Keeping the Myrtle Beach beer geeks happy during summer

For Weekly SurgeJuly 23, 2014 

Summer may be peak season at the beach for tourism, pool days and playing in the surf, but it’s definitely not peak beer fest season. Most locals are too busy entertaining visiting family and friends who magically appear this time every year. So, the beer events are a bit sparse during the summer, but luckily, there were a couple of great events this past weekend to keep the beer geeks happy.

The third annual Brews-a-Palooza was held on The Deck at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Saturday (July) 19. Event-goers were able to purchase a tasting glass and tickets for pours of 30 different craft beers. Beer tables were arranged along the perimeter of The Deck, with the Craft Beer Lagoon pouring a few select craft drafts, such as Lagunitas IPA.

There was a nice variety of local and regional brews, including Foothills Torch Pilsner, Aviator Hogwild IPA, Terrapin RecreationAle, Lone Rider Shotgun Betty, Natty Greene’s Buckshot Amber Ale, Red Hare Long Day Lager, RJ Rockers Son of a Peach, Thomas Creek Chocolate Orange IPA and Myrtle Beach’s New South White Ale.

The JJ Rupp Band was pumping and tables of comfortable beer drinkers were ordering food as well as full bar items. The Deck is always a hip spot to enjoy craft beer – whether at one of its many beer festivals hosted throughout the year, or just for happy hour. The Deck’s next beer-related event is the annual Brews, Blues and BBQ, which will be on Aug. 30.

“The Deck is the perfect spot for beer festivals and we are trying to add new events each year,” said Jacki Giardina, House of Blues Booking and Promotions Director.

Saturday was also the July meeting of the Myrtle Beach Area Society of Homebrewers (MASH), held at the Homebrewer’s Pantry in downtown Conway. Local homebrewers wasted no time in opening and tasting members’ homemade fermented beverages.

Andrew Vovou shared his Black Rye Kolsch and Citra Double IPA – both were outstanding. Club President Joe Novak opened his awesome Trinity Tripel, made with three different base grains and hops. Homebrewer’s Pantry co-owner Melissa Lucas shared a homemade mead and hard lemonade – both distinctive and very tasty. Joe Baxter shared his American Pale Ale and his Liberty competition entry from last year, a spiced beer that had aged well.

Tasting homebrew is nothing new to this group, but there was definitely something out of the ordinary happening at this month’s meeting – MASH hosted guest speakers from Florence’s Seminar Brewing. Brewers and co-owners Shawn Steadman and Bryan Fisher made the trip from Florence to Conway to answer questions, pour their beer and pass out the always-popular brewery schwag.

The pair answered questions from the group about making the transition from homebrewing to commercial brewing, their recipes, and the challenges they encountered in starting their brewery – which opened in March. One member was curious as to whether the brewers still do any homebrewing.

“Unfortunately, the last thing any of us want to do after brewing all week is stand over a steaming brew kettle at home during our free time,” said Fisher.

Fisher and Steadman brought an enormous cooler filled with growlers full of different Seminar beers and poured samples for the club members. Howler Red Ale, Restless Wheat American Wheat Ale, Crow Foot Wheat Stout, Rye Smile Rye Beer, Citrocity IPA, Plan C IPA and the popular Peanut Butter Craver porter. All of Seminar Brewing’s beers are solid and highly drinkable. Their beers are popping up all over the beach – so make sure you try one when you run across it.

And lastly, Hurricane Maggie’s hosted a Lonerider Tap Takeover on Friday night (July 18). Five taps were dedicated to the Raleigh, N.C. brewery – Peacemaker Pale Ale with Raspberries, Red Spur Amber Ale, Sweet Josie Brown Ale, regular Peacemaker Pale Ale and Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen. Lonerider hats, shirts and beer signs were given away to lucky patrons.

Beer Boot Camp

• On Thursday, the Crafty Rooster in Conway is hosting Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America. Sierra Nevada brewed a special 12-pack of collaboration beers, and the Crafty Rooster will have all 12 beers available for tasting. Advance tickets are $20 each and will get you tastes of all the Beer Camp beers ($25 day of event). There will also be giveaways and schwag. The event starts at 5 p.m. and lasts until all the beer is gone. The Crafty Rooster is at 1125 Third Avenue, Conway. Call 438-8330 or visit www.craftyrooster.com.

In the Beer Den

The growler station at the Beer Den at Lowe’s Foods on International Drive in Carolina Forest will host a New South tap takeover on Saturday. Featured beers on tap will be Myrtle Beach-brewed White Ale, Nut Brown Ale, New South IPA, Lager, Summer Session, Red Ale, Stout and Lily the Great Imperial Stout.

Contact JOHN GARNER at MBCraftBeer@gmail.com and follow him at www.facebook.com/TheNewBeerman.

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