Aiken Brewing Company
Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
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).
07-18-2008 02:35:11 | More by Garzan72
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.
07-15-2008 17:02:21 | More by dnichols
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.
03-25-2008 17:29:09 | More by MSchae1017
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.
03-10-2008 16:33:58 | More by Beerguy55
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
01-29-2008 17:21:55 | More by MTD1963
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.
09-03-2007 02:59:29 | More by aforbes10
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.
03-27-2007 02:11:47 | More by brentk56
Aiken Brewing Company in Aiken, SC
90 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.