When I visited Charleston, South Carolina for the first time this year, I was determined to discover the best breweries in Charleston after finding out that the city is home to over 40 breweries!
I hope you’re not coming to this article looking for the single best brewery in Charleston - because there are too many top breweries in Charleston to choose from and I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite!
But whether you’re looking for the best breweries downtown Charleston has to offer, a hidden gem in Charleston, or the best craft beer in Charleston SC, I took one for the team and visited 10+ breweries in Charleston to help you plan your craft beer visit to Charleston, SC!
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The Best Charleston Breweries
Although I said I couldn’t pick a single favourite brewery in Charleston, Holy City Brewing came pretty close and here’s why…
Located in North Charleston, Holy City is one of the longest standing local breweries in Charleston SC. It’s been privately owned for 8 years and expanded to its new epic located 3 years ago.
Now, you’ll find Holy City is a super cool industrial warehouse with high ceilings, funky decor, a chilled vibe, live music, pool and bar games, a huge outdoor area with space for kids too and views across the marshes for miles!
Their brewery space also hosts events throughout each month such as trivia nights, craft markets, live music, farmers markets, Sunday yoga and brunch.
We enjoyed a Stout and a Sour as well as two of their sandwiches, The French Dip (which seemed to have a cult-like status among staff and patrons!) and the Lo Boy.
Not only was the food and drink incredible but we also got chatting to the bar staff, one of whom wrote out a list of must-see places in Charleston for us to visit the next day - including a recommendation for Southern BBQ which was literally one of my top food experiences ever (it’s called Lewis Barbecue, if you’re wondering!)
Also if you’re looking for the best brewery tours Charleston SC has to offer, Holy City offers tours for free - just ask a member of staff!
Overall, an incredible experience and I wish we were there longer to try more beers, enjoy the farmers market and see some live music.
Frothy Beard Brewing
We came here for the name but stayed here for the great vibe.
Located in West Ashley, right off Sam Rittenberg Blvd, this is an easy one to visit on your way back from any of the Plantations west of Charleston.
This cozy, high ceiling brewery was started in 2013 and was only the 10th brewery in the whole state of South Carolina!
With a cool wooden and industrial interior, this felt industrial and homey all at once, especially when we snagged the comfy sofas to sink into with a beer and a few of the bar.
We also enjoyed a quick snack from the appetisers menu after the German-style Pretzel bites and mustard were highly recommended - and they didn’t disappoint!
I was super happy to see plenty of sours available and we also tried a seasonal beer for the fall.
Two Blokes Brewing
We came by here on our way back from Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens.
Located to the east of Charleston in Mount Pleasant, this one felt like the best brewery in Charleston SC if you’re looking for more of a hidden gem. Tucked behind a sort of strip mall area, this cool brewery in Charleston had a super chilled vibe, really friendly staff, a workshop event was also taking place at the time and they regularly host events and Food Truck pop ups.
I love that Two Blokes Brewing is women owned and operated, we also loved the interesting names of their beers and how welcoming the atmosphere was - families, dogs, after work drinks, young groups and workshops all hanging out and happening at once.
New Realm Brewing
At first we were a bit put off by the size of New Realm when we pulled into the car park, it’s huge and very much a brewpub vibe.
However after sitting at the bar and having a chat with one of the bar staff, we learned that New Realm is still privately owned and has three brewpub locations. You can see the distilleries through the huge glass walls onsite and the open kitchen is buzzing with chefs making wood fired pizzas and brisket burgers.
Located just up the road from Two Blokes in the Daniel Island neighbourhood, this huge venue definitely had a different vibe from the usual breweries we visit but it also felt like a real Southern experience (speaking as a British visitor!) and I loved it. They also host workshops there and you can learn about their brewery and gin distillery.
Also shout out to the staff who got stickers for us and helped us pick out the best beers for a tasting flight. Some beers on tap are just $2.50!
The Tavern at Rainbow Row
Although this isn’t technically a downtown Charleston brewery, it’s actually a beer shop with some of the best Charleston beers on tap and you can enjoy them in the cosy nook by the fireplace at the back of the shop.
We were actually in the area to see the famous Rainbow Row and stumbled on The Tavern and couldn’t resist checking out the rustic, dark wood interior!
The two guys working there were super friendly to chat to and poured us our beers into mason jars and showed us through to the back room where the walls are covered in old wine bottles and we sat in deep, cosy leather chairs.
If you’re looking for a more unique craft beer experience in Charleston, or a smaller taproom in Charleston - check it out!
Rusty Bull Brewing Co.
There aren’t many actual breweries in downtown Charleston SC, due to the lack of space for a large brewery unit. But one of the must visit breweries in downtown Charleston is Rusty Bull Brewing Co.
Thanks to its amazing location on the famous King Street, this is one of the easiest breweries to reach in Charleston without a car or taxi.
Although, this is actually their downtown taproom location, with their main brewery location in North Charleston.
Being more of a bar/taproom and in the downtown area, it was pretty busy and didn’t feel as welcoming as some of the other locations we’d been to, but the beers were decent and there was definitely a great vibe here. If we’d had time, I would definitely have gone to their main brewery location instead though!
But if you’re looking for an easy-to-reach brewery in downtown Charleston SC, this is definitely a great spot!
Palmetto Brewing Co.
This brewery was probably the one in the most random location that we visited but I loved the interior aesthetic, especially in the bar at the back of the brewery which was the only one open at the time we visited.
Palmetto Brewing holds the claim of being South Carolina’s first brewery, founded in 1888 and has survived natural disasters, wars and many movements, name changes and iterations. It was highly recommended as one of the top breweries in Charleston SC.
I had the mango IPA and loved it, the whole brewery colours, decor, beer flavour, style and even their merch were right up my street although a little on the pricey side!
When we visited it was pretty quiet but it was mid-week, they advertise events and live music on their website so I’m sure it’s a great location to visit on a weekend!
Along with Holy City, I think Revelry Brewing was my favourite location on my brewery tour in Charleston and definitely one of the best breweries Charleston SC has to offer.
I will say the beers were pretty standard, there were lots of lagers, pilsners, pales and IPAs so they have a very standard offer to suit most tastes.
I had a saison and also tried a few of the pale ales. Taylor had the Red Ale and stout.
However the approachable offering clearly makes it a favourite for patrons - the brewery was packed the whole time we were there - standing room only and we were there for around 3 hours from just before sunset until mid-evening.
And of course the standout part of this Charleston brewery is something that none of the others offer - a rooftop bar.
We sat on the roof deck all evening with views across the Charleston rooftops, deck heaters to keep us warm and a really great buzz with music playing and plenty of atmosphere.
While the rooftop bar definitely had more of a vibe, the downstairs area had more of a personal feel to it, like a lot of breweries we loved - we had a chat with the bar staff and exchanged stickers - leaving our mark on the walls there beside other stickers!
We also came here for drinks after a visit to Lewis Barbecue, a southern BBQ restaurant that’s just around the corner. I’d never had Southern Barbecue before but this set the bar incredibly high, I’ve honestly never had a dining experience like it! If you’re looking for a great, casual evening out with the best Southern Barbecue in Charleston, followed by the best brewery Charleston South Carolina has to offer - this is a winning combination!
If you’re looking for craft beer and a rooftop bar in Charleston - don’t miss Revelry Brewing!
Charleston best breweries: other options to visit
Obviously there are dozens and dozens of breweries in Charleston and we just did not have time to visit them all on our trip, but here are four more breweries that were really high on my list and we would have visited if we’d had time.
I’m mentioning them here so you have the option to check them out - let me know if you do!
Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.
A brewpub kind of vibe with a great menu, epic looking pizzas, a large outdoor space and great reviews. Their sours selection was a big draw for me!
Located on King Street in the Nomo area.
Munkle Brewing Co.
Having lived in Europe for the last few years, we’ve been a big fan of Belgian beers and we were excited to see a brewery in Charleston with rotational Belgian beers available.
Reviews for Munkle were also really positive, saying what a lovely, welcoming place it is for a casual drink with friends and they often have food truck pop ups too - definitely our sort of vibe for a lowkey drink.
Tradesman Brewing Company
Loved the no-frills vibe and location for this brewery and we loved the names of their beers. The Shift Change White Stout and Transmission Fluid Wheat Ale were the two we really wanted to try, plus their outdoor patio area looked cool! Definitely one for next time!
Low Tide Brewing
We didn’t go here because it’s a little way out of the city, west on the Maybank Highway.
However the brewery looks exactly like our vibe, they have a nitro (which I love and wish more breweries did) and sours available. All locally brewed on Johns Island, really cool wood and industrial interior, family friendly, a great seating area and plenty of food trucks and events.
Summary: best breweries in Charleston, SC
If you’re planning a trip to Charleston SC and you enjoy a beer or two, I absolutely recommend checking out the beer scene in the city! I honestly never expected Charleston to have such a thriving craft beer scene. But if you’re looking for the best beer in Charleston SC, make sure you head to one of these breweries.
The craft beer community and southern hospitality make these the friendliest places to enjoy a casual drink and some food, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so welcomed in so many different taprooms and breweries in one city and I hope I can go back for the Charleston Beer Festival which takes place every September on the Riverfront.
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