Quite frequently, I find myself visiting South
Carolina. My destination is invariably Conway, not far from Myrtle Beach.
And of course, when I do, I’m always looking for beer when I do. It’s what I
do, after all. Mostly, the pickings are slim here, and South Carolina is not
widely renowned for its brewing industry. That doesn’t mean there isn’t good
beer being made here, however, both at brewpubs (see
and Brewery ) and bottling microbreweries. Palmetto Brewing of
Charleston is a testament to the latter.
If you don’t believe me, try a bottle of Palmetto Pale Ale and see
for yourself. South Carolina attracts large numbers of tourists to historic
Charleston and to Myrtle Beach, and if you should find yourself in these
areas, I recommend seeking the beer out.
The brewery is a small one to be sure, but they have already had the honor
of a visit from respected beer critic Michael Jackson, who seemed to like
their beers well enough. The name, of course, is derived from the palmetto
tree, the official state tree of South Carolina, the Palmetto State. You
will see a palmetto on the South Carolina license plate, too.
Palmetto Brewery beers are not widely distributed, all the more reason to
seek them out while you’re in the state. Drink something local, I always
say. So far, they haven’t made it to Georgia yet, at least as far as I have
seen. Generally, Atlanta is a natural market for microbrewers from
Palmetto Pale Ale pours to a cloudy orange amber color with a
generous foamy head formation and a slightly fruity, spicy hop nose. As soon
as you sip, you’ll get a wonderful toasted malt flavor up front that forms a
very nice backdrop for the hops, which are the most omnipresent feature of
They emerge early, minty and grassy with plenty of English character (Fuggles
come to mind). In the finish, they really intensify with an herbal flourish,
a touch of citric fruit, and a long, bitter dry ending that lingers very
nicely on the tongue for a while after sipping.
That bitterness may be off-putting to some, but I find it wonderful. The
beer holds up well too if properly stored. The bottle I’m drinking is at
least six months old, one that I’ve stored refrigerated since I bought it.
Still an excellent brew, and I encourage you to try it.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.