Bike Week? It’s American Craft Beer Week in Myrtle Beach

For Weekly SurgeMay 11, 2014 

It’s Bike Week here in the Myrtle Beach area, but across the nation, the Brewer’s Association has designated May 12-18 as American Craft Beer Week. And if you are looking for a crafty way to celebrate, hop on your Harley and head over to Broadway at the Beach to Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery’s grand re-opening. The brewpub has a big week planned – complete with a few surprises.

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is that it’s not actually Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery anymore. After making big changes to both the inside and outside of the popular brewpub, the name has been changed – to Liberty Brewery & Grill. The name change reflects Liberty’s renewed commitment to providing top-notch homemade ales and lagers, as well as a new pub-focused food menu.

“We started with the floors, then with the new floors, we wanted new paint. Then we couldn’t stop there. We hung new artwork, renovated the beer garden and overhauled the menu,” said David Thurber, Liberty Brewery & Grill’s Operating Partner.

Outside the brewpub, thirsty visitors are greeted by a new sign – showcasing the new name – as well as an LED-lit sign that will transition from red to white to blue and should be visible from Surfside Beach (well, maybe not that far). The beer garden has been spruced up with new planters and furniture, as well as a new roof with wood paneling that replaces the old cloth tarp roof.

The menu has been completely revamped, as well. The steaks are still there, but the pizzas are gone – they’ve been reincarnated as flatbreads. There are many new items, including chicken fingers and waffles, bratwurst, boiled peanut hummus and the “Pint of Bacon” – a pint glass with five strips of bacon, served with a sambal pepper maple syrup.

I’ve always loved the chicken fingers at Liberty – almost to the point of obsession – so I was worried they may not have made the cut. But, not only are my precious chicken fingers still on the menu – they’re even better - having been reinvented as chicken and waffles – served with a sweet waffle and a savory syrup that’s been infused with red pepper flakes. The sweet and salty flavors make it an ideal pairing with the Honest I.P. Abe or Liberty Lager.

Liberty Brewery & Grill is celebrating its grand re-opening during American Craft Beer Week with seven days of food and drink specials – including the tapping of two special beers. The Very Jerry – a decadent chocolate, cherry imperial porter and Saison de Liberty – a dry, lemongrass-infused Belgian farmhouse ale. The Very Jerry has just the right amount of cherry – perfect on the nose and not too sweet – an easy drinker for its 7.8 percent Alcohol By Volume. The Saison de Liberty is a thirst-quenching, refreshing beer perfect for summer. The citrus flavor is definitely present, but not overpowering. It has a dry finish that leaves the drinker wanting more. I have a feeling this beer won’t last long through what is sure to be a hot summer.

Brewmaster Mike Silvernale will tap two special firkins, or casks, on Thursday (May 15) and Saturday (May 17). The firkins are small kegs that have been filled with beer and set aside to naturally carbonate. The firkin tapped on Thursday will contain the Very Jerry, along with some Woodford Reserve bourbon-soaked oak spirals; and the second firkin, tapped on Saturday, will contain the saison, along with a bunch of El Dorado hops.

“We tried to go with a big contrast between the two new beers. One big beer and one session brew. The bourbon barrel Very Jerry is going to be pretty intense. The bourbon profile, along with the cherry, chocolate and the roastiness is going to make a pretty deep and interesting beer. I’m loving the El Dorado hops right now, so I’m pretty fired up about the El Dorado dry-hopped Saison firkin, too,” said Silvernale.

Schedule for Craft Beer Week at Liberty Brewery & Grill:

Monday, May 12: $2.75 All pints, all day

Tuesday, May 13: Tap into Tuesday - $5 growler refills, $10 new growlers

Wednesday, May 14: New beer tapping at 4 p.m.; Very Jerry: Imperial Chocolate Cherry Porter; performance by Jeff Thomas 4-7 p.m.

Thursday, May 15: Firkin tapping at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, May 16: New beer tapping at 4 p.m.; Saison de Liberty; performance by Stevie Mac 4-7 p.m.

Saturday, May 17: Firkin tapping at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 18: $2.75 all pints, all day

Gordon Biersch gets in on the act, too

Liberty isn’t the only local brewpub getting into the spirit of American Craft Beer Week – Gordon Biersch at The Market Common has a full slate of specials lined up, also. Stop in and enjoy the fresh German-style lagers and food specials.

Monday, May 12: Happy Hour Pizza and 21-oz. GB Craft Beer for $10

Tuesday, May 13: $2.50 pricing on all Gordon Biersch drafts

Wednesday, May 14: $6 GB Cheeseburger with Purchase of Craft Beer at Happy Hour

Thursday, May 15: Gordon Biersch Brewery Tour with Craft Beer Samples

Friday, May 16: Gordon Biersch Beer Samplers $6 all day

Saturday, May 17: Legendary Garlic Fries and a Craft Beer $10 all day

Sunday, May 18: Buy a Screw-Top Growler for the Price of a Refill all day

Rivertown ruminations

We attended the Rivertown Music and Craft Beer Festival in downtown Conway on May 3. It was a beautiful, sunny day for beer and live entertainment. There were many vendors on hand, a classic car show and more than 80 beers on draft. The Crafty Rooster sponsored and supplied the craft beer for the event. My first stop was a jockey box that contained Stone Saison, Stone Sprocketbier, Grand Teton’s Lost Continent and barrel-aged Ellida IPA from Quest.

I opted for the Stone Saison, which turned out to be a great choice. It’s a hoppy saison that doesn’t venture into Belgian IPA territory. It is a delicious, dry saison that conforms to the style and will appeal to those who are into saisons already as well as those being introduced to the style. I then opted for a pour of the Lost Continent Double IPA to sip on while I spoke to Steven Riddei and Royce Green of the Myrtle Beach Area Society of Homebrewers, who were brewing a Schwartzbier (black lager) for a homebrew demonstration beside the Homebrewer’s Pantry booth.

Upcoming events

The Mellow Mushroom in Myrtle Beach is hosting a beer dinner from 7-9 p.m. May 20 or a brand new brewery from Florence – Seminar Brewing. Tickets are only available online at www.eventbrite.com/e/seminar-brewing-beer-dinner-myrtle-beach-tickets-11531542153.

Brews’n the Boulevard, is from 4-8 p.m. June 6 at Plyler Park in Myrtle Beach. Tickets are $15 each or couples for $25. Day of event tickets are $25 each. Advance tickets are available online at www.mbhospitality.org.

Looking for fame and glory? The 2nd annual Liberty Brewery & Grill homebrew competition, “Wanna Get Tapped?” is accepting registrations until June 6. There are a limited number of entries, so if you think you have what it takes – stop by Liberty and register and get busy brewing.

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

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