For Edmund’s Oast brewpub in Charleston, South Carolina, supporting an annual beer festival is a way to generate traffic throughout an entire weekend. This year’s Brewvival, held on February 25, marked the eighth year of the event and is credited with bringing more than 1,000 beer enthusiasts into the city. A joint venture between COAST Brewing and Edmund’s Oast, Brewvival is hosted in the field across from the brewing company, but the entire weekend creates one of the busiest times of the year for the brewpub.
“Brewvival usually brings in a great crowd of beer enthusiasts to town, and Edmund’s Oast certainly gets busy around the event,” says Brandon Plyler, beer buyer and beer educator at Edmund’s Oast. “This year, as in years past, we set up a multi-brewery tap takeover in The Bower bar area. This event features beers that are either new to the market or generally not available anywhere. The Friday night before Brewvival is one of our busiest nights of the year.”
While Brewvival offers attendees rare beers from acclaimed breweries across the country, pre-festival events at Edmund’s Oast gave festival attendees a sneak peek of offerings—such as beers from Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens, Georgia, and Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, which are usually limited to consumers in their respective communities.
“As far as brewery selection goes, we are shooting for items and participants that most festival goers wouldn’t encounter on a normal basis. This could be a brewery that is new to the state or an exciting brewery pulling out the weirdest, coolest items they may have,” Plyler says. “Frankly, we invite breweries that we are jazzed about, and that seems to work very well for the festival.”
The boost in traffic also allows the brewpub’s own food and beer menu to shine, giving guests a taste of Charleston cuisine. For guests who wanted to continue imbibing the Sunday after Brewvival, Edmund’s Oast partnered with Jester King to host a ticketed four-course brunch, all paired with some of the breweries “signature beers and elusive rarities,” like its sour raspberry ale Atrial Rubicite.
“The cuisine at Edmund’s Oast is greatly influenced by the beer we serve and the people who craft and serve it. It’s quite easier to pair food with beer than other beverages, and a free and uninhibited food menu plays nicely with the over 40 beers we have on tap,” says Reid Henninger, executive chef at Edmund’s Oast. “While our culinary creations are rarely, if ever, developed for pairings with beer, or vice versa, there is a natural harmony between a menu that is fun, approachable, and straightforward and what happens to be pouring through the taps that evening.”