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Aiken Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Aiken Brewing CompanyAiken Brewing Company
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

17 Ratings
Ratings: 17
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 15.58%
Active Beers: 19
Beer Ratings: 62
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 7
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

140 Laurens St SW
Aiken, South Carolina, 29801-3848
United States
phone: (803) 502-0707

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: GCBrewingCo)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ndolover:
Photo of ndolover
3.2/5  rDev -19.6%

Aiken Brewing Company is located in the historic downtown area of Aiken. This area seems to have had a bit of a re-birth. It is a small brewpub with seating outside as well. The bar area is small and has two TV's in the corners for loners like me. However, I have always been able to stike of a conversation.

The beer is average, but fresh! They did have a good Red beer that won at the GABF, so they do have a few good beers.

The service is fair, but I wish they didn't assume you want a frosty mug.

If you are in Aiken, stop by and have a pint and enjoy the locals. However, don't expect to be blown away by any particular aspect of this pub.

ndolover, Apr 16, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

bpfrush, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of westy_far
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%

I drink at the Aiken Brewery several times a month and always enjoy the place. There have been widely varying opinions on this place so I'll set some context with mine. We moved to the area over a year ago from an urban craft beer-friendly part of the southeast. The Aiken/Augusta region is a craft beer desert and Aiken Brewing Company is a small oasis. You WILL see people drinking Coors/Miller/etc. in the Brewery but this says more about the locals of the area than the establishment.

The atmosphere is great. Aged but in a good way. Cozy local watering hole, usually pretty crowded. They also have an upstairs bar that is usually open that has more seating and a pool table.

The food at the Aiken Brewery is average. Standard bar fare, mostly fried. Not gourmet to say the least but their bacon cheese fries are great with a few pints. I won't come here solely for the food. I was impressed with the quality of the beer. They are usually well-balanced but with character. They all tend to be less hopped than most craft brews but that's fine with me. They are served at appropriate temperature and it seems like they keep their keg lines clean. You can get a style-appropriate vessel but you'll need to request it.

Service is excellent. They have staff who are experienced and efficient. Attentive but not overbearing.

The selection rotates frequently as they brew new batches. They always post what the brew date for each of their styles is. They never have more than 5-7 choices but that is reasonable given the scale of their operation.

westy_far, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of Superdad
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

I would have to give the Aiken Brewery an overall score of 4.5 . The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming whether you are inside or outside. The selection of local craft beers is always eclectic. You also have the option of taking home a gallon of your favorite brew in a Growler , one gallon glass jug.

Besides the brew and atmosphere , the food is excellent . Whether youre in for lunch or dinner , the menu has plenty of selections for any taste. Although there may not be abything you would classify as "Fine Dining " , good flavor is in no short supply. We have never had a bad meal here.

The upstairs on the brewery has pool tables , another full service bar , and a karaoke stage if you've had enough liquid courage. If it gets too crowded for your taste but you dont want to leave , you can grab an outdoor table and enjoy the weather . There's never a shortage of passers by on the streets of Aiken and you can always find a lively conversation , especially during football season.

Whether you are visiting or a resident , the Aiken Brewery is a must see for anyone who likes good food and great beer !

Superdad, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of Texas1959
2.35/5  rDev -41%

I trust BeerAdvocate to guide me on my travels around the US, but they let me down on this one.

On the Monday night that I went in, they were serving an English IPA, a Troubadour Red, a Czech Pils, and a couple of darker beers. I started with the English IPA, which I would rate a 3.2 out of 5.0, and then decided between the Pils and the Red, opting for a tasty Red (maybe a 4.0 out of 5.0). That's the good news.

This was, at best, a local watering hole. I haven't been this disappointed in a place with good reviews since I started using BA. One of the managers was drinking a Coors Light. I noticed a couple of other bottles around, so I asked if they had anything other than their beers, and my bartender was honest enough to say "nothing good".

I know they have local home-brew nights, so maybe they support the locals that way, but I have never been in a place less in tune with what I look for when I travel: a nice place to eat and drink.

No where on BA was there a review of the Pizza Joint, right around the corner. A couple of ciders on tap, multiple New Belgians, Magic Hat, Rogue Dead Guy, Southern Tier 2XIPA, Terrepin Rye Pale Ale and Hopsecutioner, and the British regulars.

Do yourself a favor. Walk around first, and find your way to a better "beer" establishment.

Cheers

Texas1959, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Stopped in here on my way to Charleston.

Atmosphere is good. There are a few tables outside (it was late spring when I visited) and inside there is a bar to the right and quite a few tables to the left. It's in a nice downtown setting so parking isn't the best but it's worth it as the walk to the brewpub is nice.

Quality is also good. Beer is served in appropriate glassware and is neither chilled nor served with a head that's too big or too small.

Service is nice. We didn't have to wait long to be seated and we were able to place our lunch and drink orders quickly as well. The server also had the list of beers available down pat and I heard him go through the styles and what to expect with a number of patrons.

Selection is solid. I believe they had about 5-6 of their own beers on-tap and growler fills were also available. I'm not sure about the bottle selection but with such a robust selection at a smaller brewpub I normally don't pay much attention to bottled options I can purchase elsewhere.

Food is good. I split a wing platter and was satisfied.

Price is reasonable, nothing too cheap but nothing too expensive.

Overall I was surprised by the caliber of beers in such a small town in the middle of nowhere. A nice place to stop if you're in the area.

glid02, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of KroMagnon
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Very cool, old smalltown downtown atmosphere. I had the oatmeal stout which was quite tasty, the barleywine which was very well done and available as a 1/2 pint, and the sampler which included a cream ale, an amber (sort of like a brown ale to me, not very hoppy but more malty & good), porter, nitrogen-served porter, oatmeal stout & barleywine. All were as expected and quite good for style. No very hoppy beers were available during my visit. Definitely worth a repeat visit; very inviting, I bet the patio is excellent in the fall & spring especially.

KroMagnon, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of jbro434
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%

I traveled to Augusta on business after having grown up there and usually stayed in town. That was until I discovered the Aiken Brewing Company and the Hotel Aiken. I could check into my room and walk one block to one of the finest brew pubs in America. I have traveled all over the US and this little gem produces some mighty fine brews that rival the finest brewpubs in the country. I noticed that the selection changed just enough to keep it interesting. The bar staff knew the products well and though the food was mearly average, the service was good and quality of the food did nothing to take away the real reason to visit. Great beers in a relaxed environment, outside tables and a small historic town to boot.

jbro434, May 21, 2009
Photo of Kenyon
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%

My in-laws live in Beech Island, just a hop,skip and jump from Aiken so we have been coming to this brewpub for years. The beers, the food and the atmosphere gets better and better over the years. Over the Masters weekend they served an exceptional brown ale and an equally good double pale ale, not a double IPA but a double PA. Both were great session beers after a hot day at the golf course.

Food is mostly pub style but the cheesburger wrap and the patty melt are awesome. Burgers are great as well.

In an area where the whole city of Augusta has only 2 beer bars listed, the proximity to Aiken makes this little establishment a real gem

Kenyon, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%

I've visited the Aiken Brewing Company several times, as it is the only brewpub in the area (and I live about 30 miles away). I've sampled a broad range of their beers, and all have been good at worst, excellent at best. The atmosphere has that close, woody feel that you would expect of a brewpub, and the stainless brewing equipment is proudly on display right as you enter the premises. They offer a nice sampler where you can sample 2-oz. samples of each beer on tap for $1.00 each, and their beers are reasonably priced; growlers are also available to take home. The food my friends and I have had has all been superb, and with a selection of always at least five of the brewery's beers on tap (plus bottles from other breweries), it's easy to pair up the food with the right beer (and they offer pairing suggestions on their website). Overall, I'm impressed, and I'll be going back each time they release a new seasonal brew. Can't wait for the Doppelbock!

superdedooperboy, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Garzan72
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%

As a native to the area and this being the only brewery in the area my opinion might be a little bias but I am going to give it a shot anyway. Aiken brewery has a really nice setup. Before you even walk in the door you can see their brew tanks in the window. They have a nice atmosphere because you feel like you are eating a brewery which is what i think people want when you come to a brewpub. They have a nice selection of brews on tap and their Thorough Bred Red is awesome. The food is actually very good I mean very. Its just the kind of food you expect to find at a brewpub but is very well done. One of if not the best place to get a burger and some cheese fries in the entire CSRA (Central Savannah River Area).

Garzan72, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of dnichols
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

I spent an evening at the Aiken Brewing Company when I was in Aiken for business. Tow co-workers and I sampled several of their beers, had dinner and played a few games of pool. The selection of beers available that evening included: Thoroughbred Red; West Coast Pale Ale; Blonde; Oatmeal Stout; Belgian Saison and English IPA. Additionally the bar had several national and import beers in bottles. The food was decent for a bar and reasonably priced. The service was passable and the atmosphere was enjoyable.

dnichols, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of MSchae1017
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

While driving down I-20 on my way to Columbia. I decided to take a little six mile detour off of the interstate to stop at Aiken Brewing Company. The brewpub lies on Laurens St. in the middle of historic downtown Aiken. Even though the workday was not over, many locals were already out to enjoy the beautiful weather and enjoy a pint or two from the outdoor seating. As I made my way inside, I noticed the brewing equipment located in two glass walled rooms to either side of the front door, visible from the street. The bar was located to the right with some seating around, and to the left and back, there was more seating for sitting down and having a meal. On the left side of the bar was a huge chalkboard listing the currently available beers and when they were tapped. This was one of the most impressive pieces of the pub. Few southeast brewpubs can boast quite as many of their own beers on tap. At the time of my visit nine beers were on tap: Oatmeal Irish Stout, Powder House Porter, English IPA, Jenny's Cream Ale, Hefeweizen, Honey Wheat, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, and two previous GABF Medal winners, Thoroughbred Red and Randy's Grand Cru. Overall, the pub had a fantastic atmosphere, that really made you want to get comfortable and have few pints.

I walked up to the bar and asked for Randy. Unfortunately, he was not in at the time, so I was redirected to one of their other brewers, Herb. We talked for a good while and he told me all about the brewpub. Randy used to work at the nearby Savannah River Site, but in 1997 decided to make a profession out of brewing. Since Aiken is a small town of not quite 30,000, and in South Carolina, Randy knew that the only way to make this place successful was to educate the locals about different beer styles beyond the typical macro lagers. Herb joined the crew in 2005 after retiring from the Navy. He takes care of packaging the beer in the kegs, and works the room, suggesting beers to people. I asked him how the recent popping the cap has changed what they make. One of the most recent beers was the Wee Heavy at 8.7% ABV. Herb was so excited about this that he gave me a little sample. It had wonderful sweet and caramel notes and significant warming presence from the alcohol. It also really woke up as it warmed. We continued to talk beer and he let me taste a refreshing Hefeweizen with nice clove and bannana hints, an easy drinking, very smooth, and roasty Oatmeal Irish Stout, and their GABF Gold Medal winnign Thoroughbred Red, which I took a growler home of.

The Thoroughbred Red is very unique and tasty Irish Red Ale. It pours a bright amber with a frothy white head that hold and laces well. The smell is full of toasted, caramel, and honey malts complimented by slight amounts of citrus hops. The taste is sweet up front highlighting the malt characteristics, but finishes with the hops, both English and American. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and perfect for sessioning. Overall, this is an amazing Irish Red Ale. A Session beer unlike any other that has enough character to keep you drinking.

My Aiken Brewing Company experience was fantastic, it is certainly worth the trip, and I hope to get some food next time I am there as well.

MSchae1017, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of Beerguy55
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%

I had wanted to check this place out for a while and finally was able to get down there back in February.

This is a real bar. A real bar is nicely populated with warm, friendly people on a weekday mid-afternoon. A real bar has a proud wooden counter that has that great patina that only comes from years of elbow-rubbing. A real bar has a bartender who knows his product, knows his customers, and is older that your children. The bar area is small but that promotes good conversation. I don't know (or care!) what was going on in the dining area. The beers were excellent across the board. The beer offerings are chalked up on a board that gives you a lot of information including a brief description, the ABV, and the tap date. The bartender was very helpful and offered samples to help me decide. Of course, I decided to have a pint of almost everything! The Thoroughbred Red is the house go-to beer and it was very quaffable. Randy's Grand Cru was a pleasant surprise. I generally don't do spiced beers but made an exception to try this one. The spices in this beer really make for a fine drinking experience. It is sweet but not cloying and the citrus adds a nice touch. I would have this again. The Wee Heavy was a good example of the style but at 8.5% ABV is not a session beer.

As an added plus, I was able to spend a good deal of time talking with Randy and the other brewers and really appreciated their knowledge and enthusiasm for their products. The brewery is a 7 bbl system and the stock rotates through fairly quickly.

As for food, I had a salad topped with steak strips and blue cheese topped with a very nice feta vinaigrette. It was tasty but could have used something besides iceberg lettuce as the base.

Anyway, I had a great time that afternoon and I will be back.

Beerguy55, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of MTD1963
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%

Moved to the Aiken area a few months ago(originally from Boston)and in looking for a new local place it was recommended to me from a few locals and i was impressed overall, its a medium sized place with a small bar and seperate dining area and tables out front on the sidewalk when the good weather prevails.

The employee's are excellent and are very service orienated the menu is small with excellent choice's I persoanlly had the the Chicken salad which was stuffed with grapes and pecans and served on a light rye it was truly an amazing Sandwich.

There Beers which are brewed right on the premises are exceptional,served in a frosted mug the colors,aromas, and above all the taste are truly exceptional i must say its a great place to visit for those who love small breweries

MTD1963, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

We stopped in here on a business trip recently so that we could watch the notre dame game (watch them get destroyed, as it turned out). A small pub, split into a little area with tables for having a meal and then a bar with some tall bar type tables for drinking and watching TV. When we went in, they had 4 beers on tap...thoroughbred red, an oatmeal stout, a pilsner, and a double IPA. $2 a pint, expect for the DIPA, which was $4 (prices were listed higher but these were the prices we paid so maybe there was a deal). All beers served in frosted glasses. We tried all of them and the only one really worth drinking was the oatmeal stout. All tasted kind of extract/homebrew-like...not bad, but not anything great. The DIPA tasted more lilke a dopplebock, the pisner was too old, but ok, whatever...the bar was nice, and full of good people having a good time. And you know what else?...lots of people were constantly coming in filling up their growlers, so the locals like it and thats really what matters so more power to them. Had some good wings there too by the way so overall it was positive and i have to recommend it.

aforbes10, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev 0%

Finally, made it to the Aiken Brewing Company and was very happy to have made the trip. They set an example for the other South Carolina brewpubs to follow with respect to making flavorful beers given the state's abv laws.

The pub is an an old renovated building with a number of tables out front - perfect place to spend a Spring afternoon. Inside, the bar scene was packed, even at 4:00 in the afternoon on a Monday. I struck up a conversation with an Assistant Brewer and learned a bit about their brews.

They have about 10 beers on tap - a number of brewpub standbys as well as some more interesting rotationals like a Maple Coconut Stout.

The food menu is pretty standard brewpub fare. Burgers and sandwiches and lots of fried beer batter dishes.

If and when SC pops the cap, I would like to see the brews that come out of this place.

brentk56, Mar 27, 2007
Aiken Brewing Company in Aiken, SC
90 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.