It's become tradition... every year before Brewvival, Robin and I take a week to hit our favorite spots south of Maryland.
We take I-81 South through Virginia and stop off at Due South BBQ in Christiansburg. It's our favorite BBQ place. Get the pulled pork or brisket with sweet brown sauce and a side of fried green tomatoes. They also have the most delicious hushpuppies ever.
For the first day or two we stay in Asheville, NC at Sweet Peas Hostel. We always buy beer from Bruisin' Ales to take home. There are a ton of places to eat, but if you're there for only one night, make sure to go to Cúrate and stop at Thirsty Monk afterwards for some tasty Belgian beer.
This year we added Greenville to our trip so we could visit our friends Daniel of It's A Fucking Beer and Rhett Smith. Dan works at The Community Tap, so we stopped in to see him after having a delicious breakfast at The Bohemian. We left with a growler of Grand Teton Wake Up Call.
That afternoon we headed a little ways out to Pendleton to hang with Rhett, but headed back downtown to meet Dan at Trappe Door for dinner. After that we all went upstairs to Barley's (same owners as Trappe Door) for "dessert", a.k.a. Westbrook Mexican Cake.
On Monday morning Robin and I headed down to Charleston. We relaxed at the beach house for a while before heading to Cypress for an early dinner.
Tuesday was our "big night out". We treated ourselves to delicious food and drinks at Husk Bar and the Husk restaurant right next door. They are separate buildings on the same property. Make sure you have reservations, but arrive early to get drinks at the bar. The bartender will check you in and you can take your drinks with you when your table is ready. Drink-wise, I highly recommend a Fire In The Orchard. As for dinner, the crispy chicken skins are a must, as is the chess pie for dessert. You really can't go wrong with any of it though.
Poe's Tavern on Sullivan's Island is a must for either lunch or dinner.
Our friends Nikki and Justin arrived on Wednesday and the four of us went to Two Boroughs Larder for dinner. I had the Bowl-O-Noodle... no explanation necessary...
After that we headed to Burns Alley for a round and then over to the pre-Prohibition inspired Gin Joint where I had a Gin Gin Mule (Beefeater and ginger beer) and then... a Pappy Van Winkle 20 year. Let me tell you, this is the bourbon to have. I have tried lots of bourbon and it will be hard to have any other kind after having Pappy's.
** If you want to try Pappy's, or if you've already had it and love it and want to have it again, make sure you go to The Gin Joint and not Husk Bar. It's $65 at Husk but only $35 at The Gin Joint for the 20-year. Even $35 may seem like a lot for one small glass of bourbon, but if you're willing to pay the price for this rare spirit you might as well find the best price possible.
Oh yeah, you'll find this on the back of the door of the unisex bathroom at The Gin Joint:
"Drunk Octopus wants to Fight You"
Two more friends, Jeff and Trevor arrived late Wednesday night. On Thursday morning while everyone was still sleeping, Robin and I drove downtown to Glazed doughnut shop and got an assortment for everyone for breakfast. Everything is delicious, but you shouldn't miss this one:
The "Maple Bacon"
So, without going into shit-ton more detail, here are a few more places to visit while in Charleston.
Butcher & Bee - Delicious sandwiches as well as this delightful non-alcoholic beverage...
The Griffon - Our favorite dive in downtown Chucktown
Terrapin Hopsecutioner (courtesy of The Griffon)
Blind Tiger - Another dive, great for lounging outside, but just hope you get good service as it can be shoddy sometimes (we seem to get lucky on weekdays when it's not too crowded)
Goat Sheep Cow - If you like cheese and meat, go here, enough said.
Charleston Beer Exchange - If you like beer, this is the place to go. They're also the co-host of Brewvival, which is the whole reason we come to Charleston every February.
Closed For Business - One of the newest craft beer bars in the area, very cool vibe and decor, great service, great food, and 45 drafts.
Bull Street Gourmet Market - Half gourmet grocery store and half deli, stop in here for tasty stuff for cooking at home or a quick sandwich to go. They've also got a nice selection of craft beer and wine if you're in a "one stop" sort of mood.