I’m not running for political office, so I have no reason to lie.
Yes, I’m gonna ‘fess up – I basically stole the idea for this week’s cover story from another publication.
It’s not exactly like the story I stumbled upon – but the premise is very similar.
I was nosing around on the Charleston City Paper’s Web site, when a story about beer flights available in the Holy City’s watering holes caught my eye. No, beer flights aren’t drunken escapades on airplanes. Rather, they are those sample platters you may have seen that offer mini-glasses of a pub’s various beers, usually craft brews.
You’ve probably seen them at Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery at Broadway at the Beach, delivered on a paddle with holes in it to accommodate the glasses.
We’ve done various stories pertaining to the microbrew and craft brew revolution that’s been going on in the Myrtle Beach area through the years, but it had never occurred to me to take a look at the beer flight phenomenon.
I Googled “beer flight” and came up with a couple of more similar stories in other locales, such as Los Angeles.
Surely this phenomenon is going on here at our li’l ol’ beer-swilling beach where we have three brewery/restaurants that make their own beer in addition to a bustling microbrewery that supplies bars, pubs and restaurants in the region, so I dispatched our resident libations expert, Colin “The Beerman” Burch, to get on the case and investigate.
He came back with a positive diagnosis, so I figured we’d give it the Surge cover story treatment.
Meanwhile, another beer-sampling event sprung up slated for this weekend in the form of Brews, Blues and BBQ at The Deck at the House of Blues, featuring more than 50 craft barley-and-hops concoctions. (For more information on that event, see Becky Billingsley’s An Open & Shut Case.)
Fifty beers? Does that sound daunting? How do you know what to try? What if you’re new to this whole craft brew thing and don’t know the difference between a Hefeweizen and an India Pale Ale?
Here’s the connecting thread: check out Burch’s sampling of area beer samplers and find out about how you can expand and educate your potable palate.
And for good measure, I headed out last weekend to do some research of my own and sampled the beer sampler at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant at The Market Common. I’d had it before, but it had been awhile, and this time I really enjoyed my experience.
And that has quite a bit to the informative placemat that the micro-sized glasses of ale are set on while you sip. It kinda looks like a board game, with little circles where you set your beers, replete with logos, how to pronounce the beers (such as “hay-fa-VEIT-sen), and information about how they should taste, their history and awards that have been racked up from the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival.
Honestly, I’m itching to go back after Gordon Biersch taps its next seasonal – the sixth sort of wildcard slot on the sampler sheet – which I expect will be an Oktoberfest.
Here’s a couple of Surge-related items I wanted to let you know about:
First up, for all you aspiring shutterbugs/paparazzi out there, we are hosting the Surge Summer Snapshot Smackdown IV contest for the best photos depicting life here at the beach. The winner’s photo will be featured on the cover of the Rolling Stone, er, I mean Weekly Surge, and we’ll profile the winning artiste. You can get details by clicking on the “Contest” button on our homepage, and/or in the house ad on page 25 of this week’s print edition.
Also be sure to put Sept. 7 on your calendar, because that’s when Surge will celebrate its 6th birthday with a happy hour-styled shindig at The Deck at the House of Blues at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach.
The party is from 5-7 p.m. and features a free appetizer buffet, games such as cornhole, and an after-party at 8 p.m. with Surge’s own Paul Grimshaw Band (well, we don’t own him, but he does write for us). There is no cover charge.
Kent Kimes, Editor