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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Charleston taps new ‘Brewers Row’ district downtown

Designated section of Summers Street celebrates the city's growing craft beer scene.

Short Story, Fife Street and Bad Shepherd anchor the city's new Brewers Row.
Short Story, Fife Street and Bad Shepherd anchor the city's new Brewers Row.

In case you missed it, Charleston just launched a new campaign dubbing a portion of Summers Street as “Brewers Row,” thanks to the proliferation of craft breweries and taprooms concentrated within a few blocks of one another.

Why designate a special beer district in this part of downtown?

First, because interest in craft beer has exploded over the past several years, with more and more travelers seeking such places out when they visit a destination.

Second, because even though Charleston was a little late to the party at first, the capital city has come on strong of late.

Not only do we have Bad Shepherd Beer Company (corner of Quarrier and Summers streets), Fife Street Brewing (180 Summers St.) and Short Story Brewing (186 Summers St.) now anchoring the city’s new Brewers Row, but there are also a dozen or more bars and restaurants within walking distance also offering notable local, regional and national brews.

And just a little further out, you can add Mountain State Distillery on Capitol Street, plus Charleston Nano Brewery, Wandering Wind Meadery and The Bullock Distillery on the West Side. Just outside of town, Clendenin Brewing Company also opened last year to add to Kanawha County’s spirited offerings.

The new Brewers Row passport
The new Brewers Row passport

In fact, in describing Charleston’s burgeoning beer scene in a recent article, Forbes magazine wrote: “This riverside city is home to a king-sized beer scene, with no shortage of incredible breweries and pubs to explore during a visit.”

Cheers to that!

Local beer makers and drinkers toast the move as a win-win for the region.

“We couldn’t have joined the Charleston brewing scene at a better time,” said Short Story co-owner Aaron Rote, referencing the Marion County brewery’s new Charleston taproom that opened this past November. “There is such a great energy on our block and Brewers Row makes it official that this is the best street for craft beer in West Virginia.”

Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau president Tim Brady said that combined with Charleston’s recent redevelopment of Brawley Walkway and construction of the new City Center at Slack Plaza, these three breweries are helping transform that entire part of downtown.

Spearheaded by the CVB, the Brewers Row designation also comes with a new passport where you can “do the walk, drink the beer, take home the swag.”

Just try at least three beers each at Bad Shepherd, Fife Street and Short Story – getting your passport stamped along the way – and you’ll earn a commemorative “Brewers Row” pint glass. Passports are available at all three breweries, the Charleston Visitor Information Station at Capitol Market and select downtown businesses.

Customers are also encouraged to tag and share their photos with #BrewersRowCWV on social media and follow the Brewers Row challenge on the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau’s app: VisitCWV.

Brady said the fun will continue throughout the summer when GoMart Ballpark (formerly Power Park) renames one of its beer stands “Brewers Row” to exclusively serve Charleston beers.

For more information on the new district, visit

New Chick-fil-A opening March 23

The new Chick-fil-A location I told you about coming to South Charleston’s new Park Place retail shopping and dining development on MacCorkle Avenue SW across from Riverwalk Plaza is very close to opening its doors.

In a social media post to followers this past week, the new restaurant announced it will be opening its door on March 23.

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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