Getting to Know Charleston the Boozy Way

It’s a sad misconception that the United States has terrible beer. Sure we export awful stuff: Budweiser and Coors and other junk, but domestically there is a huge diversity of microbreweries and innovative, delicious beers. For me, one of the greatest parts about traveling within the US is the chance to check out the local brews, and to soak up some local culture at the bar of course!

This is why I was so interested in the Original Pub Tour of Charleston, a 2.5 hour program that claimed to take participants on a walking and drinking tour of historic Charleston. The tour costs $30 and while it doesn’t include beer (has to do with the law or something) it does involve a nice little walking tour of Charleston and some yummy appetizers at the various bars. We visited 4 different bars, each with a unique atmosphere and story.

And then there was the beer: Charleston has some truly awesome local breweries that Mike and I were psyched to check out.

A rundown of some of Charleston’s best local beers:

Holy City Brewing Pluff Mud Porter

Palmetto IPA

 Coast Belafonte

Maybe in another life I’d be a beer blogger.

The best part about going on this organized pub crawl though is that you get to meet some really interesting people. The group ranged from 22 year old newlyweds to some ver humorous (and dirty minded) old men. One woman clearly agreed with me on the superiority of American beers- she is on an quest to find the best IPA in the US.

The tour guide himself, Daniel, was also a pretty interesting guy, full of lame and dirty jokes. He co-owns the tour company with his wife. He told me they wanted to start a tour that presented a different view of the city than the ubiquitous carriage tours and ghost walks. I think they’ve done a good job. In addition to visiting a plethora of pubs Daniel threw in some Charleston history and folklore.

We ended the evening at the Rooftop Bar and Restaurant, sipping Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka while watching the sun set over downtown. It made me a little sad to be leaving Charleston the next day. I’ll definitely back- once my liver has recovered.

Disclosure: The Lesesne Tour Company comped me two tickets to the Original Pub Tour of Charleston. All opinions are my own.

18 thoughts on “Getting to Know Charleston the Boozy Way”

  1. I can definitely attest to the quality of the American microbrew. I went on a self constructed tour of Portland’s breweries back in 2009 and found a lot of great beers.

    You can find it under ‘The Great Portland Brewery Tour’ in my site 🙂

    I’ll have to add the above tour to my next US trip..

  2. Now I want to go back! I’ve been to Charleston a handful of times since I lived in Aiken, SC for a few years, but they were all before I turned 21. I can’t get into the low-country cuisine, but I can do the beer from the looks of your pub tour!

    1. I had a weird nostalgia for Atlanta the entire time I was there, I guess it was just being back in the South (and the fact that they had Sweetwater on tap).

  3. I knew we should’ve gone on that pub tour when we were in Charleston last month – it sounds great! You are right about the microbrews – the U.S. has some really great microbrews which are nothing like Budweiser or Miller Lite, you just have to look for them 🙂 I revised my opinion about the ‘terrible’ American beers.

  4. I love craft beer!! I realized that mostly when I was in the US over the summer. Now I’m struggling to find some here in Australia, but there is a festival coming up that I feel will be very educational.

    I, personally, would LOVE to be a beer blogger!

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