Finishing out our stay in the state of South Carolina was a visit to Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville on Saturday, 2/8/14. As soon as we walked into the brewery, the owner, brewmaster, and brewery manager, Tom Davis, put down his woodworking tools and kindly greeted us. He gave us detailed insights into the brewery’s past, present, and future state alongside his two border collies.
On Friday, 2/7/14, we made our way from Charleston over to Columbia, SC and met with Joseph Ackerman, the President and Head Brewer of Conquest Brewing Company, along with Matt Ellisor, their Vice President and Assistant Brewer. One of the first things we noticed after walking in were the paintings on the walls, which they explained to us had been painted by a local artist named Chuck Maier to represent each of their beers. Some of the artwork was created based on the beer names, like Sacred Heart and Medusa Head, while others were painted without knowledge of the beer and then used to represent the beer, like The Finisher.
While we were hanging out at Holy City on Thursday, 2/6/14, multiple people told us about this great brewery not too far away. On a whim, we gave COAST Brewing Co a call and followed the guys from Holy City over there to check it out. Co-owners Jaime and David both greeted us at the brewery located in the Navy Yard at Noisette and told us all about their family owned business.
After a couple days enjoying the history, architecture, and nightlife (and by necessity the public library) of Savannah, GA, on 2/6/14 we moved along the coast towards another important historic city – Charleston, South Carolina. Our first brewery stop in the area was to Holy City Brewing (HCB), located in North Charleston on the peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. The brewery was opened in 2011 by a team of four gentlemen: Joe Carl and Sean Nemitz are local business partners in the Charleston rickshaw/pedicab industry, Mac Minaudo worked in Asheville’s biodiesel industry, and Chris Brown had been working in food and beverage prior to going through professional brewers training then working at Gordon Biersch in Atlanta. The four cut their teeth homebrewing together on a 15 gal three tier system made with used bike parts where they developed the recipes for their flagship beers and many more. The brewery and taproom are now housed in a 4,000 sq ft warehouse that Mac bought previously for his biodiesel business, though the space has been expanded since opening. They celebrated 2 years of brewing success this past July 21st at an anniversary party with over 1,200 fans in attendance. This afternoon we showed up at the beginning of their Thursday taproom hours and enjoyed a couple flights, then got a tour from JT Stellmach, Holy City’s tasting room manager, as well as the opportunity to speak with the brewing staff.