This is the
fifth [who knows, I can’t count after all these beers] installment highlighting the craft beer scene of Florida State's opponent. This segment will feature a brewery from the area and a beer from another brewery in the area, with a focus on best representing the craft beer scene of the Noles’ weekly opponent. We also try to include options that are readily available to those who may not be traveling to the games and want to pick something up from their local package store. Without further delay we present to you craft beer in Clemson’s backyard of Upstate South Carolina.
South Carolina lags behind its northern neighbor. While North Carolina is home to prestigious institutions such as Duke, and UNC, South Carolina is home to Dabo Swinney. Oh, and their beer scene is decidedly inferior.
The town of Clemson itself is a classic southern college town, but doesn’t have much in the way of breweries. I went up for the 2013 game and greatly enjoyed the game and result. I also stayed in Greenville, which has a much more vibrant craft beer scene.
Greenville’s downtown really is a cool place, very walkable and full of bars serving a plethora of local and national craft beer offerings. If you get the chance, make sure to take a picture from Liberty Bridge in front of the falls.
Greenville is home to Thomas Creek Brewing, which is very well distributed in the southeast and any Florida store I regularly buy from. They’ve been around over 20 years, which is eons in the rapidly growing craft beer scene. They generally do a good job. It is not a company that you can expect every beer to be an A+, but usually their offerings are worth trying.
Aside from Thomas Creek, there are several small nanobreweries and brewpubs dotting the downtown Greenville area. I honestly don’t remember which were good. I’ll let you fill us in down in the comments section.
As Thomas Creek is the only Upstate brewery I see with any regularity in my local, we’ll feature a beer from them that I enjoy. A very, very different take on the style is their Castaway Chocolate Orange IPA.
This beer really is different. Your average stout will have cocoa nibs and chocolate malts, but the average IPA doesn’t.
Castaway is a good movie. Wilson is a good volleyball, and one of the better listeners out there. The beer is pretty good too, and just as strange as I am. You taste hints of chocolate, but orange is definitely more perceptible. Between the orange peel additions and the copious use of C hops and Amarillo, citrus flavors are the main feature of this beer. Chocolate malts themselves don’t necessarily lend a chocolate flavor.
This is a pretty good beer, and one of Thomas Creek’s year round offerings. It’s not a popular or well rated beer on most beer sites, but frankly I think those ratings are often nonsense. This is a good beer. It doesn’t fit a style bracket the way the snobs who comment on BA/RateBeer would like.
If you're unable to get your hands on any of the above mentioned beers, that's okay, we would love to know what kind of beer you will be enjoying this weekend as Florida State takes care of business against some Clempnecks.