From the mountains to the coast, the Carolinas are so frothing over with breweries that you needn’t drive far for a good beer. Here are a few worth driving to in South Carolina:
▪ Greenville: Thomas Creek (www.thomascreekbeer.com) opened in 1998, making it one of South Carolina’s first craft breweries. Over the years it has brewed everything from classic styles like its flagship River Falls Red Ale to its atypical series, which includes a Banana Split Chocolate Stout.
▪ Greenville: Quest Brewing (www.questbrewing.com) has been on quite the journey since opening in July 2013. Though the beers are getting easier to find, its small taproom is still worth a visit. Quest’s refreshing Golden Fleece Belgian Pale Ale is brewed with coriander and grains of paradise ginger. On the other end of the spectrum is Kaldi, a stout brewed with local coffee and cacao nibs.
▪ Columbia: Conquest Brewing (www.conquestbrewing.com) made history in 2013 when it became Columbia’s first production brewery since Prohibition. Its small, garnet-painted taproom sits just a couple blocks away from the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium. From sword-shaped tap handles pour such beers as the quaffable Artemis Blonde, the bitter Sacred Heart IPA and the sweet Medusa Stout.
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▪ Mount Pleasant: The Charleston area is home to several excellent breweries, including Westbrook Brewing Company (www.westbrookbrewing.com). Few operations brew such a broad range of styles as Westbrook, and its taproom is the perfect place to try several in one spot. Refreshing yet complex summer options include the White Thai, a witbier brewed with ginger and lemongrass, and its gose, a sour and salty style that’s surging in popularity. Also look for beers by Evil Twin Brewing, which brews at Westbrook (and elsewhere). Growlers, bottles and cans are available to-go.
Hartis is the author of “Charlotte Beer: A History of Brewing in the Queen City,” published in 2013, and “Beer Lover’s The Carolinas” (Globe Pequot; $21.95), which hit shelves in April.