Beer is big biz in North Charleston

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- On the banks of the Ashley River in North Charleston, a growing industry continues to flourish. It's in a nondescript{} area where the owner hopes to tap in to your taste buds.

It's a recipe for what some investors consider "cash consumption." Workers are getting kettles and tanks ready to brew another batch of beer.

"To start a brewery, you have to find an industrial park. You have to, you know, be in an industrial zone place.{} And so North Charleston just happens to have a few of these options," said Arthur Lucas, owner of Freehouse Brewery on Pringle Street.

It's North Charleston's newest place where pilsner's are poured. He says the city has an abundance of buildings in areas of town where it's easy to set up shop.

"Not only was it zoning, but then you come here and we're on the Ashley River in an old Navy warehouse. And that kind of sold it for us once we were able to figure out how to get this place outfitted," said Lucas.

A few miles away, Ryan Hendrick is celebrating his first week of business. The Brew Cellar on O'Hear Avenue sells beer from Freehouse and other micro breweries.

"With Holy City, Coast, Frothy Beer and Freehouse all up here, it's almost becoming a Mecca for Charleston beer. We could become the next Asheville," said Hendrick, co-owner of The Beer Cellar.

That's why he decided to open in North Charleston. He claims the culture and climate are perfect for selling local suds.

"Mayor Summey up here is definitely revitalizing the area. And if you look at old North Charleston, its turning into the capital of North Charleston again," said Hendrick.

And Freehouse Brewery is joining the rush to tap in to it.

You'll get a chance to sample local beers this weekend at Brewvival. It'll take place Saturday from noon to five near Coast Brewery at the old Naval Base.

On Thursday, ABC News 4 will be live from Park Circle as part of the Your Neighbors series.{}

There will be a meet-and-greet event at 4 p.m. at DIG in the Park and we will provide food and give-aways. Then at 6 and 7 p.m., the North Charleston High School Jazz Band will join Dean Stephens and Victoria Hansen in live broadcasts from Park Circle.

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