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At this point in our trip, we were scheduled to meet some friends up in Washington DC so our route planning revolved around friends schedules, cheap flights home & the visa restrictions that meant that we had to be out of the country in a few weeks. We missed A LOT of breweries in America that we would have loved to visit (Jester King, Prairie Artisan Ales and the WHOLE of Colorado to name a few) but perhaps one day we will get the opportunity to go back.
This meant that our Detroit to South Carolina trip was a pretty speedy one, taking in a limited number of top quality breweries in our tour. So we thought rather than bore you with this journey, you could pick us up in South Carolina.
Very occasionally when you are travelling, you meet people who you know if you lived closer, you’d be firm friends with. People who, despite the relationship starting as a business one, ends up being very much friends. And that’s what happened to us in South Carolina.
There are of course lots of great breweries in Charleston and in South Carolina, but we will focus this post on our love for one.
We’d planned a meeting with husband and wife brewing-owner team Jaime and David at their Coast brewery tap room.
These sort of meets are super useful for us as you get to see the ins and outs of a brewery, and get to talk about the elements that you never get to if you are simply on a generic tour, like which pieces of lab equipment you need, cash flow struggles and brewery layout planning.
A joint fountain of knowledge, Jaime set up the South Carolina’s brewers guild, David graduated with a brewing degree & together they opened one of the first breweries in Charleston. Fab.
Our visit was helped by the fact that they are super lovely, down to earth people. We got to chat about the do’s and don’t of owning and managing a brewery as a couple (it’s pretty impossible to do it well apparently, and how they’ve done this all whilst raising a family we’ll never know!)
From banging stouts and the solid HopArt IPA overall the beer is pretty damn awesome, with quality and consistency being key, whilst also being all organically sourced.
Their tap room is currently fairly small with limited seating, however they are just in the process of creating a new huge tap room and brew house. In addition, they will finally have air conditioning – a real treat for people who have been brewing in the South Carolinan heat without it for 10 years.
Their expansion is self funded & everything they have created has come from hard work, family help & a lot of manual labour. For us – a complete inspiration. We can’t imagine many other people deserve the success more.
Following our visit to Coast, we made our way over to the Westbrook taproom, to pick up some fancy bottles and have a gawp at their shiny tap room. Not so long after we arrived, an email came in, inviting us to join David & Jaime at the awesome craft beer haven, House of Brews.
House of Brews is a super cool drinking den, set up in a house (clever name that right?) with 8 taps & over 700 bottles of beer, ready for you to drink in or take home.
Here we met Jaime & David and spent the rest of the evening debating classic American/British stereotypes (our teeth, how much we know about Robin Hood.. that sort of thing) and laughing a lot.
The evening flowed on for a long time, with us drinking more, enjoying some sushi together & overall having a jolly good time. So, the upshot of this is, if you find yourself in South Carolina, go to Coast, who knows where it’ll take you!!