An Eventful October

Free this weekend? Or not free until next? No worries: There’s something to entertain your beer-loving spirit all month long.

NOMA Square, Oct 1-3
The second annual Oktoberfest brings beer, live music and German food to NOMA Square in front of the Hyatt. Keep in mind, this is a cash-only event.

Greer State Bank Greer Station Oktoberfest, Oct 4
A combination of local love and German celebration, Greer’s event features both artist exhibits in the midst German food, beer and music. Sip a beer from Warsteiner or Thomas Creek and join the festivities in downtown Greer.

Quest, Oct 11, noon-8 p.m.
Pair a new German beer with the Mechanical Owl food truck’s German food at Quest. Three bands will also be playing throughout the day, so you can easily pop in at your convenience.

Brewery 85, Oct 18, noon-5 p.m.
If you missed Leon’s Lederhosen Oktoberfest beer during it’s preview period, then you’ll get your first taste at this grand party. Expect a full range of beers, German eats, music and brewers in lederhosen.

Swamp Rabbit’s “Boo”ery Monster Mash, Oct 31
Who says Halloween is a kid’s holiday? Don a costume, sip a beer, and savor Good to Go food truck while you dance the night away to a DJ.

Thomas Creek’s Brewery Bash, Nov 1, 1-8 p.m.
Start preparing your costume now for Thomas Creek’s Halloween celebration. For $20, you’ll enjoy three pints, all-you-can-eat BBQ and beer brats, and music.

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Goodbye, American Craft Beer Week

How did you celebrate this epic week?

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I chose Quest for my first event, where I put in my vote for the Brewers vs Bartenders competition. The respective groups brewed their own beersan oak-aged Scotch Ale and a Black IPA. Did you try them? Which one did you prefer?

20140513-195438.jpgI also stuck around for the latest cask: an Imperial Stout with Granny Smith apples and bacon.

This was a big week for Quest, which launched a new app on Google Play to help you keep up with the brewery and also released the Ponce cucumber-jalapeno session ale. I wrapped up my ACBW with another visit to Quest, where I chose an Ellida hop-experiment rather than the new Ponce. I’ll be sure to post about it when I finally get to try it.

With a mid-week Fitz and the Tantrums concert down in Charleston, my local adventures were limited. I returned on Saturday to attend Brewery 85’s Wheatfest, the official release of the 864 Weizen. There is not question that Will McCameron and the Brewery 85 staff knows how to party. The lovely Darby Wilcox lilted for drinkers, while Bavarian Pretzel Factory kept everyone fueled for another round. This classic hefeweizen offers a gorgeous golden color and a nice effervescence, something drinkers will be craving on the brewery’s expansive patio this summer.

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Southern Pale Ale at Poe’s Tavern, Sullivan’s Island

Speaking of great beer and summer, I’m planning to visit in the coming weeks since Westbrook should be releasing Mexican Cake! If anyone hears an exact date, do share. Though my trip this week was brewery-free, I did at least get to sip something new: Freehouse Brewery‘s London 2014 India Porter, which paired well with my Tattooed Moose dinner, and Natty Greene‘s Southern Pale Ale. What a tasty showcase of Cascade hops! This Greensboro, NC-based brewer just began releasing in South Carolina earlier this year, so I’ll be looking for more in the Greenville area.

 

Quest’s Señor Kaldi Challenge

Quest Brewing Company held a one-night only event to try four pepper-infused, barrel-aged versions of their Kaldi Imperial Coffee Stout, my favorite Quest brew.

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The cast of taste-bud tormentors, from mildest on the left to hottest on the right:
1. Poblano (are there really peppers in this?)
2. Habanero (seriously, they called this a challenge?)
3. Aji Dulce (I’M SO SORRY I DOUBTED YOU)
4. Cask Chipotle (does my insurance cover uvula replacement?)

The first two tasted very similar and had next-to-no heat; I felt like the “medium” level was skipped. While it was fun to try these peppered brews, you won’t find me ordering them by the pint.

I immediately ordered the Nitro Milk Stout, which slowly quenched the burn, and watched my imbibing neighbors turn the taproom into a dance floor.

When the music died, I snagged owner and brewmaster Don Richardson and asked him about his new Milk Stout. Made with roasted barley and chocolate, this super creamy stout’s smooth body is thanks to the combination of lactose and nitro. The beer had a gorgeous color and thick head, yet the flavor was light, sweet and slightly earthy. And this brew weighs in at 5%, putting it on the lower end for milk stouts. If you have a friend who refuses dark beers because she expects it to be heavy or bitter, then order a taste of this one and make her a stout convert.

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Nitro Milk Stout: sweet salvation