As of this writing the leaves are turning in Greenville. This year’s Gran Fondo Hincapie is a wrap and was, as always, a grand time for all! Fall for Greenville saw 40 restaurants (including lots of beer!) along with musicians and various entertainments take over Main Street to draw foodie folks by the thousands. Oktoberfest at Noma Square kicked off the season in fine German style, and now the Swamp Rabbit Trail is marked by tracks between the colorful autumn dust.
Now we await the Greenville Craft Beer Festival, coming November 19th, presented by Total Wine and More. It will feature 35+ hand-selected local, regional, and national breweries . The fest is conveniently located at Fluor Field at the West End, providing an atmosphere unlike any other beer festival! "Beer College" classes will also be offered onsite. Gates open @ Noon and 11am for VIP.
Basically, there’s always something brewing in Greenville! In the spirit of the season we’d like to introduce you to some local pumpkin influenced brews.
Starting with the new, new, new kids on the block, Birds Fly South just hatched their first bottle release and guess what it is! Their tasting room can be found at 1320 Hampton Ave Ext in Greenville. Hours are: Thurs 4 - 8 p.m., Fri 4 - 9 p.m. and Sat 2 - 9 p.m.
Thomas Creek gives us pumpkin ale. At 2054 Piedmont Hwy. Since they opened in 1998 Thomas Creek has been filling up the Upstate with great variety of great beer. Signature brews like River Falls Red Ale and Banana Split Chocolate Stout have gained a wide following. Known in the area for their release party events, you can arrange for a brewery tour by phone, or, fill your growler and grab a pint in the tap room: Mon - Wed 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thurs - Fri 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Add to your calendar the Brewery Bash Oct 29th, and the Greenville Spinners have been known to make it bike ride destination!
From Quest Brewing we have Kermesse Pumpkin Saison. Home of the Hatha and Hops Monday Yoga (7 p.m., $10 for class and a pint), the brainstorm that lead to this adventurous enterprise began in 2012. Quest’s very name entices one to explore what Greenville and environs has to offer. “Legendary” series brews includes Ellida India Pale Ale. Check their website for special releases. A full calendar of weekly events including live music and food trucks. They invite you to make their brewery a destination on your quest for delicious craft brew! Free tours every Saturday. Located at 55 Airview Drive.
Last year, Brewery 85 created Big Poppa Pumpkin. This year they released Leon’s Lederhosen for Oktoberfest. The latest addition to Greenville’s growing brew scene was founded by Clemson grads and named after the interstate that runs past Greenville. They are hard at work making their mark with Quittin’ Time Helles Bock, and Hop ’n’ Grind IPA. Weekly tours are available on Saturdays at 3-3:30 p.m. or by request. Tap room hours: Wed - Thurs 4 p.m. - 8p.m., Fri 2 p.m. - 8 p.m., and Sat 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Find them at 6 Whitlee Court.
Upstate Craft Beer recently held a pumpkin beer battle between Quest’s Kemesse and Catawba Brewing’s King Don’s Pumpkin Ale. Within six blocks walking distance from the Swamp Rabbit Inn at 400 Augusta Street, you too may learn to brew! You can quaff drafts like Upstate’s own Thin White Duke IPA or Extra Special Boiii Strong Bitter plus other local faves in the brewpub, or purchase your ingredients and consult with the experts to create your own beer! Yes friends, they will hold your little hand (or paw) the whole way. Make an event of it with your brew crew! The pub is open 10 a.m. - 10 p.m Mon - Sun with salads, sandwiches, and naan pizzas, and an event list of game nights and such. Go and just try to not have fun - we dare you!
Probably stretching here, no pumpkin beer at Swamp Rabbit Brewery, but, the Halloween Boo-ery Bash- their Annual Halloween Party is happening Oct 26! A personal favorite. Voted Best Local Brewery in the Upstate for 2015. No surprise there. Opened by a classically trained brewer in 2014, just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail at 26 S. Main in Travelers Rest, it has been mobbed (predominantly by cyclists, I might add) pretty much since day one. More often than not one or another of the Upstate's most popular food trucks is in residence in the parking lot to provide vittles to go with the brew and the front patio is always hoppin'! From pale ale to porter the on tap offerings are world class. Fill your growler or just come hang out - or both! Open Tues - Thurs 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Fri 2 p.m. - 10 p.m., Sat noon - 10 p.m.
Of course there are several great places in Greenville to pull up a barstool and enjoy pumpkin and other seasonal concoctions from all over the map. Also, shops that feature craft beer to purchase.
The Community Tap is a hub of hop action that you will be invited to within hours of arriving in downtown Greenville. Since opening in 2010 it has already expanded its space once and become a local institution. With 20 beers on tap and 12 wines by the glass it is a favorite for various groups and clubs meetings and foodie pairing events. Great food trucks frequent the front lot and the fridges are stocked with an array of exotic brews. The covered outdoor patio is lovely. Open Mon - Wed 11 a.m. - 8 p.m, Thurs - Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sun 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. If you are invited - and you will be -, go. If you're not invited soon enough you will find them at 217 Wade Hampton and making friends will be a cinch!
The Velo Fellow at 1 Augusta Street, mere blocks from the Swamp Rabbit Inn, is outfitted after the grand tradition of the British publick house. With a menu of Southern and British comfort food and mood of comfortable dark wood it's a perfect place to raise a pint. Drafts like Murphy's Irish Stout await as does a full bar if that won't do. Live music occasionally completes the scene. Order a basket of chips and chill. Mon -Thurs 11 a.m. -until (kitchen open until 10 p.m.), Fri - Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (Full menu available until 10 p.m.) Sun 10:30 a.m.-until (Full menu available 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; serving brunch 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.)
Barley's Taproom has been mentioned before in the blog for its pizza and its array of bar games. It boasts 72 beers on tap. Find them at 25 W. Washington just off N. Main. Guaranteed to show you a fun and tasty time. Open late: Mon - Sat 11 a.m. - until..., Sun noon - until...
The Greenville Beer Exchange with 16 beers on tap, including Southern Tier Warlock Pumpkin Stout, and over a thousand in their inventory you WILL find something to love. Bring a large sac or your growlers to 7 South Laurens Street. Open: Mon - Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sun noon - 6 p.m.
I want to try them all, don't you?! This could take awhile... There's always something to explore in Greenville, not to mention something tasty and refreshing! Come haunt the bars and breweries of the Upstate, raise a glass to the gorgeously turning foliage, and bask in the warm autumn sun before Greenville settles in for a long winter's nap.
Check out more of our "Perfect Day in Greenville, SC" posts!