More Myrtle Beach-area craft brew news you can use

For Weekly SurgeApril 15, 2014 

Homebrewers Pantry Grand Opening

A crowd of brewers and the curious gathered at the Homebrewer’s Pantry in historic downtown Conway on April 5 for the grand opening party. There were sandwich wraps and brownies from KC’s Deli, live music and, of course, plenty of homebrew to sample.

When I arrived, local musician Jeff Thomas was just finishing up his set. There was a crowd of about 15-20 people milling about, tasting and talking about beer, enjoying some food and browsing the store’s inventory. I tasted some of Andy Jones’ raspberry shandy, a refreshingly tart wheat beer that had been blended with lemonade. Royce Green brought a dark Belgian strong ale and store co-owner, Thomas Lucas, served his Red Eye PA. Other brews present included a hefeweizen, a lavender blonde, a black IPA and a chocolate peanut butter porter. Co-owner Melissa Lucas was pouring her homemade root beer for those not quite ready for a beer buzz.

Throughout the course of the grand opening, close to 100 people came by to check out the new store. The owners had another reason to celebrate – they met their Kickstarter crowd-funding goal of raising $3,000 in 30 days. The money from the Kickstarter fund will go to expand the store’s inventory and enhance the Lucas’ ability to offer more tastings and instructional classes.

"Being a part of the beer and homebrew community for a few years, we were expecting to see a lot of familiar faces. What we didn't expect is all the closet brewers –people we've never met – people that didn't know that a local homebrew group existed. We're so happy to own a place where all these brewers can come together and meet and talk beer,” said Thomas Lucas.

Horry Georgetown Technical College to Offer Brewing Degree

Headed off to college and wanting to pick the best major ever? Maybe you’re up for some continuing education for a new career? Well, if you are interested in pursuing a career in brewing, Horry Georgetown Technical College has the perfect course of study for you. Horry Georgetown Technical College recently announced it is going to start offering a degree in brewing, distillation and fermentation. The local college is currently on a fact-finding mission to gauge the statewide demand for employees in the craft beer industry. Classes not only will focus on the actual act of brewing beer, but also will cover the business side, sales and distribution of craft beer. HGTC is consulting with New South Brewing on some of the logistics of the program and plan on using the brewery for some of the hands-on portions of the classes.

“Brewing is becoming big business in South Carolina, and we think that HGTC’s brewing program is a great idea and we will lend our support in whatever capacity we can,” said David Epstein, owner and Brewmaster of New South Brewing.

Students will be able to begin their studies under the new major in the fall of 2015. HGTC will be the first college in South Carolina to offer a major in brewing.

Beer, BBQ & Bluegrass

This Saturday, April 19 is the inaugural Beer, BBQ & Bluegrass at Valor Park at Market Common. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and admission is free. There will be 20 to 30 different vendors and activities for kids.

The beer for the event includes Sam Adams Rebel IPA, Highland Gaelic Ale, Foothills Carolina Blonde, Angry Orchard Cider and various craft bottles. For a limited time, beers left over from the Myrtle Beach Beer Fest will be on sale. The beers and barbecue will be sold using the ticket system. Festival organizer, Mike Shank, said to expect a few beer-y surprises throughout the day.

“This has been an event that I’ve wanted to put on for awhile. And, with the help of The Market Common, it’s become a reality. We have a great band lineup and I’m really excited to see how the community responds,” said Shank.

Brews’n the Boulevard

Coastal Uncorked, the annual Myrtle Beach food, wine and spirits festival has announced a new event for this year incorporating craft beer. Brews’n the Boulevard is set for June 6 from 4-8 p.m. at Plyler Park. Ticket sales are limited to 1,500 and are $15 each or $25 for couples. Day of event tickets are $25 each. Advance tickets are available online at www.mbhospitality.org.

Event-goers will be able to sample more than 75 different brews from the east coast, along with food and live entertainment. For more updates as they become available, go to the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mbhospitality.

There are even more events coming up on the beer calendar this spring. Hurricane Maggie’s is hosting Stone Brewing for a Tap Takeover on April 25. Expect a nice lineup of Stone brews including Sublimely Self Righteous, Old Guardian barleywine, Imperial Russian Stout, Go To IPA and maybe even take home some schwag. The Conway Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival, sponsored by the Crafty Rooster is scheduled for May 3. For a full calendar of events and more information, check out MyrtleBeachCraftBeer.com/events and follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheNewBeerman.

Contact John Garner at MBCraftBeer@gmail.com and follow him at www.facebook.com/TheNewBeerman.

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