Myrtle Beach’s beer industry could soon have a new player in the game.
Located at the corner of Knoles Street and Johnson Avenue, a former Air Force base building could soon house a brewery and distribution center near The Market Common.
“It certainly would be a ground breaker,” said Michael Grossman, who is working to bring the brewery to the area. “It certainly would attract others like it to come here. There’s other cities throughout the country that have become known for their beer tourism.”
Grossman, who is the former brew master at Gordon Biersch, said his brewery concept is unique because it gives people the option to brew their own beer under the supervision of a brewmaster. After about two weeks, people can come back to package their beer.
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The brewery would offer five core beers and seasonal recipes, mead and cider.
Light food would be offered, including pretzels, popcorn and peanuts. The brewery also would offer a craft-your-own-menu, where guests can decide what they want on a panini or a salad.
Adrian Sawczck, co-founder and investor in the brewery, described the space as having a small kitchen, office and a taproom that would act as a test space for new recipes.
“If you look at the growth of breweries now, it is very important to have that taproom in order to be successful because it engages the local community,” Sawczck said.
The taproom will offer activities, like pool, games, cornhole, karaoke and trivia nights. Vice president of development Dara Liberatore said activities like group workouts and nights dedicated to different charities and nonprofits would also utilize the taproom.
But the area where the brewery would go is currently zoned for limited manufacturing, which does not allow for brewery or brew pubs.
During Tuesday’s Myrtle Beach Planning Commission meeting, members toyed with the idea of defining those words to allow for the use in the limited manufacturing zones, which regulates smoking, odors and light coming from businesses on the properties.
Planning Director Carol Coleman said if the language was changed, it would allow breweries and brew pubs in five areas within the city — between The Market Common and Myrtle Beach International Airport, between Harrelson and the north industrial park, and small plots off U.S. 17 South, Canon Street and Mr. Joe White Avenue.
No decisions were made at the meeting, but commissioners referenced three breweries in Myrtle Beach — New South Brewing, Gordon Biersch and Liberty Tap Room and Grill.
The difference, however, is the proposed brewery would manufacture and sell bottles and cans to local restaurants and stores, rather than focus on a restaurant.
Moving forward, Grossman said he will work with planning commission on the zoning change. Once that is approved, he will begin construction on the building.
“It’s going to bring a lot of excitement,” Grossman said. “Being that this LM is near residential property as well as shopping, it’s just a stroke of luck, in my opinion, that you have these other components within walking distance. So, residents can have that third space. They get home from work, they want a place to hang out, relax. … That’s the kind of concept this is.”