The totally unofficial guide to Charleston's brewery bros and broettes 

Don't Label Me, Bro!

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Tom Galmarini

With more than 20 breweries in Charleston, you're gonna run into some tropes. Like a stock Disney villain or a 1980s John Cusack character, you know what you're gonna get. And at any given Charleston brewery, you're gonna get a bro, or their female equivalent, the broette. Now, not all bro-sters (the gender neutral term, thank you) are created equal. There are sporty bro-sters, posh bro-sters, scary bro-sters ... you get the idea. We've listed the top five bro and broette archetypes that frequent Holy City breweries below. Enjoy, dudes.

The 'I only drink Budweiser, what do you have like that?' bro-ster

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  • Tom Galmarini

The bro: Whether it's your fresh out of college kid brother or your hometown acquaintance who is notorious for crushing 24 packs of anything from Bud to Keystone, there's always someone at the brewery who fuckin' hates anything barrel-aged, sour, hoppy, or remotely flavorful. They might be wearing a camo visor, and they're definitely rocking Croakies. You may be wondering why they're even at a place that specializes in craft beer. Best guess is they're with buddies biding their time until they can hit up bars and chug Jack and cokes, or, perhaps, they're terribly, terribly lost.

The broette: This broette definitely has a pink taser in her bag and she isn't afraid to use it. She, like her male counterpart, will also be rocking Croakies, and yeah, they're probably camo (tasteful camo!). Her roadie is always an ice cold Bud Heavy (or a Bud Light if a bro has made crude remarks about her 'big behind') sloshing around in a real life Yeti mug (no knockoff bullshit for her). This broette is not lost, she's just being forced to hang out with her work pals who "looooveee craft beer." She will choke down a few too many pale ales and will make her Facebook status" people who care about beer so much are dumb." Her coworkers will pretend they didn't see it.

The 'Let's not separate from the pack cause we're part of a bachelor/bachelorette party' bro-ster

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  • Tom Galmarini

The broette: Ah, the Charleston bachelorette party. Not all bachelorette parties are comprised of 100% broettes, but there are always a few proud ones in the bunch. These broettes believe that this 48 hours in the Holy City is truly their time to shine. Their mission at the brewery is to get the bride "like, completely blackout" and they will go to the ends of the earth to make this happen. See: pouring vodka into the oblivious bride-to-be's beer, shoving bride-to-be into bars minutes before last call, and desperately seeking out college kids for "whatever your late night sitch is." The bride will never be able to drink vodka again, and the bachelorette broettes will look back fondly on the weekend as one of the highlights of their young lives.

The bro: They may not be as egregious as screaming, sash wearing, glitter-throwing, flower-crown braiding bachelorette parties, but they're just as ubiquitous. You cannot go anywhere on the peninsula any given weekend without spotting them, the bros who, as individuals, function normally in society, but who, when shoved into close quarters with other bros, become one amorphous drunken squad. They won't have matching pink T-shirts, but they will have matching styles: bros dare not diverge from the pack. Whether it's button ups or tees with names of breweries from another happening city, you'll be able to pick these dude friends out of a crowd. Like the Budweiser bros, you'll wonder 'why here, why now?' Because despite the horrid hangovers from a late night at Mynt (yeah, these bros dance to top 40 tunes), the bros want to check out the must-see spots in the city. It's on the best man's itinerary, for gods sake.

The loud bro-ster obsessed with ABVs

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  • Tom Galmarini

The bro: Of all bros, this one we understand. After a super serious rec league kickball game, he wants to get the most bang for his buck, with the end result being a two to three beer happy drunk. Hell yeah. But this bro is also loud, and doesn't quite know when to stop. He might love beer, he might even be borderline cicerone level, but more than his love of hops is his love of blurred lines and sloppy texts. This bro will order the experimental funky saison just because of the 9% ABV. He might even chug the thing. This is probably one of the more fun bros to be around, but he's also on a mission, which means don't expect him to hear a word you're saying. At the end of the night, his friends will ditch him, leaving him with only a plaintive "Good luck, bro."

The broette: This broette is most likely "one of the guys." She likes whiskey on the rocks and beer that'll put a little hair on her chest. She's out to have a good time, and, similarly to her bro counterpart, this broette will not know when to stop. Try as she might to maintain her casual cool "whatever, we're having fun" demeanor, this broette will crash and burn eventually, so watch out, and make sure she gets help calling a cab.

The suit and tie bro-ster waiting for other suit and tie bro-sters

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  • Tom Galmarini

The bro:First of all, mad respect to the bros that have to wake up and throw on a suit and tie. Whether they're selling real estate or doing lawyerly stuff on East Bay, these bros are always ready to let loose after a long day. They don't really want to socialize with the plebeians who often frequent Chucktown breweries, though, so you'll usually spot them idling in a corner until they get thirsty. They'll saunter over to the bar, head buried in an iPhone, tie askew, order a freaking session beer because unlike the ABV bro they don't understand that 3.5% means zip zero buzz (and if you inform them of this, they'll scoff and proudly announce that dude, they don't have time to know that kind of thing) then saunter back to a table, waiting for their other suits to show up. If you're able to actually engage with one of these bros, give it five to 10 minutes. We aren't saying that they fall into one of two catergories (sociopathic narcissist or oblivious wet blanket) but ... they probably do.

The broette: Our professional broette dons heels and a sexy, subtle pencil skirt in place of suit and tie, but her mannerisms fall in line with that of her business bro-ster peers. She thinks that your creative job is silly, and she definitely doesn't have time to hear about your nonprofit. She thinks women should be their own boss, and that female CEOs are more powerful than any other female. This broette thinks kids are "gross" and dogs are "messy." Unlike her bro counterpart, she will drink stouts and porters, because sessions are for "wimps," and the chip on her shoulder is so heavy she needs high alcohol bevs to balance her out (spoiler, she's still unbalanced).

The requisite beer expert bro-ster

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  • Tom Galmarini

The bro: In today's craft brew obsessed world, there's always one of these. Before they hopsplain every fuckin' pour to anyone within shouting range, here are some tell-tale signs of the wannabe cicerones, a.k.a., the beer expert bros: facial hair or an attempt at facial hair, a fad haircut, flannel no matter the season, a home brew system that they'll casually mention, a background in tech, and a fervent love of all things kimchi. Oh, and they're terrible with women. It's OK, they can always go home with a growler of that one-off imperial IPA they won't stop talking about.

The broette: This broette has that weird gray hair thing going on, and she's about the size and weight of a pixie stick. She attempts to foster a bit more intrigue than her bro counterpart, posting shots of floor tiles and close-ups of abstract art on her Instagram. She's not as glib as the beer expert bro, but she's just as observant. The minute some dumbass college kid orders "whatever IPA you have" at the bar, she's quick to make a mental note for her #girlswhodrink blog. And she will tear that kid apart. She won't drink anything other than local craft beer, and if she's somewhere that serves only Shock Top and Bud Light Lime, she'll take a seltzer, thank you.

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