It was just over a year ago when Charleston, S.C., brewery Palmetto Brewing Company made its way to the Grand Strand’s craft beer scene. I distinctly remember being excited enough to make a trip the store to see what I could get ahold of.
Palmetto is, after all, the oldest brewery in South Carolina having been founded in 1993 and what’s more, it’s part of what kickstarted the explosive growth of craft beer in the Charleston scene. When I made it to the store, what I found was a solid collection of their core brews at the time: Espresso Porter, Charleston Lager, Amber, and Pale Ale. The espresso porter is choc-full of divine espresso flavor and the pale ale is a juicy citrus bite. I’ve had these brews before and easily say that the quality and the level of passion put in to each style is evident.
Fast forward to the present and our beloved craft community has once again been gifted by Palmetto. On Feb. 18, The Brass Tap in The Market Common had the privilege of hosting Palmetto’s release in our area of their 843 Series brews. It speaks to the level of growth that Palmetto has experienced, which was not so long ago limited only to the Charleston area, is now widely distributed across the entire state. Clearly, we, and other areas of the state, can’t get enough of Palmetto so now we finally get to have a taste of the unique and creative side. The 843 Series is special and it directly displays the pride Palmetto has for its roots in Charleston and the 843 area code we proudly share. The series covers some of the seasonal and specialties they brew.
Because of the love and support from Charleston, Palmetto gives back to it the community not only by producing tasty brews, but also by partnering with a local 843 area-coded charities for each 843 series beer. Most recently introduced is the winter release, Colonel Rathbun’s Farmhouse Ale. Brewed with persimmons, which has a very delicate, almost mango-papaya like flavor, it mingles with an almost bready, honey-like malt flavor. Its complex and slightly farmy flavor, which is a saison style cornerstone, gives that hint of dryness which stands up well to the sweetness of the persimmon. The charity partnered for Colonel Rathbun, Grow Food Carolina, actually assisted in the sourcing of the persimmons.
The 843 series boasts some pretty exciting, flavorful brews that are also now available in our area, with my favorite being Ghost Rider. Usually a Halloween release, Ghost Rider is an American pale ale that is dosed with smoked ghost peppers and cherries. The smooth, crisp, and clean malt body carries a citrusy hop start, and finishes with a hint of sweetness and a very satisfying slow, low heat.
Palmetto Brewing Company is exploding to put it simply and there’s more to come. To continue to grow and appeal to new audiences here in Myrtle Beach, and other areas alike, Palmetto has phased out their lager, which I would argue is one of the best examples of craft lagers, and moved to core their hugely popular Huger IPA. America is the hop-forward nation after all, so it shows where trends in craft beer have really hit home. Yet still, we love variety, change, and the next new thing. Up next for Palmetto, we look forward to the release of the next 843 Series brew this spring, and a canned Pilsner, just in time for summer