James Island Piggly Wiggly
- Richard Easterby Jr. - Store Operator & Head Beer Geek
Make a stop at the Piggly Wiggly on Maybank Highway, and you will quickly discover that this is no ordinary grocery store. One BA reviewer joked, "it's really a beer store that happens to sell some groceries", and they're not entirely wrong. Head straight to the obvious location first, a 6-tap growler station, which, at the time we visited, featured all local offerings from Holy City Brewing. There you will find a huge draft offering (80+) on the chalkboard and in a nicely printed take-away booklet. The rest of the draft beer is located in a walk-in cooler at the rear of the building, where staff will take your growler and fill before returning it to you. Naturally, our first thought at such a large number of draft offerings was draft line cleanliness, but Richard was eager to show off their system, which he and a buddy built from scratch. This includes flushing the line after each fill, sanitizer applied to each untapped valve, and weekly tap/line cleanings. All staff have been trained on fills, and he ensures that someone is always working that knows the ins and outs of their draft system.
The store boasts over 800 bottles which can be found all over the place, in various racks and displays. Seriously, check under the meat counter, which is typically wasted space, and there you will find beer on mini-racks. There's also beer in the coolers, beer at the end of many aisles, and beer on island displays. It's like a beer geek scavenger hunt, and I was seriously expecting to find the milk stout over in the dairy aisle. Additionally, you can find many bombers and other bottles tucked away in a low lit area by the growler station, while also being able to build a mixed-six pack from nearby singles.
Beer infoNumber of bottles: 800
Number of taps: 80
Growlers are top-filled at the 6-tap station out front, or from the 70+ other kegs in the walk-in cooler located in the back of the store. They will fill any growler, and sanitize it for you if needed, or you can buy one of their growlers with the "OMG Pig" on the front.