Things to do: Greenville
Upstate South Carolina is home to Lakes Hartwell and Oconee and Lake Jocasee which is nestled in an forever wild area. This is the upcountry of South Carolina from which all things lead down to the ocean. Home to Clemson and Furman Universities, the area has a rich tradition that has evolved from fabric mills to automotive engineering. Greenville, right in the heart of the upstate, has become recognized as one of the countries best small towns and with its rich foodie culture has fostered a flourishing craft brewing presence.
Craft beer is gaining momentum in the upstate of South Carolina and Greenville is right in the epicenter of this movement. Greenville, where the state's first microbrewery, Blue Ridge Brewing Co., opened its doors right on Main Street, is following their northern neighbor, Asheville, and becoming a craft beer destination all in their own right. With a new brewery, Quest Brewing Co., having just opened and getting raves about their brand new selections, two other breweries are slated to open within the next year. And that's not all. Downtown Greenville has moved its rising culinary presence into restaurants serving locally crafted creations to their lively evening downtown audience. With a move towards urban living, this town above all, is proceeding to capture the movement towards an active engaged lifestyle with the desire to enjoy outside activities, music and the arts, good cuisine and of coarse, excellent craft beers.
Started by two Brew Crew guides whose goals are to offer some history of the Greenville craft beer industry along with some "wet your whistle" beer tastings, Greenville Brew Tours is a fun way to visit some of Greenville's local breweries. Having partnered with Thomas Creek, Quest Brewing Co. and soon to be Brewery 85, the tour provides guests the opportunity for an exclusive behind the scenes of Greenville's craft brewing process from grain to glass. With samples of many different styles of award-winning local beers and a visit with Barley's Tap Room where the tour begins, this is a great way to enjoy beer.
Selecting excellence in a glass is about style, nuance, color, taste and above all felicity. That perfect ale is about being in the right place relaxing with the right friends and being in the requisite setting; perhaps sitting at a warm wooden bar on a quaint vibrant Main Street, overlooking a copper Czechoslovakian mash tun filled with ale, while a White Belgian with shiny blackened hoofs and perked ears ambers by. Or it could be....well, you'll just have to figure yours out, but we can say you'll definitely have a chance for it in Greenville. So, take a stroll downtown and mosey on into Falls Park where the river cascades under a cantilevered bridge and benches welcome sitters who can watch children and dogs play. Then as the yard arm sets, pick out one of many excellent establishments to have a beer.
Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom- Located on Main Street, Travelers Rest, SC, next to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, this new brewery is already getting accolades from Upstate beer lovers. Ben Pierson, owner/brewer spent time honing his craft in Germany, and no doubt, will be offering some excellent German styled beers. Having worked for both Green Man Brewery and LAB, in Asheville, NC, he is bringing a vast amount of brewing knowledge and of coarse his excellent beers to the Upstate.
RJ Rockers Brewing Company- With a slogan of " Handcrafted, Every Beer, Every Drop, Every Time" you know that RJ Rockers Brewery takes beer seriously. Located in Spartanburg, SC, this upstate brewery makes a great lineup of ales that will satisfy even the most persnickety beer palate. Each week on Thursdays RJ Rockers hosts "Tour & Appreciation Thursdays" where you can relax, sip a brew, and get the inside view of the brewery. Stop by, you'll be impressed with the dedication of their brewers and good ales that they produce.
Thomas Creek Brewery- Having just celebrated their 15th year anniversary, Thomas Creek consistently brews tremendous beers. With a footprint that is expanding around the southeast, you're sure to run into one of their crafted beers. Tours of the brewery can be made easily now that Greenville Brew Tours started operating.
Quest Brewing Co.- Having recently arrived on the Greenville Beer scene, Quest is getting accolades from a growing fan base. Free tours of the brewery are conducted each Saturday, so make sure you reserve a spot. With events planned in advance, you're sure to be able to get in on your own quest for one of Greenville's best craft beer producers.
Brewery 85 - This brand new brewery is out to craft some serious beers. Having just opened its doors, its just getting started, however we expect great beers to come from a brewer who has a World Brewing Academy International Diploma in Brewing Technology from Doemen’s Academy in Bavaria, Germany. So stop by and get Growler fills, tours, pints and half pints.