|Moon River Brewing Company brewer,|
Aaron Deist showing off the barrel room.
A friend of mine and I recently took a girls' trip to start off the summer and visit some of the awesome breweries in town. We started the beer portion of our trip at Moon River Brewing Company. Moon River opened its doors in 1999, so it is the original craft beer destination in Savannah. Still brewing fun and tasty beverages, this brewpub is a great place to grab a bite to eat and soak in some local flavor. With great brews like Swamp Fox IPA, Da Bomb dry Irish stout, and Wild Wacky Wit, you can not go wrong. We had the luck to run into one of the owners, John Pinkerton, and head brewer, Aaron Deist who honored us by taking us on a tour of their barrel room and giving us samples of a few new beers in the making. I do declare, it was the tastiest start to a great trip. Get down there soon, as a marvelous Berliner Weiss will be going on in a couple of weeks.
With a beer to go, we bid the folks at Moon River a thankful farewell and headed for our next adventure. About three miles out of town (and totally worth the Uber fare), sits Coastal Empire Beer Company. Spearheaded by brothers, Kevin and Chris Haborak, Coastal Empire is the epitome of a local, small craft brewery. Because the facility is tucked away in an industrial park, you may think you have gone to the wrong place, but don't turn away. Inside their brewing space, these guys have plenty of room to grow and a tasting room for you to sate your thirst while learning about their brews. There is literally something for everyone from their Tybee Blond to the red wine barrel-aged Midnight in the Garden. You will enjoy choosing your next taste. Thank you Kevin for introducing me to "Pink, Fluffy Unicorn." Next time you are in town, go show these guys some love. After closing down the tasting room, we decided dinner was in order as well as a round or two of Irish music.
|Kevin and Chris give the Beer Wench a tour of their magic making facility. Cheers, guys!|
|Blackhawk on duty|
After a day of sightseeing and various other tastings, we wandered down River Street to Service Brewing Company which was a perfect spot to check out on Memorial Day weekend. Owners, Kevin Ryan and Meredith Sutton hold a special place in their hearts and brewery for our service men and women. Their pride shows in the brewery's American flag painted as a back drop for to the music stage and the service patch art installations. The names of the brews also show the respect and love given to those who serve. My two favorites were Battlewagon (an imperial IPA) and Old Guard (a bier de garde using Savannah Bee Company honey).
|Art installation that allows guests to participate|
When you think that the end is near, do a double take. There is yet another brewery on the mission to keep Savannah from being thirsty for good beer. Southbound's theme is music, and they use hop head Kokopelli figures as their logo and beer names that honor songs and musicians like Hoplin, an homage to the late Janis Joplin, and Roxanne, a sour cherry ale. She may not need to put on her red dress but she does wear it well. Food truck outside...good beer inside...what else do you need? Thanks to out to Carly for setting us up and to Natalie for being such a great hostess.
If you do all the brewery tours and are still thirsty for good brews, there are several great venues for local, national and international beer including Crystal Beer Parlor, The Distillery, Savannah Taphouse and more. I have to count this girls' trip an absolute success and can not wait to go back to one of my favorite beer-cation spots.
On a final note, I had planned to write this article as a counter to the recent piece about a brewery brewing beer for women, but as I talked to everyone including women, like myself, enjoying good beer, I realized that there was no point. If you make good beer, people will drink it - male or female. Most beer industry folks know this. To condescend that women have to have special beer made for them or marketed to them is ridiculous. This beer woman has been enjoying craft beer since 1993 when I was introduced to beer with flavor and different styles. Whether you are man or woman or somewhere in between, you can find great beer. The beer community is as diverse and flavorful as the multitude of styles brewers can imagine. Cheers to all the ladies that I met in the research for this article and the breweries who welcomed us with open arms to share their hard work and dedication. Remember, eat well and drink good beer.
|Sunset on the river|