Photo by Tarah Gee

 Who is this incredibly exuberant-looking human, you ask? Many around town may already know him. If you do, you love him. Meet Kristian Edwards. He’s been in the brewing industry for almost a decade and has damn near worked his way around the globe doing so. 

One May afternoon at Saltwater Cowboys, I sat down beside Kristian, but had no idea who he was. It wasn’t long before we were chatting, beers in hand. “Never met a stranger” is a cliche that has been used to describe both of us and here we were, strangers but yet, not. We both spent time at Palmetto Brewing Company. We both were wanderers, not lost but exploring. And we both fell deeply in love with an industry that is constantly giving, growing and teaching. 

Before long, we were laughing and comparing notes about the Charleston beer scene. I immediately texted my Hops partner, Kyle Wallace: “Kristian Edwards is our next craft profile. He IS Charleston beer!”

Although originally from Maryland, Edwards has lived and breathed the brewing world in the Southeast for almost a decade, with the exception of a hiatus in Hawaii — because when you get offered a chance to brew beer in Hawaii, you brew beer in Hawaii. 

“I’m a slave to stainless (used to brew, ferment and package beer),” Edwards said in our next meeting at his new home, Estuary Beans and Barley on Johns Island, where he is the brand and sales manager. “I want to know everything this business has to offer,” he said, his infectious smile beaming like sunlight from his eyes as he talked and it’s no wonder that every brewery in town that he’s worked for wants him back. 

Edwards subscribes to the five ingredients of beer: hops, malts, yeast, water and love. And it’s love that has taken him from the brewhouse at Palmetto and Revelry to being taproom manager at Service Brewery in Savannah to brand manager at Estuary. His loyalty to the industry doesn’t stop there. During the Covid-19 pandemic when production slowed across the country, Edwards found a way to continue to grow and give in other ways: candles. Thus, Candles by Lumeire was born. 

Candles by Lumiere are created by taking cans from various breweries and making unique scents and selling them in taprooms and boutique stores. A portion of the proceeds go back to a rotation of nonprofits. 

“It’s always bigger than beer. Creating, growing, learning, giving back,” he said. “That’s what this industry is really all about.”

Where to find Candles by Lumiere:

Service Brewing Co., Savannah, Ga.

Smoke ‘N Brew, Charleston, S.C.

Locally Made, Savannah, Ga.

Two Tides, Savannah, Ga. 

Revelry Brewery Co., Charleston, S.C.

Low Tide Brewing, Charleston, S.C. 

Lincoln & South Brewing Co., Hilton Head, S.C. 

Mildred Newberry, Charleston, S.C.

Saltwater Cowboys, Charleston, S.C. 

Commonhouse Aleworks, Charleston, S.C.

Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co., Charleston, S.C. 

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