Solidarity. Comfort. Pulling for the underdog home team. Excitement. We feel these emotions every time we drink a tall pint filled with beer that was brewed close by. Drinking great local beer is a magical experience that is getting better every year. As more local breweries explode onto the scene, the diversity and availability of beer brewed in the Carolinas and Georgia is skyrocketing. You can’t find a bar or restaurant that doesn’t have at least one beer from South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia on tap. In many bars, the majority of tap handles belong to local brews!
Sales of local beer in our area continues to increase. Brewed only 20 miles away in Charlotte, NC, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Copper is the 2nd highest selling ½ keg in our entire portfolio. As a whole, our local craft beer brands are up 35% this year compared to last, and we love every drop of local beer we distribute.
Below you’ll find a little tidbit about each local brewery that we distribute, with links to their websites, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We hope you’ll find something new or maybe discover that your favorite beer is closer than you think!
South Carolina Breweries
– Lancaster, SC
– Located on a small rural farm in Lancaster, South Carolina, Benford Brewing is quickly becoming recognized in the craft beer world. Benford uses only natural ingredients along with their own spring water to make superior and better tasting beers. With beers like their Irish Honey Blonde and Smoked O’ Hickory, Benford Brewing is capturing a taste that beer lovers will not forget. www.benfordbrewing.com
Beer to try: Irish Honey Blonde Ale – A traditional Pale Ale with an Irish Twist. Brewed with pale malt, honey malt, and oats. Fermented with Irish Ale yeast for a medium body Pale Ale. 5.1% ABV 25 IBUs
Brewery 85 – Greenville, SC
– Just off of Interstate 85, some former home brewers call Brewery 85 a home away from home. Located in Greenville South Carolina, Brewery 85 has hopped onto the beer world with nine beers that are spreading throughout the local beer markets. Their GVL IPA, Greenville’s own beer, is beginning to move up the ladder and should be tried by all beer lovers, especially IPA admirers. brewery85.com
Beer to try: Greenville IPA – This well-balanced beer has all of the hallmarks of an American style IPA. This beer has a strong malt base buffered with a nice addition of smooth, white American wheat. Citrus/Green aromas are rounded out with slight spice notes. ABV 7.0% 60 IBUs
Frothy Beard – North Charleston, SC
– If you have a beard, this might be the brewery for you. Frothy Beard Brewing Company has an array of more than fifty different beers to choose from annually throughout the year. Established in North Charleston, South Carolina, Frothy Beard Brewing produces seasonal drafts infused with local Charleston ingredients. Frothy Beard always hand crafts their recipes and takes a passion in creating something they love. www.frothybeard.com
Beer to try: A’ndale Jalapeño Pale Ale – If you want something spicy then you’ve found the right beer. This Photuris Pale Ale is dry-hopped with an abundant amount of Jalapenos and Cilantro to give it a nice burn in the back of your throat and a mouth watering aroma. 5.3% ABV
Full Spectrum Brewing – Fort Mill, SC
– Fort Mill’s first brewery, Full Spectrum offers beers for everyone on the spectrum. The Light Gold Pale Ale is a very approachable yet well crafted beer, while the Infrared IPA is more in line for the beer connoisseur. Fort Mill native Charles Bergman had a plan to open a crossfit gym and use profit from that to start a brewery. Full Spectrum opened it’s doors in 2015, making Charles’s plan a reality. www.fullspectrumbrewingco.com
Beer to try: Light Gold Pale Ale – An approachable malty, medium body beer with a just a hint of fruit and citrus. 6.0% ABV
Holy City Brewing – Charleston, SC
– Summer of 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina was the perfect time and place to launch a brewery. Craft beer culture was getting serious and South Carolina’s restrictions on alcohol content had been recently loosened. Holy City was born from the mind and hands from a quartet of passionate guys who saw a hole to fill in the lowcountry’s beer market. Their beers quickly became a local favorite, and now Holy City is a household name across the entire state. www.holycitybrewing.com
Beer to try: Pluff Mud Porter – Holy City’s second flagship beer was an effort to bring the American Porter style to the Charleston market proper, while also making a beer that stays appealing as the mercury rises. They’ve succeeded in Pluff Mud Porter. It presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh. 5.5% ABV
RJ Rockers – Spartanburg, SC
– Becoming Spartanburg’s South Carolina’s first brewery in 1997, RJ Rockers Brewing Company had taken on the task to create the best beer the Upstate had ever experienced. They focus on the quality of their beer and appreciate the people in the world that appreciate a great beer’s taste. Every beer they make is handcrafted every time and deserves to be on every craft drinker’s list. www.rjrockers.com
Beer to try: Son Of A Peach – An unfiltered American Wheat Ale brewed with real South Carolina peaches. Son Of A Peach is the best selling beer in the RJ Rockers lineup and is now brewed year-round. 6.0% ABV 16 IBU
Seminar Brewing- Florence, SC
– Brewing out of Florence South Carolina, Seminar Brewing is proud to say that they are Florence’s first commercial craft brewery. Brewing excellent beer and perfecting its distinctive crisp tastes, Seminar Brewing is a proud craft brewery that is an up and coming provider of delicious beer that any beer buff needs to try. www.seminarbrewing.com
Beer to try: Citrocity IPA – Citrocity is an IPA made in the Pacific Northwest tradition with hops that impart a distinctly grapefruit aroma and flavor. Seminar has added Citra hops to this one, which give the beer hints of mango, papaya, and passion fruit. It’s nicely bitter and balanced by a strong malt backbone. 6.0% ABV
Thomas Creek – Greenville, SC
– Thomas Creek Brewery is located in Greenville, South Carolina. This band of brewers has been producing beer since 1998 and is becoming better known even beyond their southeast territory. Converting beer drinkers over to their taste is something they have mastered with not only their year round brews, but also their seasonal specialties. www.thomascreekbeer.com
Beer to try: Appalachian Amber – Full-bodied, crisp and refreshing American Amber Ale with a malty flavor, rich caramel color, smokey notes and a smooth aromatic finish. 6.8% ABV 40 IBU
North Carolina Breweries
Blowing Rock Brewing
– Blowing Rock, NC
– Blowing Rock Brewing began with a single idea – to create a beer that captured the finest qualities of the High Country. Using clean mountain water, unique ingredients, and powered by the local community, Blowing Rock Brewery was opened in the heart of historic Blowing Rock in 2013. Since then, they have expanded not only to Blowing Rock Ale House & Inn, but also to a second brewery in Hickory. It is their mission to craft the highest quality mountain artisan beer. blowingrockbrewing.com
Beer to try: Blowing Rock IPA – Blowing Rock IPA exhibits a brilliant copper color through the incorporation of North American 2-Row and other specialty malts. Kettle hopping provides evident but not overwhelming hop bitterness while the finish and dry hopping offers elegant hop complexity. Citrus and floral notes are balanced with a slight hint of caramel malt. This IPA is full-bodied and flavorful, yet thoughtfully integrated. 6.2% ABV 73 IBU.
D9 Brewing Co. – Cornelius, NC
– D9 Brewing is a craft microbrewery with the purpose of brewing and sharing outstanding beer that unites people. First envisioned in July 2009 over a pot of boiling wort, their founders believed every person – and beer – has a story and decided to start a brewery where both could be shared. Several of D9’s founders have engineering backgrounds, and they take a very calculated approach to the art of craft brewing. For instance, they have developed a process to brew sour beer in a fraction of the time of other brewers. D9 Brewing seeks to inspire the community and promote the art of Craft Beer. www.d9brewing.com
Beer to try: Battle Hymm Black IPA – Bold black color, sturdy cream head with chocolate and coffee aroma. Robust malt flavors fading to a lingering bitterness and creamy body. 7.0% ABV
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery – Farmville, NC
– Paul Philippon was a university philosophy teacher that decided to finally follow the siren call of his hobby – brewing beer. After working for three different breweries, Paul decided it was time. The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery was born and sold its first beer in 2004. The logo can either be a duck or a rabbit, tying back to Paul’s philosophy days. What really makes Duck-Rabbit special is their focus on dark beer – they have shown that there is an enormous range of flavor possibilities in dark beer – something for every beer fan! www.duckrabbitbrewery.com
Beer to try: Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout – The Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout is a traditional full-bodied stout brewed with lactose (milk sugar). Because lactose is unfermentable by brewer’s yeast, it remains in the beer. The subtle sweetness and fullness of flavor imparted by this sugar balances the sharpness of the highly roasted grains that give this delicious beer its black color. ABV: 5.7%
Foothills Brewing – Winston-Salem, NC
– With an initial output of just 800 barrels in 2005, Foothills has grown into a booming regional brewery with over 40,000 barrels a year of production. President and Brewmaster Jamie Bartholomaus runs the show, and his wife Sarah backs him up as COO. With a tasting room at the brewery and a brewpub downtown, Foothills is a big part of the local scene. They offer sensational beers such as Hoppyum IPA, People’s Porter, Carolina Blonde, Cottonwood Pumpkin, and even an IPA of the month! www.foothillsbrewing.com
Beer to try: Hoppyum IPA – The recipe is simple. Take some hoppy. Add some yum. Nutty malts lend a surprisingly sweet base to copious additions of tangerine-y Simcoe™ hops. Great aroma, superior taste, clean dry finish. One sip will show you why this is our most popular beer . . . followed closely by a strong desire to take another sip. ABV 6.25% IBU 70
Highland Brewing – Asheville, NC
– Highland Brewing Company wants to be the brewery of choice in the Southeast. Honesty, integrity, and respect is their mantra and each employee cares about how beer is made and all the people involved, from the grain farmer to the mom at the grocery store. Highland started out as a 3-person operation using retrofitted dairy equipment to brew beer back in 1994. Now they have grown to a staff of over 40, but have never wavered in their commitment to quality, the community, and values. www.highlandbrewing.com
Beer to try: Gaelic Ale – A deep amber-colored American ale, featuring a rich malty body. Cascade and Willamette hops add a complex hop flavor and aroma. This ale is exceptionally balanced between malty sweetness and delicate hop bitterness. It has a universal appeal and is Highland’s workhorse, accounting for about half of their total production.
Naked Apple Hard Cider – Flat Rock, NC
– Hard Cider has been an American tradition since the beginning. It was a favored drink of our forefathers. John Adams drank a tankard of hard cider every morning for breakfast and lived to the ripe age of 91. Naked Apple Hard Cider makes two flavors of cider fresh pressed from several varieties of apples including Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Jonathan, Granny Smith, Crispin and Winesap. They use the finest apples produced locally in Henderson County, North Carolina. nakedapplehardcider.com
Cider to try: Blackberry Gold – Blackberry Gold has just a hint of mountain grown blackberries woven into this Golden Delicious Cider. It’s tart and tasty and leaves the palate wanting more! This is a hands-down favorite amongst hard core cider drinkers because it’s quite pleasantly a bit different from a traditional cider.
NoDa Brewing – Charlotte, NC
– Founded on the culture of home brewing, Noda sets a perfect example of how micro-brewing should be. From their year-round brews to their small-batch NoDable’s, NoDa keeps the same integrity and excitement with every single tank that is brewed. Their taproom is open every day so people can try their NoDable’s – which are only available at the brewery. nodabrewing.com
Beer to try: Jam Session – The evolution of American Pale Ale—still a session beer but it sacrifices nothing—clear hop flavor shines through without being too dominant, and there’s a great malt flavor uncommon to the variety. The backbone of this beer is the balance of imported Maris Otter and Caramunich malts with the pine and citrus flavors of Centennial, Simcoe, and Citra hops. ABV 5.1% IBU 31
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery – Charlotte, NC
– Freshness is the key to what gives The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery such great tasting beers. “Always cold, never old” is the motto that they live by. They believe that fresh beer should never get warm which is why the beer is refrigerated up until the time that you drink it. The crew at OMB brew an excellent variety of beers with only highest quality ingredients. They also adhere to the oldest beer purity law in the world, the renowned German “Reinheitsgebot”, that says beer should only contain 4 ingredients: malt, hops, water, and yeast. Olde Mecklenburg’s beers are unforgettable and always fresh! www.oldemeckbrew.com
Beer to try: Copper – OMB Copper is an authentic Düsseldorf style “Altbier.” Alt means “old” in German, as in “old school.” So there are no crazy flavors or gimmicks with Copper — it’s just an amazingly fresh, easy-drinking beer that tastes like beer. OMB uses expensive (but worth it) Bavarian hops and brew in strict accordance with the “Reinheitsgebot” German beer purity law to guarantee it. Once you drink this lagered ale, you’ll know why it’s the beer that put OMB on the beer-drinking map. ABV 4.8% IBU 31
Railhouse Brewery – Aberdeen, NC
– The founders of Railhouse Brewery are as dedicated to making great beer as they were to serving our country. Owners and veterans, Brian Evitts and Mike Ratkowski, opened the brewery to the public late in 2010 in an effort to introduce the people to their tasty creations. Since the doors opened, Railhouse has been able to survive and thrive, creating several other brews to be proud of. Railhouse has also partnered with KA-BAR knife company to co-brand their brown ale and create unique tap handles like no other. www.railhousebrewery.com
Beer to try: KA-BAR Brown Ale – A rich, dark brown ale with notable nuttiness up front. A roasty character and a hint of chocolate and toffee come through before ending with a subtle bitterness. As a Veteran owned brewery, a partnership with KA-BAR Knives only made sense! The USMC KA-BAR is an icon and a legend in the world of knives. It was one of the general issue knives to the United States Marine Corps in World War II and quickly gained popularity. This knife remains the first choice for many men and women of service who carry it as their personal option knife still today.
Red Brick Brewing – Atlanta, GA
– Red Brick strives to provide a quality craft beer experience, both in the bottle and at their brewery. Their team is a family, rooted in the company’s rich history of being Georgia’s oldest brewery. They take a handcrafted approach to the beer business, from the brewhouse to the bottle. Red Brick takes pride in innovation and an artisanal quality product. www.redbrickbrewing.com
Beer to try: Laughing Skull – A full bodied amber ale. Smoothed flavored and easy drinking, it develops a loyal following wherever it’s served. This beer pours a brilliant amber color, with an off-white head. The late addition of Willamette hops provides an earthy and mild bitterness, which balances the bready, malt character. The refreshingly crisp, clean and dry finish makes this a highly sessionable beer.
SweetWater Brewing – Atlanta, GA
– Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney were roommates at the Univerisity of Colorado Boulder when they decided they had more of a hankering for beer than for books. In 1996, they found that Atlanta was in need of a West Coast style brewery and they brought their aggressive brews to Georgia, forming SweetWater Brewing Company. SweetWater’s personality exudes from everything they do – from their slogan “Don’t float the mainstream” to their hand-painted tie-dyed trucks and vans and most importantly, to their beers. SweetWater’s beers are one of a kind and some of the tastiest around. sweetwaterbrew.com
Beer to try: 420 Extra Pale Ale – Their most popular brew, 420 is a tasty West Coast Style Pale Ale with a stimulating hop character and a crisp finish that has won multiple awards. 1st brewed on April 20th 1997. 5.7% ABV
Terrapin Beer Co. – Athens, GA
– Terrapin Beer Company focuses on crafting beers that are unlike anything else in the Southeast. Just 6 months after Terrapin was born in 2002, Terrapin’s Rye Pale Ale won the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Terrapin is located in Athens, Georgia, a city as distinctive as their brews. Both Athens and Terrapin have a great love of music, are committed to the environment, and practice living life to the fullest. terrapinbeer.com
Beer to try: Hopsecutioner IPA – You love hops, you ask for hops, and Hopsecutioner delivers! This Killer IPA earns its title by being brewed with six different hops to create an aggressive, yet exceptionally well-balanced, beer. Expect citrus and pine on the nose with a beautifully bitter finish; a strong malt backbone keeps the bitterness in check. Terrapin brewed this IPA for hop lovers… you may lose your hop head over this one! 7.3% ABV IBU 71