Hilton Head Brewing Company

Hilton Head Brewing CompanyHilton Head Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar

1 Cardinal Rd #13
Hilton Head, South Carolina, 29926
United States

(843) 715-3251 | map

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 30
Photo of Mantooth
2.85/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.75

Stopped by on a recent trip to the island. It's a pretty average looking joint, the beer was okay - the food was okay - the service was okay - you get the point. Right beside it is The Lodge - a far superior beer bar, though they don't brew their own.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.25/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 4 | selection: 1 | food: 4.5

The wife and I stopped here last night because it was a perfect compromise; she knew if like to stop by a brewery and she looked up the menu and saw they had sweet potato French fries. It was win-win.

Well... The best thing about this place was the sweet patato French fries. In fact, the SPFF were world class. Probably the best we have ever had.

Casey the bartender was very friendly and seemed like she really has made a respectable effort to learn about the beers.
The place looked like and crappy dive bar in a college campus except for the copper tanks that were just there. No attempt was made to showcase them or even incoorprate them into the layout and flow of the restaraunt... It's as if the tanks/brewing equipment is seen as a nuisance.

$3 for 2 oz pours of all 5 of their own beers in a flight-- very good price. Very crappy beer.
The beers they had available were:
Summer ale - possibly the best of the bunch. At least there was nothing offensive about it.

German Wheat - not too bad. I'd be proud of this if it were my homebrew.

Chocolate Porter - really? This was an atrocity to all things chocolate, and all things Porter for that matter.

Amber - based on presentation on tap handle I assumed amber ale... Nope. Amber lager. Wasn't bad. Possibly 2nd best.

IPA - this was beyond lousy. No hop aroma or flavor. Watery and thin.

All the beers were watery and thin. None had much flavor. I'm amazed this place can stay open when The Lodge is 15 feet from their door!

If you come to the island, stop here just so you see I'm not exaggerating-- then walk next door to The Lodge.

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Photo of DCon
2.35/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5

Came here merely to enjoy local beer from a Brewing Company I haven't visited yet. Came with two other friends while staying in the Sea Pines Resort.

Walk right in and you have yourself a BrewPub with kettles on your left and a restaurant all around it. We nestled in at the bar where there was a live, acoustic set going on right behind us. Good vibe.

Almost tapping our beers into chilled glassware, I immediately found myself walking down to the other side of the bar to stop our bartender. She didn't even understand why I wanted non-chilled glasses but this was okay.

Our bartender couldn't promote any of their beers, so we all went with the Shipyard IPA. Average IPA but happened to overhear a conversation I wasn't too happy about. A customer was talking about the styles he enjoyed (amber ales, pale ales, lagers, etc.) and when he asked what the tender would drink, she replied, "well, I'm not a big fan of our beers, but we do have Bud Light".
Wow... I think if the owner of the brewery overheard this too, he wouldn't only be disappointed but may have had other plans for this bartender. No longer working here!

Selection was good including 4-6 of their styles (can't remember) but none of the others interested me.

I've heard they have good food here so hope to be back but was a bit disappointed in the service and how the bartender handled her opinion of Hilton Head Brewing Co's brews. She should have simply let him try them all for himself instead of her negativity.

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Photo of theshoe316
2.78/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3.5

Went here on vacation on 6/8/12. Small facility, not many options to choose from. Two of their home brews were still brewing and i was unable to try. I did however try their Peach wheat beer which was not to impressive. The atmosphere was probability the most enjoyable due to the fact my wife and I sat out in the patio with some live entertainment. For the food I tried their wings (chipotle bbq) which was excellent, but if your looking for new beers to try, you can probably scratch this one off your list.

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Photo of gamera
2.11/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2

I first came to the HH Brewing Company roughly 10 years ago, when I first started drinking "better" beers. Remembering a good experience (and throwing caution to the BA reviews), I came back here mid-August, 2010.

The restaurant is fairly large, but it was completely dead and was extremely hot. Perhaps it picks up in the evening, but I suspect not. My wife and I sat at the bar.

They have only five beers on tap at any time (however they claim to brew many more, but are limited by the number of taps they have. This seems like a simple problem to fix if you're truly making quality beer that is profitable). I tried the IPA and my wife ordered the Raspberry Wheat. The IPA smelled great... but it tasted terrible. It was bitter, unbalanced, lacked any sort of nice hop flavor, and had virtually zero malt. Essentially, it was a bitter glass of water, but with a bad astringent / rotten fruit after taste.

The raspberry wheat beer, however, was actually quite good. Although I'm not a fruit beer drinker, I did enjoy the sips I took from my wife's pint. It was fairly reminiscent of a raspberry cider or possibly even a lambic.

One way to judge a micro-brew / brew pub is by looking at the list of other beers they serve. HH Brewing Company had a very extensive list of non-HH Brewing Company beers (however most of them are macro-brewed "craft" beers). Clearly even they lack confidence in their own abilities.

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Photo of PantherLightning
2.05/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3

Yikes. I only tried their IPA when I went for dinner, but it was pretty damn bad. Flavorless, and a bit....stagnant tasting. The bar tender poured it like he was trying to aerate wine or something, and virtually all the carbonation was gone when it got to me. I didn't venture to try any of their other beers, just stuck with Yeugnling after that as a cheap alternative.

I ordered a pizza, and the wrong one was given to me. When I told the waiter, he made it out like it was my fault. When the right food actually came, it was actually pretty good though.

So, if you are not looking to drink their brewed beer, and don't mind relaxing with friends through the service, their food is pretty good. However, if you want real beer and not something that I would put below Miller's entire lineup, go to The Lodge right next door. By far my favorite bar on the island.

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Photo of Jacksongvl
2.99/5  rDev +19.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5

I wouldn't say this place is as bad as some of the other reviewers, but it is not very impressive. The place is difficult to find and was empty at 1:00 PM. I did try their pale ale and it was OK, just average. Maybe at night this place picks up, but during the day, it is dead. There was very adequete staff, very helpful and eager to serve. The bartender actually gave me directions to another pub, 30 feet away, that did have some impressive reviews. I did not have any food, but local reviews show that it is decent at best. My advice, go next door to The Lodge.

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Photo of woodske1
2.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

This is an ok place to gab something to eat...however I would never drink a beer there. They have some of the worst beer I have ever had from a brewpub, and the critics agree with me. Its bad beer. The food is very barry...I say over half of it was fried, and the onion rings were pretty damn good.

The atmosphere was similar to a small sports bar. There were about 3-4 tvs around the bar and they were all sports.

The service was above average, but not exceptional by any means. If you want to grab a beer, stay away. If you want some bar food, feel free to stop in. I am sure most of the people that go here are out of towners.

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Photo of christmasg
1.54/5  rDev -38.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 2.5 | selection: 1

Beer Date Monday Dec 14, 2009...

My wife says "yes we've been to that place before; it was about 10 years ago"... Well I guess I must have wiped that late 90's bad-beer experience from my memory banks because I was stupid enough to go back for another one. I agree with the other reviewers that it is a hard to find place, but remember this is HHI and everything but the beach is hard to find. When we approached the front door the haze of a decade of good craft brew began to lift. After entering and seeing the GRUNDY serving tanks proudly displayed in the seating area behind the bar, the hairs on the back of my neck raised up as my taste buds tried to run for their collective lives.

As we do with any brew pub where we do not have house-favorites, we ordered a sampler so I could find that one (or more) jewels in HHBC's crown of offerings.

I honestly think this was the worst liquid substance that has been presented to me as beer since I made my first homebrew kit in 1983 using unboiled tap water and the yeast packet under the lid of the can of extract. The plthora of off-flavors is beyond written discription, I defer to the revious reviewer who did quite good in discribing the acetic-butyric-mercaptin-lactic-cheesy-stale-hops-vegetal-metallic-diacetyl-DMS-acetaldehide-fest of flavors bombarding my taste buds.

I'm willing to bet those grundy tanks have not been cleaned since I was here 10-years ago; that's what it would take to establish the micro-flora needed to create such a spectrum of off-flavors

This place is the worst brew-anything I have ever experienced. This place and others like it are a mockery to the craft-beer movement.

HHBC must be someone's tax shelter or money laundromat, because they ain't payin' the bills here by making & selling craft beer.

Scotty, beam me up there is no beer here.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.28/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2

Well, we ain't in Kansas anymore, Toto. Here, I stood out like the proverbial turd in a punch bowl. Have I ever mentioned just how much I enjoy being stared at as if I were a pile of doggy doo on the sole of someone's shoe? The only thing that our arrival lacked was the sound of a needle scratching across a record as everything came to a dead stop. Oof.

It sat in the back of the Hilton Head Plaza and the main entryway opened onto a game room with a couch and several video games to the left, the m.d.s. in the center with a DJ booth and logo item display attached to it, and the laminated octagonal bar to the right. Booths lined the front windows with a working fireplace in the right corner. A patio deck was outside to the far right. In the back left corner, they had a private VIP lounge with leather sofa.

Beers: Theirs is a hybrid system using a small mash tun and brewkettle in combination with extracts. The products are on the watery side, as you might expect, but they are trying. Probably not worth a special trip, but if you are in the area....

Island Light; Lighthouse Lager; IPA; Winter Ale; and Mocha Porter.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
1.69/5  rDev -32.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 1.5

After reading all of the negative reviews, I had to see if they were all a little hard on the place or spot on. Unfortunately for me and HHBC, the reviews are spot on.

This place really annoyed me. First of all, it was a bit hard to find because it was tucked in the back of the little shopping area with no signs to direct one where the place is. There was some nice outdoor seating and the inside looked pretty cool but mostly like a sportsbar.

Secondly, the bartender was so aloof and uninteresting it was bothersome.

Thirdly, the beer was horrible. I asked the bartender what the seasonal was and he said it was a brown ale. I gave it a try and it was worse than some of my bad homebrews. The beer was amber in color with a small, yellowish head. Aroma was very sour and green apple like. The flavor was green apples, dirty diapers, sour, astringent, bitter, and just bad. I drank about four sips and left. The bartender wasnt interested in offering me another selection so I paid and got the hell out there.

The selection was absolutely pedestrian and completely uninteresting. They had a Kolsch, a brown ale, an amber, a stout, and a wheat; how predictable. As mentioned, the brown ale was horrible so I would assume the rest are along the same lines. How this place is in business is WAAAY beyond me.

Another thing that was ridiculous, was that the growlers were $25 new, and refills were $13. So, in essence, they charge $12 for the glass. Absolutely unacceptable. I will never come back here again!

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Photo of thesyko56
2.24/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2

I visited HHBC around a month ago and I was very disappointed. Now I will have to admit that I have only been to HHBC one time in my life but they also say you only get one chance to make a first impression. The place was hard to find because it was located in the back of a group of bars called the triangle but that was not really a problem. The atmosphere was good and the bartender was friendly. The beer was awful. They only had 3 on tap at the time a light, porter, and an IPA. All three tasted, nearly, the exact same. In all three there was a strong metallic taste and it tasted like all three were brewed with juniper berries. Maybe I am off the mark about HHBC but I know that my visit was very unsatisfying. If you are in the area and want to visit a brewpub your best bet may be to make the 30 min drive to Moon River in Savannah.

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Photo of movingtrain
2.31/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

Was on the island for vacation for the first time and tried to seek out the beer spots around town. I had read about HHBC on BA prior to my visit, saw some average reviews, and decided to see what it was all about. Stopped in with my Dad to have a couple pints.

The place wasn't easy to find, but, after spending some days on the island, I learned that this wasn't uncommon. It's not that it is hidden, it's that Hilton Head seams to have standards around the island on how your business can be located/situated on the pristine landscape...I actually enjoyed this aspect.

When we walked in, the place was empty...it was around one in the afternoon, and it seemed the bartenders were catching up from the night before, stocking the bar, etc. We walked around a bit, checked out the brewing equipment, which seemed pretty basic...situated just behind the bar...just some small kettles. The bar wrapped around the center of the main room, and there were five or six taps for their own brew.

Once I got the bartender's attention, I asked to try the Mocha Porter. He gave me a sample in a tiny plastic shot cup. It looked good, dark, a decent head on on the small sample, but the taste did not match. It was metallic, off-tasting, and generally off. My Dad and I opted for two pints of the IPA.

We retreated to the back deck which overlooked a little lagoon, and set in to the IPAs. To our dismay, the IPA was around the same quality as the Porter I sampled. It was off, tasted metallic, and seemed like more of a beginner's homebrew than something that would come from a Brewing Company. I was not impressed at all. We didn't even finish our pints.

When we walked back in to return our still half-full glasses, I noticed the bartenders stocking the bar with Bud Lime and some other frilly beer drinks...which led me to believe that the Hilton Head Brewery bases most of it's revenue on the night party scene, and not much on the quality of their own brews. I kept wondering to myself if the brewmaster actually thought the beer was worthy of selling to the public, or if it was brewed as more of a novelty.

At any rate, I'm glad I checked it out, but was not impressed at all with the quality of the beer. I was much happier finding some six packs of the Palmetto Amber and Sweetwater IPA (which we can't get in Ohio), smoking a cigar, and sitting by the ocean. The brewery might have potential if they took their beers a little more seriously.

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Photo of glid02
2.88/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Went here during a Memorial Day vacation.

Atmosphere is good - as long as it's earlier than 7:00. I went in "The Triangle" the night before and it was as bad as Athens, GA (or any SEC town, save Nashville) on a gameday weekend. I went again the next day to try out the beers and only three other people were at the bar. Brewing equipment is in the back behind a wraparound bar in the center of the room. A game room, including fusbol sits to the left of the entrance and there are a decent amount of windows allowing for views in the back of the place. Not a bad place, but again, don't go there too late on a weekend.

Quality was alright. All glassware was room temperature and not logo'd, but the pours were lackluster with only a wispy layer on top when served to me.

Service was good. The guy was friendly enough, but he didn't know a ton about beer, calling the IPA hoppy when it was anything but.

Selection is alright. They had six different beers on-tap while I was there with a generic imported selection.

Food was not so great - I really think that's the first time I didn't finish a bowl of chili. It was basically tomato sauce with meat and beans.

Value is a bit overpriced, especially for what you're getting in return.

Overall I could've done without my $18 bar tab from this place as I enjoyed none of it. I wish I'd read the reviews more carefully and headed to Mellow Mushroom.

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Photo of badgerphil
2.05/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 2

We've been coming to this brewpub every spring since it opened a decade or so back. The quality of the brews has fluctuated over the years from almost average to awful and then back to almost average again. So...when we walked in the doors during happy hour on a Tuesday and saw only 3 other customers at the bar I immediately was a bit uneasy about our choice for dining this night.

My worst fears were confirmed when my wife and I both received our IPA's: they weren't bad....if it was a wheat beer. Somewhat yeasty and light--but no taste of hops whatever.
I then tried the porter....which tasted much more like a chocolate stout. Their blueberry wheat was...well, very weak, indeed--and not at all like a wheat.

Simply put, one of the worst selections I've come upon in my search for fine ales. Just plain awful!

So, if you're looking for fine ales on the island, head on over to the Mellow Mushroom where they have Racer 5 and Stone IPA on tap. You can't go wrong with those choices.

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Photo of Gavage
2.48/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3

This was located in the Sea Pines area in a strip mall around the traffic circle area. When walking in you see a stand with tee shirts and other gifts. We walked to the bar area which had a load of stools. Game area is in the back, and the brewing area is clearly visable from the bar.

When we asked what beers were available, we were told Mocca Porter, Raspberry Wheat and Summer Blonde were all that was available. It's July 4th weekend and this selection was as weak as a brewpub could have.

The beers were average at best, and the food was also not earth shattering but basic (and cheap) pub grub.

Very sad when looking for local beers you are offered a poor selection and they are unispired. I would not recommend this place for any beer hunters.

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Photo of jeonseh
2.68/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | food: 4

I went here with my family while spending a week in Hilton Head. On the whole, I could definitely tell that this place focused on its club night scene. When you first walked in, there is a large open area that I would say served as a dance floor with a bar in the center. The tables that are in there are around the edges. On the whole, it was darkly lite as well. I didn't really hear any music played playing and they had ESPN on the TVs.

As for the beer, they only had 2 out of the 5 of their own draft beers available. I tried the mocha porter and my father had the summer blonde. The porter was decent and so was the blonde. I want to comment that the blonde was in fact blonde so at least they have seemed to fix the color issue that some other reviewers had complained about. The waitress was young and a bit eager but have no real complaints. I didn't ask her about the beer since they had a flyer in the menu explaining what the beers were. All of the food came out rather quickly and tasted good. We order 3 pizzas and split them amongst the 9 of us. The pizza was New York style so it was big thin slices. I thought there menu was pretty large for a brewpub as they had pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, salads, soups and more. Nothing outstanding but at least a little more choice than some other brewpubs I have been too. On the whole, I would say that this place is worth going to if you need some place to go to dinner one night but I probably would not make a trip just for the beer. I would at least call in advance and ask how many and what beers were on tap.

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Photo of jgspears
1.95/5  rDev -22%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 2.5

My wife and I had a very average IPA which was the high point of the visit. It was hoppy but rather unflavorable. The table next to us was complaining about the root beer to the brewmaster who explained to them that it was an early attempt at root beer and he was not happy with it. I am not concerned that they would serve a low quality product and hope the customers would not notice. The food was not great and the service was poor. We pointed out a cock roach crawling around by our table to our waiter who promptly stepped on it. I only hope there were not more in the kitchen.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
3.13/5  rDev +25.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Where do I start? I read about this place on Beer Advocate, but had to really seek it out. No mention in any of the Hilton Head magazines or info guides. The website is very hard to find. The Beeradvocate link is wrong. It is HiltonHeadBrewpub.com. Until we called the number from the yellow pages, we were not even sure if it existed anymore.

It is located in a very cool spot. Off the main road, just outside one of the island plantations, there are about 4 or 5 bars all tucked together, alongside a stream. This entire place must get packed in the summer months.

The brewpub is nice inside, but certainly has a dark, clubby feel to it. There are a series of booths along the window. It does look like they serve food, but we didn't order anything.

Here is my take, from what I saw and what I gathered from the friendy and outgoing bartender. This is a "brewpub" in search of the identity. Newer owners bought a brewpub and kept it as such. But, they along with their website are pushing mixed drinks and the typical macro beers (like most other club'like spots).

They had on tap, a winter ale, winter wheat, IPA, porter, one or two others. Not bad. The 2 winter beers were actually pretty decent.

I mentioned to the bartender, as a brewpub, aside the club scene, they can make money by promoting the "brewpub" side of their establishment, advertising in Ale Street News, and others for example.

Their focus is not on their own beers. I wonder in six month or a year from now will they just drop that and put Bud and Miller on tap instead? I hope not. I do not really think the owners understand that being a brewpub is a unique thing...with some decent beers on tap, you can draw in a beer "geek" crowd in the day and still have your club DJ scene at night.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.6/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3

Didn't realize that this was on the site. We stopped in here over the summer while on vacation. I was initially excited after learning that there was a brewpub on the island, and we had a dd. I was hoping for some tasty microbrews, since all the other places we had been to had Bud cans and dudes singing the same songs on guitars.
The atmosphere reminded me of every other sports bar that college kids go to. Big beer signs on the walls, assorted other junk, underaged waitresses and hostesses feeling too important...

They only had one or two of there own beers on tap. I settled in with the IPA. It wasn't bad, but seemed watered down and muted. Besides that, they had the usual macro selection. Food was straight up pub grub, that took a while to get there.

On the good side, they seemed to handle loads of kids easily, but that is about it. Bring a cooler to HH with your own selections...

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Photo of jennie
1.9/5  rDev -24%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 1 | food: 3

On vacation in Hilton Head in mid-May, a week or so before the onslaught of tourist season. Came here for lunch one day, as it is touted as the only brew pub on the island, and dragged my whole family with me. Checked out the website first, which touted a selection of about six or seven different brews. When we got here I inquired where the beer menu was, and was told that they only had one beer on tap, a scotch ale, which I was then informed "tastes similar to a Newcastle." Whah? I said, "You call yourself a brew pub and you only have one beer?" to which the waiter replied, "Yeah, I get that all the time," leading me to believe this is the regular status quo. I have very much liked the scottish ales I've had, but didn't really want one with lunch in the middle of a hot afternoon to go with my pizza, but I ordered it anyway. Tasted like alcohol-spiked coffee/cough medicine. Blech. Pizza was okay, so not a total wash, but I was very disappointed. I'd be interested to hear from any one if this place gets better in the tourist season, but in May I was really disappointed with the experience.

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Hilton Head Brewing Company in Hilton Head, SC
3.45 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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