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Ghosts, Spirits, and Beer In Savannah

By May 18, 2012Beer Travel
Brian and Maria with Rhett our Haunted Pub Crawl Tour Guide
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Brian and Maria with Rhett our Haunted Pub Crawl Tour Guide

As many of you know Maria and I visit breweries, brew pubs, and other craft beer havens as our visitors center when we arrive in a new city. We find that they are often filled with the types of locals who enjoy striking up a conversation and telling you about their town over a well crafted beer. This past week we ran across a city that had a new way for us to explore in a unique and different way. Enter Savannah, GA.

Brian holding a pint in a plastic glass outside of Moon River Brewing.

Taking advantage of the "to go" beers.

Being an early settlement town Savannah has a long and colorful history that just happens to include quite a bit of murders and war. As a results Savannah has come to be known as a ghost and paranormal hotspot. So how do you explore this unique aspect of the area AND enjoy beer? Why a haunted pub crawl of course! We were able to find a candlelit walking tour that featured some prominent local watering holes and the town’s only brewery, Moon River. The best part? The Historic Downtown district has no open container laws so we were able to take our tasty craft beer to-go!

The Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl is a two hour walking tour that takes you in and around several of the more famous ghost inhabited places in downtown while providing history and some haunting ghost stories that will be sure to give you the chills. Drinks are not included with the tour, but at almost every stop you have the opportunity to buy one.

Moon River Brewing

Moon River Brewing

We started at Moon River Brewery which our tour guide, Rhett, informed us resides in one of the most notorious buildings in downtown, the old City Hotel. The saloon in the basement was a popular hang out for some of Savannah’s seedier characters and features a laundry list of violent acts that eventually made the top two stories of the building nearly inhabitable. In fact while trying to renovate these floors three different construction crews were hired and subsequently quit due to paranormal activity: tools would go missing, workers will hear their name uttered only to turn around and see that they are the only one in the room and probably the creepiest story: an electric sander that refused to turn off even after it was unplugged. The construction worker walked up the foreman with the sander in one and and the plug in the other, handed it to him and said, “I will not be returning tomorrow”. After a few failed attempts at renovation, they surrendered to the spirits and decided to leave the top floors alone. The brewery has been featured on several ghost hunting shows including Ghost Adventures. BEWARE! Intelligence transfer may or may not occur! Knocks and shadows and dust, oh my! Es creepy indeed!

The creepy 2nd floor at Moon River Brewing.

The creepy 2nd floor at Moon River Brewing.

We were taken to the second floor during the tour and you instantly felt uneasy and most everyone on the tour admitted to having goose bumps. Upon leaving the brewery Rhett informed us that mediums who have been on that floor say that it’s wall to wall spirits in there. Luckily, the ghosts seem to respect the beer enough not to mess with the brewers as I had two delicious IPA’s (one American and one English) with no signs of paranormal hopping.

As the night progressed we learned about desecrated Indian burial sites, a building that burned down next to a fire station, and how the Girl Scouts national office (which amusingly hosts thousands of girl scouts ever year) is built right on top of a grave yard! Some stories seemed a little hokey or vague while others definitely stuck with you well even after the tour was over.

It was a good way to get out and see the city, enjoy some beer, and learn a thing or two. From a beer perspective every establishment we stopped at seemed to have at least a couple some craft beers to choose from. During the tour we had enjoyed a couple Moon River IPA’s, a couple Terrapin Rye Ales, a $15 shot of scotch, and a “pickle back” that consisted of a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice.

Here are some more pictures from our spirited tour:

Waiting for the tour.Pint of Moon River Brewing's American IPA

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Tour Guide Rhett

Rhett stops to tell us about Savannah's twisted sense of humor.

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Maria got her hands on our Rhett's historic pistol.

Maria got her hands on our Rhett's historic pistol. (giggle)

[hr] Aside from visiting the town’s only brewery, we also managed to a make few stops at The Distillery, an excellent tap room that boasts a tasty menu and “no crap on tap”. If you are in the area, this is a must stop for the craft beer lover.

The best crab soup ever for Maria and a beer brat for Brian.

And a few more of Savannah’s beauty!

Savannah College of Art and Design Courtyard

Crossing the Talmadge Memorial Bridge is a bridge in the United States that spans the Savannah River between downtown Savannah, Georgia, and Hutchinson Island.

Take a drive out to Tybee Island and soak up the sun on the beach!

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