Brewery of the Week ~ Two Blokes Brewing

Brewery of the Week

We (myself and @scbeernerd ) have a Brewery of the Week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

You look thirsty!

Two Blokes Brewing

Two Blokes brewing is located in Mt. Pleasant, SC off of Long Point Road, right here.    If you live in Mt. Pleasant, it is really convenient and one of the few this side of the bridge, and if you are from any where else it is right off the highway for a quick detour.

Beer:

There is a pretty big variety at their Brewery!  You can choose from all different types with their current selection on tap here.   I had a great time trying them all out and I would have to say, my favorite was the Dark Day Afternoon pre-prohibition stout brewed especially for the recent eclipe and also made with ingredients only found in the early 1900s. There is a special release coming out on Friday so check their website for more on that! You won’t want to miss it! They sell Crowlers for take away just in case you need some more at home!

Aren’t they lovely?!
All the yum!

To learn more about the beer check out @scbeernerd .

 

 Owner/History: 

Two Blokes has two owners, Sean and Matty or as I like to call them, the Two Blokes! Matty and Sean have been friends for almost a decade, they met while working at Blackbaud and bonded over a love of craft beer. Matty’s been home brewing for over 20 years and got Sean into home brewing. About 7 years ago, Sean said to Matty (probably after one too many beers) “we should open a brewery together”.  That always sounds like a good plan at the time? Am I right?! Matty told him he was crazy, but Sean was persistent, so about 6 years ago they started working on a business plan, and they started saving their pennies. Don’t let the Two Blokes name fool you, the wives of these two are just as integral in making this brewery work. We were able to meet Brittany, who is married to Sean and is also the Co-Founder & Taproom Hoperations Manager. We unfortunately were unable to meet Matty as he was away researching beer!  Maybe the best job in the world?! I guess we will have to go back!
Sean, Co-owner
Sean and Brittany! A family that brews together, stays together!

Why the name Two Blokes Brewing?:

According to Sean, naming a brewery is a bit more difficult than you’d think. Who knew?  Every time they thought of the perfect name, they would find out that some brewery just filed trademark papers on the same name! Sean and Matty had a list of about 100 names and were slowly whittling them down when Matty said to his wife, “why is this so difficult, we’re just two blokes making beer…” and alas Two Blokes was born!
Let me help you with that!
We were a little thirsty!

 

Atmosphere/Location:

This place is found  in a business park, right off the highway. Don’t worry you can’t hear any highway noise but it is easily accesible.  On a nice day, the doors will open to let in the fresh air and the fun outdoor activities like Cornhole!  There is picnic seating outsight with lots of food truck action all the time. Here is a link to their events. On the inside there are bar stools, high tops and long table seating for groups or individuals.  It is dog friendly and there is an area for kids to play and trust me it is kid tested and mother approved!

Tap Room!
Kids play, parents drink! Perfect solution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Mt. Pleasant? Well, Mt. Pleasant was on their minds quite early as a city is growing so rapidly and they felt the opportunity was there to help grow a bigger craft beer scene. It actually took them more than a year of searching to get their current space, which was a dream space for them because it was a blank canvas with dirt floors, which comes in handy when you have to put drains in for brewing. They also knew they would be a family friendly spot and figured this was definitely a town that could appreciate that.

 

Where the magic happens!

Future Plans: 

They have some big plans in the works! Right now they have two areas of focus: heavier keg distribution in and around the greater Charleston area with sights on the rest of the state, and canning and bottling, which they are hoping to start early next year!

Giveaway! Giftcard and marked pint glass!
More kegs!

What else should we know: 

From Sean: “We’re a brewery that is as simple as our name; it was started by two guys that love to brew beer, drink beer, and share beer with their friends and family.  At the end of the day we want to make beer that every one can enjoy so we brew a wide range of styles to appeal to a wide range of palettes. We think beer is best enjoyed with friends and family (and yes, that means kids, dogs, and grandparents too) and we strive to create and keep an environment that everyone feels comfortable in, whether you’re out for a post-work pint for happy hour, or you’re new parents out for their first date night sans baby. We really just love beer, we’re always excited to talk about our beer (and other beer). We love to give tours and talk about making beer, and we still geek out every single time we see our beer on tap any where. Seriously, it never gets old. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would say that about sums up everything about this crew! We had the best time and loved meeting both Sean and Britt! Tell Matty, we are coming for him sometime soon!

Cheers! Thanks for coming @charlestonbrewerylist!
Best Photographer around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for having us!

Special thanks to Kyle from @charlestonbrewerylist and Ashley from @ashdeezphotography for joining us!

Cheers,

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Photos taken by @ashdeezphotography; call

843-801-5832 for inquiries.

List of Restaurants that may carry Two Blokes Beer:

Lewis Barbecue

Grace & Grit

Ember

McCrady’s Tavern

Jim & Nick’s

Sol  

Kudu

Craft Conundrum 

Craftsmen 

Madra Rua 

Closed For Business

Evo

Stems & Skins

Sesame

Poe’s 

Wild Dunes Resort

Wild Dunes Staycation

Morning sunrise walk @wilddunesresort

 

 

 

 

 

People often ask me, seeing as how I live in one of the world’s top travel destinations, where do I go to get away? We often tell ourselves as we walk around the low country that we live, where people go on vacation.  Well, you’re in luck because one of the greatest staycation destinations is located just at your doorstep.

Wild Dunes Resort, located on the northern end of the gorgeous Isle of Palms is a true getaway.  I had the opportunity to spend a relaxing, fun-filled, night there last week and discovered what the resort truly had to offer.

Dolphin Sighting outside of Caper’s Islang

 

 

 

 

An early morning check-in was necessary because if you’re going to get away you might as well start early.  Driving on to the resort you can tell the love and pride that the local residents place on their community.  We checked-in to the Village at Wild Dunes and were greeted to top end amenities from the get go.  Complimentary Valet Parking and our bags were taken up to our room!  This came in super handy, because if you know me, you probably already guessed that I have things planned…and they started right away.

Eco Tour

 

 

 

 

 

Barrier Island Eco Tour

Our first adventure of the day was the Barrier Island Eco Tour.  The boat was waiting on us, and a few others, at the Isle of Palms Marina and was scheduled for a 9:00 a.m. departure.   The tour guide, Courtney, was amazing.  She led us through the various barrier islands before we ended up on Capers Island.

Great for kids too! Moses the mascot!
Mr. Tasty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first part of the tour was very educational and the kids aboard were captivated by every sort of sea creature that was brought aboard.  The second part of the tour is what we were most excited about.  The Boneyard Beach.  I’ve been around the world but I’ve never seen anything like this.  The old trees and artistic drift wood was stacked upon the beach like a scene from a movie.  Luckily, my husband and I took off from the boat early and had the beach almost to ourselves for two hours.  A magical moment and destination.

The Boneyard on Caper’s Island
Do you see me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beachside Burgers & Bar

What to do after a morning of remote island hopping?  How about drinks and burgers by the beach.  Done.  A quick stop at Beachside Burgers & Bar was what was needed.  The patio overlooks the beach and mature palm trees look as if they are waving at you.

Beach Beers!

A quick stroll down the beach was an even better way to finish off lunch.

Did you know that you can get a free pass anytime at the gate of Wild Dunes to enjoy any of their restaurants??  I didn’t either… and I live here!!! I have been missing out on all this dining because I didn’t think I could get through the gate!

 

 

What the resort had in store for dinner was even more than I had expected.  I know, I know, I should have assumed it would be amazing after all that we had seen so far. Let me tell you about some of their options:

Coastal Provisions

Tuna Poke
All the appetizers with a pretty drink to compliment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner at Coastal Provisions equals pool side and fine dining?  Oh, yeah.  Coastal Provisions has expertly blended the resort style restaurant with top end fine dining.  With a seaside influenced round of appetizers, we began our meal.  The Tuna Poke was out of this world.  The chef recommended the Ceviche.  It’s not normally something I would go for, but from here on out call me a fan!

Swordfish
22 oz of deliciousness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Butcher’s Cut, which is a rotational seasonal selection was our first choice, luckily for my husband it was a 22oz cut which almost bested him.  (Don’t tell him I told you).  I stayed with the seafood and was happy to order the special, a gorgeously plated swordfish.

Dessert or Art? Maybe both!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I mention the drinks, Oh the drinks. Lovely cocktails that pair perfectly with the food and the tropical resort feel of their outside dining area.

The Salty Goat

What does someone on a staycation do after dinner?  If you’re us, you head over to The Salty Goat, Wild Dunes’ answer to the local BBQ sports bar.

Specialty Cocktails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the feel of a hometown hang out joint, The Salty Goat has been the resorts answer to good BBQ and it does it well.  With a menu that changes with the times, General Manager, Ryley Klavans, is able to provide good quality food with a relaxed vibe.  We were able to enjoy several cocktails, tacos and the best pork rinds while football games played out over the bar.

Here is a list of their specials:

SPECIALS** Dine in only** Monday: $14 ½ rack of ribs, fries and slaw for members, $18 ½ rack of ribs, fries and slaw for non-members Tuesday: Taco Tuesday 2 for $6, $3 Corona, $5 house margaritas  Wednesday: 1/2 price wings Thursday: $2 off drafts , $10 burger Friday: $6 flights (4 beers included), $5 bowl of chili Sunday: Sampler platter – chips, pork tacos, pork rinds, pimento

Available every day: Buckets of Canned Beer: 5 cans for $10- Miller Lite, Bud Light, PBR, Coors Light, Budweiser$5 Goatman Gimlet (our signature smoked vodka gimlet)$6 “Panther Pride”- Carolina Rattler (signature drink) for $6 while Panthers football game is on

Huey’s Southern Eats

Loved my fruit plate
Golfer’s Scramble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast.  You do know how I like breakfast.  I have an idea, let’s have breakfast next to the beach, overlooking a golf course.  Sounds amazing.  Huey’s Southern Eats located at The Links Course Clubhouse is named after a goose who used to live at the Breach Inlet Texaco, now the Boathouse.  Seriously.

Classic Breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A classic breakfast, along side a gorgeous fruit plate and a Golfer’s Scramble, don’t worry I didn’t forget the coffee.  Throw in perfect weather and locale and you’ll see why this restaurant is a great place to end your staycation.

Wild Dunes Resort offers this and many more opportunites for the local staycationer or the adventurous out of towner.  Interested in pool side cocktails in your very own cabana? They got you covered.  Want to head out for a private fishing charter? No problem.  These and many many more adventures are waiting on you.

Set your Alarm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I  would like to provide you with a special promo code to use when booking your stay. Guests who book a minimum of two night stay using the special code created for you “ALPACA” will receive $100 off, valid for all stays through October 31st.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Until next time, Cheers!!!

Barbara Skidmore

www.blushingalpacas.com

@blushingalpacas

 

48 Hours in Asheville

48 Hours in Asheville 

With a booming culinary scene, burgeoning craft beer culture, mountain views, hiking and history, there is no doubt that Asheville is a highly sought after travel destination. But what if you only have 48 hours??

What did you say….that’s not enough time?  I agree, I wish I had more time to explore but if you only have the weekend, here is an itinerary to help you make the most of your short time! I hope you are prepared to move, because we didn’t stop!

Accomodations: 

First things, First! Where do you stay?

Bunn House 

Just about the cutest place, I have ever stayed!

 

 

 

 

 

I have found you the most perfect place to stay during your time in Asheville.  It has the quaint charm and feel of an older home but with all the modern amenities of the highest end hotels.  We received a text message letting us know we could check in early with all the keyless entry information required for the parking gate and room entry.  I fell in love just driving up to the Bunn House.  It’s situated on an acre and half and only can be described as an oasis among the  bustling city scene that is Asheville. 

View from the fire pit
Our room with exposed brick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every piece of this property has been thoughtfully executed.  Snacks and drinks (local beer and excellent wine) were not only provided in a stocked kitchenette, they were also re-stocked each morning.  A small vineyard on the grounds (oh yeah, they make and provide their very own grape jam) welcomes guests with a pre-built fire and walking paths. And the rooftop… oh the rooftop. We came home early both nights to enjoy our drinks on the rooftop overlooking the city for our night cap. Soft music and muted lights were skillfully designed to come on when guests needed them.

Rooftop cheers
Local Beer from @ashevillebrewingco and mountains in the background!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You truly feel like you are alone in a quaint cottage in your own piece of paradise forgetting, for just a moment, that you are conveniently nestled within walking distance of downtown Asheville.  The Bunn House provides all of the uniqueness that you wanted with all of the modern amenities that you never knew you needed.

From the rooftop looking down
The entrance a well stocked kitchenette!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you know where to stay, let’s get on with the adventure!

Friday

We luckily were able to leave early morning and arrive in Asheville at the start of the afternoon.  We of course went straight to a tap room!  Hello weekend, let’s get started.

Stop 1: New Belgium

Cheers to the first stop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we arrived at New Belgium early afternoon we were surprised by how busy it was already.  There were still tables available to sit outside and tours were still available, however, we decided to get a flight and enjoy the unseasonably warm afternoon on the patio.  There was a food truck available and the grounds were large with a grassy area ready for some corn hole (bags) to be played and lots of seating in and around the area.  I enjoyed the Session which is only sold at this particular New Belgium Brewery while my husband liked the Atomic Pumpkin (it’s Fall what can I say). I imagine New Belgium gets pretty busy as the day goes on. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 2: Wedge Brewing Company and Food Truck Melt your heart

Love this place!
Coolest tap handle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right across the river from New Belgium is a cute and eclectic artist area with art studios, shopping and of course another fantastic brewery.  Wedge was suggested to us by a fellow beer friend and oh goodness are we so happy we stopped.  Quite a different atmosphere from New Belgium which wasn’t even a mile away.  Wedge had a large outdoor sitting area but their actual bar was a bit small on the inside.  Who wants to sit inside anyway, not me!  We loved their Pilsner and their Stout plus their tap handles were hands down the best I saw! Did I mention, they have free peanuts…. I should have started with that!  Who doesn’t love free peanuts? While we sampled some peanuts and drank our beer we also decided to partake in the fabulous food truck called Melt your heart specializing in grilled cheese.  I feel like I don’t have to say anything else.  I had you at grilled cheese!

Melt your heart and peanuts for the win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 3: Bunn House Check In

The check in was early so we dropped our bags before heading out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 4: Cúrate

Red or White Sangria?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tapas with a kick! I can’t even tell you how many people told me to try Cúrate!  It is a modern take on a spanish classic. A la carte ordering to your ideal meal, we enjoyed both the red and the white sangria to start. We had to try them both… because well, that’s what we do.  I loved the white sparkling while my husband preferred the dryer red.  We enjoyed roasted almonds, sauteed mushrooms in sherry, a spanish take on a classic bruschetta, a fig, ham, and goat cheese on artisan bread, and a few others. I found the dessert to be the most interesting and would never have ordered it, but our waiter highly recommended it! It was called the Merengue de “gin & tonic” and was gin soaked berries, vanilla-yogurt ice cream, torched merengue and tonic snow…. so delicious.  If you want to try Cúrate you better reserve it early as it was busy when we got there at 5 and only continued to fill up.

 

Tapas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 5: Burial Brewing

Couldn’t resist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick stop into a true urban brew pub.  Burial Brewing has been knocking out small batches since 2013 and there location is eclectic and inviting.  There is ample space along the side where both kids and dogs are welcome a great boon to the weekend traveler.  A killer 80’s themed mural and off-the-wall seating options give this brewery a fun ‘hang out’ vibe.  Salt & Smoke, the on-site kitchen, highlights charcuteries and plates that pair well with Burial’s brews.

Best crime fighting team around!
Pups are welcome! I almost tried to take this one with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 6: Dirty Jack’s otherwise known as Green Man the original

Can’t stop, won’t stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our final stop of the night was into Green Man’s original tasting room, Dirty Jack’s.  Located just next door to their main production facility the bar is right next to their specialty beer brewing location.  A fun local crowd greeted us and I was happy to see a wide variety of options on tap.  Two different soccer games being played on the T.V.’s and darts being slung at the back.  

Stop 7: Back to the Bunn House with wine on the rooftop Patio

The Bunn House at night! Very dreamy!

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing that you have a private rooftop balcony waiting for you is a great way to cap off the night.  With wine and beers provided by The Bunn House, we were able to take in the sights and sounds of a sleepy city as we made plans for the next day.

Overlooking the city of Asheville

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday:

Stop 1: Early Girl

There is no better way to start a morning than with a great breakfast.  If you feel the same way, do I have a spot for you.  Early Girl Eatery (named after a tomato, how cool is that) is located downtown in Asheville and offers delicious southern food in a casual welcoming atmosphere.

Let’s start with a Mimosa!
I got coffee too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owned and operated by John and Julie Stehling, who ironically got their start working for John’s brother at the Hominy Grill in Charleston, SC, the restaurant sits quaintly in downtown Asheville on historic Wall Street. 

Lena holding this deliciousness!
Lena has worked here for 10 years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right away you are welcomed by an energetic and friendly staff.  The daily specials are up on the board and a menu that relies heavy on local CSA’s (community-supported agriculture) gets you in the mood to, as my husband put it, “eat all the things.”  A bit aggressive I’d say but after you see the food you’ll probably agree.

Yes to a sweet potato and sausage scramble!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were able to try the Local Sausage and Sweet Potato Scramble, Omelet of the day and the French Toast.  As you can see from the pictures, they were absolutely amazing.  The scramble, featured a new-to-me combination of sweet potato and eggs that I’m not sure I’ve ever had…I will never make that mistake again!  

French toast heavan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 2: Chimney Rock

What should you do after an amazing breakfast?  Well, if you’re like me, the need to burn off some calories and check out what the surrounding state has to offer is next on the list.  Chimney Rock State Park located only about 45 minutes from downtown is a great spot for a day trip.  A relaxing drive through western North Carolina will get anyone off to a great start. 

Have to climb a bit higher to get this picture!
@skidmorediaries loves it when I make him work out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance fee to the park (13-15$ per adult) was well worth the views that were in store for us.  Apparently, there is an elevator for those wanting an easier way to the top.  It was out of order that day so they were offering reduced fares for entry.  Honestly, I wasn’t going to take the easy way out anyway but I am not even sure where it was located.  I never did see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hike up to Chimney Rock is along a very well-manicured and constructed path (or stairs if you will).  It only took 30-40 minutes for the walk up and that includes the additional summit to Exclamation Point which is a bit higher than the famous outlook and gives you a one of a kind perspective of the rock, river and valley below. Just another tip, I would try to get there as early as possible which allows you to park near the top.  As we were leaving, people had to park near the gate and get bused to the top. 

Stop 3: Batcave Apple/Cider

The town of Bat Cave! Seriously, that was the name!

Remember the relaxing drive I mentioned on the way to the State Park?  Well, apparently you drive through a small community called Bat Cave, NC.  Seriously.  I never did see Michael Keaton or Adam West but we did drive by several apple cider stands and were able to pull off into one.  Free apple cider samples and a couple apples to go set us off well and we headed back to Asheville.

Stop 4: Asheville Brewing Company

Tap line
Manager, Jason working hard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville’s third oldest brewery is where we started our evening.  The Asheville Brewing Company started in 1998 as a pizza, theater, brewpub conglomeration. There are 7 working owners, which means one is at one of their 3 locations all the time.  The original located at 675 Merrimon Avenue was picked because it has a 7bbl system in place as well as a second run movie theater! Their downtown location (77 Coxe Avenue) was picked long before there were any other breweries on the South Slope which is where we started the evening.

Yes!
Cheers! I loved @ashevillebrewingco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were able to meet up with Manager, Jason Jeter, who helped show us around.  He immediately directed us to his favorite beer that they have  aptly named Perfect Day IPA.   When faced with a large list of great sounding beers, you can never go wrong by asking the people working there what they like.  The beer was amazing!  My husband went with a Bantha Milk Blueberry Stout, because Star Wars, I guess, it went over my head. I had the Lemon Space Dog and it was refreshing for the hot day!

It really was the perfect beer for the Perfect Day! Outdoor patio.
Lemon Space Dog and the Stout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also tried the Fire Escape Pale Ale which is brewed with Jalapenos.  I know, I know it sounds weird but once you’ve tried it, you all will know why they are so good. 

Hannah did a great job helping us!
They serve pretzels with their flights!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ummm…. tater tots on point!

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 5: Twin Leaf Brewing

There are a lot of different reasons to go to a brewery.  Storm clouds, lightening and torrential rain was ours for this stop.  It must have been a sign from the heavens though.  A live band, booming crowd and the smell of popcorn greeted us as soon as we stepped inside.

When it rains, we might as well wait with a beer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, to my surprise I noticed that they had one of my favorite style of beers on tap. The MDXXI 1521 Imperial Mexican Chocolate Stout.  Brewed with coca, cinnamon and arbol chiles this beer was out of this world.  Rain check?  Still raining, another round for the win.  Live music and popcorn?  Double win.

 Stop 6: Catawba Brewing

The last brewery stop of the day had us pop into another south slope location.  We had heard that Catawba Brewing had a Peanut Butter Jelly Time still on draft as one of their seasonal brews.  We were not disappointed.  The tap room, one of their three in western North Carolina, is home to it’s smaller production lines as well as its barrel aging program.  It’s a gorgeous facility and very inviting. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly with a Sour kicker!
Just like the sandwich!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended the night, by walking through the city listening to street performers and heading to our final destination.

Stop 7: Sky Bar

Mountain Views

 

 

 

 

The Sky bar is a must, especially right before sunset.  In order to get to the top, you enter a retro iron accordian elevator doors with an attendant waiting for you. It was swanky and fun. My best recommendation would be to get here a bit before sunset in order to claim your spot on the railing to see the sunset over the moutains without obstuctions.  They brought out some fun new speciality cocktails which mimicked the color of the sky on the horizon. Beautiful drinks for a beautiful view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday:

Stop 1: Sunny Point Café

Breakfast.  You’re probably starting to see a theme here.  This has become one of my favorite spots to eat while in Asheville.  Technically West Asheville, an area of town that is coming into its own light.  Once you stop by Sunny Point Café, you’ll realize why people are flocking to this neighborhood.

Foggy Morning
Cutest colors and great people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A family run restaurant, three generations now, serving comfort food from “dawn to dusk” takes the farm to table concept and amps it up a few notches.  Seriously, the restaurant maintains a garden on site that covers more than half an acre and services the restaurant directly. This allows the café to provide unique additions to their specials that showcase ingredients that would never be possible without this level of commitment.

Garden goods with Alice our fantastic host!
Okra anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their signature dish, Huevos Rancheros, had my name all over it from the get go.  Eggs, avocado, nacho chips, cheese?  Sure will, thanks for asking.  My husband had his sights on their interpretation of the southern classic, chicken and waffles, which they offered sandwich style. 

Give me it all!
The perfect fall brunch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bloody Mary with bacon and vegetables from the garden.  There may be no greater sentence ever written in modern English.

Bloody goodness! Remember they don’t serve alcohol until 10am on Sunday! Saturday starts at 8!
Sticky bun while you are waiting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get there early as the secret is out.  On the plus side waiting for a table here is actually pretty pleasant.  Not only will the anticipation of their menu make the time pass quickly they offer coffee and sweet snacks as well as garden strolls, places for kids to run around and a park like atmosphere to pass the time.  I wouldn’t be surprised if people just came by to wait, it’s that pleasant.

Our fabulous waiter, Michael!

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 2: The Biltmore

For an alternative itinerary, The Biltmore is always an option as is the Biltmore village with shopping and additional restaurants and wineries. It really can’t be described in any other manner than exquisite and legendary. You can spend all day there or only a few hours depending on if you have been before or what your interest in the history may be. There are options galore when it comes to tours. We have been before so we decided to pop in early on Sunday when we knew it was less busy for a “quick” walk around.  You could spend an entire weekend on this property, so plan your trip accordingly!

Over looking the Biltmore

 

 

 

 

48 hours in Asheville is not enough time to do everything and you will see why when you visit. However, with 48 hours you can still grab a picture of the beauty, the people and the fun and funky vibe that is Asheville.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Until next time, Cheers!

Barbara Skidmore

www.blushingalpacas.com

@blushingalpacas

 

Hanks Seafood Restaurant

Hanks Seafood

I often get asked by many locals and incoming tourist, where is the best seafood in Charlston, SC.  Well, ladies and gentleman, I think I found it!

Hanks Seafood Restaurant is located in the middle of one of the busier intersections of Charleston where charming traffic jams are often caused by horse drawn carriages!

The outside of the building has plenty of photo opportunites for the traveler and local alike, so don’t miss the opportunity to snap a picture! Now here is the key, either A: get there early for Happy Hour (more on this in a bit) or B: Make reservations.  Hanks is always busy and there is a great reason why!

 

 

Happy Hour

So let’s start with Happy Hour! Hanks is now open early at 4:30 for Happy Hour! The Happy Hour last from 4:30-6pm featuring 1.50 oysters! What a steal!  In addition to the oysters, their drink specials include: 5$ Draft Beer, 6$ Featured Wine, 7$ Craft Cocktail!  Here are some of those fancy coctails I just mentioned!

Ginger Pineapple Margarita – Corralejo Blanco Tequila, Lime, Honey-Ginger Simple, Pineapple
Shipwrecked – Plantations 3 Stars Rum, Velvet Falernum, OJ, Pineapple, Grenadine, Angostura, Myer’s rum float

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Tim

Before the Appetizers came out we had the privledge of meeting the head Chef Tim Richardson who has more or less been working at Hanks since 2001! Seriously, he has worked his way throughout the restaurant and into the head Chef Position. Tim is fun and and vibrant and his passion for cooking and seafood are quite evident!  He is a South Carolina native and even surfs on his free time loving all things low country.

Head Chef, Tim Richardson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appetizers

Now let’s get back to these appetizers I was talking about.  I hope you like seafood because you are about to get a beautiful view of some of their special appetizers.

Seared Rare Tuna (Salad) – Fried Green Tomatoes, Arugula, Crispy Pork Rinds with Blue Cheese and BBQ Red Pepper Vinaigrette (tomatoes Limehouse Local, tuna from Crosby’s)
Oysters Casino – Garlic Butter, Smoked Bacon, Asiago Cheese, and Bread Crumbs
Grilled Oyster – with Red Wine Mignonette Gastrique, Crispy Andouille and Arugula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now aren’t they lovely? I would have to say that the crab cakes and Seared Tuna Salad were my favorite while my husband enjoyed the Tuna Tartare seen below.

Tuna Tartare – Jalapeño, Shallot, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tomato, Herbs & Lemon (tuna from Crosby’s Seafood)
Holy Crab Cakes! Loved them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that was almost a meal itself, but don’t worry we forged on so that you could see all of the amazing delicousness that Hanks has to offer!

Main Course

For the main course, Chef Tim sent out some of the most popular and also some of his favorite dishes!  I truly would never have ordered a Bouillabaisse on my own so I am now forever indebted to Chef Tim for making me try it!

Bouillabaisse – Fish, Oysters, Clams, Mussels, Shrimp & Scallops simmered in a Tomato, Fennel, Leek and Garlic Broth served with Rouille and Croutons (Black Grouper Florida from Crosby’s, clams are from Dave’s Clams, Oysters from NC)
Sauteed Flounder – Lump Crab Asparagus Salad with Lemon Zest Chervil and Roasted Tomatoe Beurre Blanc (flounder NC from Crosby’s, asparagus from Limehouse Local)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these Scallops were so large and tender, I thought about slapping my husbands hand away from them!

Pan Seared Sea Scallops – Fried Mash Potatoes, Seasonal Greens, Grapefruit Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (scallops from Mark (used to be Mark & Mark) from Northern Fish / Massachusetts, grapefruit from Limehouse Local)
Yep, we at all of that and then some more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert

Can’t stop, won’t Stop!  I didn’t think we could possibly eat another bite until we were asked if we liked CRÈME BRULEE.  Why yes,yes we do!  And yes, yes we did love it!  I’m on a mission to try their Creamy Peanut Butter Pie next time.

Classic Vanilla Bean Custard with a Crisp Melted Sugar Top
The inside of the restaurant, remember when I said it was busy? There is a reason!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we strolled out of the restaurant, we were highly satisfied and overly full!  We shouldn’t have eaten that much, but we couldn’t help ourselves!  Hanks truly is one of the best seafood restaurants that I have ever been too! It takes the history and coastal charm of Charleston and brings that flavor to the table! Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Brewery of the Week ~ Low Tide Brewing

Brewery of the Week

We (myself and @scbeernerd ) have a Brewery of the week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

Cheers to a new review and giveaway! Photo @ashdeezphotography

Low Tide Brewing

Low Tide Brewing is located on John’s Island right here. Now before you say wow that’s too far, let me tell you it took us about 10 minutes from the cross town to arrive at this gorgeous and peaceful setting.  I couldn’t believe how close this brewery is to downtown Charleston even though it seems like you are in the middle of the country.

Front of the Building
In front of the building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer:

Alright, well they have a pretty stellar line up at their brewery.  My absolute favorite of the day was their Gingerly Squeeze My Lemons (also the best name ever), while my husband loved the Just a Peach of Habanero.  Their Sweet Caroline Kolsch was pretty rockin too.  They may have the best beer naming abilities that I have seen in awhile!  They sell Crowlers and Growlers for take away just in case you need some more at home!

To learn more about the beer check out @scbeernerd .

Crowler! Photo @ashdeezphotography
Lining it up!

 Owner/History: 

Low Tide has two owners, Mike and Andy.  Mike is from Rochester, NY but has been visiting the Charleston area his entire life.  Since college, Mike has lived in Charleston on and off while attempting to pursue a career in the energy industry.  When the energy career path didn’t materialize Mike hatched the idea for Low Tide and got a degree in marketing at University of Rochester while working at a local brewery.
Mike Fielding, Owner
Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Cheers!
Andy is from Conifer, CO. He knew at an early age he wanted to own a brewery and has been working towards that goal ever since.  Andy attended Colorado State University and earned a degree in fermentation science.  Andy then worked in different roles at different breweries before meeting Mike when he was the head brewer of a brewpub in Omaha, NE.
Andy, Head Brewer and Owner. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Andy, Loves to talk about the science of beer while relaxing and drinking a beer!
When Mike decided to open a brewery the first thought for location was on John’s Island.  Mike was very familiar with the area and really wanted the brewery to have a connection with the local agricultural community. After searching for months, they almost gave up and were close to getting a building in West Ashley.  Before signing on the other building, they did one last search of John’s Island and came across the building they now call home.
There was an evident camaraderie with great banter between the two owners that you notice right away.  They are laid back all while getting the job done.  Each has their role and I enjoyed learning from both of them!
The beer is the star of the show, but these two owners are pretty awesome as well!
Don’t spill the beer guys!

 

Why the name Low Tide Brewing?:

Mike came up with the name “Low Tide Brewing” while kayaking between Kiawah and Johns Island. At the time, he had not yet officially decided to start a brewery but ever since he began home brewing in college he liked to think of names for the brewery and for the beers (well done sir). During the summer of 2012, Mike was working as a kayak guide in Charleston and spent a large amount of his free time home brewing. While on the water at low tide, the name was born.
They often get asked why not “High Tide Brewing”.  They thought Low Tide fit with the Lowcountry lifestyle giving it a more laid back, relaxed feel.  Most importantly low tide is their favorite time to be on the water because of all the activity.  I would say the name suits them and their brewery perfectly!
Hand Painted Kegs, Photo: @ashdeezphotography

Atmosphere:

This place is open and welcoming with great light.  On a nice day, the doors will open to let in the fresh air and the fun outdoor activities that are inevitably going on all the time!  Don’t worry though, they have Air Conditioning for the steamy summer days and nights that occur in Charleston.  There is an area for kids to play and pups are welcome too as long as they are on a leash, and just look at Julian (my new love)!

I can’t even handle it!
Heck Yes! Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seating includes bar stools, picnic tables, and adirondack chairs. They have Yoga on Saturday mornings and boot camp on Sunday mornings! Food trucks are ample and they have a list of activities located here.

Future Plans: 

As for expansion, they installed new equipment on the brew floor within their first year. Looking toward the future, they are in the design stages of packaging artwork. Cans and Speciality bottles are also in the plan. Continued focus to re-invest in their Tap Room experience is ever present. They hope to increase outdoor accommodations as well as expanding their merchandise line up.

I can’t tell you how much fun we had with the owners and learning about the brewery!  It is a must stop for both locals and tourists alike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for having us!

Collaboration with Charleston Distillery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to Kyle from @charlestonbrewerylist and Ashley from @ashdeezphotography for joining us!

Cheers,

Beer me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Photos Marked taken by @ashdeezphotography; call

843-801-5832 for inquiries.

List of Restaurants that may carry Low Tide Brewing Beer:

167 Raw
Amen St.
Andolinis West Ashley
Bay ST. Beirgarten
Beerworks
BlackWood Smokehouse
Bohemian Bull
Bowens Island
Carolina Yacht Club
Caroline’s Lowcountry Kitchen
Cherrywood BBQ
Country Club of Charleston
Ellis Creek
Fischer’s
Fleet Landing
Griffon
Halo
Hege’s
Home Team West Ashley
How Art Thou
Kiawah Ocean Course
Kiawah River Course
La Tela
Local 616
Loggerheads
Meeting at Market
Mellow Mushroom Avondale
Mellow Mushroom King St.
Obstinate Daughter
On 41
Pages Okra Grill
Pour Taproom
Loggerhead Girl at The Sanctuary
Seanachi
Smoke Mt. P
Southern Roots Smokehouse
St. James Gate
Tbonz
Tattooed Moose JI
Tavern & Table
Triangle Avondale
Triangle Mt. P
Wild Olive

Charleston Beer Week

Charleston Beer Week

Beer Week… yes, that’s correct an entire week of beer related activities and events!! I just made your day, didn’t I!!

I was a little overwhelmed when I heard there were going to be 48 events during the week!  48!!! Not sure if you can get to them all, but if you do…. you may be my hero.

Here is what you need to know!

Pint glass giveaway!

When is it?

Beer week is held September 9-16, 2017

8 days, with 6 “official” events taking place per day. Of the 48, 13 events are ticketed, with ticket sales located on the individual event page. Find ticketed events here , charitable events here and outdoor events here . All of the other events are “pay as you go” so you can enjoy as little or as much as you would like throughout the week.

Where is it?

Where is it not is the real question.  Beer week events are seperated into varying locations including Downtown Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, John’s Island, Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach and Summerville.  So basically, you have no excuses because there is certainly one near you.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that there are 54 breweries so far that are participating!

Edmunds Oast Brewery, Devin and Jennifer

Can you buy  tickets same day?

Well, I wouldn’t recommended it as some of the events have already sold out (Beer Brunch at House of Brews, and Sunset Paddle & Lowcountry Boil at Bowens Island Restaurant)! However,  people can purchase up to the last minute via their phone if the event is still open or you could call ahead to the venue.

Giveaway Items

What is the History?

It is the 5th Annual CHS Beer Week! Oh my, the amount of planning that Chrys Rynearson has done leading up to the event is quite amazing.

It was kicked off in 2013 by Denise Boozer (best name ever) who worked for Lee Distributors at the time, and now is with Dogfish Head and she brought Chrys Rynearson and Timmons (Now the Director of Group Operations for Edmund’s Oast) into the fold.
Since year #2 Chrys and Timmons have ran it. Some changes from the first year included: moving the date to the week after Labor Day (which coincides with Charleston Restaurant Week); implementing two rules: “no more than six events per day” and “no more than two events at a single venue” in order to try and focus more on quality over quantity. They also wanted to make swag (t-shirts and glassware) as abundant as possible, and give it away to participants instead of trying to sell the items. Hence the giveaway!
Now Chrys is running the show, and this year decided to add an extra day to the “week” since they have seen such incredible growth. Why thank you Chrys, there is always room for another beer day.
Tulip Glass for the Giveaway! I may have drank the beer though!
Collaborations include 155 reps from local breweries, national breweries, distributors, retail stores, restaurants, pubs, homebrew organization, and more. Of these 155, 120 are local businesses and 20 are local breweries. Talk about support local! Love it all!
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Beer Week.  Now go enjoy a Beer or a few!
Growler and Growler Kuzie giveaway!
For more information go visit their website at: Charleston Beer Week
Cheers,
Barb

@blushingalpacas

 

 

 

 

Brewery of the Week ~ Charles Towne Fermentory

Brewery of the Week!

We (myself and @scbeerned ) have started a new Brewery of the week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

@blushingalpacas @scbeernerd Photo: @ashdeezphotography

Charles Towne Fermentory

Outside of Charles Towne Fermentory, Avondale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Towne Fermentory is located in the Avondale Neighborhood of Charleston found here.  If you haven’t been to Avondale you will love this little area of Charleston, and of course will fall in love with this brewery, the owner, workers and needless to say the beer!

BEER:

I am in love with the RALF and the Infinite Yawn (hoppy blonde, for a hoppy blonde)!  Quite honestly though, I didn’t have one that I didn’t like. Here is the current list of brews on tap.  Although they change regularly, they try to keep some of the favorites like the Sungazer IPA rotating in to the line up.

I’ll take that one. Photo @ashdeezphotography
Oh yes! @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the beer check out @scbeernerd .

Owner/History: 

Adam Goodwin, Head Brewer/Owner. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Goodwin is the founder/Head Brewer and he is fantastic!  He comes from Massachusetts where he has worked in the brewery industry for many years.  After working at Tired Hands Brewing Co outside of Philadelphia, Adam was hired by Trillium Brewing Co which is where he met Justin Slotnik the assistant brewer at the Charles Towne Fermentory.

Justin was one of the volunteers to test pilot batches at Trillium Brewing Company. With hardwork and dedication, Justin climbed the ladder at Trillium, until eventually he was getting hours in the brewhouse. Timing was key for Justin to pursue his dream of being a brewer. There is a dedication that spills through every aspect of the brewery and that all starts with these two.

Why the name Charles Towne Fermentory?:

 Adam really wanted to tie the name to the location. It’s all about locality and connecting the beer to the community. The reason they went with the old school spelling of “Charles Towne” was that they wanted to invoke that traditional imagery of old wooden casks and traditional methods, but also wanted to combine those ideas with modern techniques and knowledge.

The taps and of course an old dry cleaning sign. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atmosphere:

This place is open and welcoming with great light.  On a nice day, the garage style bay doors will open to let in some fresh air and the fun busy street noise from local restaurants and businesses.  There is an area for kids to play and lots of games for them (or adults). The seating includes high tops, bar stools, couches and tables.  Although they love pups, they aren’t allowed in the brewery.  Don’t be too upset, there is a fantastic reason.  Every day they have pop up chefs come in and take over their kitchen.  The caliber of chefs that come in, like The Caste Jons , is nothing short of incredible.  Now you can enjoy your 5 star beer with your 5 star meal!

Oh hey there Ryan! Photo @ashdeezphotography
Serving up 5 star food in the kitchen @thecastejons

Future Plans: 

Growing, growing, growing. There is no surprise that the Charles Towne Fermentory is a hit with the locals and with everyone that comes into the tap room.  They are a young brewery not even a year old (December, 2016) and are still navigating their future plans. They do have occasional taplines at local restaurants that are ever changing (See list below).  As for now, they want you to enjoy the community feel of their tap room while sampling high caliber food and drinking one of a kind beer.  Look for them to brew great things in the future!

Thanks for having us!

Give Away Items! Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Photos Marked taken by @ashdeezphotography; call

843-801-5832 for inquiries. Special Thanks to @charlestonbrewerylist for all their help!

List of Restaurants that may carry Charles Towne Fermentory Beer.

167 RAW
Bay Street Biergarten
Bottles LLC
Brew Cellar
Brewpublik
Cafe Craft
Closed for Business
Coleman Public House
Craft Conundrum
Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House
Crafty Draught
Edmund’s Oast
EVO
Fat Patties Beaufort
Fat Patties Bluffton
Graze MtP
Graze Summerville
Homegrown Brewhouse
House of Brews
Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer
Liberty Tap Room Mt Pleasant
Maybank Public House
McCrady’s Tavern
Mellow Mushroom North Charleston
Mellow Mushroom Summerville
Mellow Mushroom-King St.
Mellow Mushroom-MtP
Mercantile and Mash LLC
Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
Poe’s Tavern
Pour Taproom Charleston
Sesame MtP
Smoke BBQ MtP
Tattooed Moose Johns Island
Tattooed Moose-Downtown
The Barrel James Island
The Griffon Pub
The Meeting Room
The Obstinate Daughter

 

Belmond Charleston Place

The Belmond Charleston Place

Have you ever just wanted to get away, and by away I mean out of your place? I’ll wait while y’all raise your hands… You know you want too. Sometimes you can go a short distance and feel a world away.

Near but far! Photo cred: @ashdeezphotography
Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the great pleasure of having a staycation at the Belmond Charleston Place and let me tell you, it was amazing! Here is the good news for you,  there is a local steal… I mean deal going on right now until the end of August for all locals!! See details below or go here. If you aren’t a local, no problem there are some great deals for you too offered here.

(This is your chance to be a tourist in your own town and rediscover Charleston’s charms from your home away from home in the very center of the historic district until August 31 (Sundays through Thursdays only).

Now, through August 31st, save 25 percent on the best available rate – plus, receive 25 percent savings at The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place ( I didn’t try this but I will have too next time), Charleston Grill (never disappoints), Thoroughbred Club (swanky and fun), Palmetto Cafe (gorgeousness) and the hotel’s newest guest only venue, the rooftop Clock Tower Pool Bar.

Offer is valid for travel now through August 31, 2017. Offer is valid for Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley county residents with a valid SC ID. Subject to availability and restrictions may apply. Promo code: LOCALSONLY.)

Now let’s get into all these details, shall we?

Newly renovated guest rooms: These rooms are POSH!  It’s often difficult for a hotel to showcase rooms that are not only newly renovated but also whisk guests back to the “good ol’ days” when hotels were more than just a stop off the freeway.  The rooms at the Belmond are able to accomplish both. With furniture and staging that take you back in time, It balances the modern touches that today’s wary travelers or staycationers are expecting with the added bonus of Charleston charm.

Club level room. Photo Cred @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clock Tower Pool Bar: I have walked around downtown so many times and never noticed that there is a rooftop pool bar overlooking beautiful King St.  WHAT?! Why didn’t I know about this before.  Here is the catch, it is only open to hotel guests which means no lines, fantastic services and glorious views to be had by all (well, all hotel guests)!

Clock Tower Pool bar. Photo cred: @ashdeezphotography
Photo cred: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit Plate Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clock tower drinks. @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now let’s talk about the Club level…..

Seriously upgrade to the Club level.  It could not have been a better experience.  We were greeted by our friendly Bartender Dan, and a show stopping food spread.  I was in love as soon as I stepped off the elevator (and not just with my husband)!

Stairway to the club level also known as Stairway to heaven. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Dan. Club level staff. Check out those high end bottles in the background!

Club level amenities include:

Personal concierge for travel, leisure and business needs: (didn’t use this but I bet it was on point)

4th floor, spa and clock tower bar. Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

Private lounge: The lighting and the view at this level are outstanding.  It is housed on the 8th floor with ample space for people to mill in and out as needed. You have views of the bridge and this lounge allows for you to be as outgoing with the other guests or as recluse as you would like to be with its tables and side nooks.

Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Club level lounge. Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-day beverage service: You heard me correctly…all day until 10:00 pm. Full bar after 5pm!  Oh my… oh my, what a fantastic perk! Their bar is fully loaded and their staff were ready with recommendations for both drinks and local area restaurants.

Bubbles for me!
Views! Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon tea: It was very quiet during this time. Most people are checking in or out but if you are able to make it to the lounge during afternoon tea enjoy it, especially if you are way from your kids for the night!

Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres:  Truly could have been a full meal.  They don’t mess around when it comes to food.  All palates can be satisfied with this set up.  It varied from vegetarian options to meat, cheeses and desserts.  Here is a fun amenity, when we returned to our room after sampling some food and drinks there was a welcome note with chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us.  How did they know that chocolate covered strawberries were my love language?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After-dinner cordials and desserts: We had a nice nightcap after dinner, and the mood was vibrant and fun with great service and happy guests. All the staff remembered us by name as we walked in and even remembered what we had ordered earlier in the day.  Knowledgeable and friendly without being conspicuous is a hard task and the Club Level staff has perfected it!

Thoroughbred Club Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

Deluxe continental breakfast: Oh my goodness, (insert drooling now)!  This spread is meant for all different types of appetites and dietary restrictions. There were hot options, cold options, pastries, fruits and of course coffee, tea and juice. Only problem I had was that I wanted to try all of it!

Breakfast in our room
Expansive Breakfast options

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out wasn’t until noon and since we are early risers, we decided to explore the downtown area at sunrise.  The lighting was perfect and there was no one around.  We loved it! When we got back to the hotel,  we took some breakfast back to our room and enjoyed our sanctuary for a few more hours before heading out to walk around town again.

View from our room in the morning!
Morning walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you are looking for a centrally located downtown hotel for an upcoming business trip, an out-of-towner looking for a regal Charleston experience or a local looking for a spa-like getaway the Belmond Charleston Place has exactly what you are looking for!

Thank you Belmond for a wonderful staycation in the city that I love!

Cheers,

Lobby of the Belmond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Professional photos marked and taken by @ashdeezphotography

Contact @ashdeezphotography: 843-801-5832

 

 

 

 

Brewery of the Week ~ Ghost Monkey

Brewery of the Week!

 

We (myself and @scbeerned ) have started a new Brewery of the week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

 

First Stop ~ GHOST MONKEY

Outside of Ghost Monkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEER:

Here we are outside the brewery  just enjoying the sun and the beer. Their Not Yo Mama’s IPA and Lemon Basil IPA are both solid choices at the brewery and also their biggest sellers. My favorite right now is the JoJo a nitro coffee stout. Their intention is to provide a good variety of beer selections so no matter what you like you can find something on the tap list to drink. Here is a link to their current tap list. To learn more about the actual beer check out @scbeernerd .

Owners/History: 

There are 3 owners : Josh Parker, Jim Leonard and John Kosky.  Jim is the head brewer.  Josh and John worked together and met Jim through a mutual friend.  After getting to know him, Jim mentioned he was thinking about starting a brewery and wanted to know if we might be interested.  Jim was a home brewer for over 15 years.

Why the name Ghost Monkey:

Josh (one of the owners) took a business trip to Spain and visited Gibraltar.  He was walking up a mountain when a monkey came out of nowhere (like a ghost) and snatched his bag of souvenirs.  The monkey broke the souvenirs while looking for an orange and thus a brewtiful name was launched. I love it and my kids think the name is pretty cool too (so that makes it awesome)!

At one of their tables
Manager, Andy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location/Atmosphere: 

Ghost Monkey is located here, which is in Mount Pleasant and very close to the Port.  Their goal was to be in Mt Pleasant and at that time the only other brewery was Westbrook,  MtP was ready for more breweries.  The atmosphere is laid back/casual with a place for everyone! It’s kid friendly and dog friendly and they always have food trucks to serve your hunger needs as well as events including live music/cornhole tournaments to spice up the fun factor.

Fried Chicken and Beer #america

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Plans:

Currently, their beer can only be found in the tap room.  They are on a small system right now and all have their day jobs still so they are unable to produce enough beer to send out to other locations at this point.  Ghost Monkey is starting to upgrade their equipment and the plan is to be in a bigger system within a year.   The bigger system would allow distribution to bars and restaurants!  We can’t wait!

I love everything about Ghost Monkey and now we want to give you some things too!  Enter the giveaway posted on instagram and win these great prizes. Go visit Ghost Monkey and tell us what you think!

T-shirt, growler (sorry it will be empty), pint glass, koozie, and tulip glass!
Lovin my tank top!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Isla Surf School

Isla Surf School

So have you ever gone surfing?  Have you ever wanted to try surfing?  Let me tell you the answer to the those questions have always been NO!  Or Heck No in my case!

Folly Beach
Look for the tent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been a little scared to get into the ocean above my waist unless I could see what was around me (it’s ok, you can make fun of me). So when I was asked by Peter the owner of Isla Surf School whether I was interested in learning how to Surf, my first thought was….no I do not! Thankfully, I took a moment and thought about it.  Why wouldn’t I try it? I live on the coast and this is what it is all about.  Now let me tell you why you need to try it too!

First let me tell you a little bit about Isla Surf School.  It is located at Folly Beach a bit down the beach from the pier located here.  Peter Melhado is the owner and started this company August 20th, 2015 and has a staff of 4.  Peter is a life long surfer and has worked surf schools and camps throughout his life.  They are open year round but tend to be the busiest in the summer for obvious reasons. In addition to private lessons and daily lessons they also have after school programs, summer camps, yoga & surf Sundays and a variety of packages. Here is how you schedule your lessons/packages/group packages or buy your merchandise.  Use code ALPACAS for a 15% off any lesson time or Mechandise!!!

Owner, Peter
About to get our surf on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter was kind enough to provide instruction to myself as well as my husband and 2 kids.  It was great to see how he was able to switch between how to entertain and motivate my kids to instructing the adults (some of us more scared than others) on how to manipulate the board and the surf.  My daughter was an actual rock star on the board and is now researching all things surf!  What a confidence builder for her!  My son who is a bit younger, loved trying to do “sweet jumps” off the board… seriously whose kids is that?! You can see them below.

Pop ups!
We got it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was a bit nervous on the way out, but that quickly went away as I needed to concentrate on what the heck I was supposed to do.  Where do I put my feet again?   Hands go where? How do I lean?  After the first wave (I even stood up for a second… that’s what I call a WIN), I was officially hooked!  I even rode a wave for a little bit!  My husband also had a great last run on his board.  The entire family considered the day a great success!

I’m up!
Cory’s up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are few other great things I learned about Isla Surf school that are pretty awesome.  Isla is partnered with the Warrior Surf Foundation which is surf and beach therapy for Veterans suffering from a variety of mental issues to help them transition back into civilian life. Also, Isla works with Charleston Ripple Effect which is an Autism therapy session.

Isla has a great future with a talented core of instructors.  I would highly recommend them whether you are coming into town for vacation, wedding festivities or  whether you are local and you and/or your kids want to give it a try. So go check them out!

My HECK NO went to a Hang 10 after my first surf lesson!  Thanks again Peter!

 

Cheers,

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas