I thought that my summer camp days were over, but I was lucky enough to join about 75 other, lets call them “campers,” at the Crafty Rooster on July 24 as the downtown Conway pub hosted Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp. Very busy “beertenders” poured 4-ounce samples of each of the 12 beers featured in Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America 12-pack.
The 12-pack commemorates the opening of the new East Cast expansion of Sierra Nevada in Mills River, N.C. and features collaboration beers from craft breweries across the country.
The beers include: Yonder Bock, a tropical Maibock, from Cigar City Brewing of Tampa, Fla.; Electric Ray, an India Pale Lager, from Ballast Point Brewing Company of San Diego; Yvan the Great, a Belgian-style blonde ale, from Russian River Brewing of Santa Rosa, Calif.; Torpedo Pilsner, a hopped-up pilsner, from Firestone Walker of Paso Robles, Calif.; There and Back, an English-style bitter, from New Glarus Brewing Company of Wisconsin.
The camp also featured Myron’s Walk, a Belgian-style pale ale, brewed in collaboration with Allagash of Portland, Maine; Alt Route, an Altbier, from Victory Brewing of Downington, Pa.; Chico King, a pale ale, from 3 Floyds Brewing Company of Munster, Ind.;. Double Latte, a coffee milk stout, from Ninkasi Brewing Company of Eugene, Ore.; CANfusion, a Rye Bock, from Oskar Blues Brewery of Brevard, N.C. Tater Ridge, a Scottish ale, was brewed in collaboration with the Asheville Brewers Alliance – an organization made up of 30 representatives from Asheville area breweries. Maillard’s Odyssey, an imperial dark ale, was brewed in collaboration with Bell’s Brewing of Kalamazoo, Mich.
The beers were served in three flights of four beers. They were presented from lightest (Torpedo Pilsner) to darkest (Double Latte) on a placemat adorned with the brewers and styles of each – so the drinker could keep track of which beer was which. While all the beers were solid, there were some definite favorites in the bunch. Being a sucker for big, dark, roasty stouts and over-the-top hops, I enjoyed the Double Latte and the CANfusion the most. Also being a fan of funky, tart brews, the Russian River Yvan the Great did not disappoint.
In other news…• Mellow Mushroom of North Myrtle Beach hosted a job fair on July 31, and yours truly checked it out. Attendees were able to exchange e-mail addresses and social media “likes” for pizza and beer. Live music, a bouncy house and job interviews akin to speed dating kept the crowd entertained and excited for the pizza/craft beer joint’s impending fall opening.
• Entries have been turned in for the second annual Wanna Get Tapped? home brew competition at Liberty Brewery & Grill at Broadway at the Beach. This year’s theme is: caramel and coffee. Judging should happen in the next few weeks, with the winner to be announced in early September.
• Atlas Tap Room in downtown Myrtle Beach is already expanding. Brothers Aaron Gifford and Mark Gifford are busy working on their outside deck to allow for more seating and a fire pit for the fall. They have also removed their pool table from the back room and have made it more comfy with leather sofas and a large coffee table.
• Gordon Biersch has released another special beer for the summer. Brewmaster Michael Grossman has crafted a Rye Alt, which he describes as the German answer to Rye Pale Ale. Made with a generous amount of rye malt and spicy German hops, it is a deep golden color and clocks in at 5.6 percent ABV (Alcohol By Volume). It will be on tap through Aug. 24 at Gordon Biersch at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach.
Upcoming events• The Crafty Rooster is hosting an Oskar Blues Tap Takeover on Thursday, starting at 4 p.m.. Pours include some classics such as Deviant Dale’s, Old Chub, Gubna Imperial IPA and the dank imperial stout, Ten Fidy. There will also be a few one-offs and special beers, including Full Pint, an American Strong Ale, rye beers Crye Me a River and Reeb Rye’d, Robert Beedus Jr., an Irish Dry Stout, Good Game, an 11 percent Quad, Tickled Pink saison and Watermelon Mama – Mama’s Little Yella Pils with watermelon added.
• Hurricane Maggie’s in Myrtle Beach is hosting a Sweetwater Tap Takeover on Aug. 15 at 5 p.m., with Sound Effect also playing.
• The Beer Den at the Carolina Forest Lowe’s Foods is also hosting a Sweetwater Tap Takeover on its growler station on Aug. 16 – featuring the Sweetwater brews 420, Blue, IPA, Georgia Brown, Waterkeeper hefeweizen and Take Two Pils.
• The Third Annual Brew at the Zoo is scheduled for Sept. 27 at Brookgreen Gardens’ Lowcountry Zoo. Organizers are offering an expanded selection this year, as well as a homebrewing demo from local homebrew club, Myrtle Beach Area Society of Homebrewers (M.A.S.H.).