Beer aficionados have something new to be excited about in Greenville’s downtown in 2011. The Greenville Beer Exchange with its walls lined with bottled beers and 16 beers available on tap to-go, is sure to become a local favorite for beer fanatics and those just curious.
It’s the second beer exchange opened in South Carolina by business partners Scott Shur and Rich Carley. The concept, Carley said, is a narrow focus on craft beers.
“We have about 1,100 bottles, from all over the world, about 20 different countries,” Carley said. “We focus on the smaller producers, the more unique producers.”
And if the thought of selecting one or two six-packs from hundreds of beers seems a bit overwhelming, fear not—every beer available at the Beer Exchange can be purchased as a single bottle for 1/6th the price of the six-pack.
“So if you want to see what wheat beers are all about, you can take home six wheat beers instead of a six-pack,” Carley said.
One of the biggest selling points, though, is the ever-changing selection of beers available on tap. These draft beers are used to fill half-gallon glass jugs called growlers for customers to take their beer home.
“It’s a 64-ounce, amber glass jug,” Carley said. “The first time you come in, it’s $4.99 for the empty. The prices vary for the fill from $7.99 on upwards, depending on how rare the beer is and how much it was for us to buy it.”
The growlers are sealed after each fill-up, and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week before consuming, Carley said, although he recommended drinking all the beer within 24 hours of opening.
The Exchange’s 16 taps give the owners the flexibility to offer a variety of styles.
“With 16 taps, we’re always going to have something that’s really cheap, really easygoing, and then we have the luxury of having really expensive, bizarre beers, too, because we love everything,” Carley said.
The Beer Exchange makes use of social media—Facebook, Twitter and the shop’s own website—to keep customers up to date with what beers are available on tap. In addition, Carley said he plans to continue what’s become a tradition in Charleston—Rare Beer Tuesdays.
“Every Tuesday at 5 (p.m.), we tap a very special and rare keg on the growler station, and we designate that time so everybody has a chance to come down and has a fair shot at it,” Carley said.
The Beer Exchange will also host frequent beer tastings, and other special events from time to time. Carley said those who want to keep up with the latest can subscribe to the shop’s newsletter on their website, www.greenvillebeerexchange.com.
For more, check out our photo tour of The Greenville Beer Exchange.