Winston-Salemites! Are you heading out of town and down to the coast on this glorious Labor Day weekend? Many of us are, and if you are if you happen to be a craft beer geek, the idea of heading out of Triad area and leaving all your favorite local craft brews behind might be making you feel a little panicky. Well, put your minds at ease, for here are some places in the places to go, and beers to try, in the Myrtle Beach area that you probably will not be able to find here in Winston. First, where to go for supplies…
Believe it or not, the single greatest selection of craft beer to be found in the Myrtle Beach area is at the Piggly Wiggly. This is no joke, and this is no ordinary Piggly Wiggly; this is Piggly Wiggly at The Market Commons, quite possibly the most lavish of this chain in which you will ever set foot–and yes, they have t-shirts. There are a few aisles, many fridges, and even a growler station devoted to craft beer. As if all this wasn’t enough, the Pig launched its own line of craft brews this year, Pig Swig, which is available exclusively in their stores, so while you are there, be sure to pick up a sixer of Pig Tail Ale (a nice American amber which is full and malty, 5.5% ABV) or Pig Pen Pilsner. The Pig Swig line is actually produced by the Upstate’s premier microbrewery, Thomas Creek Brewery, in Greenville, South Carolina. While you are wigglin’ past the growler station, you might also want to fill one up with Thomas Creek’s Banana Split Stout. Lastly, pick up a six pack of Bitch Creek ESB (a slightly hoppy and estery extra special bitter–6% ABV and 54 IBUs), by Grand Teton Brewing Company in Wilson, Wyoming. Wyoming??
Not feeling the hustle and bustle of rubbing elbows with the affluent in the The Market Commons? There are a few other establishments along the coast. Further south, Surf Beverage in Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Wine and Spirits will raise your spirits, and in Myrtle Beach proper there is Green’s Beverage and Beach Discount Beverage, both located on North Kings Highway.
If you are staying a little further inland, check out Bodega, on Main Street in quaint downtown Conway, South Carolina. It’s the perfect store for the eating, drinking, entertaining, and cooking enthusiast and has a fair selection of Belgians and imports (for Conway anyway), so grab the Rejewvenator by HE’BREW (half dopplebock, half Belgian dubbel, brewed with Concord grapes) and Saison Imperiale Belgian Farmhouse Ale (by De Proef Brouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium).
Enough of this ballyhoo! You want it fresh and from the source. You want the real thing: breweries and brewpubs. You are in luck, for New South Brewing Company is right at the heart of Myrtle Beach, near Highway 501 and only a few streets back from Ocean Boulevard and Highway 17. Don’t want to wait for a brew tour? A little way up Highway 17, you will find yourself at Broadway on the Beach and Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery. If you are having deja vu, it is because Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery has a location right here in the Triad near Oak Hollow Mall in High Point, but not to fear! The menu and the beers available are completely different. Now, further to the south, past Murrells Inlet and into Pawleys Island, you will find Quigley’s Plate and Pint. Josh Quigley used to brew for New South, but now he offers his own brews at two bucks a pint during happy hour along with cheap appetizers!
There you have it Winston, all the craft beer ammunition you will need for your busy Labor Day weekend at the beach. Use it wisely, and shame on you for thinking of picking up a suitcase of yellow beer on the way into town instead of doing your craft beer homework. Bottoms up!