BREWERIES/PUBS 

AC's Bar and Grill
Brewery/Pub
Entrées $5-$10
Downtown. 467 King St. 577-6742; Mt. Pleasant. 1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 849-2267
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
AC's is a dive, but it's our favorite dive. This is your classic neighborhood bar -- they deliver exactly what they promise, with quirky bartenders, plenty of pool tables and video games, and great, low-down bar food that suits the paper-lined baskets and cheap beer perfectly. They also serve their reasonably priced cocktails in real glasses, which is a nice touch for those of us who have gotten older and accustomed to the 'finer' things. The burger easily contends for 'best in town' status, they know how to treat a French fry, and the delectable cheesesteaks are our favorite discovery. Their new Sunday brunch is fantastic too, with creative and delicious specials like chicken and waffles that help soak up all that $2 beer.

Charleston Beer Works
Brewery/Pub
Entrées $5-$10
Downtown. 468 King St. 577-5885
Dinner
Charleston Beer Works is a convenient Upper King hangout. Even though Owner Tim Maahs' main mission seems to be a bar for the college crowd -- lots of TVs, draft beer, and pool tables make that obvious -- the food is good and simple. The roast chicken entrée sits in relative contrast to a buffalo wing-and-jalapeño popper-dominated appetizer menu. The bar atmosphere is convivial and, at times, downright crowded, and the adjacent dining area manages to be pleasant despite the beer-swilling and smoking in the bar.

Madra Rua
Brewery/Pub
Entrées $5-$10
N. Charleston. 1034 E. Montague Ave. 554-2522
Lunch, Dinner, and Sunday Brunch
Madra Rua is Gaelic for 'Red Fox,' and the pub that carries its name is a true representation of a pub with heart -- from the Guinness tap to the shepherd's pie and occasional rugby team filling the bar. The menu doesn't stray very farfrom the traditional, and that is its greatest strength. Fish and chips, great burgers, plenty of wings, and dinner specials usually featuring some kind of beef create a dependably satisfying repertoire. Live jazz and brunch are a great Sunday morning way to enjoy the 'Red Fox.' Look for a space-doubling expansion to open in early spring.

Moe's Crosstown Tavern
Brewery/Pub
Entrées $5-$10
Downtown. 714 Rutledge Ave. 722-3287
Lunch, Dinner, and Sunday Brunch
A true local watering hole, Moe's Crosstown Tavern is not for the faint of heart. It's as dive as dive gets, but the great burgers, wings, and hand-cut French fries make it worth a trip, particularly on Tuesday, when the tavern offers half-price burgers during happy hour. As in any good dive, the beer is cold, the cocktails are flowing, and the crowd is varied and always interesting.


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