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The 3.5 hour long tour is $50 per person and includes tours of three local micro distilleries, tastings at each, and a cocktail made with one of the liquors by local mixologists. It also includes transportation, snacks, water, and a lot of insight from Charleston Culinary Tour tour guides.
We met our tour group at the Charleston Visitors Center Bus Shed, and the van was easy to find. Even though this is a newer tour, the van already has “Charleston Distillery Tours” on the side — we definitely appreciated this because there are a lot of things going on in that bus shed!
Once on the bus, our tour guides, Oscar and Glenn, gave us background information about the distillery scene in Charleston. Microdistilleries are a new addition to the Charleston foodie scene, despite the fact that there are well over 1000 bars in Charleston, and that we are, as we learned, a town of liquor drinkers.
Our first stop was Striped Pig Distillery, where we got to meet Johnny. Johnny is the founder/owner/lead distiller at Striped Pig and his passion was infectious. We loved learning about his journey to begin selling his own booze, as well as some fun tidbits about how beer changed the world.
What we loved:
- The liquor! My favorite was the spiced rum, which is brewed with vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, and molasses. The flavor reminded me of a sugar cookie, and I think it would taste bomb.com in a decadent French toast recipe. We also tried their gin, vodka, and white rum. Johnny prides himself in producing really clean, drinkable liquors, and it totally comes through in the taste.
- Johnny. Seriously, Johnny is just cool. Both Paul and I agreed that we wish we could work for him, for free, and then have a drink with him afterwards. Like I mentioned, he was SO passionate about teaching about distilling. One cool thing we learned: the term “proof (as in 100 proof)” comes from back in the old days when people literally asked for proof that the alcohol was good. They proved it by lighting their booze on fire!
- The name. The name Striped Pig is derived from history. During Temperance, it was illegal to sell liquor under 15 gallons. So, a clever rum seller instead sold tours to view a pig painted with stripes. And, following their tour, were given a glass of rum. The historical significance of the name mirrors Johnny’s passion for the history of beer and liquor in America.”