The accolades for South Carolina restaurants and products keep rolling in.
RJ Rockers, a Spartanburg-based craft brewery, will go global when Food Network Canada travels to the Palmetto State to film an episode of Pitchin' In. The episode, set to air Mon. Jan. 30 at 11 p.m., will be centered on foods and beverages that use peach products, with RJ Rockers' Son of a Peach brew being profiled.
The brewmasters use fresh, local peaches courtesy of the Yonce Brothers to create their unique unfiltered American wheat ale. According to Henry Depew, President of RJ Rockers, Chef Lynn, the star of Pitchin' In, brought her crew to Spartanburg last August to film the episode. Depew says that he and the rest of the RJ Rockers staff had a great time, and that Chef Lynn cooked a delicious meal for everyone involved after the filming wrapped up.
For Depew and his brewery, which will celebrate its 15-year anniversary in April, being profiled was a humbling, enjoyable experience. "It showed that using local ingredients matters and people understand and notice that you're doing something a little different," he says.
Meanwhile, COAST Brewing Company was recently rewarded with a Good Food Award for two brews, their 32/50 Kolsch and HopArt IPA. The award is a trophy of sorts granted to "outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients." For COAST owner Jaime Tenny, the Good Food competition was the best of both worlds. "You're not only judged on if your beer tastes good," she explains, "but it also took into account how it was produced and where the ingredients came from." It's the first time COAST has been recognized with the award for their efforts to use local products in their sustainable brewery.
And fresh off of their appearance on the Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, Cypress has also earned a Good Food Award for their Soppressata. It is the second time in as many years that the East Bay Street restaurant has received the award, and for Executive Chef Craig Deihl, it means they're doing something right. However, Deihl doesn't take all the credit. "We have the luxury of being able to buy great products from local farmers. Without [them], we wouldn't have even gotten started making salami."
And Closed for Business got some love in Draft Magazine as one of America's 100 Best Beer Bars. For beverage director Aaron Lucas and his co-workers, the honor is very flattering. "We're such a small, little bar, so it's neat to have that kind of notoriety," he says. Being that the draft emporium is only in their third year of operation, Lucas says the recognition is even sweeter. "We think it's very cool, because that type of thing doesn't typically happen for a while."