On Saturday, Nicole and I were privileged to attend the grand opening celebration of Coast Brewing Company in North Charleston. Nicole has some ever-growing clout in the beer industry through her mad marketing skills, so she was able to get us on the list for this “private” party. However, it was really only private because, as Jaime Tenny, one of the co-owners said, they didn’t want hundreds of random people showing up for free beer :)
Jaime and David
I will give Jaime and David Merritt, her business partner and husband, credit, they can throw a good party. It had the downhome feel of a family reunion, right down to the folding tables, barbeque and baked beans, and horseshoes and croquet in the yard. Although, my family reunions never had beer this good!
As a startup local brewery that markets itself as being organic and environmentally friendly, Nicole and I are really rooting for these guys to succeed. But we know that no matter how cool or environmentally conscious Coast is, it won’t matter in the long run unless the beer is good. We were actually a little nervous that we might have hyped this up too much in our minds and the beer wouldn’t live up. Well, we had nothing to worry about. The beer was great!
Coast’s initial offerings are the 32/50 Kölsch, HopArt IPA, and a Coffee Rye Brown. The kölsch is an amber colored german ale with a mild malt flavor. One of the more interesting things about this beer is the dry, almost wine-like feel and a very nice floral hop finish. Normally sweeter, more malty beer such as this don’t have such a noticeable and intense hop character. It was very enjoyable. The IPA had a more subtle hop flavor, but it was definitely there. It didn’t jump out at you, but after you took a drink, it sort of creeps up on you and you’re like, “yeah, there’s some good hops in there!” The Coffee Rye Brown was quite an adventure. I wouldn’t classify it as a desert beer, but it’s intense chocolate and coffee flavors certainly make it a great after-dinner or breakfast beer.
David with his kettles
I am very excited that Coast’s beer will be hitting bars and stores in the Charleston area starting tomorrow. David and Jaime have certainly put a ton of work into getting to this point, and I’m sure it wasn’t always fun, but they are really living the dream. As I stood next to their shiny copper brew kettles, it really inspired me and gave me hope that someday maybe even I can do this. So over the next few months and hopefully years, keep an eye out for Coast beer, raise one up and help keep the dream alive!
I wish my family reunions were like this…