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Holy City Brewing: Touring Charleston, South Carolina’s Craft Beer Scene

Explore the booming craft beer scene in Charleston, South Carolina with a tour of Holy City Brewing. Learn about the history and unique flavors of this popular brewery and its impact on the city.

Holy City Brewing: Touring Charleston, South Carolina’s Craft Beer Scene

Welcome to the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina, where the cobblestone streets echo with history and the air is infused with the spirit of the Lowcountry. Amidst the rich tapestry of this historic Southern gem lies a vibrant craft beer culture, and at the heart of it all stands Holy City Brewing.

Here, we will cover numerous aspects of Holy City Brewing including the local ingredients, unique beer flavors, the brewery's tasting rooms, its history, some signature beer styles, popular beers as well as collaborations and partnerships the brewery has started. Let’s start the captivating Holy City story.

History and Background of The Brewery

Holy City Brewing, nestled in the picturesque city of Charleston, South Carolina, has become a beacon of craft beer excellence. Established in 2011 by Sean Nemitz, Chris Brown, Mac Minaudo and Joel Carl, the brewery emerged with a vision to not only craft exceptional beers but also to contribute to the vibrant cultural tapestry of Charleston.

The founders, each bringing a unique set of skills and a shared passion for brewing, focused on creating a brewery that would become a community hub. Even its name, Holy City Brewing, pays homage to Charleston's nickname, "The Holy City," which is a moniker derived from the city's numerous church steeples that punctuate its skyline.

Holy City Brewing quickly gained traction by combining traditional brewing techniques with a creative and experimental approach to crafting beers on its barrel system. From classic styles to innovative brews, Holy City has developed a diverse and exciting lineup that caters to a wide range of palates.

Taproom Location and Hours of Operation

Holy City Brewing has a taproom in Charleston, which offers guests an array of options including non-alcoholic beverages, house-brewed beers and a wide selection of spirits, wines, ciders and snacks.

Within this vibrant space, one can enjoy an eclectic tap list, a comprehensive in-house food menu (though brunch is not available) and live music performances. Importantly, no reservations are necessary to partake in the taproom experience unless an event is being hosted.

  • Taproom Capacity: 300 People
  • Event/Porter Room: 180 seated/450 standing
  • Serves: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Location: 1021, Aragon Ave, North Charleston, SC, 29405
  • Website: HCB Taproom

Signature Beer Styles of Holy City Brewing

Signature Beer Styles of Holy City Brewing

Holy City Brewing has been recognized for producing a variety of exceptional beer styles that attract a huge audience in America. Some of its noteworthy and signature beer styles include:

1. IPAs

Holy City Brewing's signature IPAs have earned acclaim for their mastery of hop-forward flavors. The Overly Friendly IPA impresses with bold citrus notes while the Sparkly Princess IPA offers an imaginative burst of fruitiness. These award-winning brews exemplify the company’s keenness to craft IPAs that achieve a remarkable balance between bitterness and complexity while establishing a benchmark for hop-centric excellence.

2. American Wheat Beer

Holy City Brewing's American Wheat Beers stand as a testament to brewing excellence. This signature beer style captures the essence of craftsmanship with its light and refreshing character, combining the smoothness of wheat with a delightful hop presence. A harmonious balance of flavors makes it an appealing choice to both seasoned beer enthusiasts and those new to craft brews.

3. Pale Ale

Pale Ale is one of the the mostly highly produced beer styles from Holy City Brewing. A harmonious blend of malt and hops creates a balanced and flavorful profile for beer enthusiasts.

4. Pilsner

Holy City's pilsners are near-perfect executions of the classic German-style lager. Brewed with precision, they feature a golden hue, a crisp body and a notable hop bitterness from Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops. A strong malt bill adds a grainy sweetness to the beer that creates a well-balanced and refreshing profile that pays homage to traditional Pilsner craftsmanship.

Local Ingredients / Beer Ingredients

Holy City Brewing prioritizes local sourcing to incorporate a range of quality ingredients into its diverse beer lineup. Let’s now explore some frequently employed beer ingredients of Holy City Brewing:

1. Yeast Selection

Holy City Brewing meticulously chooses yeast strains such as American Ale, London Ale, Belgian Ale, German Hefe and more to influence its beer flavor profiles. Each variety of those strains adds distinctive characteristics to the company’s brews. The use of Augustiner Lager yeast creates a distinctive lager profile to showcase Holy City Brewing's attention to traditional brewing methods.

2. Malts for Complexity

The brewery utilizes a variety of malts including Carafa II, Crystal II, VI and Munich II to create a nuanced malt profile. Additionally, Pale, Wheat and Carahell malts offer diverse flavor profiles while Bohemian Pilsner adds a traditional touch to the styles they brew.

3. Hop Varieties for Aroma & Flavor

Holy City Brewing employs a thoughtful selection of dry hops that include Chinook, Centennial and Simcoe (among many others) to enhance aroma while Cascade, Warrior, Hallertau Mittelfrüh and German Magnum add bitterness to their beers.

4. Seasonal Offerings

For seasonal diversity, the brewery incorporates Saison and French Saison yeast strains to add depth to its rotating lineup. These yeast varieties contribute distinctive characteristics to the beer, often imparting fruity and spicy notes. The use of Saison yeast is associated with the creation of farmhouse ales, which add intricacy to the flavor profile.

Holy City Brewing Must Try Beers

Must-Try Beers

Holy City Brewing produces a diverse range of popular craft beers for its target audience, each with a unique flavor profile. Here are some must-try beers from the brewery:

1. Pluff Mud Porter 

Holy City Brewing's Pluff Mud Porter is among the brewery's most popular beers. It offers a blend of rich chocolate and roasted malt flavors for a deeply satisfying experience. This award-winning porter embodies balance to offer a velvety smooth texture with a touch of sweetness. It has been well-received for its supreme balance and depth of character.

2. Washout Wheat 

The Washout Wheat is a delightful expression of artistry, and it presents as a light and refreshing wheat beer. It is often appreciated for its light and refreshing qualities, making it a suitable choice for those seeking a crisp and approachable brew.

3. Overly Friendly IPA

Holy City Brewing's IPA offerings, such as the Overly Friendly IPA, typically showcase a bold hop profile with citrus and pine notes to ensure a satisfying experience for hop enthusiasts. Its well-balanced character and satisfying bitterness make Overly Friendly IPA a standout choice for discerning beer connoisseurs.

4. Paradise Session IPA

Session IPAs are known for their lower alcohol content while maintaining hop-forward flavors. Paradise Session IPA from Holy City Brewing falls into this category and offers a more moderate option for those who enjoy the hoppy character of IPAs without the higher-ABV bite.

5. Holy City Pilsner 

Holy City Brewing's Pilsner exemplifies excellence with its clean, crisp taste and distinctive hop bitterness. Crafted with precision, this classic Pilsner offers a refreshing and approachable drinking experience. Its quality and time-honored flavor profile make Holy City Brewing's Pilsner a top choice for those seeking a refined and enjoyable brew.

6. Chucktown Follicle Brown

As a distinguished creation from Holy City Brewing, Chucktown Follicle Brown is a rich and flavorful brown ale. This carefully crafted brew boasts a harmonious blend of malt sweetness and nutty undertones to offer a sophisticated drinking experience.

7. Sparkly Princess IPA

Holy City Brewing's Sparkly Princess IPA is a vibrant beer that captivates with its bold hop presence. Bursting with fruity notes, this IPA offers a delightful balance and a crisp finish.

8. Yeast Wrangler IPA

Yeast Wrangler IPA from Holy City Brewing is evidence of skillful brewing to deliver a complex hop profile. This IPA showcases an interplay of tropical and citrus flavors to provide a satisfyingly robust experience.

9. Kolsch

Holy City Brewing's Kolsch embodies the essence of classic German brewing with a modern twist. This crisp and refreshing beer is perfect for those who appreciate a clean and balanced brew.

10. Kolsch IPA

Not ones to rest on their laurels, the brewers at Holy City opted to take their original Kolsch beer and completely switch it up with this intriguing hybrid release. According to the brewery, it's "hoppy, peppery and has plenty of citrus on the nose and the tongue, with a body comprised of Pilsner and Wheat malt."

Holy City Beers & Beverages Reviewed by The Beer Connoisseur® magazine & online

Our panel of BJCP-certified judges conduct expert evaluations of beers and beverages from across the globe in our Official Review.

Exceptional ratings by our panel:

Search all of our reviews for Holy City on its directory page.

Reviews and Accolades

Let’s compare consumer reviews of Holy City based on three trusted platforms:

1. Untappd

  • Overall Rating: ⭐3.71
  • Total Ratings: 200,038
  • Number of Beers Rated: 625

2. BeerAdvocate

  • Overall Rating: ⭐3.80
  • Total Ratings: 1,776
  • Number of Beers Rated: 133

3. Yelp

  • Overall Rating: ⭐4.40
  • Total Ratings: 506
  • Number of Beers Rated: N/A

Collaboration and Partnerships

Holy City Brewing often engages in new projects with other businesses, artists or organizations in the United States to enhance service quality and promote diversity. These are the notable beer companies or partner organizations of Holy City:

Holy City Brewing Signature Events

Signature Events / Community Involvement

Holy City Brewing has established a notable presence beyond crafting exceptional beers in South Carolina. Through signature events and active community involvement, the brewery has created a dynamic space for enthusiasts to get connected with others.

Live Music Events

Holy City Brewing transforms its taproom into a vibrant cultural hub by hosting regular live music events. Renowned local and regional acts frequently grace the stage to create a diverse musical experience. 

With nearly weekly arrangements, the brewery not only enhances customer enjoyment but also actively engages the community. These events contribute to the taproom's dynamic atmosphere and foster a sense of camaraderie among patrons who gather to savor exceptional brews while enjoying the rhythm and melodies of talented performers.

Special Occasion Events

Whether it's a romantic Valentine's Day event or special events like birthdays, anniversaries or business meetings, Holy City Brewing’s tasting room provides an inviting and customizable space. One can elevate one’s experience with its incredible craft beers and personalized services at different events.


Holy City Brewing stands out as an exceptional choice for discerning beer enthusiasts and event planners alike. Renowned for its award-winning craft beers, the brewery seamlessly marries tradition with innovation to offer a diverse range of flavors to cater to varying tastes. 

With active engagement in the community through live music events and a welcoming taproom ambiance, Holy City Brewing provides not just tasty beverages but an immersive and enjoyable experience. 

Whether celebrating special occasions or hosting business gatherings, the brewery's assurance of quality, personalized service and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for those seeking memorable moments and exceptional craft beer.