Charleston finally has its own little brew pub, much to the delight of brew connoisseurs in the area. Ann Saville of Taylor Books opened the English pub, Charleston Brewing Company, and she actually told me about it a little over a year ago when I was working on a story about successful businesswomen on Capitol Street. She was very excited, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since.
It opened up recently at the corner of Summers and Quarrier streets, and Daily Mail reporter Paul Fallon has followed its progress for some time. My friend Karie and I decided to check it out. We arrived around 9 p.m., and since they close around 10 p.m., we thought we'd be good to go. The hostess sat us and supplied us with menus.
We looked over them briefly, but before our waitress even took our drink orders, someone from the kitchen came out and asked if we'd ordered. We said no, and they informed us the kitchen was closing, but if we knew what we wanted, they would try to put our order in. I scanned the menu again and decided on fish and chips, which came with smashed peas.
Soon, our waitress came over and told us the kitchen was closed. We told her another man just took our order. So, she left to make sure our order did indeed get in. It did, luckily. So, take note - the kitchen closes an hour before the bar does. She took our drink orders - I initially wanted the sampler so I could try each one, but she told me I wouldn't want that because only one beer was left. So, she told us what was left, and I opted for the Quarrier Wheat.
The main meal wasn't bad. The fried fish was so hot, it was a little mushy on places where it didn't have a chance to set up properly. The fish itself was great, though. I was expecting a sweet, tangy tartar sauce, but this was a thinner, more tart flavor. It wasn't bad, but I really would've liked to have that more mayo-based sauce. The steak fries were good - salty and flavorful.
The smashed peas were ... well, smashed peas. If I had time, I would've looked into substituting something. I don't mind peas, but this kind of thick pea paste isn't the most appetizing. Maybe with a slab of butter and garlic, it would've been more manageable. Apparently I just want all my food's to amplify the fat content.
However. There is value in having an English restaurant as well as a brew pub. Definitely an asset to the community, and there are so many other items I want to try - bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, and the Scotch eggs!
The environment here is really cool. I love the laidback, relaxing vibe. Next time, I'll get there a little earlier so that the experience isn't rushed.