For most of us, turning 21 is a life milestone, and I hit this milestone a little over two months ago. Prior to turning 21, I came across an array of breweries and bars in Greenville. They all had such a lively and fun environment, and I knew I wanted to try them when I became a legal drinker. Below, I will give you a run down of the breweries, bars, and restaurants I’ve tried in Greenville since turning 21. For those of you who are 21 and older, check them out; and for those who are still waiting for their birthday, add these to your list!
Happy drinking, and please remember to enjoy responsibly!
Up on the Roof
250 Riverplace #800, Greenville, SC 29601 (Embassy Suites)
Located inside the Embassy Suites Downtown, Up on the Roof is a Furman favorite. When the weather is nice, sitting outside on the rooftop patio is the perfect way to spend your weekend free time with friends. My first time here was towards the end of February on a warm sunny Friday afternoon. My mom was in town, and so we went out to grab drinks. We both got a Manhattan, a classic go-to. Admittedly, I followed my mom’s lead on what to order because it all looked good.
Up on the Roof offers a variety of cocktails, wine, and beer along with a full food menu. They are particularly known for bottled cocktails that they open like soda bottles and serve. I also love their nachos, a perfect snack to munch on and share with a group!
Beyond the drinks and food, Up on the Roof’s main draw is their outdoor seating, which offers patrons a view of Falls Park and downtown Greenville
103 N Main St #400, Greenville, SC 29601
Similarly to Up on the Roof, Sip is a rooftop bar in the middle of downtown. Sip’s main focus is on wine and whiskey. They have a long wine list and a cocktail list, so everyone is sure to find a drink they enjoy.That being said, their beer selection is limited and mainly consists of domestic canned beers. So, if you're in the mood for beer, this may not be your place.
Sip offers a mix of indoor and outdoor seating as well. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, this is a great place to go for a view of Main Street. Sip is conveniently located near several restaurants, such as Tupelo Honey and Cantina 76, which makes it an ideal pre-dinner drinks stop. Sip offers a limited food menu and is better for light snacks than a full meal.
If you’re looking for a wine-based drink, I recommend the Spritzer or the Red Sangria!
109b N Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
Tucked away on Main Street, Neat is a hidden bar. Neat serves a variety of bourbons and a few cocktails with other spirits for those who are not bourbon fans.
Unlike the previous two locations, Neat is in a basement location and offers a more intimate experience to share with a group. This bar offers only a light fare menu and some sweet treats, such as a bourbon chocolate pie. Much like Sip, it’s a great pre-dinner spot or a good place to grab a drink after dinner.
Compared to the other locations on this list, Neat isn’t your typical college student spot. Some could argue that going to a bourbon bar requires a little more sophistication than college students are credited with having. However, if you are a bourbon fan, I recommend you give Neat a try. The bartenders are well-versed in the bottles they carry and can offer suggestions and any information you need.
Wandering Bard Meadery
1320 Hampton Ave STE 3, Greenville, SC 29601
Switching gears from bars downtown, the Wandering Bard Meadery is a unique find and experience! If you’ve watched any medieval shows or other period shows, you might hear characters talk about mead. Mead is a honey wine and is made from fermenting honey and water to create the alcoholic beverage. Wandering Bard takes traditional mead a step further and creates meads of varying sweetness and a range of flavors. Located in Hampton Station, this meadery is near White Duck Taco Shop, Craft Axe Throwing, and Birds Fly South Brewery.
I walked into Warding Bard with no previous knowledge of mead. The bartender was very knowledgeable and was able to point me in the right direction. If you are new to mead like me, I suggest to start with a flight. This allows you to try 5 pours of your choosing. From there, you can order full pours with more understanding. Many of their flavors are fruit-based and some are oaked, giving them all different flavor profiles.
Wandering Bard has a unique liveliness to it. They have a game shelf for customers to pull from. In addition, you can order tacos from White Duck and have them delivered to you! The meadery offers light fare and some pizzas too. One thing to look out for is trivia night on Wednesdays! Test your general knowledge with friends and mead.
Yee-Haw Brewing Company
307 E McBee Ave suite c, Greenville, SC 29601
A few blocks off Main Street is a traditional beer brewery, Yee-Haw. Originally from Johnson City, TN, Yee-Haw made its way to Greenville in 2018.
Yee-Haw doesn’t have the same sky high views of Greenville as Sip or Up on the Roof, but they do have a great outdoor seating area that is perfect for the nicer weather. They have a huge screen that often plays sports and have a stage for live music.
This traditional brewery offers a list of classic beers such as IPAs, sours, porters, and easy drinking beer. There is something for everyone. For those who don’t drink beer, Yee-Haw has a list of cocktails, mostly based on moonshine, to enjoy along with your beer drinking friends. In addition to drinks, Yee-Haw has food that is somewhere between a light and full meal, offering shareable dishes along with salads, tacos, wings, and other fried favorites.
Better than Sex
23-25 College St, Greenville, SC 29601
Yes, you read the name right. Located just of Main Street, Better than Sex is a not-so subtle option for night out. This restaurant has several other locations, such as those in Dallas, TX and Key West, FL. The location here in Greenville, though, is an unforgettable one.
Better than Sex exclusively serves drinks and desserts, so make sure to have dinner somewhere else! They fully embrace their brand with low lighting, candle lit tables and soft music. The experience is not a rowdy or loud one either. They aim to create intimate and sensual experiences for diners. So, if you go here, plan for a quiet, personal experience. Don’t plan on going here with a large party because they only seat tables up to four. That said, Better than Sex mainly targets couples, but it's also a place you can go with friends as well. The food and drinks are truly "better than sex." All drinks and desserts are named with sexual references that can make anyone blush or giggle. They are known for “rimmed” wine and beer, which is essentially a chocolate rim around the drink. They also serve cocktails and craft shots along with virgin drinks. When I went with my boyfriend, we wondered if this was a place that was more about the theme than good food, but were pleasantly surprised by their delicious tastes. While Better than Sex embraces their theme, they back it up with amazing desserts and drinks. We ordered the “morning after,” which was French toast stuffed with chocolate and brie. It was a delicious dessert that was a perfect mix of sweet and savory. On top of the food and drinks, each table is given a list of questions to ask each other to spark conversation.
For a date night or girls' night out, Better than Sex is an unforgettable experience.