Craft beer is booming in Charleston — but how big can it get?

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Charleston, she loves to drink. But with 10 craft breweries in the area and at least nine more waiting in the wings, even some beer snobs are starting to wonder: How many breweries can this town really support?

Timmons Pettigrew, a City Paper contributor and co-founder of CHSBeer.org, has given the question some thought, and he thinks the industry’s growth is healthy for the time being. But even Charleston has her limit.

“I think the simple math would tell you that yes, there is a point at which a town of X people can’t support Y breweries,” Pettigrew says. “The question is, what is Y?”

The consensus among the current brewers is that Y is still a long way off. Many of them point to the example of Asheville, N.C., a significantly smaller town that nonetheless supports 20 craft breweries in its area.

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