Beerman for Feb. 7, 2013

New South gets heavy

For Weekly SurgeFebruary 4, 2013 

To at least one 19th Century British brewer, Russia’s Catherine the Great was worthy of a new beer style: the imperial stout.

And with the first birthday of a little girl named Lily, yet another lady is considered worthy of an imperial stout.

At least in the eyes of New South Brewing Co.’s head brewer, Brock Kurtzman.

Kurtzman’s beloved daughter inspired the name for Lily the Great, the Myrtle Beach brewery’s first foray into high-gravity beers. Imperial stout is Kurtzman’s favorite beer style, and Lily the Great is a potent one, hitting 11.3 percent.

Mike Byrd, general manager of craft-beer destination Piggly Wiggly at The Market Common, said he will have Lily the Great available at his growler station this weekend – an exclusive preview before the Feb. 18 release party at Mellow Mushroom, 1571 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach.

Lily the Great was the product of a noteable collaboration between homebrewers and New South. The beer began as a homebrew recipe by Byrd and John “Jilly” Garner of Myrtle Beach Craft Beer. The home-brewed version was called Graves of Valor, and apparently it had developed a following among fellow homebrewers.

Byrd and Garner talked with Kurtzman and Dave Epstein, owner of New South, about brewing it, offering the recipe and free labor.

“I also told Dave, if he agreed to brew it Jilly and I would sell it,” Byrd wrote me in a Facebook message.

So Lily the Great isn’t only New South’s first foray into high-gravity beers. It’s also a beer that has crossed from home-brew to microbrew.

“It was a great learning experience for us to be able to work in a brewery instead of our little 15 gallon homebrew system,” Byrd wrote. Kegging was planned for Wednesday (Feb. 6), he said.

The imperial stout, as a beer style, deserves some explanation. Smuttynose Brewing Co. of Portsmouth, N.H., known for its own imperial stout, describes the beer style this way: “Originally brewed in the early 19th century for export from Britain to the imperial court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, imperial stouts are characterized by their dark color & full body.”

But this one will be made here, and it will be called Lily.

New South already has a few tap handles for Lily the Great – it will only be available in draft – and Epstein is working on a groovy poster. On Monday, Kurtzman sent me a photo of an early draft of the poster, which mentions “an assertive hop presence.”

That’s another thing Kurtzman loves almost as much as his daughter – hops.

Beer Fest needs volunteers

Here’s a chance to be where the action is. Organizers for the 5th Annual Myrtle Beach Beer Fest need volunteers to work at least one full session. As compensation, volunteers will receive a free ticket to attend another session of their choosing.

The fest will be held March 29-30 at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. If you’re interested in volunteering, e-mail event organizer Mike Shank at . For additional information, see .

This marks the first time the fest will be held at HOB. The first four beer fests were held at The Market Common.

[subhead] Brewery goes greenish

The Alaskan Brewing Co. of Juneau, Alaska, has found a way to turn its leftover grains into energy.

The brewery spent $1.8 million on a furnace to burn leftover grains for steam that powers “the majority of the brewery’s operations,” according to the Associated Press.

Farms and ranches take most of the used grains from breweries, but with only 37 farms in southeast Alaska, according the AP, not all of Alaskan Brewing’s grains were needed for agricultural purposes.

So, the company found an innovative solution.

Imagine that – using the waste from the product you make to cut your power bill. Smart.

Contact Colin Burch at

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