The Ad­ven­tur­ous Tra­di­tion­al­ist

With an ap­pre­ci­a­tion and re­spect for style guide­lines, Holy City Brew­ing’s Chris Brown pro­duces some very tra­di­tional beers, but as the brew­ery has grown, he’s loos­ened up, cre­at­ing award-win­ning bound­ary-push­ing beers to com­ple­ment the food scene in Cha

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Breakout Brewer: Holy City Brewing - By Emily Hutto

CHRIS BROWN MAKES THE BEST

Brown Porter in town—go fig­ure. Un­ex­pect­edly, though, his town is one where you’d ex­pect im­bibers to reach for light lager to sip on the beach, if they’re even choos­ing beer at all. Charleston, South Carolina, is a foodie sea­port city where wine is king.

“The food scene is very so­phis­ti­cated here,” says Brown, ex­plain­ing why most of the state’s now fifty plus brew­eries are con­cen­trated in Charleston. “It’s unique com­pared to the rest of South Carolina, with way more restau­rants and bars than any­where else. It’s a food and bev­er­age town, and food towns at­tract brew­eries.”

When Brown and his three busi­ness part­ners—joel Carl and Sean Nemitz of Charleston Rick­shaw Co., and Mac Min­audo who came from the biodiesel in­dus­try—opened Holy City Brew­ing in 2011, they were the fourth brew­ery in Charleston and only the sev­enth in the state.

“To make a year-round porter was some­thing new for this area, un­ex­pected for the heat,” Brown says. “But our porter filled a niche in Charleston. There wasn’t any­one do­ing that style, lo­cally or re­gion­ally. It re­ally took off.”

Pluff Mud Porter might be dark in color, but it’s medium in body and easy to drink at only 5.5 per­cent ABV. That’s all by de­sign. “The idea was to have some­thing that you can drink year-round,” Brown says. “This isn’t a big, ro­bust porter. It’s sub­tle.”

That sub­tlety and its clean, crisp fin­ish make Pluff Mud a great food beer, too. It’s a great com­ple­ment to the small, in­spired menu at Holy City that in­cludes items such as a falafel burger, a buf­falo chicken sand­wich, bread from a lo­cal bak­ery, and lots of lo­cal cheese. “We’re get­ting more and more into our cheese game,” Brown says. “Porter is a great pair­ing for cheese. Some­thing like Wens­ley­dale cheese would be re­ally good with Pluff Mud. It has a lit­tle acid­ity and can have dried fruit in it that would pair nicely.”

Holy City has a deep re­spect for porter, Brown says. There’s al­ways a nitro Pluff Mud on tap, and there are two beer en­gines on­site that reg­u­larly serve porters as well.

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