Westbrook Brewing Company opened in early 2011 in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina. The 18,000 plus square foot brewery, owned by husband and wife Edward and Morgan Westbrook, is quite impressive and allows plenty of room for growth. Its location is conveniently off of Interstate 526 in Mt. Pleasant, just a short fifteen-minute drive from Downtown Charleston. The journey for Edward Westbrook began a few years prior when he discovered his passion for home brewing around 2005. At this time he was attending Furman University, and was brewing at least once per week. Fast-forward to present day, and the brewery has been open for a little over a year, and Westbrook’s beers can be found all over the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston area.
Westbrook’s lineup is quite diverse, consisting of a Year Round Series, a Seasonal Series, a Special Collection Series, an Anniversary Series, and a Barrel Room Series. Current year round beers are: White Thai (Belgian Witbier Style), India Pale Ale, and Vanilla Tree Dubbel. The Vanilla Tree Dubbel recently replaced a Belgian Pale Ale on their year round beer list.
The past year’s seasonals were: Covert Hops (Black IPA), Farmhouse IPA, Citra Rye Pale Ale, Cowboy Meets Farmer (Wheat Beer), Saison, Marzenbier (Oktoberfest Style), and Dark Helmet (Schwarzbier). The Special Collection Series consists of: Batch One (a Pale Ale that was their first batch), Lichtenhainer Weisse (brewed specially for The Charleston Brewvival 2011 Beer Festival), Belgian IPA, Belgian Tripel, American Bitter, Zwickelbier (German Style Lager), Citrus Ninja Exchange (Double IPA), and Smokin’ Guns (Imperial Stout).
Their Anniversary Series consists of Mexican Cake, which is an imperial stout aged on coca nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. This beer was brewed to celebrate the breweries first anniversary in operation. The Barrel Room Series consists of three different Wine Barrel Aged Tripels, aged in three different types of red wine. The red wine barrels used were: 2008 Whetstone Bella Vigna Pinot Noir (French Oak), Rombauer single-vineyard Cabernet (French & American Oak), and Tiger Mountain Malbec (American Oak).
Westbrook’s beers can be found on draft at many local restaurants and craft beers stores, as well as in cans and bottles. Within a year of there opening, they purchased a canning line and started canning six packs of their White Thai and India Pale Ale. Their bottled beers can be found in 22 oz bombers and 750 ml bottles. As of this writing, they have bottled their Vanilla Tree Dubbel, Farmhouse IPA, Saison, Dark Helmet, Lichtenhainer Weisse, Citrus Ninja, Mexican Cake, and the three Red Wine Barrel Aged Tripels.
The brewery is quite massive and a definitely a sight to see. The brewery was new construction built purposely for brewing beer, and certainly built for growth. Westbrook put over 2 million dollars into the 18,500 square foot, two story brewery. Upon entering the brewery, you walk into a huge tasting room with a circular bar. The Westbrook logo handsomely hangs above the bar.
The current beers available are listed on a dry erase board, and the guys and gals working the Tasting Room are always ready to give you a sample. Due to South Carolina law, they are only allowed to pour you four 4 oz. samples, which will cost you a dollar a sample. They also fill growlers, and can sell you a maximum of four 64 oz. growler fills per person. You can also purchase their six packs of the White Thai and IPA, as well as their 22 oz. and 750 ml bottles. They have a good selection of brewery swag that you can buy that includes: t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, pint glasses, and koozies. If you are hungry while visiting the brewery, you maybe in luck because they often will have specialty bread put out for all patrons to munch on free of charge. The bread is made locally by the Great Harvest Bread Company, and is made with the spent grains leftover from Westbrook’s IPA. Whole loaves can also be purchased right in the Tasting Room.
Roughly every hour or so, someone from the brewery will lead a guided tour around the entire facility. When leaving the Tasting Room, you will enter the actual brewery and see how much room they are working with. If you look up, you will also notice a huge fan that is actually a Big Ass Fan (Yup that is the brand name). This big fan helps to cool down the brewery during the hot summer months. The tour will explain the brewing process and allow you to see their grain room, their brew kettle, fermenters, bright tanks, kegger, bottling machine, canning line, and the barrel room.
Lately, Westbrook Brewing has also been offering beers from Gypsy Brewers: Evil Twin Brewing and Stillwater Artisanal Ales. These are two world-renowned Gypsy Brewers, who travel to different breweries to brew their beer as opposed to owning and maintaining their own brick and mortar brewery. Gypsy beers that have been available at the brewery include: Evil Twin Biscotti Break, Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, Evil Twin Freudian Slip, Evil Twin Ron and the Beast Ryan, Stillwater Table Beer, and Stillwater Premium.
Westbrook’s Tasting Room is open for samples, tours, and growler fills every Thursday through Saturday. They are open on Thursday and Friday from 4-7pm, and Saturday from 12-4pm. Stay up to date on what’s going on at Westbrook Brewing Company by visiting their website.