The Best Beer Bars in Charleston

From a bottle of PBR enjoyed on the front patio of the Rec Room to a pint of just-brewed ale tapped at Edmond’s Oast, Charleston loves its beer. A town with so many breweries, brew pubs, and tap houses has a mighty thirst: Charleston Brewery List website said there are 20 tap houses in the city (and that doesn’t factor in the bars and restaurants that have solid lists of craft beer), as well as eight breweries in the city, and 17 in the surrounding area. Pull up a stool with the locals at these great watering holes and find your favorite beer. Or beers.

1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
This cavernous brewpub has a wide-open kitchen, a long bar, tall communal tables, and a patio shaded by live oaks. If you can, grab a seat at the chef’s counter and watch the team spread creamy aïoli on locally made rye bread, topping it with pickled shrimp, vegetables, fresh herbs, and chervil leaves. The beer selection is unparalleled in Charleston, with the restaurant’s own brews ranking among the city’s finest local offerings.

They also now have a second location at 1505 King St. #115, Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. & Taproom, which is a casual restaurant and the location of their brewing facilities.
970 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Come for the drinks and stay for the music at the The Royal American. This “hole-in-the-wall” bar along Morrison Drive gets you up close to hip bands while drinking a beer, a signature punch, or the house made cinnamon whiskey, and dining on pub comfort food. You’ll want to look at the cool décor that includes a refurbished Wurlitzer jukebox and paintings on the ceiling of our own “Royal Americans”, such as Walt Disney, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Sitting Bull and Abraham Lincoln.
36-38 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
When Charleston’s Blind Tiger opened in the late 1980s—long after Prohibition ended—its name, a phrase synonymous with “speakeasy,” lent the Broad Street bar a delightfully naughty air. Not that the joint needs more atmosphere. The building, which dates back to 1803, has the vibe of an old Irish bar, with big front windows, dark wood, the damp smell of years of spilled beer. But walk through the doors in back and you’ll find a tree-shaded, sun-dappled patio full of architectural ruins and kitted out with a few firepits for cool evenings. That handy backyard bar means you can stay in the fresh air and not venture inside for refills. Alas, the blissful al fresco scene is slightly marred by the inclusion of a television over the bar. (With college football enjoying nearly the same status of religion in the Holy City, only the fanciest cocktail bars can avoid having the game on in these parts).
217 Huger St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
It’s easy to take kimchi beef and tempura avocado tacos for granted, now that fancy gringo taco joints are ubiquitous, but it was Taco Boy that brought the trend to Charleston in the mid-‘00s. The original location on Folly Beach stays busy with a tourist crowd, but it’s their downtown expansion—straddling the North Central and NoMo neighborhoods—that’s become a local hotspot for the recently graduated early ‘20s crowd. The location isn’t walkable, but the courtyard and spacious open layout bar stays packed with revelers who come for the hefty margaritas and extensive tequila selection. The treats are served amidst a lively biergarten-esque courtyard scene, and thoughout Taco Boy a colorful and creative décor sets the tone for a party. In addition to namesake tacos, there are pick-your-protein rice bowls, generously sized salads (the Southwest seared tuna add-on is a winner), and daily specials like a smothered burrito and chile rellenos.
247 Congress St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Partly owned by part-time Charleston resident Bill Murray, Harold’s Cabin is a nutty combination of Murray’s sweetest comedic roles and Wes Anderson’s cockeyed art direction. This former neighborhood corner grocery store (opened by the namesake Harold Jacobs in 1929) keeps up the bodega tradition by offering some local goods on shelves and in refrigerated cases in the front, like pizza dough and milk, as well as fancier artisanal stuff. The rest of the place is more Wes Anderson—plaid-upholstered furniture, stenciled murals, vintage porch gliders, knotty pine panelling—the look is definitely not haphazard, though, it’s more balanced and a deliberate design. Entrust your cocktail or beer wishes to the affable veteran bartender, Drew Childers, who will draw from the extensive variety of local brews on tap or mix you a cocktail that draws inspiration not just from the bottles behind the bar but from the vegetables grown in the extensive roof garden as well. In addition to dinner entrees like a bison burger and a popular three-cheese ravioli in mushroom sauce, a ‘Graze ‘n Nosh’ menu section includes boards: a snack board is served with a sleeve of Ritz crackers teetering on a plank beside with cheese curds, slices of pepperoni, ham salad, pickles, and savoure cheeese; another board has a generous serving of cured salmon, latkes, pickles, and beet horseradish. The crowd is full of locals (the mournful face of a dog tied up outside implies that her evening constitutional was waylaid) and much of the conversation at the bar concerns surf reports and the merits of the beers on tap. There is frequently live music, as well as goofy regular events like a monthly Johnny Cash day on which customers dressed in black get a discount. Head out to Hampton Park Terrace and join Harold’s Cabin’s low-keyed party.
10 Conroy St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
Among Charleston’s two dozen thriving breweries, Revelry may have the best digs. It’s located in the peninsula’s NoMo neighborhood and sports a spacious, laid-back rooftop deck bar that’s perfect for viewing sunset over the Holy City skyline. The whole place is adorned with art—including on its cans’ labels—by recognizable local artist, Chris Kemp. Fortunately, what’s inside the cans is equally memorable. Brews like “Gullah Cream” and “Poke the Bear” (an American Pale) are among the city’s signature ales for any beer lover seeking the best of Charleston. Happy hour features live music Friday through Sunday, making Revelry a go-to gathering place.
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