Brewvival Showcases More Than Good Beer
In its third year, Charleston’s Brewvival once again didn’t disappoint those who attended.
The festival was a collaboration between hosts COAST Brewing Co. and the Charleston Beer Exchange not to make a beer, but to organize an afternoon of remarkable speakers and brews to remember for the beer-loving community.
A crowd favorite, as evidenced by the lines, discussion and social media chatter, was The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton, FL. Currently in the process of adding a production brewery to its brewpub operation, Funky Buddha pleased fans with timed releases of its Last Snow, a coffee porter with white chocolate and coconut, and my personal favorite of the festival, its No Crusts, a peanut butter and jelly-flavored brown ale that took me back to the soft, breaded triangles in my Kindergarten lunchbox that my mom packed for me.
Beer wasn’t the only star of the festival. Rob Tod, founder, owner and brewmaster of Allagash Brewing Co., and Peter Bouckaert, brewmaster of New Belgium Brewing Co., lit up the stage with talks of sour beers and open question and answer sessions. The presentations not only provided pleasant breaks to relax and give your palate a rest, but the two brewers gave fans inside looks of both the difficult nature of creating sour programs and the ease with which to maintain them.
The night before Brewvival, downtown Charleston’s Closed for Business served as the default congregation point for festival attendees. The Lucas brothers have built their restaurant and craft beer bar into a beer destination in Chucktown by maintaining an impressive array of draft options and hosting beer dinners with some of the country’s top brewers. In fact, Bouckaert hosted a beer dinner at Closed for Business the night before Brewvival.
Nonetheless, the best part of Brewvival, as it is with any beer festival, was not the rare and interesting beers available, but the community that those beers brought together and the discussion that they facilitated. I sampled fantastic beers with new and old friends as we listened to each other describe the experience, and I turned around to hear the stories behind each beer from the main characters in those tales.
This is a life enriched by beer.