As The Post and Courier reported last week, libations from, say, North Charleston's Coast brewery have become healthy competition for more widely known domestic beers such as Bud Light. While the craft beer industry continues to grow, SweetWater Brewing Co. of Atlanta is cashing in on the burgeoning trend.

Owners Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney set out to create West Coast-style brews, known for aggressive full flavors, and distribute them in the Southeast. The beers are available in several cities, including Asheville, N.C. The company says it has seen financial growth of more than 37 percent in the last year.

SweetWater has begun peddling its brews in the Lowcountry. SweetWater's 420 ale is on tap at Poe's Tavern, Off the Hook, Mellow Mushroom and The Pour House. Six packs of SweetWater Blue and SweetWater IPA can be bought at local Harris Teeter and Whole Foods stores.

Despite its recent success, SweetWater intends to remain a regional brand. "Our beers are meant to be consumed when they're fresh" said Steve Farace, marketing director.

Stella Nova stretches

Stella Nova has expanded its 292 King St. boutique from 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet, taking ownership of the property that formerly was occupied by Elvita's Day Spa. Elvita's moved to 1233 Ben Sawyer Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.

Stella Nova retail manager Christi Page, said the expansion will providea better shopping environment. "Now we can offer makeup consultations, mini-facials and on-the-spot skin care demos in the store."

On the radar

The Shoppes at Seaside Farms: The Mount Pleasant shopping plaza at 1900 Riviera Drive will welcome three new businesses this fall: Bikram Yoga Charleston, Once Upon a Ballet and Sugar Mamas Bakery, Bistro & Gourmet to Go.