Take a quick glance at their fluffy beards and the three owners of the Frothy Beard Brewing Company could easily be mistaken for their favorite Tolkien characters. Which is fitting since Michael Biondi, Steve McCauley, and Joey Siconolfi cite the author as the inspiration for their brewery’s name. “Our idea of satisfaction is a grizzly-bearded Lord of the Rings character at a bar, sluggin’ back a beer that covers his entire face,” says Biondi. So far so good. Since their March debut, locals and bars have embraced the trio’s brews, which thirsty citizens can find all over the Lowcountry, from Kudu Coffee and Craft Brew to Mount Pleasant’s House of Brews.
But what’s become a thriving biz began as a mutual hobby among the friends. The guys met at Clemson, moving together to Charleston six years ago. As roommates, they quickly discovered a shared passion for home brewing—their house often overflowing with more than 20 gallons. Realizing how much time and money they were already devoting to the activity, they took a chance and decided to open a brewery.
McCauley says Charleston was the perfect destination for the enterprise thanks to its tourism and rich food and drink culture luring craft beer lovers here each year. The warm welcome of already established local breweries such as Holy City Brewing and COAST didn’t hurt either. “There’s an atmosphere in the brewery community that strives to make beer in Charleston and South Carolina better,” Siconolfi says.
Their version of better currently includes a light, non-citrusy “Never Winter Wheat;” an earthy, piney “Photura’s Pale Ale;” a smoky-sweet “Tides of Galway” Irish red ale; and the minty, chocolatey “Peppermint Porter.” Tasty suds we think even Tolkien would agree are sure to put a froth on your face.