize you can't pay for it and have to give it up. That'd be sadder than taking candy from a baby.

And if you'd rather get your beer tasting on downtown, Huger Street's Palmetto Brewing Company doesn't have formalized times for tours or tastings, but they say they're "open to accommodate interested people." Their hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but they add that they're better prepared for afternoon tours when they're not "deep in the soup."

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