Wish you were Beer: Low Tide Brewing

Wish you were Beer:  A semi-regular posting on charleston’s hoppin’ craft brewery scene

This week’s feature: Low Tide Brewing on John’s Island.

Low Tide Brewing
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

20 years ago, John’s Island had one stop light. It was the way to get to Kiawah but was overlooked as a destination in its own rite. Now, John’s Island is on the up and up with real estate development through the roof, and a restaurant scene that draws crowds away from the famous eateries of downtown Charleston. This rural island is quickly becoming home to many must-do attractions. Recently, we went to one of our favorite craft breweries, Low Tide, for a lowcountry oyster roast and the opportunity to talk to the owner, Mike, about what makes this destination so special.

Charleston’s love for oysters is as deep rooted as our live oaks and southern hospitality. Anyone lucky enough to visit our lovely city during the “off season” is in fact visiting during peak oyster season.  Low Tide Brewery takes advantage of this, hosting a monthly, all-you-can-eat oyster roast with live music and unique beer pairings at an unbeatable price of $15 – $20 per ticket. The time tested rule with oysters: they’re best to eat during months that contain the letter “r.” This means September through April, you’d be hard pressed to visit during a weekend when there isn’t a lowcountry oyster roast somewhere. While Low Tide is not the sole venue to catch a great oyster roast, it stands out from the crowd as a guaranteed good time with great drinks.

Low Tide Brewing Oyster Roast
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

Lowtide is unique in how their beer connects and exemplifies the things that make Charleston great: the people, the food and the environment. From the conception of the brewery’s name (which came to Mike while kayaking in Charleston’s tidal rivers), to the everybody’s-a-local atmosphere in the taproom, to the packed events and sought-after food trucks, the connection to this great city is enhanced by their beer. It’s a can’t miss destination for locals and newcomers alike.

Reflecting the mix between classic styles and fusions of flavors that the Charleston culinary scene is known for, Low Tide has produced over 120 distinct beers since opening. Mike gives a lot of credit to the “liquid engineer” of the operation, his partner, Andy. After accepting resumes from across the globe, Andy stood out from the crowd. Receiving a 4 year degree in fermentation, brewing was never a hobby to him but a profession. Because of Andy’s expertise, he is no one beer pony and a key ingredient in Low Tide’s success.

Low Tide Brewing Beer
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

While other breweries might have one or two experimental beers that are good or focus all their attention on one variety of beer, Low Tide strives to provide a range in styles and ace every one. They are constantly rotating and releasing new brews with names like “Gingerly Squeeze My Lemons”, “Coconut Pete’s Chai Ale”, and “Hush Your Mouth Triple IPA”, but typically only 12 or so are on draught in the taproom at a time. This keeps things fresh in the tap room, there is always something new to try.

Andy’s prowess allows Mike’s vision for Low Tide to become a reality through their beer. The “Coastal Harvest Gose” was a great example of the ingenuity going on behind the scenes. A gose is a sour beer originating in Gosland, Germany dating back 1000 years. While the original gose historically owes its unique flavor profile to the River Gose’s high saline content, Low Tide used “sea pickles” harvested by Mike from some of Charleston’s salt marshes to emulate the salty element of the classic. The beer was a unique twist on the classic and emphasized Low Tide’s ties to Charleston’s environment.

Low Tide Brewing Beers
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

While there has been talk about future plans for bottling, currently, you can only get their beer at the brewery itself or at restaurants lucky enough to have it on tap. It isn’t particularly rare to find them on tap at restaurants featuring craft brew selections because they ship kegs statewide. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Charleston that has them on tap we would recommend trying Bohemian Bull, Bay Street Biergarten, or Loggerheads. There are even some restaurants around Charleston that are lucky enough to have their exclusive, signature brew created by Lowtide as a compliment to their menu and atmosphere. So, only at Triangle Char & Bar can you find the delectable “Triangle Char & Bar Welcome Wheat” and out on Kiawah, the infamous Ocean Course Clubhouse features its very own “Ocean Course Ale”.

Mike’s original concept was to create a brewery to cater to Charleston’s rich restaurant scene focusing on creating those signature brews and the taproom was meant to be more of a bonus. Less than two years after opening the doors of the large converted warehouse that calls home, there are times when Mike wishes that there was more space. As the brewery evolved, it gained a dedicated following of both locals and visitors alike. The extent of their popularity is most astounding during their events, like their Oyster Roasts, when the whole front lot is closed off to allow for the crowds overflowing out of the taproom.

Apart from great beer and great times, the crowds grow because everyone is welcome here. No matter where you’re from you are treated like a local. Mike mentioned how important it is to him to make everyone feel comfortable, and it shows. When scanning the crowd at the oyster roast there wasn’t an obvious archetype for the typical low tide patron. Young, old, a number of families with their kids, people who have lived on John’s Island their whole life, others visiting for the first time, and (in the Charleston way) everyone brings their dogs. While Mike admits that he never thought that he would be so happy to have dogs and kids running around his brewery, it means a lot to him to see that there is such a sense of community that has developed around the taproom and their brews.

Low Tide Brewing
Photo: Facebook User @Lowtidebrewing

Take a trip out to John’s Island and stop by Low Tide Brewing next time you’re in town. You can follow them and check out all their upcoming events on their facebook page and find more information about them on their website. Hope to see you there!

Feature Friday: Charleston Oceanfront Villas

Feature Friday highlights at least one spectacular property each week! This week’s feature Friday highlights the Charleston Oceanfront Villas on Folly Beach.

Charleston Oceanfront Villas Beach
All photos in this post are from Donnie Whitaker

The Charleston Oceanfront Villas is located at 201 W Arctic, Ave, Folly Beach. The Charleston Oceanfront Villas are two blocks from Center St, two blocks from the Folly Fishing Pier, and, as the name suggests, right on the beach!

The Charleston Oceanfront Villas is a community of condos ranging from 3-4 bedrooms but not all condos are rentals, there are full-time residents in the building. The community is gated with no assigned parking and the option for covered or open-air parking. There are two elevators and two pools in the community. The pools are seasonal and are the place to be in the summer! Head down to the pool early to snag your lounge chairs and set yourself up for a day of relaxation. 

Charleston Oceanfront Villas Pool

The proximity to Center St. makes these condos ideal for those who simply want to park their car and walk everywhere on vacation! In the mood for some seafood? Great! Walk across the street to Loggerhead’s for local oysters and music on the deck. If you prefer oceanfront dining then walk over to Blu for a spectacular dining experience.

You can easily go fishing for the afternoon on the Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Take the short two block walk to the pier, grab your fishing license from the pier store, then head out for an afternoon of sun and fun! After a long afternoon fishing, end the day with a cocktail and an appetizer at Pier 101.

Charleston Oceanfront Villas Sunset

Every condo at the Charleston Oceanfront Villas has an oceanfront view but the exact view depends on the condo’s location in the building. Some villas have better views of the pier while others have a better view of the sunsets. All condos have an oceanfront balcony or sundeck, the perfect place for your morning coffee.

The villas range in prices, just as they range in the number of bedrooms and decor. The get the best price available, always book directly through Charleston Coast Vacations. We are local and can provide answers to all your questions about the condos or about the area. In addition, we love Folly and the Charleston Coast, let us help make your vacation a breeze.

We invite you to make yourself at home at the Charleston Oceanfront Villas. Sit back, relax, and slow down. It’s Folly, y’all!

Dewees Island Frequently Asked Questions

Today, we cover Dewees Island Frequently Asked Questions! 

Dewees Water Tower
Photo: Donnie Whitaker

What time is check-in? Check-out?

Check-in and check-out times are house specific. Please refer to the “Important Check-In Information” email that we send to you 15 days prior to your check-in date.

Occasionally, early check-in is available for a $100 fee. To arrange early check-in, please call or email us at least 72 hours prior to check in.

Do we have to bring all our groceries on the ferry?

Yes, but you don’t have to bring them all on the same run you are arriving on. Some families choose to have part of their group take all the luggage on the check-in ferry, while the rest of the group then shops and returns on a later boat. It is entirely up to you. We will assist the first group of arriving renters in each home; subsequent arrivals need to be greeted by your party.

Watch this video for helpful tips on how to pack for Dewees Island!

Does everyone in my party need to check in at the same time?

No, but you are responsible for picking up and orienting guests who arrive on later ferries.

Where should we stand while waiting for the ferry?

Please wait at the top of the ferry waiting area, and not on the dock. Be aware that your luggage carts should be under the awning and out of the way in order for passengers to disembark (think airplane).

Do I wheel my own cart down onto the dock?

Unless the mate tells you otherwise, able-bodied passengers should wheel their own carts on the dock to the loading zone of the ferry. The mate will help you get the cart onto the boat.

What’s with the Ferry Passes?

Dewees Island is a private island and access is provided via a ferry system. Ferry passes allow you to come and go as you please. It is a $53 pass, per person, for the week. Day visitors pay $27 (good up to 2 nights).

We will have called in all the names for the ferry. Board the ferry and find a seat. You will sign in on a clipboard once the boat pulls away. Sign in for Lot 200 – that’s the code for Charleston Coast Vacations! Please send names of all members of your party by 30 days prior to check in. You may add names here. Name additions within 72 hours of your check-in date are not guaranteed.

Ferry charges of $53/person for the weekly pass will be charged prior to your arrival. For more information regarding ferry fees, refer to your signed rental agreement.

What are the Ferry hours?

The Dewees ferry runs hourly. The first run to the island on weekdays is 6:00 am and off the island is 6:30 am (there is no 1:00 pm run to and from the island on weekdays). Saturday, the first run to the island is 7:00 am and off the island is 7:30 am. On Sunday, the first run to the island is 8:00 am and off the island is 8:30 am. The last run to the island is 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, it runs until 12 midnight. To save money and fuel, the ferry does not run is there are no riders.

Ferry runs off the island are “on demand” on the half hour. Be sure to call the ferry at 843-568-3990 at least 45 minutes before you want to leave the island. For example, if you want to go off the island at 10:30 a.m., call the ferry BETWEEN 9:30 and 9:50 am and say, “I’d like to be picked up on the 10:30 am ferry.” Tell them how many people, carts of luggage, dogs, and wheelchairs/strollers you may be bringing. The captain will then decide which boat to bring. If you have not called for a reservation, then you may have to wait until the next ferry. Here is a link to the latest video about catching the ferry.

dewees island ferry schedule (1)

 

Can we ride on the top deck?

Yes! Be sure pets are leashed and kids are supervised. Hang onto your hat and have fun watching for dolphins, turtles, and manatees!

What if we are late catching the ferry?

The ferry leaves Isle of Palms on the hour and departs from Dewees Island on the half hour (as long as you’ve called to reserve). You are late if you arrive one minute after your scheduled ferry check-in time. It takes a few minutes to unload your cart and get your gear onto the boat. Please don’t stress out the captain by arriving at the parking lot exactly at departure and expect to get on the ferry. It is his job to depart on time. If you miss your scheduled ferry, Charleston Coast Vacations cannot guarantee there will be room for your party on the next ferry. Bottom line: if you’re not early, you’re late.

How much bottled water will I need for the week?

NONE! Please don’t stress out our resources by bringing bottled water to the island. The water on the island is perfectly safe to drink, and there is a great tasting R-O filtration system at the landings building. If you must, bring your own 3-gallon bottle– and leave it behind for the next guest to refill. Cases of individual bottles of water should not be on the ferry: you will be subject to a fine.

Speaking of water, can I take a 20-minute outdoor shower on Dewees Island?

Water is EXTREMELY expensive on Dewees! I know you’re on vacation, but being on an island with its own recycled water makes it unique. Only shower when needed and make it quick. Only do laundry when you have a full load. Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. Make sure all outdoor hoses, showers, and fish cleaning sinks are OFF. If you notice a running toilet, shut that toilet off and email vacations@dunesproperties.com or call us at (888) 250-8730  IMMEDIATELY. If the owner is billed for excessive use of water, it’s possible that the bill will be passed along to you, the guest. So please be mindful of water usage!

How should I pack?

Please pack lightly. Most homes have basic beach gear and chairs. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions. You can use one or two of the rolling hand carts at the Dewees Marina to load your groceries and other belongings onto the ferry. Handcarts are limited to two per property so please be mindful. If you arrive at a crowded time, your luggage may need to wait for the next boat, or you can choose to hand carry your luggage onto the ferry. Click here for more packing tips.

Where do we go when we get off the Ferry at Dewees?

Once you land on Dewees, roll your luggage cart up the ramp and out of the way. Find your assigned golf cart and drive it up towards the front of the dock. Load your luggage onto your golf cart and return the luggage cart to the top of the ferry landing. Use your map to locate your lot number. If you will be arriving after the sun has set, please bring a flashlight to see the lot numbers.

Will we have house keys?

You will receive house keys in your check-in packet. Two keys are provided per property.

Where do we find the golf carts?

When the ferry arrives at Dewees, the mate will take your handcart off the ferry. You then roll it to the top, past the covered dock and out towards the golf carts. Leave the handcart at the golf cart loading and unloading area. Golf carts will be labeled with the Lot Number of the property you are renting or the reservation holders last name. They are labeled on the front and driver side. The golf carts are all individually owned. Please only drive the carts designated for your home.

BE SURE to plug the golf carts in overnight, every night. When plugged in correctly, the meter on the charger will move to the right and show how many amps are being used. If the meter doesn’t move, try plugging in the cart again. It can be a little tricky when you first learn to plug in the carts as it sometimes takes force to get the plug completely in.

Renters must have a valid driver’s license. All drivers must have a license on them while behind the wheel. Absolutely NO children behind the wheel of a golf cart. It is a motor vehicle and you are subject to a fine.

Dewees Golf Carts Frequently Asked Questions
Dewees Island Golf Carts. Photo: Donnie Whitaker

Does the house come with linens?

The house comes with sheets and towels. Clean towels and sheets will be stacked on the beds when you arrive.

What grocery items does the house have?

Each property has two rolls toilet paper in each bathroom, one roll of paper towels in the kitchen, a kitchen towel, dish sponge or brush, hand soap in the bathrooms, two dishwasher tablets, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, a standard coffee maker, coffee filters, and a few garbage bags.

These items are meant as a starter supply to get your vacation off on the right foot. If you are staying longer than a few nights, you will likely need to provide your own supplies to last the duration of your trip.

Does the property have wifi?

Every private house offers internet access through AT&T. As the island is remote, this service can be intermittent at times and should not be expected as an amenity.

Can I have a bonfire on the beach?

No. Bonfires, fireworks, and firearms are strictly prohibited on Dewees Island. If these items are found, you will be fined and asked to leave the island.

Does the property have a grill?

Propane grills are accessible for every property. Houses offer private grills and suites share a community grill. Public Safety refills propane as needed. They can be reached at 843 296 4952.

Where do I put my garbage and recycling?

Please separate and deliver all garbage and recycling to the on-island facility. Please reference your map for the garbage and recycling location.

Will my cell phone work on Dewees Island?

Cellular service is intermittent on the island, however, all private homes offer a phone for local calls.

Are there restaurants on Dewees Island?

Dewees Island does not offer restaurants or stores, however, excellent options are available on the Isle of Palms and surrounding areas.

Dewees Island Bike Ride Things To Do
The beach is great for biking! Photo: Judy Fairchild

What is there to do on Dewees Island?

Our Environmental and Social Committees have scheduled a wide variety of programs on the island, particularly in the summer. If there are events happening during your stay, they will be posted on a sign hanging from the Dewees dock as well as our Facebook page.

Check out our Sea Turtle conservation program. Every day a volunteer walks the island to look for turtle tracks and report to the island’s turtle conservation team. If you are interested participating in this, please call Judy at 843-259-1713. Here is a video about walking with the turtle team.

FISHING: Click here for specific tips. Anyone fishing on Dewees is required to have to a South Carolina Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anyone recreationally harvesting fish, oysters, clams, shrimp, and crab. For additional details, please see SC DNR’s website. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or by telephone, 1-866-714-3611, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or by visiting fishing gear stores.Fishing gear and bait can be purchased at Haddrells Point Tackle, Charleston Angler, or the Isle of Palms Marina Store.

If you are not sure what you are doing and would like to rent a kit for a crabbing or fishing lesson, let us know and we can schedule that for you. Or you can hire a captain for a private inshore fishing lesson. Captains Ben Floyd and Chad Ferris will both pick you up at the Dewees Dock for a day of fishing.

Dewees Island
Photo: Donnie Whitaker

Here is a link to our island map. Print a copy and bring it along!

As always, if you haven’t liked us on Facebook or followed us on Instagram, be sure to do so! And don’t forget to download the Dewees Island app for the most up to date information.