Savannah Beer Scene Post Hurricane Matthew Update

Like the rest of us, the local craft beer breweries, businesses and restaurants were shoring up to weather the storm or preparing their sites ahead of an evacuation. We all hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. Fortunately for most of the local craft beer scene, all was well after Hurricane Matthew blew through. I spoke with several of owners of the local spots about the storm and how they fared.

Southbound Brewing’s co-owner Carly Wiggins tells me, “Luckily we didn’t have any issues that affected the brewery directly. Many of the employees had some damage done to their homes, but nothing that can’t be fixed eventually.”

Owner Kevin Ryan was pleased with the way that his Service Brewing held up in the storm. “The brewery weathered the storm without any damage or significant loss of power! We did not lose any beer but the Hurricane has put us WAY behind on Lincoln’s Gift. Bluffton Oyster Company was not able to begin harvesting until the first of October this year, one month late,  and then the storm has kept them out of the water for at least a week.  We were targeting a November fifth release, but that isn¹t possible at this time.”

Coastal Empire fared almost as well with only minor damage according to co-owner Chris Haborak. “All in all we fared pretty well.  No physical damage to the brewery.  We had some water come into the tap room area from the roof but it was easily removed and created no damage.  Biggest issue was we were without power for several days but it was restored in time so that we did not lose any product.”

Some of the local craft restaurants fared better than others. Ben’s Neighborhood Grill and Tap was able to open right after the storm. The menu was limited but they were able to serve up hot meals the Saturday of the storm.

All of the craft beer bottle shops, White Whale, Hops and Barley and Habersham were able to open within a few days of the storm, delayed more by a lack of electricity that any damage.

The curfew that was enforced after Hurricane Mathew was perceived by many as a hindrance to local businesses, especially bars and restaurants that cater to late evenings. Most of the owners I spoke with did not see the situation that way and some were pleased that the curfew was enacted.

Wiggins tells me “As a business it doesn’t affect us too much. Our hours of public operation are done before that. We have had to adjust our brewing/packaging schedules but we are making it work. The production team works in shifts. First shift generally starts at 6:00 am and last shift ends around midnight, sometimes later. Personally, I don’t mind the curfew given that many out there still don’t have power and some are being taken advantage of by looters. Unfortunately, we’ve had some neighbors that have been affected by this. It makes me feel safer to know the police are out enforcing this to help protect our homes and businesses.”

Ryan comments are very similar. “I think it is in everyone’s best interest. There is so much debris, so many dangers on the road, and a lot of businesses that do not have power, that it is best to reduce the night time traffic and keep people and drivers off the roads.  They are most likely less alert than they would normally be.  I know it sucks for local businesses that have already lost money from the storm, but public safety is more important in my opinion.”

Green Truck Pub was closed for several days following the storm but was able to celebrate reopening on the date of their sixth anniversary. They did change their scheduled based on the curfew, announcing an 8:30 closing time but did change to a later opening after the curfew was lifted on Wednesday.

Ultimately, the storm in one way or another affected our local craft beer businesses. Take some time and spend a little money at one or more of these locations. Your money and patronage will be appreciated and supports the local beer community and all their employees.

Here are a few events you can attend:

Coastal Empire: 10/21 Booze & Boos which will feature a local Historian telling stories by the campfire. Coastal will release a Maple Espresso Porter for the event.

Southbound Brewing: Saturday 10/29 Blues & Brews – Three local Savannah blues bands (Broken Glow, Jubal Kane & Hitman). $25 ADV | $30 DOS includes: beer samples through out the duration of the event, performance and a souvenir pint glass. Dark Shark Taco Food Truck will have food available for purchase. 7-10pm

Enjoy Craft Beer on Savannah’s Southside

When it comes to craft beer, downtown Savannah receives the lion’s share of the attention. This level of attention isn’t unwarranted; most of Savannah’s craft beer restaurants, bars and bottle shops are, in fact, north of DeRenne. Downtown doesn’t hold a lock on everything related to craft beer though. At first glance, south of DeRenne looks like a craft beer desert but the Southside has several options for a beer during lunch or even a beer centric evening out. Check out these Southside eateries, some new, some old favorites, and two bottle shops with craft heavy options.


Ben’s Neighborhood Grill and Tap: Ben’s history is rooted in Savannah’s downtown but as the restaurant moved south it morphed into a gourmet burger grill and craft centric tap room. Ben’s features twelve taps all dedicated to craft beer, with several local options always available. Ben’s also has an extensive bottle and can list. Tuesday is a great day to visit Ben’s as they have a $2.50 craft can special. The regularly updated tap and bottle list can be found on Ben’s isn’t all about the beer though. They have several excellent burgers and sandwiches on their menu. Make sure to ask for the beer battered onion rings. Directions, hours and menus can be found at

Fiddlers Seafood: Just down Hodgson Memorial Drive from Ben’s and around the corner from Oglethorpe Mall is Fiddlers Seafood. Fiddlers is part of the same restaurant group as Tubby’s, Dub’s and Spanky’s and just like those restaurants carry numerous craft beer options. In fact Fiddlers has 21 taps dedicated to craft beer, many of them dedicated to local options. The food options at Fiddler’s are, as you might expect, are grounded in fresh, local seafood options. The décor follows along similar lines and is grounded to Savannah’s fishing history. Fiddler’s information can be found at

Your Pie: What goes together better than beer and pizza? Not much and Your Pie offers both. The downtown location of Your Pie is no secret but there is also a south side location in Sandfly. Like its counterpart it has a strong craft beer selection. What is even better are Your Pie Sandfly’s regular craft beer nights. Usually on Thursdays, the guys at Your Pie will put together a tap takeover and often are able to pull in a difficult to find beer or two. The best way to find out about Your Pie, Sandfly is through their Facebook page where they regularly update their events page and tap list.

Bowtie Barbecue Company: The newest location for hunting down great craft beer in midtown is Bowtie Barbecue Company. Bowtie is growing out of the Johnny Harris legacy and will serve up old favorites like Johnny Harris’ batterless fried chicken but will bring new food and drink options to the table. Bowtie will serve up craft beer with a regional focus, think East Coast, on twenty taps. Of special note are taps dedicated to a Southbound Brewing Company Ginger Beer soda and to Perc Coffee. Bowtie will also serve up craft cocktails and feature a large selection of small batch whiskeys. Is Bowtie’s huge bar selection not enough to get you in the door? Well lucky for you because there is excellent barbecue too.

Habersham Beverage Warehouse: Habersham Beverage Warehouse is maintains one of the largest selections of craft beer options in Savannah. Vince, who manages the beer selection at Habersham south, is one of Savannah’s more knowledgeable craft beer and home brewing experts, keeps an excellent and large rotating selection of craft beer options. All the details can be found at

Largo Beverage: Largo doesn’t keep as large a selection of craft beer as many of Savannah’s bottle shops and as a result may not be on your regular craft beer shopping circuit. Because they are often overlooked there are some gems that can be found on Largo’s shelves. Give them a try you might find something you missed out on the first round of distribution. Largo’s information can be found at


Thank you, Savannah, for an amazing week.

Savannah Craft Beer Week 2016 may be over, but you can still enjoy great craft beer all year long by checking out our events calendar and patronizing the awesome businesses that provide awesome beer every day. If you need a place to start, check out our sponsors list.

Speaking of sponsors, a great big thanks to Service Brewing Co. for being the title sponsor for the second year in a row. Visit the Service tasting room for a tour and pick up Service beers whenever you see them to show your support.

Savannah Craft Beer Week 2016 Night 5 Recap

Green truck founders

The threat of hurricane Hermine didn’t keep people away from Fiddlers Crab House’s Craft Brew Happy Hour (beer and food pairings), a triple brewery feature with Blackberry Farm, Great Divide and Service at Crystal Beer Parlor, Founders tap takeover at Green Truck, a spotlight on sour and funky beers at The Distillery, a local launch party for Scofflaw Brewing at Wild Wing, Foothills and Ballast Point pint night at The 5 Spot and Cigar City Beer School at World of Beer Savannah.

Tonight is a big night but with the promise of more rain, some establishments may make the decision to close. We recommend checking Facebook pages or calling ahead before making the trek just to be sure.

Tonight’s schedule includes: Southbound Pint Night at Savannah TaphouseEvil Twin + Against the Grain Night at Crystal Beer ParlorWhite Whale Craft Ales Grand OpeningNight of the Beer Geek 7.0 at Savannah Distillery Ale House,  Brewery Boxing at Wild Wing Cafe and Coastal Empire Night at World of Beer Savannah.

Here are some scenes from last night:

Savannah Craft Beer Week 2016 Night 4 Recap

Crystal Beer Parlor - Coastal Empire Tiki Night

Night four of Savannah Craft Beer Week 2016 was IPA Day at The Distillery, Tiki Night with Coastal Empire at Crystal Beer Parlor, Foothills tap takeover at Green TruckSouthbound Can Night at Tailgate and Southbound Trivia at World of Beer.

Tonight, expect another very full day with Fiddlers Crab House’s Craft Brew Happy Hour (beer and food pairings), a triple brewery feature with Blackberry Farm, Great Divide and Service at Crystal Beer Parlor, Founders tap takeover at Green Truck, a spotlight on sour and funky beers at The Distillery, a local launch party for Scofflaw Brewing at Wild Wing, Foothills and Ballast Point pint night at The 5 Spot and Cigar City Beer School at World of Beer Savannah. Get all of the details for Thursday here.

Photos from Crystal Beer Parlor by Elizabeth Williams:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.