Hey hop-heads, Charleston Beer Week returns Sept. 7-13, bringing brewski lovers a keg full of events to choose from. To get the skinny on this year's festivities, we reached out to Timmons Pettigrew, festival co-organizer, author of Charleston Beer: A High-Gravity History, and co-founder/editor of CHSBeer.org, to break down the highlights of the 42 events happening throughout the week. Here's what he shared.
Mon. Sept. 8, 3 p.m.
"Even More Local" Seven-Beer Collaboration release at Homegrown Brewhouse
Timmons' two cents: Caleb Taylor from Summerville's Homegrown Brewhouse has taken it upon himself to travel to seven different South Carolina breweries to brew seven beers. The end result is a little bit of everything, from weird German Altbier variants to a beer brewed with Carolina Reaper peppers. It's basically "Caleb Taylor is a Maniac" night.
Tues. Sept. 9, 5 p.m.
All-South Carolina Tap Takeover at Closed for Business
TTC: Closed for Business hosted this event last year, and Beverage Director Robbie Hafer stayed up literally all night changing out all 42 taps, because it's important to them that this is a true, one-and-done tap takeover, not something that slowly creeps onto the taps over the course of a few days. He promises he'll be awake for the event itself this year, so if you catch him napping behind the bar, you have my permission to draw on his face.
Wed. Sept. 10, 4 p.m.
Jolly Pumpkin night at Revelry Brewing
TTC: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales is one of the greatest producers of so-called "Wild Ale" in the country, and their beer hasn't been available in the market for a while. Even when it was here, it was mainly in bottles, so Revelry putting five of the beers on tap is an event in and of itself. The meet and greet with founders Ron and Laurie Jeffries puts this completely over the top. This one is ticketed, so if you're fond of the funk, I'd jump on it.
Thurs. Sept. 11, 6 p.m.
Local Beer Blowout at Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer
TTC: I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a better Thursday evening than live bluegrass in the Kudu courtyard with beer flowing from every local brewery, including four one-off local casks running through their beer engines. Kudu owners Jason and Josh Bell are firing on all cylinders with this event.
Fri. Sept. 12, 5 p.m.
Terrapin Beer Co. Half Tap Takeover at Holy City
TTC: Like Revelry, Holy City is taking advantage of one of the new fun features of the Stone Law — breweries being allowed to feature guest taps. Terrapin co-founder/brewmaster Brian "Spike" Buckowski is coming to town for the event, and they're putting some truly special stuff on, like Barrel-Aged Wake 'n' Bake Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout. Holy City promises to throw some rarities on tap as well.
Sat. Sept. 13, 10:30 p.m.
Euro Dorkery, BYOT at Edmund's Oast
TTC: If you asked me to pick one Big Daddy Kane song to describe Edmund's Oast, it would be "Ain't No Half-Steppin.'" I have no idea what they're pouring for this event, only that it will be European. They'll be offering some individual glass pours from killer bottles, and it will make beer dorks lose their beer dork minds. I'll see you at 10:30.
CP: What's the can't-miss beer pairing event?
TTC: That's a tough one! I have maximum faith that Two Boroughs Larder is going to do some very special stuff with their dinner on Thursday, which is paired with crazy imports from Rafa Distributing. I'm pretty intrigued by the Allagash sushi pairing at Oak Barrel Tavern on Monday too, just because I've never heard of such a thing. The week is book-ended with whole hog barbecue at Swig & Swine on Sunday and COAST on Saturday (ticketed), so if you like your beer and food without any "fancy," we've still got you covered.
CP: What's cool about the beer events this year?
TTC: My partner-in-crime Chrys Rynearson and I changed the structure this year in a number of ways. One thing we decided early was to limit the events. We have no more than six per night, and no more than two per venue for all but our biggest sponsors. That has led folks to come up with some really fun, creative, unique events. The beer community has really stepped up to the plate in terms of event planning, and we are really proud with how things have shaped up.
CP: Why include yoga, bocce, and kickball? Are beer drinkers just naturally competitive?
TTC: I wouldn't pigeon-hole beer drinkers as being naturally competitive — some are, some aren't. I'm not, particularly. Like most folks, I think they/we enjoy variety, so we're glad we had venues plan some active events, both indoor and outdoor. I like sitting on a barstool as much as the next guy, but you have to mix things up a bit.
Charleston Beer Week tickets can be purchased at charlestonbeerweek.com.