By: Shawndra Russell

Charleston

I appreciate magnificent, well-funded breweries because it gives me warm fuzzies to know that the brewmaster likely got his or her start in a garage sipping on a barely tolerable pint from their first batch. Yet, I seek out the small, garage or basement-like breweries whenever I visit a new town. In Charleston, that place is Frothy Beard Brewing. The three best friends and owners currently brew on a barrel and a half system, producing fine suds like the drink-all-day-anytime A’ndale Pale Ale, a jalapeno cilantro pale ale that is responsible for my obsession with pepper beers. The location is definitely off the beaten path, and they sometimes have live music and food trucks, and they are always family and dog friendly. Plus how can you not love the illustration by Charlestonian Tami Boyce?

Charleston is a boaters’ paradise, and you can find rentals for overnight docked stays on Airbnb, HomeAway, and Charleston Sailing Charters. For dinner, make reservations at Edmund’s Oast, a 2015 James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. Anyplace that dedicates an entire wall to displaying their beer menu—which includes four house brewed choices like Edmund’s Oast Peanut Butter and Jelly—is a winner in my book. Their large collection of house cured meats are also on display above the open kitchen underneath a few seats at the chef’s counter.

Consider squeezing in a stop at the Charleston Tea Plantation between pints. It’s the only tea garden in America, and you’ll enjoy the beautiful drive to mostly unspoiled Wadmalaw Island. Take a tour and soak in the Live Oaks and fields of tea leaves before stopping at the Firefly Distillery, which produces handcrafted vodkas, bourbons, and rums.