South Carolina's Satisfy Your Thirst App Offers Delicious Exploration
If you find yourself anywhere in South Carolina, make sure you have the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour app downloaded on your phone. Or, if you want to opt for thirst-quenching drinks in the old-fashioned way, download the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour map.
From Charleston to Greenville, the app and map guide users through the history and craftsmanship behind some of South Carolina’s most famous drinks. The tour highlights 40 breweries, 14 wineries, 18 distilleries, and 18 other beverage stops.
South Carolina's Craft Beer Movement
The craft beer movement is sweeping across the state of South Carolina and has brought beer lovers from far and wide to enjoy a cold one. Locals and visitors are welcome to drink their way through the Palmetto State’s homegrown IPAs, ales, stouts, and lagers.
- Palmetto Brewery (Charleston): South Carolina’s oldest brewery has been making beer since 1993. Their oldest brew, the Amber Ale, has remained a top choice for craft drinkers with its malty overtones and crisp, dry finish. It pairs well with a variety of dishes including savory southern dishes and chocolate chip cookies.
- Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom (Greenville): Though Ben Pierson founded this brewery in 2014, he has 30 plus years of experience. Swamp Rabbit Brewery captured the local heart and soul of their community with finely crafted beer, winning two gold medals at the 2015 World Championships for their IPA and Belgian Strong Ale.
- River Rat Brewery (Columbia): “We love brewing craft beer because beer makes people happy.” This mantra alone is enough reason to go sample some of their amazing craft beer. Make sure to try their My Morning Stout which unusually pairs well with dessert; our taste tester tried the stout with fig bread, chocolate biscotti and a fruit nut cracker topped with whipped cream.
The Palmetto State's Wineries
Despite the Palmetto State year-round muggy weather, winemakers still produce award-winning wines based largely from muscadine grapes, which have more of a musky flavor than the grapes used in traditional wine regions. From the Upstate all the way down to the Lowcountry, there are numerous wineries for you to discover.
- City Scape Winery (Pelzer): Owners and the youngest winery owners in the Southeast, Josh, and Deb Jones, invite you to come and taste their fun wines. Proud of their ties to the city of Greenville, their City wine labels have the city’s skyline. Make sure to taste their Pineapple Riesling, which is a fun summery drink.
- Mercer House Estate Winery (Lexington): Mercer House Estate Winery uses their own South Carolina certified grapes to produce “hyperlocal” quality wines. Their latest release is their "7th Heaven" which made from a blend of native white and bronze grapes. They offer an inexpensive tasting which includes 2 flights of around 8 to 12 samples.
- Island Winery (Hilton Head Island): Known for their unique labels, this winery has the classic red and white wines, produced from grapes from California, Chile, and the Great Lakes region. But, they also offer Low Country Specialty Wines made from muscadine grapes, which include their Margarita Wine and Peach on the Beach.
South Carolina's Distilleries
Take a tour through the numerous authentic distilleries and discover the story behind each one. Across the state, sip on vodkas, whiskey, lightly aged gins and even some moonshine.
- Six & Twenty Distillery (Piedmont): Their handcrafted and small batch whiskey is brewed from all South Carolina grains-- soft red winter wheat and corn from the Upstate, rye and malted barley from the Midlands, and rice from the Lowcountry. Make sure to grab a personally signed hand corker and labeled bottle of whiskey, bourbon, gin or vodka on a tour that can be booked through their website.
- Striped Pig Distillery (Charleston): Charleston’s first legal distillery since the Prohibition has a lot to offer including their Striped Spice Rum. They utilize local ingredients as much as possible, such as producing their rum from Savannah sugar cane and molasses, their whiskey, gin, vodka, and moonshine from corn grown on Myer's Farm in Bowman, South Carolina. Tours cost $5 per person and are held on Thursday through Saturday afternoons.
- Copper Horse Distilling (Columbia): Columbia’s first micro-distillery makes spirits exclusively from grains milled at Columbia’s historic Allen Brother’s Milling Company, home of Palmetto State staple, Adluh Flour. The brand's Old Mill Vodka has a strong grainy nose because they do not use charcoal filters as their filtration method. If you'd prefer a more fun variety, the distillery also offers seasonal varietals such as their Red Velvet Peppermint cream vodka and Pecan Praline cream vodka.
America's Only Tea Plantation
South Carolina is the only state in the republic which has a tea plantation and tea factory. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepherd founded the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, South Carolina, which produces the camellia sinesis plant that is dried and brewed into tea. In 1963, the owners transported the tea plants to a larger 127-acre potato farm on Wadmalaw Island to continue expanding the tea growing operation.
In 1987, William Barclay Hall, a third generation tea taster, purchased the land and began work on developing the American Classic tea, which is produced with 100% American tea leaves. The store sells nine flavors of tea and the brand is popularly used to make iced tea in Charleston's restaurants. Today, the Charleston Tea Plantation's American Classic tea is even served at the White House.
South Carolina's Non-Alcoholic Beverages
If you've had enough alcohol on your thirst-quenching tour of South Carolina, make space for the state's non-alcoholic beverages such as milk, juice, sweet tea and soda.
- Kuka Juice (Greenville): Greenville’s first cold-pressed juicery is not the typical juice bar. Their method of cold-pressing infuses more nutrients and vitamins than regular fresh juice. Don’t leave without trying The GREENville, which contains kale, spinach, dandelion greens, romaine, fennel, cucumber, celery, basil, and aloe.
- Hickory Hill Milk (Edgefield): Have you ever wondered how your milk gets from a cow into a milk jug? Head over to Hickory Hill Milk and take a Dairy Farm Tour and wonder no more. Tours are cheap and include a sample of their grass-fed, non-homogenized milk.
- Blenheim Ginger Ale (Blenheim): Blenheim Ginger Ale has been making ginger ale the old-fashioned way since 1903. The company uses natural mineral water and a secret blend of spices to create its iconic, red hot spicy drink. Currently, Blenheim is the oldest continuous independent soda bottler in the world. Attached to the South of the Border attraction off the interstate, this is an easy stop for most road-trippers.