Monday, December 31, 2007

How German Beer Came to the Carolinas: A True Story

This is a great story that I was lucky enough to report for my column in this week's Weekly Surge.


By Colin Burch
For Weekly Surge
When Werner Hoppe helped build the Georgetown Steel Mill in 1969, the crates of equipment from Germany often held a special reminder of home. The good-hearted workers in Germany stashed German wine or beer into the shipment, he said.

But then, one day, the United States government did what it does best. It stole the joy of Hoppe and other Germans working on the mill. Customs agents discovered that alcohol was arriving in the equipment crates, and said, in so many words, "You can't do that."

So Werner Hoppe went down to the customs office and found out about the procedures for importing alcohol into the U.S. Soon, the native of Cologne, Germany, decided to set up his own import business in Georgetown.

W.H. Company started with German wine, and eventually added beers including Bitburger Pils, Maisel's Weisse, and more, even some English brews. He continued working with the Georgetown steel mill until 1975, when he went into the import business full-time.

His son, Andy Hoppe, a tennis coach at Carolina Forest High School and Georgetown native, said it took some effort on his father's part to get the company off the ground. "It was a lot of hard work at first, trying to learn how alcohol is bought and sold in this country," he said.

But Werner Hoppe figured it out. He got his own warehouse in Georgetown and trucks for distribution. He had distributors up and down the East coast, Andy Hoppe said. When the orders for German imports became big enough, the exporters were able to deliver directly to the distributors, so the warehouse and the trucks were no longer necessary. Werner Hoppe was able to run the import business from his home.

Werner Hoppe has scaled back his operations in recent years. He stopped carrying wine 15 years ago. More recently, he returned the rights to sell Bitburger to the brewery back in Germany. In a technical sense, he still oversees Bitburger's import into North Carolina, but he is no longer involved with the marketing.

Today, W.H. Company imports only Maisel's Weisse in two varieties, the original which includes yeast, and the filtered version called Kristallklar, which was hailed by the late beer expert Michael Jackson as one of the best beers in the world. And W.H. Company only brings Maisel's Weisse into two states, working with Southern Wine and Spirits in South Carolina, and two distributors in North Carolina: Highland Distribution Co. and Mutual Distribution Co., said Andy Hoppe.

So if you drink Maisel's Weisse in the Carolinas, thank Werner Hoppe.

Still speaking with a strong German accent, he scaled back his import operation because he wanted to do other things at this stage in his life. He recently wrote a book, "Justice Comes After Death," which is available at Horst Gasthaus in North Myrtle Beach and River Room in Georgetown, where the purchase of the book comes with a free Maisel's Weisse glass. The book is also available at My Sister's Books in Pawleys Island, at which a book-signing is tentatively scheduled for January 15.

Despite his new endeavors, Werner Hoppe didn't sound like he wants to stop with the two Maisel's Weisse brews. He said a Maisel's Weisse sister brewery has a lager that he'll probably add to his imports.

Andy Hoppe said he'll eventually take over the business.

I asked him what he and his father think about the big American domestic beers. "We tend to avoid those whenever possible," he said with a laugh.


I'm taking a couple of weeks off. Let's keep all the Surge readers out of the slammer - don't drive after you've been drinking, and have a Happy New Year.

- Contact Colin Burch - the Beerman - at

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Just in time for Beowulf: Mead!

Have you every tried mead before?

Mead is a fermented-honey beverage, usually with a few other things thrown in.

If you've ever read the ancient warrior-and-monster poem of Beowulf -- surely better than the movie currently in theaters -- you know that the king Hrothgar builds a "mead hall" early in the story.

I recently tried some home-made mead, interviewed the woman who made it, and wrote about it for the Weekly Surge in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Check out the column here:

It includes some links that tell you how to make your own mead!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Making the leap into home brewing

Commencing home-brewing in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with the help of Beach HomeBrew, and with hopes of 53 bottles of beer at the cost of 57 cents each....

Click here to read about it.

What I got:

Basically what the pieces look like:

Friday, November 23, 2007

World Market's Winter Brews 10-pack

The World Market chain carries assortments of American Micro Brews and Beers of the World in handsome, 10-pack boxes, suitable for gifting and re-gifting, for reasonable prices.

This year, the World Market in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at Seaboard Commons between 21st Ave. North and 10th Ave. North and U.S. 17 Bypass, has something I hadn't noticed before: a 10-pack of Winter Brews for $14.99.

Like the American Micro Brews and Beers of the World, which were both $12.99, each 10-pack of Winter Brews has a slightly different selection - and in some cases, they're technically autumnal brews.

My 10-pack has Spaten Oktoberfest, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Samuel Adams Cream Stout, Samuel Adams Holiday Porter, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Abita Pecan, Hoegaarden, Rogue Mocha Porter, Palmetto Charleston Lager, and Highland Oatmeal Porter.

My priest friend recently offered me a bottle of the Abita Pecan. It was decent beer, but not what I would have expected from Abita, a brewery of good repute. Although a flavored beer, the pecan presence wasn't strong.

Another box I looked at included a bottle of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale. World Market also has it in six-packs for $7.99.

(This came from my column in the Weekly Surge at .)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beer news from the Myrtle Beach, SC, area

Magic Hat #9 has arrived in the Myrtle Beach area, but it won't be the easiest beer to find. Read about it here:

Meanwhile, Dave Epstein at New South Brewing Co. in Myrtle Beach, S.C., says he's having a "banner year." Read about it here:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Related Feature

The above article features related content.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Santa Fe Pale Ale 'close second' to Sierra Nevada

I was recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and ate at the Catamount Bar & Grille, where I ordered a pint of Santa Fe Pale Ale.

Santa Fe Pale Ale reminded me of Sierra Nevada and Bass -- I loved it.

I'm not alone in my opinion. At a dinner party in Albuquerque the next day, I talked with a fellow who lives in Santa Fe. He said Sierra Nevada is his favorite beer, but Santa Fe Pale Ale is a "close second."

Sante Fe Brewing Company is the oldest microbrewery in New Mexico.
I also tried the microbrewery's Santa Fe Nut Brown. It was good, with the smoothness and malty sweetness I expect from nut brown ales, but not the depth and variety in the flavor profile that I had hoped for. Still, a good, solid nut brown.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Man stole two truckloads of beer

From the Toronto Star:

A Vaughan man has been charged in connection with the theft of two truck trailers of beer last month.

More than 100,000 cans and bottles of beer were taken Sept. 19 from Moosehead brewery's shipping partner on Dixie Rd near Hwy. 401 in Mississauga. The estimated retail value of the stolen beer was about $200,000, police said.

"Two were stolen from Mississauga and two were from Brampton," said Peel Region Const. J.P. Valade. "All of them contained different types of beer."

Police traced the stolen beer to a Rowntree Dairy Rd. warehouse, near Pine Valley Dr. and Hwy. 7, where they recovered 1,100 cases, some of it from earlier thefts.

Pullara Calogero, 59, is charged with two counts of possession of stolen property relating to the Mississauga thefts. Police are looking for other suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-453-2121 ext. 3313 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Foster's ad: fat trucker, Slovenian blondes

"FOSTER'S GROUP has created the unlikely partnership of a bevy of Slovenian blondes and a fat Aussie truckie to star in a blockbuster ad for its market-leading brand in the booming low-carbohydrate beer category," reports Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.

"Three years after quietly launching Pure Blonde, the company last night twisted the cap off a $3 million ad campaign marketing the beer as the purest drop to be found."

Read the article, and see a pic, at:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Eating & drinking in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

Another married couple invited my wife and I to spend a weekend in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., recently.

We met them on a recent Friday at the Giggling Mackerel at 65 Causeway Drive.

We found the Giggling Mackerel, and climbed a couple of flights of wood stairs to meet our friends on a deck bar above the restaurant.

Stepping onto the top reoriented the entire day - the breeze blew, the sun set, and the music played. The girl barkeep was cute and friendly. We could see the Intracoastal Waterway and the cars passing over the bridge.

The hostess called our names for dinner downstairs. We made it without tumbling down the steps, and I went for the Red Stripe. It was $3.75 per bottle, and could have been a couple of degrees colder, but a wedge of lime and a rack of ribs for $16.95 made up for it. The Giggling Mackerel also had seven domestic beers for $3 per bottle, and four other premium bottles for $3.75.

The next day I got a properly chilled Pabst Blue Ribbon at Sharky's at 61 Causeway Drive. Sharky's also had outside seating, but we opted for inside that afternoon. The PBR bottles, at $3 each, were very cold, thank God. We also got a half-pound of fried shrimp for an appetizer, $13.95. And then we had another.

Then the server told us the last chilled PBR had been served (to us), so instead of drinking a warm one, my buddy got a Pacifico for $4. I got Summer Bright Ale from Breckenridge Brewing in Colorado, at $2.50 per bottle. I had never seen this American Wheat Pale Ale before. It had a touch of that hop spiciness that hinted toward an India Pale Ale, giving it an interesting flavor with a light enough body to drink all the summer-day long. That one's definitely a keeper.

Our group decided that a pound of fried shrimp didn't make a dinner, so we went over to Cinelli's Pizza & Ristorante at 14 Causeway Drive. We sat at tall tables near the seven-seat wood bar with colorful hanging lights. Here I ordered a pint of Anheuser-Busch's Skipjack Amber. To get an idea of what this American All-Malt Lager tastes like, think of Yuengling and then take the malt a little more toward caramel, and make the hops a little bit crisper. Good stuff, $3 a pint.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Craft Beers and the Upcoming Holidays

Hey -- it's OK to drink beer with traditional holiday food.

You just have to know the right pairings.

The Brewers Association offers these suggestions at its holiday beer site,

Traditional Roast Turkey: The roasted and caramelized skin matches well with amber ale, a strong golden ale or an amber lager in the Vienna style.

Smoked Turkey: If your local brewery offers a smoked beer, that can serve as a complement to smoked turkey as well. Look for a porter, Scotch ale or amber ale in the smoked style.

Cajun Turkey: Celebrated beer writer and New Mexico resident Stan Hieronymus suggests a malty IPA to go with his favorite
Cajun turkey recipe. For a malty alternative that will stand up to the heat, try a dark bock or strong Scotch ale.

Ham: Like the fruit and cloves often used to prepare ham, the fruity, clove notes in weizen or the stronger weizenbock compliment ham at the dinner table.

Duck: The darker meat of duck offers a richer flavor than turkey and can stand up to a richer beer as well. Here a Belgian-inspired dubbel or a hearty Oktoberfest lager would go well.

Goose: Here too a richer beer than you would choose for turkey is in order. A Belgian-style triple or biere de garde would work well or maybe a bock or Scotch ale.

Salmon: A dunkel lager or Scottish ale can offer a clean toasted malt note to offset the firm flavors of salmon without a lot of bitterness that would overwhelm the fish. Other options would include a mild ale or steam beer.

Leg of Lamb: Pale ales provide a pleasant foil to lamb with spicy or herbal character to compliment the character of the meat along with some toasted malt notes. Or for more harmony with the roasted flavors of the meat, try a hoppy brown ale or porter.

Beef Tenderloin: This rich hearty cut of meat deserves a robust beer as a counterpoint but also calls for some contrast to clear the palate between bites. The ideal companion would seem to be an IPA or Imperial IPA. Other options might include a tripel or old ale.

Source: Brewers Association

Friday, September 28, 2007

Big-name Oktoberfests

You should be able to see a poll on Oktoberfest brews to the right.

I recently picked up Samuel Adams Octoberfest, which they spell with a "c" instead of a "k," and Michelob Marzen, which is an "Octoberfest Style Beer."

Dare I say it? I mean, last year, I totally chose Samuel Adams Octoberfest over Beck's Oktoberfest. But this year, I liked Michelob Marzen quite a bit. I'm not prepared to say it's better than Samuel Adams Octoberfest, but it might -- just might -- be as good.

Fortunately, you can't really go wrong with these three. Fact is, the Michelob Marzen is "worth a try," and the other two are a "good call," at .

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oktoberfest brews rule in Myrtle Beach area

Apparently, in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area, most beer-drinkers love autumn.

Brewers at long-standing local breweries, including New South Brewing Co. and Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery, say their Oktoberfests are their best-selling seasonal beers.

Josh Quigley hopes to join the mix. He will unleash a high-gravity Oktoberfest brew Friday (Sept. 14) at his restaurant-brewery, Quigley's Plate and Pint in Pawleys Island.Quigley describes it as a "malty amber lager," smooth and slightly sweet, with about 7.5 percent alcohol by volume. (He also recently unveiled his Black River Stout, which he called a "typical dry Irish stout.")

New South's Oktoberfest gets double exposure. The hybrid of traditional Oktoberfest and American amber lager has about 5-6 percent alcohol, owner-brewer Dave Epstein said. He usually has a New South seasonal and a separate seasonal for T-Bonz Gill & Grille, for which he crafts signature beers. In the case of Oktoberfest, which Epstein and T-Bonz folks both say is their best selling seasonal, it's the same brew for both outlets.

In recent years, this would be the week Oktoberfest would show up at T-Bonz, Epstein said. This year, New South rolled out a special T-Bonz brew called Bitter Bonz Extra Special Bitter (ESB) between summer's Blonde Bombshell and autumn's Oktoberfest.

T-Bonz's folks expect Bitter Bonz to last right about until Oktoberfest goes on sale at T-Bonz locations on Sept. 20. Meanwhile, New South has already shipped a few kegs of Oktoberfest to local bars, Epstein said.

Epstein said New South might use Bitter Bonz as the basis for this year's winter seasonal at T-Bonz. He wanted to get Bitter Bonz, at 8 percent alcohol, out this summer following changes in state law that allowed more alcohol content in beer. Bitter Bonz has "gone over really well," he said. I'm not surprised. It reminded me of the outstanding English import Fuller's ESB, the original ESB.

Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery, at Broadway at the Beach, will have its Oktoberfest on tap Sept. 28, brewmeister Eric Lamb said. The amber lager, about 7 percent alcohol, is his best selling seasonal.

The late September tapping introduces a month-long Oktoberfest celebration. Each Saturday in October, Liberty will have Hans Schmidt's German Band performing (times vary, so call 626-4677 for the schedule on your preferred weekend). The big weekend Oktoberfest blow-out will be Oct. 19-21, when Liberty will feature a special menu and possibly some beer specials - still developing - along with extra performances by Hans Schmidt's German Band.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Duck-Rabbit Brewery on Crafting Beer

You've got to love the way the folks at The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery describe their beer-crafting process:

"When we brew, we’re happy and we dance. During fermentation, we sing softly to the yeast."

Love it!

Check out The Duck-Rabbit.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Our Kind of Girl

Photo from Tractor Brewing Co.

Tractor Sod Buster Pale Ale

I tried this one last month in the Albuquerque airport, at the Route 66 Microbrewery. Tractor Brewing Co. is primarily a regional microbrewery, with a little distribution beyond New Mexico.

Tractor Brewing Co.'s Web site says its Sod Buster Pale Ale is "
Rich and complex in malty sweetness, yet loaded with Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest." Of course, I read that a good while after I had tried it. Here are my notes from my tasting:

"Is this supposed to be an India pale ale? If so it is not over-hopped. A light golden color, like a cloudy but light honey. Light-to-medium in body. A very muted citrus flavor. A finish that has just a tap of the good kind of bitter you find in beers."

I liked it.

Learn more about Tractor Brewing Co. at

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rio Grande Outlaw Lager

This beer comes from Rio Grande Brewing Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and on a recent trip I was at least able to get to a six-pack from a local grocery store.

Rio Grande Outlaw Lager has a crisp, hoppy aftertaste that you'd more likely associate with a lighter beer. It's medium-light in body with a honey-to-amber color.

A subtle spiciness in the hops, combined with great sugars from the malt, make for a pleasant drink and pleasant buzz. Where some lagers lean toward a citrus crispiness, this leans toward spice.

It's an excellent beer. Try it if you're in the Albuquerque area!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Yazoo Brewing Co.: Live from Nashville, Tenn.

I'm in Nashville, Tenn., for my first time -- just stopping for the night on my way out West -- and I found two beers from the local Yazoo Brewing Co. in the local Kroger, which did not have a wine section.

I had never heard of Yazoo beers before my trip to Kroger, but as it would happen, on my way through town to the hotel, I noticed the Marathon Motor Works Building (see a photo at this link:

The old Marathon Motor Works Building is the home of Yazoo Brewing Co.

This evening I bought six packs of Yazoo Pale Ale and Yazoo Dos Perros Ale for $7.49 each at Kroger, and I'm glad I did.

Yazoo Pale Ale has the fresh citrus touch and tartness of Sierra Nevada, with this difference: where Sierra Nevada is crisp, Yazoo Pale Ale is smooth. The difference is just about a wash in my book. This is a great beer.

Yazoo Dos Perros, with a medium body, excels in the malt department, with chocolate and light coffee tones, similar to the coffee from beans grown in Papua New Guinea. This is a good beer.

Visit the Yazoo Brewing Co. online at

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Does Highland Gaelic Ale taste better in Asheville?

I was recently in Asheville, N.C., but my stay wasn't long enough to join the next tour of Highland Brewing Co.'s facilities. Damn!

On my way out of town, I went to Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville for an outstanding late lunch.

I ordered a Highland Gaelic Ale in the bottle, wondering if it would taste any better than the Highland Gaelic Ale I find in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area.

And it was pretty much the same, with the exception of maybe a little crisper carbonation, but that's to be expected.

It's a wonderful beer, as the rest of Highland's brews are, and I hope to make the brewery tour next time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Singha Lager

Singha lager from Bangkok, Thailand, makes me think of Budweiser made a little bit smoother, and with a little more of the malty sweetness I find in Mexico's Modelo Especial. gives it a "worth a try," and I agree.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Red Brick Ale from Atlanta Brewing Co.

Red Brick Ale from Atlanta Brewing Co. in (guess) Atlanta is a high-gravity brown ale, not a red as the name might suggest. Actually, all the names of Atlanta Brewing Co. beers begin with "Red Brick," so that explains it.

Red Brick Ale is definitely worth of try. Its potency is just under 7 percent alcohol by volume, but you would never know it. The strength I experienced in this beer was its smoothness and malt sweetness and medium-to-full body.

Check out Atlanta Brewing Co. at

Monday, July 16, 2007

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale rocks

I found Terrapin Rye Pale Ale on tap down at Hangin' Ten, a bar in Surfside Beach, S.C.

Many beers have unique flavor profiles, but some of those flavors are more like experiments, like when over-hopped India Pale Ales taste like mouthfuls of food seasoning.

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale was different and better for it.

This brew woke up my mouth without overwhelming me, and made a serious statement about rye while remaining smooth. Tip of the hat to the rye, the four types of non-rye malt, and the five hops Terrapin included in this mix.

Check out Georgia's own Terrapin Beer Co. at

Friday, July 13, 2007

What the ale is this Mike-garita?

Did you see that Mike's Mike-garita drinks are labeled, at least in a single spot on the bottles, as "Flavored Ale"?

Technically speaking, maybe they are ale, but I'm just not down with the idea of giving the name ale to a "malt beverage" that's flavored to taste like a cocktail. Let the tradition be pure!

That being said, I liked it. I hate to admit it but I rimmed a glass with salt, filled it with ice, poured on the Mike-garita, and it was quite good. These Mike-garitas have some punch, too -- they're 8 percent alcohol by volume.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Frank Zappa explains the necessity of beer

"You can't have a real country unless you have a beer and an airline -- it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."
-Frank Zappa

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Westmalle Trappist Ales

Westmalle Trappist Ales from Belgium are not everyday beers in the U.S.

But you really ought to try them.

Last night I had a glass of Westmalle Tripel and a glass of Westmalle Dubbel.

These are both beers that fill your mouth -- medium-to-heavy bodies and sweet maltiness.

Be careful, though. The easy-to-drink, yummy character of these two can catch up to you. The Dubbel is 7 percent alcohol by volume, and the Tripel is 9.5 percent!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The pros and cons of Miller Chill

Miller Chill was an iffy experience.

Light and drinkable, with the advertised touch of lime and salt in the chelada tradition, Miller Chill isn't exactly a beer-drinking experience.

It's more like a refreshing counterpoint to summer weather or a mouth-cleaning accompaniment to Mexico-inspired foods.

The very light nature of this light beer leaves a bit to be desired in the malt department.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Gordon Biersch to plant restaurant-brewery at former Myrtle Beach AFB

The Gordon Biersch Restaurant Group, which bought Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Charlotte, plans to bring a restaurant-brewery to the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, which is rapidly developing into a shopping, dining, and residential area. The restaurant-brewery should be open in 2008.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Price report: The good kind of Delirium Tremens

Expensive and worth it, Delerium Tremens has shown up in my neighborhood since South Carolina's beer law changed to allow high-gravity beers. It's a crisp Belgian blond beer, 9 percent alcohol by volume, made with three yeasts.

I bought a bottle at a restaurant, and I should have expect the price: $9. Ouch. This isn't everyday drinking.

Of course, the four-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles are $15.98-$16.98. A 750 milliliter bottle is $8.99-$9.26.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth! Here's a thought

"Nothing ever tasted any better than a cold beer on a beautiful afternoon with nothing to look forward to but more of the same."
-- Hugh Hood

And while we're doing that today, let's turn to the east and lift a can to our friends and family serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, in hopes that next year they'll be back here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Thought for the Day

"Beer was so popular with medieval priests and monks that in the thirteenth century, they stopped baptizing children with holy water and started using beer."
-Ian Lendle, in Alcoholica Esoterica

The silly uproar about beer prices

Prices for take-home beer rose 3 percent in May.

Are you shocked?

If so, you probably don't buy beer often enough to notice any price increase.

May was, after all, more than a month ago.

The Labor Department's new report on prices was picked up by the media, and the beer increase stood out the most, so now media junkies will be hearing about this for the next 24-36 hours.

To be sure, the price increase was greater than the economy's overall inflation rate, and beer poured away from home, in the safety of one's neighborhood bar, increased 3.8 percent, according to USA Today.

Early this morning, CNN explained it this way: The high gas prices have increased the demand for ethanol, so farmers have committed more land to corn than barley. As barley has become a little more scarce, prices have increased -- an increase of 17 percent on average since the beginning of the year, according to USA Today.

So it is a big deal to the beer industry. But not the shocker the media wants it to be this morning.

Here's the full USA Today article:

In other news, according to the Associated Press:

"With metal prices rising, beer makers say they expect to lose hundreds of thousands of kegs and millions of dollars this year as those stainless steel holders of brew are stolen and sold for scrap.

"The beer industry is coupling with the scrap metal recycling industry to let metal buyers know they can't accept kegs unless they're sold by the breweries that own them. They're also pushing for legislation that would require scrap metal recyclers to ask for identification and proof of ownership from would-be sellers."

Read the full story at (This link should be good for seven days.)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sierra Nevada goes to pry-off cap

You've gotta have a bottle opener to drink Sierra Nevada. The old twist-off caps are gone. Allegedly the new bottle caps have a better oxygen barrier, and the new bottle cap liners are more environmentally friendly that those used in twist-off caps.
I've often called Sierra Nevada the Rachel McAdams of beers. I don't mind using a bottle opener.

Beer's influence on human events

Here's a good one:
"In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer."
-A.J.P. Taylor, British historian

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Breweries: Quigley's Pint and Plate in Pawleys Island, S.C.

I recently visited Quigley’s Pint and Plate, at 257 Willbrook Boulevard in Pawleys Island, S.C.

Josh Quigley, the owner, has six brews on tap and will soon release another. Fortunately, Quigley offers Nips, or 8-oz. glasses of his beer, for $2 each. That way I could try all six with a meal and still drive home later in the evening.

Quigley thought of everything: The 8-oz. Nip comes in a 10-oz. glass, so even with head, I was still getting 8 ounces. The 16-oz. and 20-oz. beers also come in slightly larger glasses to accomodate the head.

Longboard Lager: The lightest, with a bread-like taste, which Quigley said comes from malted barley that is mostly uninhibited because of light hopping.

Peach Beer: This unnamed beer, flavored with a puree and served with a peach slice, was determined not to be sweet. It has a dry finish with the kind of bitterness that some beer drinkers like.

Shakedown Wheat: Served with a slice of lemon, made from standard American ale yeast, this is my choice for summer.

Waccamaw Neck Red: This lager is rounded out by caramel malt, which turns the beer red, Quigley said. It’s lighter in body than I expected from the color.

Nut Brown Ale: Less bold than I expected, this nut-brown ale finishes dry. Quigley brewed it in the English nut-brown tradition, which calls for a dryer taste and earthy hops.

Swamp Fox IPA: Thank God for this 7-percent India Pale Ale. Brewers are hopping IPAs to the extreme these days, which Quigley called “just a typical American more-is-better thing.” But Swamp Fox is balanced with solid malting, making it less like an experiment and more like a beer.

And coming soon: Billy Boch, a summer boch brew that Quigley said will reach about 8 percent.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Beach Bum Blonde in stores this summer

Last summer we had our first crack at Beach Bum Blonde Ale from Anheuser-Busch -- but only in bars and restaurants. It was only available on tap.
The good news this summer is we can buy it in the grocery stores. And it is good news. Beach Bum won a bronze metal in the 2006 NABA awards. Not bad, Anheuser-Busch.