River Rat Brewery, Columbia, SC

I stopped in at River Rat Brewery in Columbia, South Carolina and tasted several beers.  Their American Kolsch Story was a very easy beer to drink and enjoy.  The Metal Man Pale Ale reminded me of other hoppy pale ales I have enjoyed – like Sierra Nevada.  The …And I Shut My Mouth Sweet Potato Imperial Stout collaboration with Cigar City Brewing was also a winner.  The others were tasty, just not as noteworthy to my palate.  I’m glad I stopped.

Conquest Brewing Company, Columbia, SC

I stopped in at Conquest Brewing Company in Columbia, South Carolina.I really enjoyed a couple of beers on tap.  The Coffee IPA was a delightful blend of bitter flavors – hops and coffee.  I really enjoyed this unique beer.  Old Naps Scotch Ale was a delightful version of this style.  It was wonderfully malty, delicious to drink and would be easy to pair with food.  While I was visiting they were hosting a Soda City Suds Week event – making pottery beer mugs.  I wish I had been in town longer and could have participated because it looked fun.

Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company, Columbia, SC

I stopped in at Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company in Columbia, South Carolina for a beer and got more than I expected.  I absolutely loved the Dunkelweizen.  Although I typically think of this as a heavier fall beer, this example of the style pleasantly surprised me.  It was fresh and flavorful.  I could drink it year-round.  After I was served, the owner offered to give me a tour and graciously shared their entire story with me.  I had a blast.  I wish them the very best.

Westbrook Brewing Company, Mount Pleasant, SC

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I stopped in at Westbrook Brewing Company in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  After checking out the beers on tap I felt I needed to try something different, something outside of my comfort zone, so I tried the White Thai which is a Belgian style witbier with citrus and spice flavors.  Although this isn’t my personal favorite style, it was refreshing.  As usual, I also tried the IPA which uses a blend of hops and is very enjoyable.

Holy City Brewing, Charleston, SC

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I stopped in at Holy City Brewing in Charleston, South Carolina and tried one of the flagship beers, the Pluff Mud Porter.  I’m sorry but I did not enjoy this beer.  It seemed thick and lacked flavor.  It tasted like mud to me.  I’m hoping I have a chance to visit Charleston again and give this or one of their other beers another try.  With a name like Holy City Brewing I really wanted this to be good.

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New South Brewing, Myrtle Beach, SC

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New South Brewing in Myrtle Beach South Carolina is so cool that I stopped twice, once in 2012 and once in 2013.  Both times I stopped with my family and enjoyed the tour.  During the tour the owner and brewer gave in depth descriptions of the entire operation.  And they also shared tastes of several beers along the way.  This is definitely a cool diversion during vacation in Myrtle Beach.  The White Ale is a Belgian wheat ale that is perfect for the beach – light and crisp.  The Nut Brown Ale is a rich malty and caramelly flavored beer which is a smooth and satisfying.  I’ve purchased numerous six-packs of both to bring home and enjoy and share with friends.  And, I look forward to future visits to Myrtle Beach and New South Brewing.