Holy hops: Beer Week is back

Caleb Taylor, owner of Homegrown Brewhouse, pours a beer behind the counter of his bar. 

Charleston Beer Week is Back for its sixth year in a row, with some new events coming to the Summerville area.

A twist this year is that Beer Week is extended to nine days; it will be Sept. 7-15 at participating venues throughout the greater Charleston area. There are a total of 64 events planned throughout the nine-day period.

Information from Chrys Rynearson, organizer for Charleston Beer Week, states that area now boasts 24 production breweries and three brewpubs, with two additional breweries and one brewpub set to open in the coming year, and many breweries undergoing expansion efforts, adding additional staff, brewing capacity, and packaging options such as canning lines.

“While local breweries and brewpubs will be a primary focus for the week, events will also feature many regional and national brands, making for a diverse lineup which will appeal to a broad audience,” the press release stated. “Many events feature specialty ‘one-off’ beer releases, often brewed just for Charleston Beer Week, while other events feature various food pairings, collaboration releases, tastings and style-specific offerings.”

This year will feature many events raising money for local charities including Surfrider Foundation, Turtle Survival Alliance, Center for Women, Charleston Animal Society and H.F. Help No Kill Rescue.

Major sponsorship for Charleston Beer Week 2018 is provided by Total Wine & More, Charleston City Paper and Lowes Foods, according to the press release.

The festivities in Summerville will kick off Sept. 7 with Beer Week at the Beer Den: a “tap takeover”, a pay-as-you-go event that will be hosted at Lowes Foods starting at 5 p.m.

Lowes will also feature some specials at 1 p.m. Sept. 15.

Caleb Taylor, owner of Homegrown Brewhouse in downtown Summerville, said he’s changed it up a little bit this year in terms of the Summerville events.

Taylor said Beer Week gives residents a chance to try out some items that they might not normally get to try.

“A lot of these events, they’re making beers specifically for that event so you’ll be able to try things that might be a one-time only deal, and people typically come up some pretty fun and interesting ideas,” he said.

A new event that has already sold out is the Beer vs. Wine Dinner on Sept. 9. Michael Karkut, head chef at GRAZE, is preparing a five-course dinner and Vinny Wedderspoon, sommelier at Accent on Wine, will pair wines with each course while Taylor pairs beers with each course. In the end, participants get to decide whether beer or wine paired better with the meal.

“That should be a really fun event,” Taylor said, adding if it goes off well then they will probably end up doing it periodically as something to do between the businesses.

Homegrown Brewhouse is doing another event called An Evening with Amor Artis at 5 p.m. Sept. 13. This is a pay-as-you-go event and features Amor Artis, a brewery out of Fort Mill that will showcase their beers. Taylor said Armor Artis plans on distributing to Charleston at some point in the future. There will be live music by Chris Rinken as well.

The Funky Firkin’ Fest will not be returning this year; the cask-only festival had residents sampling beer outside of Coastal Coffee Roasters and Oak Road Brewery the previous three years.

“I’m not saying that we’ll never do it again, but right now I just don’t think it’s the right time for it,” he said.

Oak Road Brewery is putting on the fourth annual Forever Grateful event. This is a competition held in remembrance of Grant Guthrie, who passed away in March 2015. He was a home brewer and former president of Low Country Libations. Winners of the competition will be announced 6 p.m. Sept. 14 at Oak Road Brewery. This is also a pay-as-you-go event. A portion of the funds raised from the event are going to go to H.F. Help No Kill Rescue.

The Mellow Mushroom in Summerville will hold a free cornhole tournament 6 p.m. Sept. 10 during Beer Week as well. Mellow Mushroom is partnering with Holy City Brewing and Lagunitas Brewing Co. The winner will be awarded dinner and beer.

A full list of Charleston Beer Week events can be found online at http://charlestonbeerweek.com.