The Upstate craft beer scene may be soaring, but before the IPA-craze, a few solid staples laid the foundation. From Taylors to Travelers Rest, these breweries offer unique options for all, setting the stage for up-and-coming brewmasters to enter the market.
THOMAS CREEK BREWERY | FOR THE CLASSICIST
What began humbly as Henni’s Brewpub in downtown Greenville in 1994 has expanded into South Carolina’s largest brewery in terms of capacity, producing 23,000 barrels annually. Family-owned Thomas Creek opened in 1998 as the first brewery in Greenville. Now brewmaster Tom Davis and his father, Bill, the operation’s general manager and official “taste master,” make 40 different types of beer, including their two flagships, River Falls Red Ale and Trifecta IPA. Can’t decide? Narrow down your options by enjoying a beer flight in the tasting room or on the patio. Home brewers can purchase grains, hops, yeast, and anything else they need to make beer—or wine—in the on-site shop. 2054 Piedmont Hwy, Greenville. (864) 605-1166
QUEST BREWERY | FOR THE MUSIC LOVER
Quest celebrates its sixth anniversary in July, making it the second-longest continuously operating brewery in Greenville, after Thomas Creek. Of the beers available on tap in The Keep (as their tasting room is called), the six beers in the Legendary series, including Issaqueena Witbier and Golden Fleece Belgian Pale Ale, are available year-round, while changing selections in the seasonal specialty series—such as Strawberry Tarragon Wheat and Nitro Coffee IPA, made with Due South coffee—are available for a limited time. In summer, the brewery hosts a Thursday-night concert series starring local and regional bands who perform on the outside stage. The lineup for June kicks off with the Excons. 55 Airview Dr, Greenville. (864) 272-6232
BREWERY 85 | FOR THE FOODIE
On Greenville’s Eastside, off the Interstate highway for which it’s named, Brewery 85 is the only Upstate brewery that hosts a farmers market—and a winter one at that. On Saturdays (11am–2pm) from December through March, the Toasty Farmer fills the back room of the brewery with artisans and food producers offering everything from just-picked veggies to locally made cheese. Come fill your bag with fresh produce, meat, and fish, and be sure to sample a beer in the taproom while you’re there—perhaps the Yeoman’s American Brown Ale, if it’s on tap. The 2016 version of this brew is aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. Drop by Sunday afternoons (2–4pm) in summer for free indoor concerts, part of the brewery’s Streamline Music series. 6 Whitlee Ct, Greenville. (864) 558-0104
SWAMP RABBIT BREWERY | FOR THE CYCLIST
After an invigorating bike ride on the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, reward yourself in Travelers Rest with a beer at Swamp Rabbit Brewery. Recycled and salvaged elements—including redwood panels from an old South Carolina cotton mill—decorate the interior, while a covered area out back adds overflow space in nice weather. At the long bar, owner and brewmaster Ben Pierson keeps at least four beers on tap at any given time, including the coriander-infused Belgian-style White Ale, the brewery’s best seller. This summer, look for the delicate Raspberry White Ale, one of a series of seasonal ales made with fresh berries—and check out the Summer Solstice Party on June 21. 26 S Main St, Travelers Rest. (864) 610-2424
13 STRIPES BREWERY | FOR THE PATRIOT
This American Revolutionary War–themed brewery started bringing craft beer to the revitalized Taylors Mill community several years ago. Providing patrons and patriots alike with a wide porch area and spacious interior bar, 13 Stripes rotates a loaded arsenal of aptly-titled suds—including the Nathan Hale Pale Ale and Machias Liberty Nitro Milk Stout—and rolls out session beers, IPAs, porters, and other seasonal kegs. The Sgt. Molly American Wheat is a crisp summer cooler that pairs perfectly with one of 13 Stripes’ “ration plates,” laden with fresh-cut meats and cheeses. Taylors Mill, 250 Mill St, ST PW 3101, Taylors. (864) 349-1430
NEW BREWS ON THE BLOCK
CAROLINA BAUERNHAUS: This award-winning brewery & winery based in Anderson will open its second location in the Village of West Greenville, serving ales, ciders, and meads made with all locally sourced ingredients. 556 Perry Ave.
DOUBLE STAMP BREWERY: Coming later this year, Double Stamp Brewery will serve craft brews in the Holland Park development on Laurens Road alongside Home Team BBQ. 813 Laurens Rd.
NAUTIC BREWING: Nautic Brewing will open its doors onto Unity Park, offering their space as a family friendly place for everyone to gather, with plenty of outdoor seating and offerings for non-beer drinkers, too. 101 S Hudson St.
TETRAD BREWING: On Stone Avenue, Tetrad brewing is bringing a taproom experience to Greenville’s bustling food scene, with classic brews featuring modern ingredients. 603 E Stone Ave.
THINK TANK BREW LAB: Another addition to the Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail, Think Tank Brew Lab will offer multiple Upstate pours in their biergarten setting. 101 Airport Rd.