Timmons Pettigrew authors a book on the history of Lowcountry brewing (book release events announced)

Update September 20: To celebrate the upcoming release of his new book, a slew of local beer retailers are hosting book signings featuring the man of the hour - Mister Timmons Pettigrew.

Without further adieu, here are the times, dates and locations for the upcoming events:

  • September 22nd @ The Charleston Beer Exchange (14 Exchange Street) - There will be a beer tasting and book signing from 5 to 7 p.m. Copies of the book will, of course, be available for purchase on site. And to help celebrate this extra special evening, we'll be offering a complimentary tasting/exclusive world debut of an amazing Double IPA collaboration brew from Westbrook Brewing and The Charleston Beer Exchange! Affectionately called "Citrus Ninja Exchange", this 9% ABV Double IPA is loaded with massive hop character and delightful citrus notes.
  • September 28th @ Laura Alberts Tasteful Options (891 Island Park Drive) - Timmons will be on hand during "growler hour" from 5 to 7 p.m. signing books and talking to his adoring fans.
  • September 29th @ Total Wine (1820 Ashley River Road) - Beer tasting and book signing from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • September 30th @ Westbrook Brewing (510¬†Ridge Road) - Book signing in the tasting room during normal tasting hours, 4 to 7 p.m.
  • October 22nd @ Holy City Brewing (4155 C Dorchester Road) - A book signing at Holy City's Tasting Room at 4 p.m.

First reporting: Over the past year, Timmons Pettigrew, a local beer enthusiast who frequently contributes to TheDigitel, has been writing a book on the history of beer here in the Lowcountry.

After pouring over historical documents, through old newspapers, tapping knowledge from current brewers and scanning through tons of old photographs, Charleston Beer: A High Gravity History of Lowcountry Brewing, is set it hit shelves on October 6th.

The book, commissioned by The History Press, explores the rich history of local brewing, the effects Prohibition had on the local landscape, the high-gravity renaissance and a thorough look at today's craft microbreweries.

T. Ballard Lesemann over at the Charleston City Paper has a nice preview of what else you'll find on the pages of A High Gravity History of Lowcountry Brewing - including more than 70 images, most of which were shot by local photographer extraordinaire (and beer fan), Chrys Rynearson.

We had the chance to pick Timmons' brain about which Charleston-born beers he can't live without. Listed below are his weigh-ins on four brews, one from each local brewery, which he believes go above and beyond the call of duty. Check it out:

Palmetto - Spring Extra Pale IPA

I fell in love with Palmetto's Hop Harvest IPA when it came out, the first commercially brewed wet hop ale in South Carolina. So when I found out this new Spring addition to their BoCat line of seasonals was based on the same recipe, I was all over it. And I'm still all over it, just finished my umpteenth sixer last week. Extra Pale IPA is made with Falconer's Flight, a hop blend developed in honor of a brewer who suffered an untimely death. The blend is stellar - very tropical fruit/citrus-forward, and juicy - but the proceeds from the hops go to further brewer education, so I feel even better about drinking it. Palmetto also donates a piece of the proceeds from BoCat sales to the Charleston Animal Society. But even without the charity, this is a great beer.


This is an obvious choice for me. It's the first local beer I ever (knowingly) drank, on tap at Sesame in Park Circle in probably late 2007. In the four years I've been drinking it, it's yet to get old, I still order it all the time. David doesn't play around with this one - 7.7% ABV is really pushing the limits of an IPA. But it's never boozy, and always strikes a great malt-to-hop balance for me. Even with years of recipe tweaks, I still picture (and taste) HopArt when I think about local beer. It's just been a damn good pint, every single time, for four years. That's an amazing feat for 7-barrel brew-house in an old naval records station.

Westbrook - American Bitter

A very recent addition to his seasonal line, I'm pretty stoked about American Bitter. There's a time for every (well-made) beer, including a time for a beer with a relatively low ABV. Sometimes I want something that doesn't overwhelm my palette, maybe with dinner. Sometimes I want to last a little longer than two pints of Double IPA or Imperial Stout will let me. Sometimes, I just want a mellow-but-flavorful beer, and that's what American Bitter is. It's loosely based on English Bitter, but made American by piney American hop additions and force-carbonation (instead of serving it on cask, as you normally would in the UK). 4% ABV, with hop character, balance, and most importantly for a low-alcohol beer, body? Sign me up! (There's a double-dry-hopped version out at the brewery right now, which will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine).

Holy City Brewing - Pluff Mud Porter

I'm not the world's biggest porter drinker, but this one hits all the right notes for me. I'm mainly in love with the feel of it -- it's got this creamy, somewhat silky texture throughout. A lot of porters finish very dry for me, but this one is smooth sailing. The ABV is moderate, and the taste is not so dense that you can't drink it even in warmer weather. It's a great year-round beer for Holy City, and a great addition to Charleston's offerings. They're clearly very mindful about what styles they choose to put forth, which is great, it just expands our options to drink more styles and still support local breweries.

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