2013 might become Charleston’s Year of the Beer (or, we can at least hope it will be!). Let us give you just a taste of the hoppy happenings in town. February’s COAST Brewvival, a festival celebrating local brewers, is set to be a hot-ticketed event. Upper King Street spot Closed For Business continues to host an ever-changing draught beers list that it would take several delicious days to get through. But the biggest sign of Charleston’s beer renaissance is the expanding excitement over growlers—containers that are bringing the best fresh brews into local homes. In the past year, these glass to-go containers have become trendy accessories for Brooklynites, and the influence have quickly moved all the day down South, even to South of Broad.
Charleston has a close-knit network of breweries, and growlers offer patrons a great way to support local brewers in a sustainable way (and we’re not just talking about sustaining your beer-drinking habit!). Growlers are offered in many different sizes, the most popular being 32oz, 64oz, and the party-ready size of 128oz. They are completely reusable and returning to your favorite brewery or store for refilling a growler develops a retail relationship similar to one you’d have with a vendor at the farmer’s market.
The Charleston Beer Exchange’s growler station was one of the first in town and everyone there is always eager to tell you about, and send you home with, what is sure to me your new favorite brew. Check out specialty stores like Mixson Market in North Charleston, which features a craft beer growler station, and Laura Albert’s on Daniel Island, which features a “Growler Hour” on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Also, a TLP favorite, Two Borough’s Larder, will happily fill a growler with its own brew called “Walter’s Pissed!”, which was named in honor of the restaurant’s mascot, Walter the dog.
Like with anything food-related, it’s easy to get dorky with growlers really fast. By thinking about temperature control, ceramic tops, tote bags, forward-deployed rockets and ejector seats (we’ll let you guess which of those we’re joking about)…beer fans are taking the moonshine-styled jugs and launching them into the future. We recommend keeping your growler simple, functional, and full of tasty beer.