For the beer nerds of Park Circle (and there are a lot of them), the North Charleston neighborhood has one glaring flaw: There’s no craft beer store.
Sure, COAST Brewing offers weekly tasting sessions and growler refills, and the bars at Madra Rua and EVO get some interesting selections on tap. The Mixson Market even offers a few growler taps and high-end six-packs. But when it comes to a full-on craft beer bottle shop — think Charleston Beer Exchange downtown, or the beer sides of Bottles in Mt. Pleasant and Total Wine in West Ashley — Park Circle is dry as a bone.
Enter the Brew Cellar, a craft beer store opening soon in the neighborhood’s commercial main drag, the Olde Village. Co-owners Ryan Hendrick and John Judson have signed a lease on the old location of Richard’s Coffee & More (1050 E. Montague Ave., Ste. D) and plan to open in early February, pending approval from city building inspectors.
Hendrick and Judson recently held a $4,000 Kickstarter fundraiser
to stock the shelves for opening day, surpassing their goal by nearly $500 on the Jan. 6 deadline. The cozy, 550-square-foot shop will feature American craft beer, build-your-own six-packs, a four-tap growler station, and a reach-in cooler for growlers and 22-oz. bombers. Oh yeah, and a couple of genuine brew enthusiasts behind the counter.
The Brew Cellar will stock beers from local breweries, including Holy City, which recently hosted a fundraising event to help Hendrick and Judson complete their Kickstarter campaign. “We definitely want to be local-heavy,” Hendrick says. “It’s just such an interesting time in the beer industry in Charleston.”
Hendrick has worked for four years at the Tattooed Moose, a downtown bar that’s known for its extensive craft beer selection. He previously worked as a bartender at A.C.’s, but he says he didn’t get into the craft beer world until he started working at the Moose. “I basically tasted every single beer I could and learned as much as I could,” Hendrick says. “There are some cool people who work as distributors in the area, and they sat down with us at the Tattooed Moose and explained things — what you should taste and how you should taste it, those kinds of things.”
Hendrick’s current favorite beer? The Double Stout from Green Flash, a San Diego brewery. He says he was an IPA guy for a while, but lately he’s been branching out. “It’s probably just the season, but I’ve really been digging on porters and stouts and browns lately. And then I’ve gotten more into some of the more traditional styles, such as sours, like the Rodenbach Grand Cru,” Hendrick says. “Beer is always changing; that’s the fun thing about it. There’s always something to learn.”