Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review of Bohemian Bull Tavern & Beer Garden

As James Island residents for going on a year now, and travelers of the various islands in Charleston for over a decade, I’ve often thought James Island was lacking in the foodie department. I think places like Heart, Monodos, or Smokey Oak did a adequate job at improving this issue. However the Bohemian Bull might have captured a couple of niche markets nicely.

Upon walking up to the restaurant, there is a cool open-air bar. Greeted by several friendly ladies. I was asked where I’d like to sit, inside at either the rather spacious wooden bar, inside at the tables, or outside. I chose outside. Upon walking through, you get a instant idea of the aesthetic the owners were going for. It is very rustic, yet James Island, all the whole fitting neatly into the blue-collar feel of the adjacent commercial property. The outside area is by far the selling point of this place. It includes a full-sized bocce court, cornhole, firepit, nice benches with warmers, and a large space to drink their selection of beer.

We grabbed beers from the bar, a Coast Smoked Porter and a Evil Twin Falco IPA. Both beers were available in the 10 oz. or 16 oz. format. This was appreciated, and there did not seem to be a mark-up for the less commercially desirable 10 oz. serving. The pint selection was derived from 32 taps, which consisted of roughly 2/3 featuring local South Carolina breweries. The beers were served in local glassware. The bar featured a healthy liquor selection, with some interesting pitchers of moonshine and smoked bourbon for pouring. Also of note was a substantial bottle/can list, which featured several large format options for beer. I would honestly say they had more local beer (Frothy, Westbrook, Coast, and Holy City) on tap than anywhere I can recall. I felt they had a good sense of the importance of delineating beer by style as their board was split into 5 major styles. Their ABV were not listed on the board, something I would consider adding.  All the beers served tasted fresh and delicious. I continued my big sour kick of late and had a Rodenbach Grand Cru.  It was super tasty as usual. My wife tried the Holy City Pecan Dream. She said it was a bit sweet for her taste, but I tried it and liked it.
Click here to check out the draft offerings and here to check out the bottled/canned beer selection.

The menu was focused and fit the James Island crowd. Major choices included a “Build your Burger” with a bevy of interesting toppings. Some interesting house choices included a “Breakfast Burger” with maple sausage, syrup, and eggs atop a fresh, ground in-house beef burger cooked to temperature. Choices ranged in size and interest, and prices ranged from $5-$20. We ordered the Boho Eggs, which were some nice and neat portion of 5 deviled eggs made with truffle oil, bacon, onions amongst other things. They were delicious and hit the spot! Very clean taste. For lunch we split the fried chicken sandwich served with some delicious friend okra and a Folly cheese steak served with fried mac n’ cheese. Both meals were spot on in taste and price. The steak was slightly burnt around the edges, but did not detract from the great flavors of the cheesesteak. My friend stated his chicken sandwich was very enjoyable and was extremely pleased with the whole pieces of fried okra served on the side.

I spoke to the manager, Andrew, who is fresh to Charleston (2 weeks removed from a move from Philadelphia). He stated that the bar wanted to focus on serving the freshest beers from the closest breweries possible. He said this notion was extended into their food offerings, as many of the ingredients are locally sourced. He said they already sold out of their Frothy Beard offerings and that the initial excitement for the place was exciting. He stated that on Tuesday, November 13th they will be hosting the Freehouse Brewery opening party, after their retail release party. Please check their website www.bohemianbull.com for more information. Or you can follow us @chscraftbeer or www.charlestoncraftbeer.com for our full site.

Review by Brandon Bobart

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