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Love beer? Add Greenville, South Carolina to your list of cities to visit for beer lovers. With an amazing craft brewing scene here are our seven of our favorite breweries in Greenville, SC.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted for this trip.
Best Beer in Greenville
If when you think of South Carolina your mind wanders towards miles of highway and South of the Border, you’re missing out. Greenville is nestled on the other side of the state (called the Upstate Region) halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte. Local cuisine and breweries have flourished here and it’s become a foodie destination in its own right. Pair that with fun free things to do and it’s time to head there!
There are so many Greenville SC, breweries to choose from that it can feel overwhelming. We’ve rounded up some of the best and are letting you know the details on flights, live music, food options and whether they’re family-friendly. Whether you’re a fan of pilsners, Belgian-style brews or pale ales, we’ll guide you to the perfect craft beer for you.
During my visit to Greenville I was hosted by the Hilton Garden Inn Greenville. I found it to be a good central location for brewery hopping (and brewery tours pick up there, so you can leave the driving to a designated driver). I’ve marked down how far each is located from HGI. Scroll to the bottom for more information on the Hilton Garden Inn Greenville.
Breweries in Greenville SC: Where to Go
Thomas Creek Brewery
2054 Piedmont Hwy.
The original Greenville SC brewery, Thomas Creek Brewery may be a familiar name to you if you flew into the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, which has a Thomas Creek outpost. This family-owned brewery offers flights, draft beer, growler fills, bombers and six packs to go.
Integration with the community is a point of pride for this father-son team. When they wanted to brew a Honeysuckle beer, they had trouble isolating the yeast from the plant. A team from nearby Clemson University was tasked with the isolation and was able to accomplish it.
What started as a small operation is now a 20,000-square-foot enterprise with tanks going through brew cycles of 10-12 days. It’s a great spot if you’re visiting town on a tight schedule because it’s open 7 days a week.
- Flights: Yes.
- Family-Friendly: The taproom is on the small side but there’s an outdoor seating area if it’s a nice day. The brewery is very dog friendly so if your kiddo is nervous around dogs you may want to prepare them. Order a (non-alcoholic) root beer for them.
- Food: Yes.
- Must Try: The top sellers are the Trifecta IPA and the River Falls Red Ale but personally I am in love with the amazing Coffee Oatmeal Stout.
- Tours: By appointment.
- Distance from Hilton Garden Inn Greenville: 8.5 miles
6 Whitlee Ct.
Brewery 85 is a craft brewery that strives to combine “Southern culture with craft beer spirit while using traditional German brewing techniques.” Plan a visit near sunset to enjoy the back patio view.
- Flights: Yes! You can get four 4 ounce pours for the cost of a 16 ounce beer. So go a little wild and try a variety. Be sure to let the bartenders know what you enjoy. They pride themselves on putting together the perfect lineup for you.
- Family-Friendly: Hallelujah! Diaper changing is available in both restrooms. This family-oriented brewery welcomes your family.
- Food: Brewery 85 does not serve food but it does sell snacks. Food trucks are on site for events. You are also welcome to bring your own food.
- Must Try: Quittin’ Time, a Helles, is the OG of beers at this brewery. This is the beer that was tested and refined as the brewery was getting started and is still a favorite of many long-time customers.
- Tours: If staffing allows it. No reservations, no cost. Follow Brewery 85 on social to get the company’s announcements. If you’d like a guaranteed tour, the staff recommends looking at Brews Cruise, a local brewery tour company.
- Distance from Hilton Garden Inn Greenville: 4 miles
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Happy Sunday! We are open until 7pm this evening. Join us for Live Music with 2 local music legends starting at 5pm. We are excited to welcome Shane Pruitt and Charles Hedgepath back to our Outside Stage. @residentdogsgvl will be serving their tasty creations so bring your appetite.
Quest Brewing Co.
55 Airview Dr.
Offering weekly Hoppy Hours, trivia and yoga, this brewing company was founded in 2013 in Greenville and has become a community staple.
- Flights: Yes. $8 for 4 pours.
- Family-Friendly: Yes. Live music events on the lawn tend to be family-friendly.
- Food: Food trucks are on site some days and some small snack-y items are sold.
- Must Try: If you’re a dark beer lover like me, make sure you grab a pint of Smoking Mirror Porter. Also, if you’re around when the Peanut Butter Porter is available, do not miss it! Darks not your thing? Issaqueena Mango White Ale is a best seller.
- Distance from Hilton Garden Inn: 3.8 miles
Yee-Haw Brewing Company
307 E. McBee Ave. Suite C Greenville, SC
If you’ve heard of Yee-Haw before you might know it as a Tennessee company. “But this is an article about breweries in Greenville SC,” you’re saying. “Why the heck is she talking about Yee-Haw?”
Well, Yee-Haw is the 4th largest brewery in Tennessee. With that size came some growing pains. The Johnson City brewery was at capacity in large part because the popular Dunkel beer takes a whopping 6 weeks to brew. With the popularity of this dark German lager taking up more than half of the tanks at any given time, the brewers started looking for a new location to use for seasonals and testing.
And test they do! With a wild lineup of all the things I never knew I wanted to try, I wound up with a flight of fancy. From Strawberry Blonde Ale to Space Drunk at Day Camp to Mowtivator to Leg Lamp Raspberry Lager, the beers are fun and fresh. Roughly, half the brews on tap are Johnson City standards and the other half are experimental brews created in Greenville.
Flights: $10 for a flight of 4 beers
- Family-Friendly: Yes. The inside is open and large; the patio is also spacious. We saw several toddlers and a few babies taking naps in strollers when we were there.
- Food: Yes and it’s amazing. The recipes cleverly weave beer into the food. The pretzel bites that accompany the beer cheese are still in my dreams. This is a brewery I would head to even if all I wanted to do was eat.
- Must Try: This is a tricky one because so many brews are local experiments. At the time I visited, the Greenville brewery had made 74 batches that year; only 8 or 9 were repeats. Pick something fun from the left side of the tap menu. Then try the Kolsch or Dunkel, both Yee-Haw staples.
- Tours: Coming Soon!
- Distance to the Hilton Garden Inn Greenville: 7.3 miles
Fun Fact: The wet/spent grain goes to a local dairy farmer. We love that environmentally friendly attitude! Those must be some happy cows.
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Flowing into the holiday week like… Black Sheep is officially underway in the Birdhouse and Aviary. 21 taps of imperial Stouts and strong ales, plus packaged options so you can share with the fam. Doors up til 9pm, see you soon Greenville. #imperialstout #stoutseason #stout #goldenstrongale #sourstout #slowbeer #bourbonbarrel #bourbonbarrelaged #craftnotcrap #craftbeer
Birds Fly South Ale Project
1320 Hampton Ave Ext.
Birds Fly South focuses on beers that are slower to brew; think saisons and Farmhouse ales. That doesn’t mean they’re lacking in variety though! With the variety of hops and flavorings, there is always something in the tasting room that is new to you and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. The tasting room, The Birdhouse, is open Wednesday through Sunday.
- Flights: Yes. Four ounce pours are $3.
- Family-Friendly: Yes. Kids are welcome in most areas, including on the lawn. It’s a great Saturday outing if you pack a lunch. There is a back bar called the Aviary that is 18+ but the overall setup is huge and there are plenty of places for the kiddos to be.
- Food: No kitchen on site. Rotating food trucks and White Duck Taco and Due South Coffee are next door. You are welcome to bring food as well.
- Must Try: Go Saison here for your first brew. With the emphasis on quality slow-brewed beer, you’d be silly not to. Then ask what’s special and limited and take your pick.
- Distance to Hilton Garden Inn Greenville: 9.5 miles
Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant
741 Haywood Rd.
You may be scratching your head saying, “That sounds familiar.” Iron Hill Brewery is a small chain restaurant with locations in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Georgia. There is a lot to love about Iron Hill and I’d plan a meal here while you’re in Greenville.
The brewpub concept was born out of a love of beer that started with a homebrew kit birthday gift. From there it’s evolved. Now the majority of the core menu is focused around incorporating beer and making scrumptious from-scratch food that pairs well with beer. Giving back to the community is another founding principle and the company frequently partners with local nonprofits for Give 20% nights.
- Flights: Yes. There are both brewer-curated flights and the opportunity to create your own flight. Pours are 4 ounces.
- Family-Friendly: Yes. High chairs, changing tables and an expansive kids’ menu make this a solid family choice.
- Food: Yes! It’s a restaurant based on the flavors of beer, so tons of solid food options here. Don’t skip the soup. It can be added onto most entrees and the Ale and Onion Au Gratin is a can’t-miss for me!
- Must Try: On the opposite ends of the spectrum, the Iron Hill Light Lager and the Pig Iron Porter are both solid choices.
- Tours: Daily. Just ask your server if the brewer is available to show you around.
- Distance to the Hilton Garden Inn Greenville: 3.3 miles
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Cream Ale is back on tap! This yummy, light beer has a low hop level & is very easy to drink. Come try one tonight & see if you can outsmart our Brewer Andrew at Trivia at 7! #scbeer #gvlbeer #swamprabbitbrewery #travelersrest #yeahthatgreenville #drinklocal #craftbeer #mmmbeer #creamale #trivia #thinkwhileyoudrink #thatswhatwelike
Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom
26 S. Main Street
Travelers Rest, South Carolina
Swamp Rabbit Brewery is located outside of Greenville, in Travelers Rest along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The trail is a 20 mile+ hiking, biking and walking trail that runs through Downtown Greenville and by Reedy Falls Park and stretches out into surrounding towns. It’s one of the best things to do in Greenville. The Travelers Rest portion of the trail is roughly 10 miles outside of Downtown Greenville or a 20-minute drive. The brewery was born out of a homebrew habit and Ben’s resume reads like a Who’s Who of notable brewers that he’s trained under.
- Flights: Yes. They do five 3oz tastings of beers on tap. You get to keep the glass.
- Family-Friendly: Yes. Kids are welcome.
- Food: No kitchen on-site but a rotating roster of food trucks. Taco Tuesday is a thing here which we wholeheartedly support.
- Must Try: Check out the Limerick, a Double Irish Red, with 8% ABV or mix it up with a nitro beer. The Brown Porter Nitro is a Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal winner.
- Distance from the Hilton Garden Inn Greenville: 16 miles
Even More Breweries in Greenville, SC
Greenville has a booming craft brewing scene. As such, we look forward to trying more of them on our next visit, including 13 Stripes Brewery, Eighth State Brewing, Fireforge Crafted Beer and Shoeless Brewing Company.
Nearby but not in Greenville are Carolina Bauernhaus Brewery & Winery in Anderson, and Blue Ridge Brewing in Greer.
Where to Stay in Greenville, SC
With many of the breweries on this list located on the outskirts of town, the Hilton Garden Inn is fantastically located as a jumping off point to breweries in Greenville SC.
Of course, we all want to be safe. Did you know that there are local brewery tour companies that will pick you up at the door of the Hilton Garden Inn? They’ll cart you around trying local beers until you’ve taken in the whole craft beer scene and then they’ll safely return you to the hotel. On my visit to Greenville this is exactly what we did and it couldn’t have been easier. The Brewery Experience and Brews Cruise are the two main companies in town. We used the Brewery Experience and it made the day fun and easy.
I’ve stayed in numerous Hilton Garden Inns over the years. As a business traveler it was always a great go-to near airports. You could get food and a clean room with a micro-fridge.
Well, HGI has come a long way since those days. The room decor is light, bright and modern. The closet made my capsule-wardrobe-loving heart do a happy dance.
Did I mention there was a lavender sachet making station near the elevator? And the food? Let’s just say that’s gotten an upgrade too.
I was a guest of Hilton Garden Inn for this trip and it gave me a great opportunity to talk shop with the food and beverage team. (Perfect for this former food service account manager. I nerd out on numbers and standards.)
Innovative Menu Design at Hilton Garden Inn Greenville
In a world of corporate hotel menus that involve precisely weighed portions, preset prices and drop shipped standard ingredients, HGI has gone completely outside the box. Global Head John Greenleaf says the locations “feature customizable, on-trend menus spotlighting local and seasonal dishes for a unique culinary experience that’s elevated, unexpected and always delicious.” And that difference shows in the taste. The dinner I enjoyed was nothing like the hotel bar microwave burger of years past. The difference? Local flair vs. cookie cutter menus.
“Local food is one of the best ways to experience a destination’s culture – and that’s true for the up-and-coming foodie destination of Greenville, South Carolina. We encourage each Garden Grille & Bar to enhance core menu items with locally sourced ingredients and offerings that are reflective of regional flavors. At Hilton Garden Inn Greenville, the hotel team sprinkles in southern flair with items like Clemson blue cheese on salads, beer on tap from Thomas Creek Brewery – a 15-minute drive from the property – and produce and grains from Geechie Boy Mill.”
Kris Beck, Director of Brand Food and Beverage, Hilton
Bonus: If you want to branch out into locally-made spirits, definitely stop at the convenient downtown shop Dark Corner Distillery (14 S Main Street). It offers tastings. Be sure to check out the Mountain Peak Espresso Rum. It’s smooth and amazing.