It’s October and we’re so far behind in our posts! Here’s a throwback to our time in Savannah… or in this case South Carolina. As Beerventurers, we can’t start a beerventure in the city (or state in this case) where we fly into – because reasons. Our very first instinct when flying into Savannah Georgia was to head across the border towards Hilton Head Island.
Southern Barrel Brewing Co.
Before you make it to Hilton Head Island, there are several breweries dotted along the way so our first stop was Southern Barrel of Bluffton, SC. The area that the brewery is in has that Florida development feel to it; mixed residential + commercial but without the old town feel of the North East. But that’s not a huge problem for us because the beer and food at SBBC is authentic as it gets.
Because sours are still all the rage, our two favorites of the flight were the Tropical Gose and the Ghost Baby Belgian. Tropical Gose was brewed with mango, watermelon and a touch of salt. We absolutely love gose style beers with salt because they just always hit the spot for some reason.
Ghost Baby is a wild cultured, red wine barrel aged tart cherry & guava sour that got its name from a haunting incident. Nope, not making this up. One of the breweries nearly had a heart attack while working alone one night because of a baby ghost. BOO!
If you’re here for lunch or dinner, be sure to pair your flight or pint with one of their massive (and delicious) burgers!
River Dog Brewing
Due to timing, River Dog wasn’t open as early as SBBC, so we did a little bit of backtracking to visit this lovely little tap room in Ridgeland, SC. The overall vibe of the taproom feels like a fishing lodge, perfect for relaxing and trying 7 beers. Yep, we already broke one of our cardinal tasting rules.
Can’t say I’ve got the time today to walk you through all 7 wonderfully crafted beers on our flight, but what you need to try when you visit is the Peanut Butter Perkolatte and the Untarted Territory. If you’re a big milk stout fan, the Perkolatte is about as silky smooth as you can get with strong roasted coffee and chocolate flavors with a huge addition of peanut butter on the backend.
Untarted Territory is a multi-year, aged and blended, mixed culture, barrel fermented tart and funky sour. So that is the untappd description less a few words. What that means in English is – the beer is practically tart cherry juice that is surprisingly 6.3% (zero boozy notes) and Melissa would literally drink this all day if she could.
Burnt Church Distillery
Welp, it’s time for worship so might as well head over to the $13 million dollar church recently constructed to house an immaculate spirit tasting room in Bluffton, SC. Complete with a museum, stained glass windows and an altar of mixologists, Burnt Church doesn’t serve a drop of beer but it is certainly a scene that a beerventurer should not be skipping! Vodkas, moonshines, gins, whiskeys and even non-alcoholic spirits are available across a series of well designed cocktails and even come in flight form!
While I’m a huge whiskey fan, I completely understand that it’s not for everyone. So I would recommend the moonshines for the more fun, bold and unusual flavors unassociated with charred oak.
If you’re a guy, certainly hit the mens room on the way out to stop at the soon-to-be world famous Pee Wall.
Lot 9 Brewing Company
Lot 9, our next stop, is just a stone’s throw away from Burnt Church so after a round of spirits we had to cleanse the palate. With a slogan like “for the love of great beer made right” it certainly did the trick to get us back on the beerventure track.
We went back to a traditional sized flight here (5) and were in love with the Queen Sour and the Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Queen Sour is a mango and apricot puree, 8.1% kick to the face, fruited sour. It may not be warhead sour, but I (Andrew) could barely touch it while Melissa was in heaven again just like the Untarted Territory.
Oyster Stouts seem to be a dying breed because we rarely come across them. Brewed with actual oysters and assisted by the brewery’s actual neighbors, Won’t You Be My Neighbor evokes the spirit of Mister Rogers in a silky smooth and slightly briny character. For those of us that grew up on the show, this was a touching homage.
Side Hustle Beer Company
Finally made it on to Hilton Head Island! Hilton Head is famous for the beautiful beaches, world-class golf courses as well as a bit of Side Hustle. SHBC is a baby brewery by both size and age. We had trouble believing that the beers we were drinking were from an operation only in flight for 6 months!
…and There’s Your Father & …and There’s Your Mother were our two favorite pours at Side Hustle. aTYF is a tropical passion and guava fruited sour that was more up my alley because it was only slightly tart and very refreshing for the warm evening. aTYM was another Melissa beer because this Berliner Weisse packed a bit more bite and was conditioned on raspberries and blackberries.
The young brewery already knew that distribution is key and invested in a small canning line which was great for us because we needed beach beers! To our surprise again, Side Hustle does mix-n-match 4, a thing that really needs to be adopted by the masses.
Hilton Head Brewing Company
Next to the little Hilton Head Island Airport is the Hilton Head Brewing Company. Should you be flying into HHI Airport (tons of flights are available https://www.hiltonheadairport.com/ ), this should be both your first and last stops on your vacation.
According to Untappd, HHBC has brewed over 110 different beers and it was a shame that we only had the chance to try 4. Last Lemming, Fleck U, Xtra 2x Secret Probation and 1 EyePA were recommended by our beertender. The two favorites of the flight were the Last Lemming and the 1 EyePA. Naturally Melissa was a huge fan of the sour Berliner Weisse with a wonderful red color and perfect amount of tart. The 1 EyePA is a light, 30 IBU session IPA with a bit of heat with added jalapenos and a blend of tropical notes from pineapples.
As our timing is never perfect, unfortunately for us we only had the chance to try four of their beers and we missed the Bavarian soft pretzel with beer cheese. When you visit be sure to let us know how the food is!
Lincoln & South Brewing Company
Just a few minutes down the street is Hilton Heads newest brewery, Lincoln & South Brewing Company. The self-proclaimed Vermont inspired brewery is a father and son venture founded in 2020! Now I did mention above we usually have terrible timing, except for Lincoln & South – we literally hit the brewery within their first month of opening!
It was such a pleasure talking to the owners and brewers and beertenders that we accidentally sampled everything they had on tap – and then some. Our favorites of the night were the DBL NE IPA, Triquetra and Fruited Sour #2. Working backwards, the Fruited Sour #2 uses their Base Sour #1 (yes – very unique and interesting names) with an explosive dose of guava, passion fruit and blood orange.
Triquetra was surprisingly Melissa’s favorite over the sour. This pastry stout is conditioned over a generous helping of cocoa nibs and toasted marshmallows and at 11.3% is guaranteed to get you a little tipsy. Last up was what can only be described as an iconic NEIPA at this point. L&SBC set out to make those pillowey, soft, juicy IPAs and hailing from the NE, I can vouch for the quality that is DBL. You can’t get more authentic NEIPA than this.