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Southend Brewery & Smokehouse

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Based on:
12 Beers
147 Ratings
Place Score: 78
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

161 E Bay St
Charleston, South Carolina, 29401-2125
United States
phone: (843) 853-4677

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @southendbrewery

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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 45
Reviews by champ103:
Photo of champ103
3.49/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I visited this place with my family while on vacation. We had reservations at 82 Queen, and decided to have a few drinks here before diner. The location can not be beat. A large brick building with three floors and the brewing equipment displayed around the center. It is an old historic looking building in the heart of the Charleston French Quarter with lots of charm. There is a long wood bar, and tables everywhere.

The service was kind of slow, our beer was brought out one at a time. Even though all the beers had been poored at the same time. I found it odd that instead of grabbing two at a time, the bartender kept waking back and forth with one beer in hand. The bartender did not seem to know much about the beer. Just that the beer was brewed on premise, and he repeated that several times. Nothing really bad to complain about, just average and slightly annoying.

I tried several beers, and it was hit and miss. I had the Stout, Brown, and Scarlet. The stout was very good, the Scarlet was decent, the Brown had way to much diacetyl. Overall, not the best but very enjoyable for the most part.

After reading some reviews on this sight I was kind of nervous to try this place. Though my family and I had a very enjoyable time with decent to above average beer. This is a place I will visit again next time I am in town.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DuffDaddy
3.24/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Spring Break trip to Charleston with the family.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.38/5  rDev +31.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Fabulous BBQ had by all 4 adults. My brisket was amongst the best I've had. Phenomenal hushpuppies, the best I've ever had anywhere. And great Coleslaw, which is so easy to screw up. The kids cheeseburger sliders got a great big thumbs up, too.
Beer flights are 7 of their beers for $10. Gimme! Nobody does that many anywhere I've been. Usually it's 4 for $10-12. 5 brews are year round, two are seasonal offerings.
Great service from friendly staff. Well educated and very patient with an indecisive party (mainly due to so many good choices).
This place is seriously cool on a Sunday afternoon. Beautiful, shiny tanks are center stage, the decor is in keeping with the nature of a very historic city, open yet not loud, relaxed yet elegant.
I'm not certain how the ratings prior came about but I assure you I will revisit this place next time I get to Chucktown.

Photo of steveheady
3.86/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

I had my rehearsal dinner here a few yrs back. Vibe is really good. Selection extremely limited. Food was soso

Photo of Redrover
3.31/5  rDev -0.9%

My co-worker picked this place out as he wanted some BBQ. I thought hey they make beer, sounds good to me.

As you enter you will notice the soaring wood beamed ceilings. I’m not sure what this place used to be, but I love these retrofitted older buildings.

There are tanks behind glass behind the hostess station and more behind the bar. The brewer was working while we were there.

There is an open kitchen at the rear, a small stage area and lots of tables. The bathrooms are on the second floor..

We enjoyed friendly service at the bar.

They offer both Southern Coastal food and BBQ. It was a mixed bag. I had a good salad, fair wings, and over cooked hush puppies.

For beer they had 5 regulars and 2 seasonal draft options. I had a full pint of a pale ale that struggled to be average and a pint of the seasonal IPA which made the APA look good.

They did have a large bourbon selection, so that is a plus.

Photo of mtnst8
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

Easy access from the tourist district in Charleston. Good selection of beers. Didn't try the food but the menu looked intriguing and the restaurant space is very large. Great first stop for a beer and dinner before the serious pub hopping commences.

Photo of Wrigfen
3.89/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

A good selection of various types of beers brewed on site. Some are excellent others ok. Three story setting has a something for everybody variety of atmospheres. Great looking building, lots of character. Service has been excellent both times we went there. Good variety of quality food. A fun place that is well worth going to for the food, beer and atmosphere. There seasonal IPA right now is very very good. Highly recommend this brewery/restaurant.

Photo of nickfl
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

A big, slick brewpub right in the middle of the Charleston historic district. This is a very large reastaurant with two floors of seating and a glass enclosed brewhouse right in the middle of the dining area.

The food and beer are both pretty mediocre. The menu has a smokehouse theme, but it is kind of phoned in and certainly doesn't compare to the real, down home BBQ joints that can be found in this part of the country. The beer is standard, 90s brewpub stuff and on the weak side of average at that. The best of the lot was the pale ale, which had a nice hop character, but it didn't make up for the lackluster Black IPA or the flat out awful Red Ale.

Overall, it's an out of date, touristy pub that really isn't worth a visit considering the proliferation of genuinely good restaurants and beer bars in this town.

Photo of avalon07
3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

A: I've always thought this was a cool old building: Multiple stories, big high ceilings, exposed brick walls, the beer ranks right in the middle of the place enclosed by a glass partition. For a place right in the touristy part of town, it's not bad. One debit: the insufferable disco music they were playing on the stereo.

Q: Quality was iffy. Aside from the six house brews, there were only macros available.

S: The bartender was alright - not exactly what I would call the friendliest guy, but prompt and courteous. I didn't quiz him on the beers.

S: I tried one of each of the six house brews. It's a mixed bag. Two were pretty good, while the others were mediocre or worse. The only other beers on the menu were Bud, Bud Light, and Bud Light Lime. Could be better.

V: The house beers are $4.50 apiece, which I guess is standard for craft beer. The macros were about the same.

On the whole, this is an uneven place. It's always had potentialto be something great.

Photo of GJ40
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I stopped in for a beer while in Charleston only because I happened to be passing by.

It’s in a great old building with multiple floors that are open in the middle. The décor is authentic and comfortable with worn wood floors, exposed beams and a high ceiling. The kitchen area in the back is exposed to the dining area.

They had five on tap plus two guests. I was disappointed not to find an IPA but I went with the Pale Ale and it was pretty good. The bartenders were outgoing and helpful.

My expectations were low going in but I was somewhat impressed. I wouldn’t make an effort to visit but if in the area (which many tourists are), it’s a decent place to stop in for a beer.

Photo of ExtraStout
2.75/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3

Cool looking building for sure, lots of high ceilings with glass and brewing equip everywhere. Beers were unimpressive to say the least. I did like the stout, which was the only redeeming beer.

The food was only okay though. Wife's salad was nothing special and the pizza tasted like a supermarket frozen pizza. Friendly host and bartender, I just wish the beer came in a touch nicer. The beer is below average but I am sure I could have done worse.

One great thing, there was no line to worry about.

Photo of lewwjr
2.54/5  rDev -24%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5

What an empty shell of what once was. The place is in need of a major upgrade- at least some fresh paint a clean rag and new attitude. The brewer seems to be trying hard but when your out of some of your main brew, that's a bad sign. The seasonal brown ipa was on point and a great product. The wheat was southends consistent brew and it was also great. I realize that this is the last of the southend mohiccans and tourist are still knocking down the doors. But, the owners need to mirror the brewer and give the place some attention.

Photo of thagr81us
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Went here while taking a day trip down to Charleston. Walked in and was immediately blown away by the display of their brewing vessels in the middle of the restaurant encased in glass. The appearance and design of the restaurant was very nice indoors. We were seated quickly and the waiting staff were very polite and fast to respond to empty drinks. I sat down to the sampler myself, but was disappointed to find that their Scarlet Ale was currently out. I was however given a refill of one 5 oz glass with any of the other beers of my choice. Overall I enjoyed hanging out at this restaurant, but was quite unimpressed by their beer overall. My favorite of the 7 I tried was probably their Pale Ale. This place is worth visiting at least once if you are down that way, but I don't know if I would go back myself. However, it is really close to the Charleston Beer Exchange (2-3 blocks).

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Well to start things off I looked this place up and looked foward to going, due to it being the only on-site brewery in Charleston and I will say upfront I was happy to visit! Opening statement being four days five growler fills and some bad-ass wood cooked pizza.

A- Beautiful red brick three story building with Ghostbusters style sign that states its name boldly. Opon entry I notice the metal brewing tanking in the middle of the first floor that reached the second next to an stylish elevator. Semi attractive waitresses and host are also a plus. Nice bar setting in the back left of the first floor is where I was found most of the time pintin' and growler fillin'.
Q- The beer was good and thats that. Decent styles and repesentation but not on target this visit. Food was priced right with my sausage and pepperoni pizza that was sprinkled with goat cheese was excellent, perfectly pared with the Bombay pale ale.
S- Selection was decent but limited to simple but to the point choices. I caught myself wondering if I wanted to eat or just drink here.
Family friendly menus.
F- Food was cook to order and was exactly what you ordered and tastey and fresh. My girlfriend
ordered angel hair pasta with chicken that was quite the treat.
V- This Restaurant was a great addition to my vacation and was a breath of fresh beer on demand. "I'll be back".

Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Set in an impressive three-story building in the middle of the French Quarter of Charleston. With tall ceilings and an atrium center where you peer through the glass at the second floor brewery equipment.

The menu is eclectic with southern styled dishes, traditional bar food, stoned hearth pizzas, and a small selection of "smokehouse" items. Alas, these were fair to good. The beer was universally light in body for all of the styles. The flavors improve dramatically as they darken.

The family joined me on Christmas eve. The service was excellent. Of course, I always believe that this is more of a reflection of the particular server's skills. Ours was attentive, pleasant and quick.

Given that it was in the middle of a touristy area, the prices were okay, but high otherwise.

Photo of woodychandler
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The place sat on the corner of Vineyard and East Bay Streets, although the entry was partway down on Bay. A long line of windows ran the length of the building on Bay with the entry kind of in the center. Upon entering, the m.d.s. was straight ahead and included a glass case full of logo items. Just behind the m.d.s., still in the center line and behind glass, was the brewhouse. To the right of the brewhouse was an elevator up to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (!) floors. To the right of the m.d.s., the dining room began and it was fairly fine dining by brewpub standards with white linen tablecloths, real silverware, a staff in white shirts, tan slacks, red ties and black half aprons. Shades of the Chop House chain! The dark wood, "J" shaped bar was off to the left with a smattering of high tables and chairs and mostly standard tables and chairs surrounding. The kitchen ran most of the length of the back wall. Four FV's visible behind the back bar. Exposed ducting, ceiling fans, wooden beams - aesthetically, it was right up my alley.

Beers: Juniper Pale Ale; Ironman Wheat; Blonde Light; O'Ryans's Stout; East Bay Brown; Bombay Pale Ale; Scarlet Ale; and Blonde Juniper PA was too malty with a slight sourness on the finish. Bombay had nothing to do with India origin. It was like they had just slapped a name on a product (not a beer). I flashed on Don "Joe Six Pack" Russell and I at GABF2007 - "Gee, Don, it seems like there are a lot of sour beers here." "Well, Woody, it just makes sense. A lot of these guys decided, 'Well, this used to be my IPA. I think that it would be much better served submitting it as a Flemish Sour.'" Ha! Their beers all qualified here. Bill Coleman had a famous Salty Dog cartoon in which he and his Rabbit buddy drank a bunch of homebrew and afterwards decided after a hard day at it to have a beer. After this, I was ready for a beer. Sorry.

Photo of ndolover
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

I visited this place on business recently. It is located in the downtown touristy area of Charleston.

I historic red brick building greets you as you walk up the street. Inside is 3 stories of the typical brewpub interior (brass, wood, bricks, brewing equipment). What drew us was the brewepub and the pool as I with co-workers that wanted to play pool. I appreciated that they had games like darts and such, but the equipment was very worn and not kept up.

No matter I was there for the beer! Overall the beer was average. I didn't find many glaring faults like other reviews, but I did not think much of the flavor profiles. I would not seek this place out for the beer.

The food was good, but average...I had the pork and grits and found it flavorfull but the pork was skimpy and the grits were mounded high!

Since we were there in the afternoon, the service was VERY attentive and informative.

Overall I would not reccomend this place for brewpub junkies. However, they do have a nice location, and it is hard to go wrong with fresh beer.

Photo of tigg924
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

I visited here three times on a trip to South Carolina recently. The building is impressive. East Bay Street is in a historic yet semi-commercial area. The space is three stories high with open views to the partially glass ceiling. Brewing equipment sits in the middle. What they offer for beer is pretty standard fair, a brown, ipa, blonde, amber and a few seasonals. The big seasonal when I was there was a Scotch. All of the beers are passable--with the brown being the best of what I tried, none great. The service was good and friendly. The food however was amazing. Everything I had here was great. My wife is a vegetarian and said they made the best salads ever. I had crab cakes, pulled pork, and brisket. All were exceptional. Long and short, some decent atmosphere, great food--and passable local beer. I would go back for a relaxing night.

Photo of aracauna
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

I've heard this place has had some trouble recently with off flavors in their beer, but I didn't notice it, perhaps because I'm not that susceptible to diacetyl. It takes a lot to register with me. Our waitress handled us nicely (we weren't at the bar) the food was ok. My wife's pasta dish was a little bland, but my shrimp and grits were pretty good. The beer was drinkable, but not outstanding. The Southend Bombay Pale Ale was probably the best. Not super hoppy, but hoppy enough.

Really nice looking building and interior. Cool looking place, although it obviously caters some to families with the jar of crayons on every table.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.95/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4.5

My firdt beerfly review on the run. This place was located right across from my hotel so I new I would be spending some time here. Cool looking building for sure, lots of high ceilings with glass and brewing equip everywhere. Beers were unimpressive to say the least. I did the flight and the stout was the only redeeming beer. The food was slammin though, great wings and a killer pizza really capped my night off well. Friendlu host and bartender, I just wish the beer came in a touch nicer. The beer is below average but I am sure I will be back this week.

Photo of Schwab
4/5  rDev +19.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was at Southend with my girlfriend in May 2008. We had some time to kill between family events and decided to walk over there. The building is nice; however at that point, there was some construction.
We tried a few beers (didn't get the sampler) and had some food. The bartender was friendly and somewhat knowledgeable about their beers. We enjoyed the food and beers we had. The beers weren't outstanding or exceptionally great. We enjoyed them for sure, but were hoping to get something special. The overall atmosphere was good and we definitely would come back.

Photo of morebeergood
2.83/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

A few hours off the plane after we checked into the hotel, we stopped in here for lunch. This was stop number one on our tour. Looks like a nice place when you walk in. Enclosed brewery equipment in the middle, lots of table seating. It was a different look for a brewpub, in my opinion. Sat down, and it took an awful long time for our waiter to stop by on a pretty slow day. We had a window seat, and all I kept looking at were the flies bouncing off the glass. Yuck. Had to ask the waiter twice for a glass of water. Ordered the she-crab soup and some ribs. Waiter returns to tell me after 5 minutes that they are all out of ribs. How can a "smokehouse" be out of ribs on a Sat afternoon at 1:30? So I settled for the brisket. Beers were OK, the stout I had was decent tasting and my wife said her wheat was OK. The food was kinda blah. While a decent sized portion, it didn't have much flavor, and my wife said her pulled pork sandwich was weak. Waiter never asked my wife about what bbq sauce she wanted. Overall, I thought this place was overpriced, service was sub par, and the food and beer forgettable. Not the best way to start the trip.

Photo of khiasmus
3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Beautiful location in the middle of where my heart is; Charleston, SC. Three stories high with lots of glass walls so visitors can see the brewing equipment. The upper floors are a bit more casual with TVs and such, the lower floors are almost formal except for the bar area. Our waitress was excellent, and everyone seemed to be quite friendly. She knew little about beer, but offered the brewmaster's name and contact. The beers were mediocre, with a couple decent offerings. Some were downright bad, but it's understandable given the tourist-trap nature of the area. The beers available were: an oatmeal stout, a brown, a "scarlet," a pale, a "blonde" (which wasn't), a "light blonde" (ugh), a wheat, and a seasonal, which was "lemon grass ginger" and quite tasty. I ordered the sampler, a great deal. 8 solid 5 oz pours for 8 bucks. The food was great, I had a half pound burger, and I've had a steak here before. Food selection is quite good, ranging from seafood to ribs to burgers and chicken. Portions are more than ample... I had leftovers, which NEVER happens.

I'd recommend stopping by if you're in downtown Charleston. It's a good little restaurant and a very clean and pretty brewery. I do wish their beers were as good as their food and locale.

Photo of nem2006
2.93/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

The place is located in the heart of Charleston,SC just a little ways from the waters edge. This is a 3 story location with brewing equipment encased in glass in the center of the restaurant.

We sat down for a snack and some drinks in the restaurant area, which had more empty tables than full ones. We ordered the chips and salsa, which seemed like the salsa just came from a jar. The drinks were actually really inexpensive, but I was not surprised. I was not impressed by the quality of the beers put forth. Many times they lacked in flavor and depth. Also, my wife (pregnant) got a virgin margarita and it tasted more like salt water than anything else.

The bright spot was our waitress, she was kind and courteous. With all the other restaurants around, I do not plan on going back to this location on a return visit.

Photo of dnichols
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I was in town for two days so I was able to enjoy a couple of brews at the Southend location. The bar is ideally located for the Charleston tourism trade and the facility has great curbside appeal.

I was in town during a sever heat wave so my thirst was in frequent need of quenching. I stopped in following a walking tour of the neighborhood. My first brew was a Brown ale, which was not up to expectations but was passable. I followed the brown with a pint of stout which was an improvement but still lacking.

I had intended to have lunch at the bar but after looking over the menu I decided to have an appraiser. I enjoyed some crab cakes with an amber ale. The ale was the best of the beers I tried. I passed on dinner largely because of the "white" table cloths and formal atmosphere of the dinning area. It was a bit upper crust looking for my mood and the menu appeared to be more high brow than a brewput typically offers.

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Southend Brewery & Smokehouse in Charleston, SC
78 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.