In 2011, Rob Davis took a small house on Ben Sawyer Boulevard and turned it into a casual gathering space for beer lovers. House of Brews was an immediate hit east of the Cooper.
The laid-back atmosphere attracts all kinds from town councilmembers to construction workers. "It's a great mix of people," says Davis. "And we don't have TVs, so you're not going to get lost in a screen. You have an opportunity to chat with someone you might not run across anywhere else."
With a curated focus on craft beer plus coffee and tea, Davis says HOB provides a place for people to try new brews, or just swing by for a cup of coffee and free wi-fi.
When it comes to the craft beer scene, though, Davis thought he was late to the game. "There were four breweries when we opened. I think there's around 30 now."
As craft beer fans continue to grow in number, Davis and Chris Filan, a longtime bartender at the original HOB, think there's plenty of room for another location, this time on Highway 61 in West Ashley, where the population continues to grow.
For Filan, who grew up in Shadowmoss and is a partner in the new HOB, it's a perfect location because there aren't many places to go on that side of Sam Rittenberg. "The closest wine place is Avondale," he says. "Except for the chain restaurants."
The new HOB will cater to wine drinkers with two wines on tap. The beer taps will be limited, too. "No more than 12," says Davis. "Some places can go overboard with too many taps. A lower number allows us to keep new beers in rotation and keep them fresh."
Renovation of the former car lot is under way, and the partners have big plans for a dog- and child-friendly backyard. "We'll have outdoor games under the big live oak tree," says Filan. Food trucks will be scheduled on a regular rotation.
They originally intended to be open in time for Charleston Beer Week, but they've been delayed by permitting. "Wish I had a date to give you," says Davis. "Now, it's just ASAP."
Keep an eye out for House of Brews to open this fall at 2376 Ashley River Road.