In the spirit of National Beer Day on April 7th, it’s the perfect time to look at how craft breweries have taken the beer industry by storm. More specifically, how Charleston, SC has embraced this growing trend giving Asheville, NC, known for their big name breweries, some frothy competition. To understand why craft breweries are such the rage, you have to understand their history, something Charleston appreciates.
Where Did Craft Breweries Come From and Why?
Craft breweries began in the late ’70s mostly as a hobby for a few. It was a way to bring the traditions, flavors, and varying styles of beer from all around the world together. Something many beer connoisseurs felt the American market was lacking. By the early ’90s, there were a couple hundred craft breweries popping up across the country, but by 2018, there were over 6,000 and growing. The appeal mostly stemming from the “grassroots home brewing culture” and a drive to support local entrepreneurs all while enjoying the backdrop of such a beautiful and historic area.
The revitalization of historic Charleston and the surrounding areas has increased tourism over the past few decades. The look and the feel of this newer Charleston has attracted young professionals and younger families, turning them from tourists to permanent residents. At the same time, craft breweries meshed well, providing a local flair that not only supported the brewery but small local eateries and even local farmer’s produce and goods.
Marrying the Love of Local Food and Local Spirits to Draw Home Buyers
Charleston currently has 28 active craft breweries with more set to open over the next few years. The seriousness of the craft brewery trend birthed what’s known as the Charleston Ale Trail. The Charleston Ale Trail is a well mapped out publication that not only gives you the tour of the local craft breweries and what they offer, but also a tour of the local area. Some of the craft breweries have their own restaurant and mobile food trucks, music, activities, and even welcome your four-legged friends too. The online Charleston Ale Trail highlights the craft brewery location of the month, as well as an ongoing calendar full of events. Some have entertainment for the whole family, making the craft brewery tour not only great for tourists, but locals looking for something laid back to do.
Once you’re there, aside from sampling the tasty beer, yummy food, and amazing atmosphere, many of the breweries offer a tour of the facility and education on how their beer is made. The craftsmanship through well thought out ingredients is evident when you hear the brewmaster’s speak of what’s cooking in their vats. While many of the local grocery stores in Charleston sell the local craft brewed beer, if you find something you like, the craft breweries offer a way to take your own freshly poured supply home that day. If you’re in the Charleston area, have a love of flavorful craft beer, and want to taste your way through Charleston, then the Charleston Ale Trail is definitely for you.