Discover what's on tap in Greenville's growing craft beer scene when you stop into these locally owned and operated breweries on the Northside. Greenville's three breweries, just north of downtown, include:
In this fast-paced world we live in, it's truly rare to find a business focused on taking its time to make sure it not only creates the best product possible, but to do it with methods that you'd only find in the history books at most breweries for a taste you won't find anywhere else. Such a rare bird is one of Greenville's top hangouts. Like many breweries in Greenville, SC, the Birds Fly South Ale Project is a young'un, but this brew baby burst onto the beer scene in a big way when it claimed awards from the Great American Beer Festival, U.S. Open, and World Beer Championship during its infancy. Such awards do not come easy, nor does brewing the type of beer that earns those accolades.
Owners Shawn and Lindsay Johnson opened Birds Fly South in 2016 in a 6,500 square-foot renovated cotton warehouse in an area now known as Hampton Station. The story of how they got here is a winding one, but the couple spent more than 22 years serving in the Coast Guard and living all over the country before deciding it was time for something different. Shawn's final station during his service was in Greenville and it was in Greenville they stayed.
Top 5 Rated Beers
Empress Rising: Red WineStout - Imperial / Double
Sea & Rhythm: SangioveseLager - American
Graffiti Heart (2019) With CherriesRed Ale - Other
Resonate: RaspberryFarmhouse Ale - Other
Skin & BoneAmerican Wild Ale
His love story with beer is similar to other brewers but Shawn's approach feels unique for these days. Birds Fly South is putting "funk first" with farmhouse ales, sours, and saisons. From brewing methods you won't find at many other breweries in the country to hand-bottling their own beer, Birds Fly South truly harkens back to days gone by with a serious approach to what they're pouring in your pint glass. Don't let that scare you if you're a more casual beer enthusiast. Birds Fly South is approachable in every way for every beer fan, meaning birds of a different feather (like the aficionado and the rookie hobbyist), can flock together and each find something to love here.
Birds Fly South and Hampton Station feature an expansive outdoor hangout area with lots of tables, games, and space. More and more businesses are opening at Hampton Station, so grab a bite at White Duck Taco or a creative charcuterie masterpiece from Chadcuterie, now serving right in Birds Fly South. Maybe throw some axes at Craft Axe Throwing. Definitely take a close look at the "Be a Voice, Not an Echo" mural along the outside of the building that promotes unity with the likes of Albert Einstein and Biggie Smalls, among others, designed by Greenville artist Adam C. Schrimmer and painted by members of the community.
"Wow wow wow. I had heard good things but I can truly count on one hand the number of breweries that hit a grand slam like this for my first impression. Had the apricot sour, black gose, two IPAs and a hoppy saison. Absolutely flawless, world class beer. Also a wonderful welcoming staff, a nice space with outdoor space for the dogs or kids... we'll be making more trips down from Asheville than I thought." - Brian, Facebook Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
... you're adventurous about your beer. Birds Fly South's funk-first, old-school method of brewing produces some wild flavor profiles, particularly when it comes to the finished product of their open fermentation beers. Ages ago, all breweries used open fermentation to brew their beer, but open fermentation takes time, which is why small, craft, and micro-breweries are the only places you'll find it done these days. Even so, not many put this into practice. Open fermentation is literally what it sounds like—beer ferments in special vessels that are open to the environment. That means that every batch has its own unique flavor and notes since the environment the beer ferments in changes depending things like humidity, temperature, or a variety of other factors. Because Birds Fly South does their open fermentation in a restored cotton warehouse with plenty of old, fragrant wood around, you'll pick up those notes in the flavor of the beer. If you haven't earned your Open Fermentation Wings yet, Birds Fly South is the place to soar.
Liability Brewing Co.
Northside – 109 W. Stone Ave. (Westone)
Pour-sona: THE FUN-LOVING NERD
(Children allowed outside only)
Let's imagine for a moment that Bill S. Preston, Esq. and "Ted" Theodore Logan (of Bill and Ted movie trilogy fame) were packing up the phone booth and, once again, they'd be traveling through wormholes to points in spacetime that would most certainly lead to as fun and irreverent a voyage as their previous trips—only this time, the point of all this quantum travel would be for Bill to educate Ted on the world of craft beer, in-between deep conversations and debates about Star Wars and comic books. That's kind of how Liability Brewing Co. came to be, except it was Dustin educating neighbor Terry about craft beer and there were far fewer wormholes involved from what we understand. The Star Wars and comic book conversations were rampant, though.
This is the exact vibe you can expect coming into Liability Brewing Co. At first glance, you might see Dustin and Terry standing together in deep conversation over something beer or comic book related, but then you might notice the clean, crisp ambiance of a modern brewery that's serious about beer despite the fun-loving nerd culture experts running the place. Liability sets out to make you feel something about craft beer—in their own fun, quirky way. We point to the fact that flights are served in a sticker-covered lunchbox as all the evidence we need to back that up. Per Liability themselves, this is the brewery that wants to drink and laugh along with you. It wants to hear your passive-aggressive playful snark while connecting you with its creativity, all to evoke an emotion within you about the experience that lasts long after you've returned home.
Top 5 Rated Beers
Tripel Dollar Bill, Y'allBelgian Tripel
Nana Nana Boo BooStout - Imperial / Double
When You Find a Stranger in the AlpsIPA - New England
Rabid UnicornIPA - Imperial / Double
Faux Leather Sweater WeatherSour - Other
It's also just a downright cool spot to hang out. Tucked within a bank of businesses in a complex called Westone, Liability has a large outdoor area with comfortable patio furniture and plenty of space. Have a seat and order a flight to sample several of Liability's best and let your eyes light up as it arrives to your table in an old-school lunch box. Perhaps its most popular feature is the large, detailed mural inside that depicts LL Cool J as a Stormtrooper from Star Wars, designed and painted by Greenville artist Chad Patterson, so be sure to snag a pic in front of that—and choose a pal to take it who has better aim than a Stormtrooper (Pew Pew!). The building features lots of doors of all shapes and sizes that, when open, blends inside with outside. Whether it's now or in the future, you can be sure a visit to Liability Brewing Co. will be an Excellent Adventure and not a Bogus Journey.
"We were in the area visiting and wanted to try a local brewery. We loved the beer but were equally impressed with their efforts to keep the entire facility clean and safe for everyone. And staff was friendly and knowledgeable. So pleased we went back a second time during our short stay." - Stephanie, Facebook Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
... you're an eco-conscious beer-lover. Liability is focused on flavor and nearby base and specialty malts—about 90 percent of which come from the Carolinas. Liability believes that if you support your local brewery and can meet the staff, the least they can do is know their maltsters and farmers personally. The brewing process here is as environmentally conscious as you're likely to find: the CO2 produced during fermentation is captured by special equipment, which lowers Liability's CO2 usage, thus its carbon footprint; no animal products outside of honey (which will be noted on any beer containing it) will ever be used in production here; the process of "fining," which is one that uses animal-based additives to create clarity in beer, is omitted; the only additive in any beer is one that reduces gluten for those with sensitivities; and Liability is dairy-free and vegetarian-friendly.
Tetrad Brewing Company
Northside – 603 E. Stone Ave
Pour-sona: THE FAMILY
From top to bottom, left to right, everything you see, taste, and experience at Tetrad Brewing Company is a product of family. In fact, the motto here is: "Family comes first—and a close second is good beer." Tetrad is the brainchild of brothers-in-law—who truly just refer to, and view, themselves as brothers—Chad Tydings and John Bucher who, after both living in the four corners of the country—as far north as Alaska, as far east as New York and Vermont, as far west as Oregon and Utah—found themselves in Greenville, SC and settled in. If you've noticed the theme so far—top, bottom, left, right; north, south, east, west; four corners, etc.—the two brothers are fans of fantastic fours, which is where the brewery got its name. A "tetrad" is a group or arrangement of four. At Tetrad, those are grain, hops, yeast, and water, for obvious reasons.
Tetrad's main arrangement of four may have to do with the brewing process, but if we were to create a tetrad to describe the experience here, we're going with: family, flavor, outdoor fun, and cheese balls. We'll explain in a moment.
Top 5 Rated Beers
Can't You See IPA IPA - English
Rise of the Schwarz Schwarzbier
Chocolate Coconut Porter Porter - American
Tangerine Wheat Wheat Beer - Other
West Coast Double IPA IPA - Imperial / Double
Tetrad shares a building with Half-Moon Outfitters, an independent chain of outdoors stores that serves South Carolina and Georgia, so it should be no surprise that the outdoors is a common theme at Tetrad. Tetrad swung its doors open in late September 2019, so it's one of the newer brewers on the block, but it's in no rush to catch up with the crowd. Tetrad's focus is on small-batch, handcrafted artisanal ales and lagers, so every step of the process gets looked after with love and care from Chad and John so that the final product is lip-smackingly refreshing. You'll normally find around a dozen or so beers on tap here, with Tetrad originals making up the vast majority, which is impressive for such a young brewery with such a small operation, but Chad and John are pulling it off to rave reviews online.
With family so core to its mission, Tetrad welcomes your whole brood at the brewery—brothers, sisters, weird uncles, distant cousins, and, of course, kids and dogs alike. It doesn't have a full-service kitchen, but Tetrad does feature food trucks seemingly every day. Check Tetrad's Facebook page for the latest on those, plus a plethora of events hosted there. Topping the tetrad is cheese balls, and we promised an explanation. If you find yourself at Tetrad and you're not hungry enough for food truck fare but you're wanting to peckishly pop some small noshes, ask your beertender for some complimentary cheese balls. Sure, pretzels and peanuts have been synonymous with beer for ages, but beer, cheese dust, air-puffed carbs and orange fingers is an arrangement worthy of being the next big tetrad at Tetrad.
"Great employees, great brews, great vibe. Indoor and outdoor seating, options for your cider or wine-drinking friends. (Was) welcoming to EVERYONE, including your kids and pets — absolutely loved this place!" - Matthew, Facebook Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
... you're in the mood for mobile meals and more. Tetrad has one of the more packed weekly schedules that feature a variety of popular food trucks in the area to ensure no matter when or how often you stop by, you're getting something different. Show up one night and you might be pairing pale ale with pasta; show up the next and it might be IPAs and pizza. If pairing suds with a cigar is more of what you're looking for, take it to Tetrad when Castillo Mobile Cigar Lounge is on the premises. Castillo is a mobile humidor filled with delightful bouquets of all types that'll pair perfectly with any pint, thanks to the second-to-none cigar knowledge of Castillo's experts.