As the calendar rolls toward the winter solstice, breweries bust out their boldest brews. Here’s our list of a few brewskies you should sip this season and where to find them in Charleston.Palmetto Brewing Company’s Amber is the local brewery’s best seller, so it stays out all year long, but we love it the most in the fall. It packs the ingredients we like in an autumn brew: A slightly rusty-looking hue, a good bite of malt to the taste and a rich, foamy head. Perhaps your palate prefers something that lingers a little longer? Then go for Palmetto’s Porter product: It’s bock-like qualities will make you yearn for roasted malt.
Coast Brewing Company’s HopArt IPA-TM also is a year-round beer but its qualities, too, are synonymous with fall. A certified organic malt, HopArt is brewed with double doses of barley, malt and hops. Coast also rolls out an even bolder flavor for autumn: Blackbeerd Imperial Stout. Sweet malts and roasted grain create a stout that, as the label boasts, makes you want to “hold onto yer booty.”
The Palmetto and Coast products are available at a number of local bars, but if you’re along the downtown waterfront, The Griffon (18 Vendue Range, 843.723.1700) is a good place to check them out. The English-style pub serves dozens of beers and also is a popular lunchtime spot with such daily specials as shrimp and oyster baskets and bone-in pork chops.
They make their own beer at the Southend Brewery & Smokehouse (161 E. Bay St., 843.853.4677), which serves up such rich beers as Southend Stout and Southend Red Ale to enjoy during the fall, complementing a menu that features Cajun-style meats, Lowcountry-style dishes and wood-fired pizzas. (When it’s time to quaff like a champ, we like to opt for Southend Wheat, a lighter-bodied ale; sippers may want to add a slice of orange or lemon to this Southend staple.)
Finally, one must-stop for beer lovers is the Charleston Beer Exchange (14 Exchange St., 843.577.5446), which not only offers previously mentioned regional craft beers on its shelves but also a “growler station” where customers can try such unique varieties as Thirsty Dog Twisted Kilt Scotch Ale on tap. Look for extra-special keg tappings on Rare Beer Tuesdays and Rare Bomber Thursdays (both starting at 5 pm).
Palmetto Brewing Company, 289 Huger St., 843.937.0903 or www.palmettobrewery.com; Coast Brewing, 1250 2nd St. N., North Charleston, 843.343.4727 or www.coastbrewing.com