Days after dying, Charleston beer visionary Rich Carley saves his childhood friend's life

Childhood friends, circa 1985 (Provided)By Hanna Raskin hraskin@
Friends mourning Rich Carley have referred again and again to his big heart, but the late Charleston Beer Exchange co-founder’s immediate legacy was his kidney.

Carley’s family this week arranged to donate the organ to his childhood friend Sal Casale, who in 2016 was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Casale on Sunday night underwent a successful kidney transplant in Syracuse, N.Y.

“It’s not lost on us that this is just the smallest of silver linings in a tremendous tragedy,” said Casale’s older brother, Tony. “But Rich was available for a final gesture of friendship.”

A beloved member of the Southeast craft beer scene, Carley died last week at 37. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

According to Tony Casale, his brother last saw Carley in November 2017. But the two were constant companions as children in Johnstown, N.Y. “You could throw a baseball from our porch to his porch, and that’s something that probably happened quite often,” Casale said. Their mothers still live in those houses, and Casale describes them as “the best of friends.” Continue reading

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