Westbrook Brewing

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Maybe I’m just taking pictures of breweries more than reviewing them at this point.  Westbrook Brewing was at least slightly different as I had family members with me as we were vacationing in the area.  Located in Mount Pleasant, SC, they’re sort of squirreled away in an area where you won’t find them unless you go looking for them with a map.  Or a GPS.  It certainly has curb appeal.


Step inside and… the same.


The brewery opened in 2010, another typical home brewing story that becomes a business.  What is a little distinctive is that the owners did this in their dorms at Furman University, which used to be a Baptist run school.  The brewery is already poised to double, in part based on their own growth, but also due to their contract brewing for beers sold under the Evil Twin brand.  Their distribution territory includes SC, NC, GA, AL, NY and… four countries in Europe!  They currently make approximately 20,000 barrels per year.  They’re also beginning to explore the barrel aged beer products.  The large one is from a French wine company. 



Otherwise, the barrels seem to come from reliable stock.  The intent is to stick beer in them and keep sampling them for however many years it takes for something “good” to result.  Nice plan if you have the space.


On to the beer.  This flight includes Femme Fatale (American IPA – Evil Twin), Femme Fatale Yuzu Pale (American IPA), Brett Rye IPA and Smokin Guns Russian Imperial Stout.  The first three were shades of average, and the Stout was by far the best of this bunch, though, still not a favorite style of mine.


Round 2 then: James Beer (Berliner Weisse - Evil Twin) , Nomander Weisse (Evil Twin), White Thai (Witbier), and One Claw (American Pale Ale).  The Weisse’s will stay clear of my palate now that I’ve been fairly warned.  The White Thai is easily drinkable, and the One Claw had enough hop character that this was the best of the set.  Curiously, they didn’t have their standard bearing IPA on tap, but that was okay.  It’s a fine beer though lacking a distinctive character amongst competitors.


Otherwise, I had a taste of Evil Twin’s Fire Water IPA, which was very good and, to it’s benefit, not as spicy as advertised.  The brewery has, of course, the requisite merchandise, and they sell four packs of their three principal beers for $10, which is better than prices observed in the stores in the area.


When it comes to tours, it’s pretty much the usual.  Brite tanks, fermenters, brew kettles, cans waiting to be filled and so forth.  Plus, one “Big Ass Fan,” which is essential in southern climates where air-conditioning isn’t provided.




It was a fairly humorless but informative tour, and one of our party who stayed in the tap room probably summed it up.


In other news, they’re embarking on collaborations with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Denver’s Crooked Stave.  Overall, it’s a very nice facility designed to sit and taste.  I’m glad I had people to share it with, as entertainment was otherwise absent. The brewery has obviously found an audience and is outpacing its local competitors.  But regionally, they’re lagging compared to what others are doing with IPAs – like NoDa, Three Taverns, and Good People, to name a few.  But, as with all beers, it’s a matter of personal taste.


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