At last year's inaugural Brewvival, more than 1,000 beer lovers showed up to sip their way through more than 80 varieties of beer. The vibe was mellow and friendly thanks to the organizers, Scott Shor and Rich Carley (Charleston Beer Exchange) and David Merritt and Jaime Tenney (COAST Brewing Co.).
Attendees shuffled from station to station along the horseshoe route of booths.
"We've adjusted the layout so things flow better this year," says Tenney. "There's more space, more beer, and more food, and better sampling vessels, but we did not mess with what worked so well for us last year."
And what worked was purchasing beer directly from the breweries. The organizers seek out mostly high-gravity ales and lagers and rare styles. Some of the breweries participating in Brewvival would not have been able to take part otherwise.
"A lot of the roster last year was inspired by Jaime and David's experience with beer festivals as brewery owners," says Shor. "While all types of beer festivals are important to the beer community, one common model is to get beer donated by the breweries. We wanted to do a festival that was really a celebration of the brewers, and in doing so, supportive of the brewers. A lot of the unique specialty stuff is really expensive, so to ask a small brewery to just donate it is unrealistic."
Participating breweries include Allagash, Avery, Bell's, Brooklyn, the Bruery, Dogfish Head, Duck-Rabbit, Foothills Brewing, French Broad, Highland Brewing, New Holland, New Belgium, Ommegang, Oskar Blues, Palmetto Brewing, RJ Rockers, Rogue, Saint Somewhere, Shmaltz, Sierra Nevada, Southern Star, Southern Tier, Stone, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Thomas Creek, Victory, Westbrook, and Weyerbacher, among others.
Roti Rolls, Ted's Butcherblock, D'Allesandro's Pizza, and the Brunch Truck will provide good eats (some will even be prepared with beer as an ingredient). Musical acts include Gaslight Street, the Garage Cuban Band, and South Carolina Broadcasters. If you didn't get advance tickets for the shuttle (already sold out), be sure to get yourself a designated driver. Tickets for DDs to attend the event is only $10, a cheap insurance policy to say the least.