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Your holiday gift guide to support Charleston's restaurant and brewery scene

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Firefly Distillery Barrel Proof Bourbon Image .JPG

Firefly Distillery is among one local food and beverage business you can support this holiday season. Provided

2020 has been a whirlwind of closures, re-openings, restrictions and pivots that have left restaurants, bars and breweries scrambling to make ends meet and stay afloat. 

During South Carolina's typically booming summer tourism season, revenue shrank to resemble that of two decades ago. The state's $24 billion industry, which feeds into arts and entertainment, food and beverage and nightlife, had already lost $4 billion when August arrived. 

At times, the state’s restaurants experienced 80 percent drops when compared with 2019 sales. And while that decline huddles around 30 percent now, it's still far from ideal. 

One way to help the local restaurants, bars and breweries you're supporting is to buy from them when checking off your holiday gift list. Here are 10 suggestions: 

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The Holiday Beer Pass was made by the same folks who organized the Charleston Beer Trolley. Parker Milner/Provided

Holiday Beer Pass

This one's ideal for your drinking buddy. The downtown beer trolley has come to a halt during the pandemic, but in its place is a holiday beer pass that acts as a "beers around the world" affair. There are 1,500 passports, and the first 200 people to visit all 10 breweries in the Brewery District and get a corresponding stamp for each will get to attend a private 2021 beer festival.

The race began this week and lasts until New Year's Day. Passes are available for free pickup at participating breweries: Baker & Brewer, Brewlab, Cooper River Brewing Co., Edmund's Oast Brewing, Fatty's Beer Works, Lo-Fi, Munkle, Palmetto, Revelry and Tradesman. 

Price: Free

More info: https://bit.ly/2VActxK

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These gingerbread houses by Sugar Bakeshop are made to look like Charleston single houses. Provided

Sugar Bakeshop gingerbread house kits

These aren't your average gingerbread house box kits, though icing and candy decorations are still in store. Sugar Bakeshop has concocted a custom-made gingerbread house kit based on a traditional Charleston single house. Assembly instructions are included. The downtown bakery also offers Chanukah tins filled with dreidel and Star of David sugar cookies. 

Price: $55 for gingerbread house kit 

More info: sugarbake.com/christmas-2020

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Firefly Distillery's moonshine sampler pack makes a good boozy holiday gift. Provided

Firefly Distillery moonshine sampler pack

For your Southern friend who still hasn't tried unaged liquor, this sample pack from Firefly Distillery would make a lovely holiday gift. There's a trio of peach, apple pie and white lightning jars.

For an extra treat, you can pair the pack with a gift card to tour the distillery. Oh, and if moonshine isn't your beverage gift of choice, you can go for the distillery's small-batch bourbon, maybe along with a pair of rocks glasses, or sweet tea vodka with some accompanying tumblers. 

Price: $25 for moonshine sample pack

More info: fireflydistillery.com

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Callie's Hot Little Biscuit offers a biscuit of the month club subscription. Provided

Callie's biscuit of the month club

Subscription boxes are a trendy gift this year, bringing monthly goodies to someone you love's doorstep. The local version of that might just be a biscuit of the month club signup at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit.

The subscription includes two dozen Callie's biscuits each month for three, six or twelve months, with alternating flavors each month. You can also customize those flavors by calling and making a request. 

Price: $197.70 for 3 months

More info: calliesbiscuits.com/collections/gifts/products/biscuit-of-the-month-club

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Coast Brewing Co. Hop Art print

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For the beer and art lover, consider this print that depicts the colorful graphic from a favorite Coast Brewing can. The Hop Art print would pair well with a six-pack of Hop Art, of course. 

Price: $20 for art print

More info: coast-brewing-company.square.site/product/hopart-print/41

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The AFFA locals card can be redeemed for a discount at local restaurants, including O-Ku, The Macintosh, Cocktail Club, Indaco, Mercantile + Mash, Bar Mash and Oak Steakhouse. Provided

AFFA locals card

When you donate $100 or more to the Alliance for Full Acceptance, which seeks LGBTQ+ equality and justice across the state, you will receive a 15 percent discount card in the mail that can be redeemed through 2021 at any of The Indigo Road hospitality group's restaurants in Charleston or Atlanta. That includes Mercantile + Mash, Bar Mash, Indaco, The Cocktail Club, The Macintosh, O-Ku and Oak Steakhouse.

Price: $100

More info: affa-sc.org/locals-card

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This Revelry Brewing holiday package comes with a tote bag, beach towel, bandana and more. Provided

Revelry Brewing holiday gift package

Some breweries, like Revelry, are offering holiday gift packages that wrap up several merch items into one convenient, snaggable option. If there's a "Lazy Lover"-lover in your life, this gift grouping is a great buy. The package includes a tote bag, beach towel, bandana, patch, koozie, sticker, pin and $20 gift card. 

Price: $60 

More info: revelrybrewingco.com/revelry-brewing-co/shop/holidaygiftpackage

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One local restaurant has a zine available in its shop. Provided

Kwei Fei zine

While gift cards to local restaurants are almost always a great idea, an outside-of-the-box purchase might be a restaurant zine. Kwei Fei has its own printed "Strange Flavor" publication. "You’ve been asking for a cookbook. That feels a little mature for us, so we made a zine instead," reads the shop caption. Included are recipes from Kwei Fei and Micho, along with stories, playlists and a list of where the staff eats on days off. 

Maybe pair the zine with a gift card. 

Price: $9.95 for zine

More info: kweifei.com/merch/pre-order-strange-flavor-zine-by-kwei-fei

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Second State's holiday coffee blend is for sale. Provided

Second State holiday blend coffee

'Tis the season for drinking caffeine. Oh wait, that's every season. For the coffee lover in your life, consider a holiday blend from a local shop like Second State. This particular variety offers tasting notes of honeycrisp apple, blueberry and chocolate. You can pair it with a $20 travel tumbler or $7 glass featuring the shop's owl logo.  

Price: $15.95 for 12 oz. of holiday blend

More info: secondstatecoffee.com/collections/coffee/products/holiday-blend

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This Holy City iceless cooler can hold two six-packs of beer. Provided

Holy City 12-pack iceless cooler

For the boater who hates lugging a giant cooler onto the deck every outing, this gift found at Holy City is an ideal option. The Kanga iceless cooler holds two six-packs, enough to share with some of the crew for an afternoon ride. Plus, buying this piece of merch will get a loyalty discount of 10 percent off two six packs any time it's brought to the brewery. 

Price: $30

More info: store.holycitybrewing.com

Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

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