When it comes to cool new places to eat and drink in Charleston, it’s not all about the historic district anymore. Take Edmund’s Oast, for instance. Located in a former industrial neighborhood called Half Mile North (after its distance outside the historic core), this new brewpub is packing in the crowds.
At Edmund's Oast, narrowing down the beer choices can be a challenge — Photo courtesy of Chrys Rynearson / Edmund's Oast
The reasons are clear. First, there’s the on-site brewery. At the head of the cask here is brewer Cameron Read, the same guy who opened the Greenville Beer Exchange.
Next there’s the beer program, which changes regularly, but incorporates more than 45 beers on tap at any one time. The beers range from the house-brewed Breakfast at the Still to Lagunitas IPA from Petaluma, Calif. There are also beers imported from Germany, Canada, Belgium and Italy, to name a few.
Behind the 38-foot-long bar made of recycled cypress wood stretches the Beer Board, with antique Cypress tap handles from which to pour the 48 draft selections. It’s a beer geek’s paradise.
Then there’s the small but delicious menu of charcuterie, cured in-house by Chef Andy Henderson, the former sous-chef at FIG. You can see the meats hanging to cure through a window above the open kitchen.
Choose either "fresh” or “cured” platters, the former including the likes of salami, prosciutto and mortadella. The latter might lay out a board of exotic pâtés, smoked trout rillettes and other examples of nose-to-tail butchery, along with house-made pickles and other accompaniments.
Beyond charcuterie and bar snacks (Think fried heirloom carrots and house-made Gin Joint-style jerky.), the menu also offers more filling fare such as a roasted red American snapper, a grilled New York strip streak and a bacon and egg cheeseburger.
And finally, there's the cocktail program. A standout is the Red Wedding, an “evolving” cocktail made with Elijah Craig 12-year-old bourbon and bitter Averna. The evolving ingredient takes the form of a large ice cube made from hibiscus tea, ginger ale, thyme and orange-blossom water. The drink, strong at first, mellows and develops different flavor nuances as the ice cube melts into the bourbon.
The space is convivial and expansive, with seating inside under the vaulted, beamed ceiling and outside on the tree-shaded courtyard. The name? It pays homage to English-born brewer Edmund Egan, who was one of the earliest people to produce beer in Charleston in the 1760s. Oast is an antiquated European term for the kiln used to dry hops.
“We wanted to create a place that we would want to go to,” says Co-Owner Scott Shor. “A place that provides a relaxed, easy going environment, but one that was serious about good beer and beverages and had amazing, quality food.”