Dreams of Stainless and Malts. Meet the Brewer of Pawleys Island Brewing.

Pawleys Island Brewing.

Darren McLean, head brewer.

  Harkening out of the St. Louis area, Darren is not your typical brewer. He has a degree in Music Composition and could at one time make you a heck of a deal on a piano.

  It was during his homebrewing days. Darren was studying music and playing the drums, and for a living selling pianos. This paid the bills, but wasn’t where his passion was. He took on an unpaid internship at 4 Hands Brewing, and when this finished he was quickly hired on in the packaging department.

  St. Louis had experienced quite the brewery growth, and there were 29 operating facilities. Darren applied to all of them, and found a job at Morgan Street Brewery. He was able to expand his experience here, and tried out a couple of brews he had floating around in his head.  While an awesome place to work at, Morgan Street was a micro-brewery, and Darren wanted to spread his wings, beer wise. This success lead to the opportunity to work at Tallgrass Brewing in Kansas.

  It was a huge step up in his career, and Darren enjoyed his career at Tallgrass. Working on the 50bbl system provided insights in how to brew commercially, and provided day to day operation knowledge. The only downside was he was part of a large organization, and was brewing set recipes every day. Darren, like any good brewer, wanted to try out his own recipes and experimentations.  This lead to employment at Excel Brewing Company.

  The smaller more intimate brewery allowed Darren to move forward with his ideas, and after a year working there he became Head Brewer. The next couple of years were great, and saw the brewery flourishing with the different brews available.

  With Darren’s family living in Columbia SC and Charlotte NC, the South had always called to him. In late 2016 he saw the posting for a Head Brewer at Pawleys Island Brewing Company located in Charleston, and jumped at the chance to be in on the startup of something new, and a lot warmer from St. Louis.

  Pawleys Island Brewing has a desire to be local, and stay local. They have barrel aged and fruit based beers planned and will be using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Flagship brews as of right now, are as followed (subject to change)

  • Little House IPA (American IPA)
  • Pawley’s Pale Ale (1980’s craft beer style, I am excited for this one!)
  • American Wheat.
  • Grayman Stout (American style stout)

They are shooting for a late summer opening, but we all know how mother nature, and father construction, along with cousin building permits can change this.


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