Monday, March 24, 2008

Gordon Biersch opening soon in Myrtle Beach; an interview with the Head Brewer at the new Gordon Biersch in Myrtle Beach

Pete Velez is working on some brews that will probably make you smile.

Velez is head brewer at the local Gordon Biersch restaurant-brewery, which is scheduled to open on April 3 in The Market Common development on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

The Myrtle Beach location will be the first in South Carolina for Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc., which has 27 locations in 17 states.

And this will be the first Gordon Biersch gig for Velez, who left Capitol City Brewing Co. in the Washington, D.C., area for the job here.

The Gordon Biersch concept focuses on "upper-end casual dining," according to the company, with appetizers such as Garlic French Fries, and entrees including Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Stir Fry.

And, of course, on-premise brewing. The company adheres to a German "Purity Law" for beer-making that dates back to 1516.

When Velez recently took a few minutes to tell me more about how Gordon Biersch makes and serves beer, I started looking forward to the grand opening.

First, all of the beers are made exclusively with German and Czechoslovakian ingredients, and they are all lagers, which take a little longer to brew than ales.

Gordon Biersch beers are served in half-liter glasses, although there is a smaller glass available at 0.4 liter, a difference that makes more sense when the glasses are set side-by-side, Velez said.

The prices on those glasses will be competitive with the going rates in the local market, but they haven't been finalized, he said. The Happy Hour prices at most Gordon Biersch locations are a dollar less than the regular price, he said, but those specials aren't official for Myrtle Beach yet.

Velez will offer growlers, too - a regular, half-gallon jug like Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery and Quigley's Pint and Plate offers, and possibly a more expensive, German-style jug with a flip top.

Gordon Biersch will also, probably, have a spin on the mug club, Velez said. It will be a bit more fancy and German - a stein club.

So what will be on tap when the restaurant-brewery opens? Click here to find out.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Land Shark Lager in the outfield

BB&T Coastal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pelicans baseball club, has the only outfield seating section in the Carolina League, and it's about to be up-fitted, Jimmy Buffett-style.

The section will become "Land Shark Landing," themed after the Margaritaville Brewing Co.'s Land Shark Lager. The parent company is Anheuser-Busch.

"Land Shark Landing" is scheduled to be ready for the Myrtle Beach Pelican's home opener on April 11, said Jon Laaser, the ball club's director of broadcasting and communications.

"Land Shark Landing" - definitely has a ring to it - will be a partnership between the Pelicans and Better Brands, Inc., a beer wholesaler in Myrtle Beach that will also be co-sponsor of Thirsty Thursdays - the nights for beer specials - for the 2008 season.

Although I'm more inclined to think about Chevy Chase as the original land shark from the classic Saturday Night Live skits, the real inspiration behind "Land Shark Lager" was Buffett's song "Fins." Remember that one? "You got fins to the left / Fins to the right / You're the only bait in town."

Like I've said before, Land Shark Lager, which tastes similar to Corona Extra, and would go fairly well with a cheeseburger that has lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A pint of Harp at P.J. Moran's Restaurant in NYC

My wife and I recently stopped in at P.J. Moran's Restaurant at 3 East 48th Street in New York City.

I had a pint of Harp with the traditional Irish breakfast which I got for lunch; the pint cost me $7.50.

That's a little more expensive than a pint of Harp here in South Carolina.