When Edward Westbrook was in college, his girlfriend, Morgan—now his wife and business partner—teased him for drinking cocktails. “I challenged him to make beer instead, and that was when homebrewing became our ‘thing’,” Morgan says. “It was pretty amazing to be able to brew a keg of beer (141 pints) for about $20. If you threw a kegger and charged $5 per cup, you could pay tuition. …I threw many keggers.”
Morgan decided after college that if beer could pay her tuition, it might as well pay her bills. “And I refused to date a lawyer,” she jokes. “That was another option for Edward, but that’s a whole different kind of work environment. So brewing is where we landed. It felt like home.”
The beery couple opened Westbrook Brewing on December 20, 2010, in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, to be close to their families—not to mention that the area had only a couple of breweries then. Five months later, they were married, and Edward brewed Mexican Cake for the wedding reception. The beer was a 10 percent ABV imperial stout with habaneros, cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa nibs added during conditioning. “I tried to make the flavors apparent but not overwhelming,” Edward says.
“I remember when he described Mexican Cake—I thought he was a little crazy,” Morgan remembers. “But he has a gift for understanding how to mix and match flavors, so I was into it.”