Downtown Greenville – 400 Augusta St. (West End Historic District)
Pour-sona: THE ECLECTIC
Get ready to pucker up, Solo-Cup, because this ain't your everyday brewery.TheEighth State Brewing Company—named after South Carolina's distinction as the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and be admitted into statehood—takes what you might expect from a brewery and just adds a healthy, fun dash of color to it. Eclectic, eccentric, or delightfully frenetic—no matter how you describe Eighth State, from the beer it brews to the art that dons its cans and walls, you can be sure it's unlike any other brewery you'll find in Greenville. And maybe that's why it's the No. 1-ranked brewery in all of South Carolina on the industry-popular app Untappd, where users rate the different breweries they visit.
The biggest difference you'll notice is the beer. If you're looking for a brand-name beer, sure, you'll find something recognizable somewhere on the menu and Eighth State will be more than happy to oblige, but if you wanna quaff on the wild side then let us turn your attention to where Eighth State really shines. Many breweries will pride themselves on beers that range in color from light gold to a dark brown, but rarely will all the colors of the rainbow be represented.
Top 5 Rated Beers
Cypher Stout - Imperial / Double
Cheap Dreams Hard Seltzer
Cosmogenesis Stout - Imperial / Double
Penrose Stout - Imperial / Double
Background Radiation Stout - American
Eighth State specializes in dessert imperial stouts, fruited sours, cocktail-inspired hard seltzers, and crispy pilsners. Pick a pint of anything on the menu and even Trinidad James would approve of a total lack of all-gold-everything in his glass. Don't believe us? Just watch: Order yourself a flight of six on-tap tastes and it'll arrive to your table in a muffin tin—a wink and a nod to the Claussen Bakery that operated out of the very same historic building more than 90 years ago—filled with enough reds, oranges, greens, blues, pinks, yellows and more to have you on Instagram straight-flexin'.
From sours and sweets to stouts you'd swear were inspired by a chocolate-banana milkshake, you'll find the perfect pairing for what Eighth State's full kitchen is creating. No matter your style, you've got choices here, with delicious stecca sandwiches and pizzas—even vegan and vegetarian options—made by local favorite Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery. Grab the family and the pup and enjoy Eighth State's front patio for a funky afternoon.
"The beer is so creative! If you enjoy adventurous ales, then this place is the Disneyland of craft beers. The vibe is super chill and the atmosphere is one of a kind... The live music is also adventurous, but expertly curated. The food is craveable and ranges from light to filling. I love this place!" - Christopher, Google Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
... craft seltzer is just as intriguing to you as craft beer! Aside from the obvious sour selections that set Eighth State apart, they’re concocting their own hard seltzers with just as much care as the beer they lovingly brew. A store-shelf shortage of the popular hard seltzer Whiteclaw in 2019 gave Eighth State owners a sparkling idea to experiment with seltzer before the trend fizzled out. Luckily, the popularity of bubbly, flavored hard seltzer continues and thus, it still shows up on Eighth State's menu in many forms. Flavors are put together the same way your favorite mixologist blends a signature cocktail with a wide range of adventurous ingredients. All this means you can expect to find selections like "Dreaming"—which features the taste-twisting combination of rainbow sherbet, marshmallow, lemon, grapefruit and Madagascar vanilla—any time you walk in the door. If the sun's holding you down, opt for one of Eighth State's frozen slurries—some of which utilize the popular sour beers on the menu as the base for a refreshingly unique retreat from the heat.
Fireforge Crafted Beer
Downtown Greenville – 311 E. Washington St.
Pour-sona: THE EXTROVERTED INTROVERT
You might expect most brewmasters to have been obsessed with beer and the beer-making process from the moment they turned 21, practically sleeping on a bed of grains while hoppy dreams steep in their heads, but not all who brew take the same route. Fireforge co-founder and Governor of Fireforge Brian Cendrowski spent his 20s thinking beer tasted terrible—so much so that his drink of choice during this formative decade ranged from amaretto sours to Woodchuck Cider. It wasn't until a friend introduced him to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that Brian's eyes were opened to a world of beer with flavor and variety. Fast forward to today and this late-bloomer turned in his job as a web developer for 50-pound bags of grain and a much more satisfying career running one of Greenville's only breweries just steps off Main Street with co-founder, CMO, and wife Nicole, who has been right there with Brian since their first batch made on a stovetop at home.
What began in 2014 as a serious plan to open a brewery in 2014 became reality in 2018 when Fireforge's doors opened. Those doors, by the way, are extremely large—so large, in fact, that if you're frequently conflicted by the decision of whether to go out or stay in, Fireforge is perfect for you as it creates one space that provides both options as opening these massive doors is akin to removing entire walls. Your duality will be wholly satisfied by a table-dotted biergarten seamlessly extending from far outside the building all the way to the main bar area inside.
Top 5 Rated Beers
Humulus Package #6IPA - Imperial / Double New England
John HopcockIPA - New England
Unghosted #2Pale Ale - American
BlueberryMead - Melomel
Quaddish Boy Belgian Dubbel
The rustic feel of the wood paneling combined with the urban surroundings of downtown Greenville provide another wonderful juxtaposition to ponder over a pilsner at sunset. If a pale pils doesn't fit your taste, you can peruse Fireforge's 20 taps for something else you might prefer—from several options categorized as "light and refreshing" to a handful of IPAs to your more malty and dark beverages. Feeling particularly saucy? Opt for the Perlin's Ghost Pepper Ale and see if that doesn't forge a fire within you.
Speaking of flames, Fireforge is cooking up foods in its prep kitchen that complement the available beer selections, so you'll find a menu of quick bites, shareable snacks, a full meal or two and even desserts to choose from. Live music is also on the menu from time to time so check their calendar to see who's playing when you're in town, and well-behaved dogs and kiddos are always welcome.
"Best craft beer in Greenville! Came for a weekend in April and did not have a beer here I didn't love. Lots of hazy beers and a cool warehouse atmosphere and outdoor area made this my favorite brewery stop for the weekend. Definitely check it out. If you are staying downtown, it is an easy walk to the brewery." - Luke, Yelp
This Sud's For You If...
... you like a beverage that'll tell you a story. Fireforge is the first craft brewery in the world to incorporate a product called Story Label onto its can and bottle products made by a company in nearby Greer called Century Printing and Packaging, which has been making craft beer labels for years. In fact, the company produced 380 million labels in 2019. New this year is the ability for breweries to tell the story of their brewery or the specific beer right on the label—well, actually, right behind the label. If you're one of those anxious beer-drinkers who peels the label off a bottle as you sip your suds, this one is definitely for you. Peeling back the corner on select labels of Fireforge canned and bottle beer will reveal a story just as tasty as that IPA or lager you're swigging. Definitely sample selections from the tap while at Fireforge, but grab something from the cooler to take back to the hotel for a bedtime story.
Yee-Haw Brewing Company
Downtown Greenville – 307 E. McBee Ave.
Pour-sona: THE STAY-AWHILER
Whether you're looking to catch a game on TV or just enjoy some tasty brews in an environment that leaves pretentiousness at the door, Yee-Haw is the chilled-out spot you're looking for. That doesn't mean they're not serious about the beer they brew—on the contrary, they're bubbling up suds in in Pigeon Forge, TN, Nashville, and at the location that started it all, Johnson City, TN, so you know they're pouring pleasing pints to keep four locations running strong. As you may have noticed from the list of locations in the previous sentence that one of these things is not like the other—and that would be us.
Why Greenville? Because Yee-Haw's head honchos loved the similarities between Greenville and Johnson City, each with a local culture that's all about having a beer, some good food, and an even better time.
Top 5 Rated Beers
Sour Apricot Peach Sour - Fruited
Yee-hazy RunningsIPA - New England
Velvet Charmer Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
TricksterIPA - American
Winter Porter Porter - Baltic
Any brewery worth its hops is going to feature beer's greatest hits, and at Yee-Haw, you'll find the old standbys in new yet approachable ways, like a delicious IPA that delivers fragrances bested only by its restrained bitterness and a smooth-drinkin' American Craft Lager literally called "Easy." Coincidentally, that's the way Yee-Haw wants a visit to its downtown brewery to be for patrons. Just four blocks off of Main Street, what's on-tap isn't the only thing that's approachable, and with a significant amount of outdoor space to sip and enjoy the sights of downtown Greenville, those dwelling in the area for a long weekend would be remiss not to enjoy an evening out here.
You may think that the beer would get the full spotlight here but it simply must make room for the food Yee-Haw is kickin' out of the kitchen. The menu features categories you might expect from an American bar—like small plates and appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and the like—but overlooking the chargrilled wings as just any standard bar offering would be a serious mistake. Call up any online review site and Yee-Haw's convection-steam-baked wings will be just as mentioned as the beer—and really, where else would you rather hang out for a while than at a place pouring pints and slinging wings this rave-worthy?
"I'm all-in on the wings I had at lunch — great googly moogly, the meat came off the bones cleaner than Himalayan snow. ... The beer was remarkably easy-labeled and the three I sampled were delicious. Get there." - Grey, Facebook Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
... making new friends is on your list. You won't find a single brewery or watering hole in Greenville that doesn't have a helpful, passionate staff that's enthusiastic about guiding your beer tasting journey, but Yee-Haw's friendly staff is such a differentiator that nearly every online review about the brewery mentions the group as a whole or individuals by name. Whether you've got questions about the different on-tap options or you're just in town for business by yourself and need some company while you wind down after a long day of meetings, Yee-Haw's staff will have you taken care of. We're tempted to mention the chicken wings again here—yes, they're that good!—but friendly faces, good conversation, and excellent service go a long way toward furthering the relaxing, care-free environment Yee-Haw strives for.
Crafty Cats Brewery, Coffee & Tea
Downtown Greenville – 1021 S. Main St. (West End Historic District)
Pour-sona: THE COOL CATS & KITTENS
Note: The brewery portion is not open yet; they are waiting for their license, but everything on the state side of things is delayed.
One of life’s surest truths has been debunked right here in Greenville, SC. For centuries, humans evolved to understand that any pursuit intended to make everyone happy is but a fool’s errand. On this, we all agreed as a species—until another species came along to prove all of us wrong. One of Greenville’s newest breweries is quite literally designed to make everyone happy and, lo and behold, the idea that this is impossible has been reduced to mere myth… by cats. Well, OK, maybe not literally cats, but the feline-inspired founders of Crafty Cats Brewery set out on this once-impossible crusade and, as if that wasn’t enough, they did so at a perilous time for established small businesses, let alone a brand new one.
Crafty Cats Brewery opened in August 2020, at a time when businesses were trying to figure out how to stay open and very few new ones on the verge of opening decided to move forward. Crafty Cats put its nine lives on the line and busted open the doors of its downtown Greenville location with the enthusiasm of a lynx lunging at a laser pointer, set on showing everyone that it is, indeed, possible to put a smile on every face. How? Selection, of course, but quality selection is key.
If your clowder of kitties is a picky litter, each can find exactly what they’re looking for without having to settle. If one wants small-batch craft beer made fresh in-house, you’ll find it here. If one recognizes high tea and it’s that time, you’ll find a high-quality cuppa here. And if one of your mousers is miserable until they have a mug of mud, Crafty Cats is a fully-equipped coffee shop, too. You might suspect that this is where the happiness ends, but this is one ball of blissful string that just keeps unraveling in unexpectedly delightful ways. Crafty Cats features a cafe that is creating coffeehouse standards, like muffins and croissants for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, but you might not expect to find authentic Brazilian fare on the menu, yet here we are. On top of Brazilian cookies, cakes and pastries, Crafty Cats is also serving up coxinha (think chicken croquettes), pao de queijo (think mouth-watering cheese bread), empanadas (think heaven), and more.
The eclectic combo of seemingly everything is the venture of Sara Burton and husband Aaron. Sara, a native of Brazil, is bringing her unique touch to the cafe while Aaron readies the small-batch brewery operation. Brewing was always a side hobby for Aaron until 2014, when he joined forces with two friends to create Lake Norman, NC’s D9 Brewing Co., one of the largest in the Charlotte area. With D9 so known for sours and other out-of-the-ordinary concoctions—surprise, right?—you can expect the same at Crafty Cats when those taps finally open. With 10,000 square feet of space at this West End location, you can expect a bunch of different, deliciously unexpected treats that are sure to delight everyone and change so many things you once thought were true.
"I highly recommend Crafty Cats! It has very delicious food and drinks! The people are friendly and the place is so nice! Greenville needed a place like this!" - Simone, Google Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
… you’re a cool cat and/or kitten. Sure, we probably went a bit overboard with the cat puns, but there’s a reason. In perhaps the least surprising development about Crafty Cats, this place loves itself some kitties. It’s apparent pretty much everywhere you look—wall décor, figurines and more—but there’s a purpose behind it all. Sara has long loved cats and she hopes to partner with Greenville adoption agencies to facilitate cat adoptions and animal welfare programs. Once the brewery operation gets up and running, there are plans for beer labels to promote individual cats in need of homes. Future plans for Crafty Cats include a cat cafe and, pending approval, a rooftop bar, so this is one brewery you’re gonna want to keep a mouser’s watch on.
COMING SOON - The Velo Fellow: A Publick House & Brewery