There’s less than a week left in summer, and as it comes to a close, I have to take a moment and reflect on the impact that craft beer has had on mine.
New businesses that focus on craft beer have opened on the Grand Strand and more beer festivals have taken place than ever before.
The Grumpy Monk, for example, has quickly become a fixture in the area and with the success of Monk-A-Palooza, its location and ambitious leadership, they are adding to the claim that this town wants and craves craft beer.
Even the options for buying bottled beer and growlers has expanded. The Piggly Wiggly in The Market Common’s legendary beer section seems to get bigger and more legendary by the minute, and other local area businesses are getting in on the action, too.
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The Homebrewer’s Pantry in Conway is already boasting an excellent collection of hand-selected goodies like brews by The Unknown Brewing Co. from Charlotte, N.C. Since you can buy and enjoy a brew on-site, it’s a great destination for relaxing and enjoying an awesome beer in addition to bringing along a home brew of your own.
All of this growth and expansion hasn’t gone unnoticed by the industry, either; it appears our town is more attractive than ever to those in the beer world. Recently, it has been announced that The Brass Tap has a location coming to The Market Common, and as an upscale restaurant and bar that is centered around beer, they have an excellent reputation in big cities across the country.
Even more recently, I stumbled across a quiet announcement that Coastal North Town Center is expanding in North Myrtle Beach. The part that made me jump up out of my seat was the inclusion of World of Beer to the list of businesses moving in the spring of 2016.
World of Beer is a national chain of craft beer-centered sports bars that have hundreds of beers available in all styles thinkable, have beer mixologists, and extremely knowledgeable staff. I’ve only ever heard about this place, so I’m very excited to have one so close to home!
To keep the craft beer momentum going, even in the sometimes too quiet “off season” of the Grand Strand, here is taste of the upcoming events and happenings to mark on your calendars.
Brew at the Zoo Beer Fest
First up is the annual Brew at the Zoo fundraising event for Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet on Sept. 26, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
The event is held to raise money for projects in the gardens and wildlife exhibits in the zoo at Brookgreen. More than 30 regionally and nationally brewed craft beers will be available for tasting along with live entertainment, silent auctions and raffles. The atmosphere of the event is always lively and the gorgeous backdrop of Brookgreen Gardens, fine art, and sipping and savoring craft brews is a match made in heaven.
Mellow Mushroom is keeping things lively having recently held its first in a series of beer dinners by hosting Green Man Brewery (Asheville, N.C.) at their location in North Myrtle Beach.
The four-course dinner featured some of Green Man’s most popular offerings like Green Man IPA and Green Man ESB with a menu designed to pair the beers with foods that enhanced their flavors. They also paired the Green Man Harvester Oktoberfest with a German pumpkin cake. Be on the lookout for many more beer dinners to be held at our local Mellow Mushrooms in the upcoming season.
Tap takeovers are always a favorite event of mine to attend and it appears that they are are starting to ramp up.
The Crafty Rooster in Conway recently held an Oktoberfest-themed tap takeover that included some of the sought-after fall seasonal brews like Rouge Pumpkin Patch Ale (Newport, Ore.) and Ballast Point Dead Ringer (San Diego, Calif). The Crafty Rooster has been a hot spot for craft beer in downtown Conway for while now and they plan to keep it that way with more takeovers and beer events planned for this season.
Next, they will have a tap takeover with New Belgium Brewing Company from Asheville, N.C. on Oct. 1.
The Grumpy Monk is starting with a 10-tap takeover by Sweetwater Brewing from Atlanta on Sept 18. In addition to the takeover, The Grumpy Monk has been chosen to host a Brewmaster’s keg starting the same night and continuing on the third Friday of each month. The brewmaster’s keg is a series of special release brews that are limited to just 20 kegs across the country. This month’s keg is a Rosemary IPA.
On Sept. 19, Atlas Tap House is having a tap takeover of its own, playing host to Dogfish Head Brewery from Milton, Del. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Dogfish Head is one of the original craft beer staples since opening in 1995. Having a reputation for brewing “off-centered” ales, checking out this tap take over is a must if you want to sample some unique offerings.