Thomas Jefferson once noted that "beer softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health." There may have been some bit in there about moderation, but it's a little hard to hear over the sound of fresh kegs being tapped. Greenville has quickly become a utopia for patrons of the handcrafted pint, and these new to the neigh-brew-hood establishments, which opened in 2020 and 2021, won't disappoint. Greenville breweries just to the west of downtown, include:
No trip to Greenville, SC is complete until you’ve rented a bike and hit the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail. This 22-mile, remarkably-flat and fully-paved hiking, biking, walking and running trail connects many of Greenville’s must-see spots, from Cleveland Park through Falls Park on the Reedy, and all the north to Furman University and downtown Travelers Rest. A trail all can enjoy, it’s perfect for a leisurely bike ride, with plenty of reasons to stop along the way—and Southernside Brewery is emphatically one of them.
Opened in January 2021, Southernside Brewery—named for the Southernside neighborhood it calls home—is a new kid on the brewery block in Greenville, but don’t think for a moment that this sudsy spot is just trying to find its way in the early stages. Owner Nate Tomforde is the mind behind the self-serve beer concept at Pour Taproom in downtown Greenville, so he’s quite familiar with what beer enthusiasts of all kinds are looking for. Brewmaster Kenny Driggers joined forces with Tomforde and brings a wealth of experience for such a young age. An Upstate South Carolina product, Driggers earned an engineering degree at Clemson, where he discovered homebrewing and refined his skills with totally scientific experimental beer-related college research. At Southernside, he used all those college studies, and the experience he gained at several breweries after graduating, to develop a beer menu that taps into his understanding of brewing styles and variety.
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
At any given time, you’ll likely find a selection of IPAs, maybe an Irish red ale or an Irish dry, stouts, witbier and more, made right on-site. Southernside has all the approachable beer mainstays, but balances that with creativity that’s only limited by the imagination of *checks notes* an engineer with a penchant for scientific exploration! This, no doubt, led to the creation of Southernside’s Piña Colada IPA—a New England Milkshake IPA with hints of all the necessary ingredients to piña and colada your afternoon brew.
While the beer is worth hopping off the bike on its own, Southernside has a full cocktail and wine menu. All the cocktails are masterfully mixed by hand and are just as creative as the beer options. If it’s on the menu, get the creamy vodka Sugar Cookie; "A beverage," Tomforde told the Greenville Journal, "that will remind you of your grandmother’s cookies." If grandma was more of a bourbon gal, Southernside has an expansive bourbon menu, too.
If we haven’t convinced you yet, the grub and spacious outdoor seating right along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail might have you pit-stopping. A family-friendly trail respite, Southernside offers a full kitchen menu that includes selections for kids and a “Pup Menu” for your fur baby! The human adult food menu was designed by Chef Christian Groham, formerly of Caviar & Bananas, and completely embodies the “Southern” in Southernside. Fried pickles, deviled eggs, pulled pork, bourbon bacon jam burger, crawfish roll, even a vegan “Chickpea of the Sea” salad sandwich—all with an elevated twist and made-to-order. Was that your bike brakes, or did we just hear you squeal with glee?
"First time at Southernside and all I can say is "Wow!" Their house beers are delicious but they also offer wine and liquor. Food menu is amazing. ... Can we talk about the scenery? Right off the Swamp Rabbit with a view of the Reedy River. Can't wait to come back!" - Nikki, Google Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
… afternoons and evenings in the great outdoors are your thing. No matter who you are nor how you got here—the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, a vehicular transport, or via a teleportation machine we really need to talk to you about—there’s nothing quite like a cold beer in the cool shade on a hot afternoon or a handcrafted cocktail that pairs perfectly with a fresh pretzel and housemade beer cheese under the stars. Southernside’s outdoor area is central to its entire being. Owner Nate Tomforde hopes to do plenty of outdoor events and free outdoor concerts every Saturday night, and he’s certainly got the space for it. From automated fire pits to plenty of picnic tables to a 30-by-40-foot covered pergola facing the trail, along with bar access without having to set foot inside, Southernside is well-equipped to become the family-friendly, year-round outdoor gathering spot it set out to be. Considering its location is directly inside the coming-soon Unity Park, Southernside is primed to be a place that brings people together again.
Carolina Bauernhaus Greenville
Westside – 556 Perry Ave. (Poe West)
Pour-sona: THE FUNKY
If you can’t pronounce it, you’re not alone. It’s the German word for “farmhouse,” but if you want to call it the Carolina “barnhouse,” that’s just fine by the owners of Carolina Bauernhaus(pronounced BOW-en-house). It’s a fitting name on different levels—the German pronunciation is a tip-of-the-cap to Carolina Bauernhaus’ European-inspired beers. It’s also just a funky name for a funky place, out-funked only by its funky beer—and we mean this in the best way possible because Carolina Bauernhaus is bringing George Clinton-level talent to Greenville’s brewery scene. Founded by an attorney, an engineer, and an IT specialist, Carolina Bauernhaus’ roots took hold when the three—Brad Thomas, David Thornton and Keston Helfrich—met in a homebrewing club in nearby Anderson, SC. From vastly different backgrounds and with vastly different styles, the opposites attracted and the result is a story of success in progress.
In 2020, Carolina Bauernhaus opened in Poe West development of the Village of West Greenville—funky in its own right with eclectic shops, art studios and eateries, which the new brew neighbor fits right into—but it’s actually the second location this trio has opened. The first Carolina Bauernhaus opened in 2015 in nearby Anderson and success came quickly—and so did the funk, with accolades to prove it. At the 2017 Great American Beer Festival, Carolina Bauernhaus claimed multiple awards, including a gold medal in the Experimental Beer Category. Just a few years later, it was time to expand into Greenville.
Top 5 Rated Beers
556 Perry Cider Cider - Traditional
Keston Said NO! Pumpkin / Yam Beer
Copper Pub Ale English Mild Ale
Primavera Espresso Porter Porter - Coffee
Mr. Doppelina Bock - Doppelbock
All three founders have their own contributions to the beer odyssey you’ll embark on here, but the frontman of this Barley-ment Funkadelic is Helfrich, the head brewer. His brew muse? Wild, funky sours, ales, ciders and meads. If you’ve got a good bassline handy, now’s a good time to drop it. Helfrich’s approach is rooted in Belgian inspiration, but don’t take that to infer a strict adherence to tradition. A man whose website bio includes the words “maniacal passion” to describe his approach to brewing follows no rules, and gold medals from acclaimed beer festivals in experimental categories aren’t given to recipe-followers. The brew menu here is expansive, in both style and flavor. Allow us to provide a textual taste of what we mean: on-tap, you’ll find sours made with Bradford watermelons, golden ales with yuzu fruit, wheat ales featuring coriander and local lemongrass, maybe even a saison flavored by muscadines and scuppernongs. We’ll admit that scuppernongs created some confusion for us that Google sorted out (it's a variety of the muscadine grape), but one thing is so clear that no search is required: you can’t fake the funk of Carolina Bauernhaus.
It’s not just the beers that are tearing the roof off this sucker. Head to Carolina Bauernhaus’ outdoor area and you’ll find there was never a need for a roof at all. This expansive outdoor hangout comes complete with plenty of bar and picnic tables, activities like cornhole and bocce, and a convenient pull-up for food trucks. Wanna get a little more comfortable? Rock—er, funk—out in one of the many hammocks you’ll find out here and relax knowing that you don’t have to practice your German pronunciation if you’d rather not. No matter how you say it, this funkified West Greenville Bauernhaus is anything but a boring-haus.
"Wonderful outdoor space with a wonderful staff, but most importantly, fantastic beer that challenges the norm." - Justin, Google Reviews
This Sud's For You If...
… you have a deep appreciation—or even a cursory curiosity—for what happens when a genius takes the road less traveled. If it wasn’t clear already, Carolina Bauernhaus is all about wild brewing processes that produce funk-ified results in the form of sours, ales, ciders, meads, and more. Greenville’s brewery scene is booming, but each has its own distinct flare of individuality that can be subtle for some and central to others. If this was a spectrum, you’d find Carolina Bauernhaus on the far side of central—a position Greenville visitors and residents alike embrace in our brewery scene as much as its opposite. Perhaps that’s a reason the trio of Carolina Bauernhaus founders eyed up Greenville for its next funk-tastic voyage. For the traditionalists to the more eclectic among us, and everyone in-between, there are plenty of reasons to chase expanding horizons and embrace the styles, people, and places different from the ones we’ve known. Helfrich’s concoctions are out there—intentionally so—and an experience all their own that has everyone who samples them singing “We want the funk!” by the time the brain unpacks their deliciously different flavors.