Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sampling 10 beers & creating a playlist

This evening, I sampled 10 locally brewed beers, and then went home to clean the kitchen while listening to my iPod.

Beers by Gordon Biersch in Myrtle Beach:

1. Golden Export

2. Hefeweizen

3. Czech Lager

4. Marzen

5. Schwarzbier

And beers by New South Brewing Co. in Myrtle Beach:

1. White Ale

2. India Pale Ale

3. Cooper River Red

4. Nut Brown

5. Lowcountry Lager

The playlist I created following the samplings to help me clean the kitchen:

1. No Rain by Blind Melon

2. Love Removal Machine by The Cult

3. The Problem by J.J. Cale

4. I Choose by The Offspring

5. Subterranean Homesick Alien by Radiohead

6. Tom Sawyer by Rush

And then I continued with:

7. Ch-check it Out by The Beastie Boys

8. Ocarina by Birds & Batteries

9. Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds

10. Eight Miles High by The Byrds

11. Just What I Needed by The Cars

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mini kegs, good and bad

Shop Amazon - Thanksgiving Dinner and Desserts - Prepare the Perfect Feast I've been thinking about getting one of those 5-liter Heineken DraughtKegs for the house, but I don't drink a lot of beer at home, preferring instead to visit our local bars or brewpubs. At home, with three young children, I don't need beer. I need a sense of humor and straight liquor. But I've seen those Heineken mini kegs in local package stores and grocers for $18.49-$20.34, so I've been wondering if they would be worthwhile.

After a little research, it looks like the value of the Heineken DraughtKeg seems to be its longevity, and its price-per-pint.

An internal compressor, using carbon dioxide, keeps the beer from coming in contact with air, which allows the beer to stay fresh for at least 30 days, according to the gadget squad at Popular Mechanics.

In other words, it probably wouldn't go to waste.

But how much would I get out of a 5-liter Heiney?

By way of comparison, a regular keg has 15.5 gallons. A pony keg has 7.75 gallons. The Heiney DraughtKeg has about 1.3 gallons, which amounts to 166.4 ounces, or about 10.4 pints.

Let's say you purchase the Heiney DraughtKeg, considering taxes and price variations, for $21. That works out to about $2.02 per pint.

Worth it? That's up to you. But I think if it's sitting in my fridge for 30 days and still tasting good, I might give it a try.

However - important note - Heineken is unique in its use of carbon dioxide for its 5-liter size.

If you buy a Warsteiner, Beck's, Paulaner, or any of the other mini kegs available on the Grand Strand, you'll probably want to drink it within a few hours. These mini kegs rely on gravity, with a little twist-and-turn spigot on the bottom. When the pouring slows down, it's time to release a little pressure from a valve on the top.

All that is to say, the 5-liter mini kegs that don't use carbon dioxide for pressure will allow air to come in contact with the beer. So make sure it's party time when you open most 5-liter mini kegs. The price spread is about $16.50-$21 for most brands.

Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2008 continues

An impromptu bike crossing on Restaurant Row yesterday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What beer do you think Barak Obama drinks?

Results from the officially unscientific Malty Hops poll question, What beer do you think Barak Obama would drink?

25 percent said Amstel Light

25 percent said Budweiser

25 percent said Samuel Adams

25 percent said Miller Light

The other options available in the poll were: "Heineken: and "No beer; probably wine."

Thanks for playing!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2008: Offical Bud Can

For this year's bike week, Bud is flooding the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area with 6,000 cases of themed 24-ounces cans (left) and 15,000 cases of 12-ounce cans.

Myrtle Beach Bike Week 2008; The Dog House on Restaurant Row

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thomas Creek Brewing Co. is growing, upgrading

Ten-year-old Thomas Creek Brewing Co. in Greenville, S.C., is running through an amazing expansion as we speak.

Within the last year, co-owner Tom Davis said, he added four new fermentation tanks with the capacity of 6,000 barrels of beer. He upgraded the brewery's bottling equipment within the past four months, moving its capacity from 18 bottles per minute to 49 bottles per minute.

Part of the expansion is due to contract work. Thomas Creek is brewing for Orange Blossom Pilsner out of Florida.

But the microbrewery has plenty going on with its own label - a logo change, for one thing, and a new graphic design for packaging. The first beer with the new logo and design went out Thomas Creek's door about four weeks ago. New t-shirts arrived at the brewery three weeks ago, and logo glasses arrived earlier this week.

Davis has also made small changes in the flavor profiles of his beers, but "nothing major," he said. He also decided to drop his multi-grain beer, but he has added an India pale ale and a porter.

Davis said his Up the Creek Extreme IPA - a 12-percent beer, separate from his standard IPA - will be released either in a four-pack or in a special corked bottle, tentatively in the fall.

Also for autumn, Thomas Creek is planning a "Trail Mix" variety 12-pack of the brewery's beers.

"Ten years," Davis said. "Slowly, slowly growing for ten years. Now we've reached what my father calls the tipping point." His father, Bill Davis, is co-owner.

For more information on Thomas Creek, visit

Bud Light Lime poll results

Results from the Malty Hops poll question: Will you try Bud Light Lime?

50 percent said they would try it

50 percent said they would not

Personally, I think it's good for a light beer; the lime flavor is quite close to the real thing.

Check out our new poll at the top left of the blog: What beer does Barak Obama drink?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New TBonz summer seasonal gets a name

New South Brewing Co.'s new summer seasonal for TBonz Gill & Grill restaurants is...


This brew will be amber colored and slightly malty with a mild hop character, according to the TBonz Mug Club Newsletter.

Look for it on-tap Friday, May 9.