The Midlands has seen its share of beer-fueled festivals this year, but none like the S.C. Brewers Guild’s festival.
For starters, it’s being held in Cayce’s Brick Works Park.
Then there’s the fact that the lineup of breweries are all indigenous to South Carolina. That’s right – 26 out of the 40 locally operated breweries (who knew we had so many?) will bring their best with them to christen the event.
“We’re hoping to promote our brand as a state and say thank you to everybody who supported us,” said Will McCameron, the guild’s communications director. “We’re looking forward to having some really special beer and engaging in conversations with people about beer. It should be a really fun time.”
Since the guild’s inception in 2005, members have been working hard to update the laws that govern alcohol-related businesses in the state.
“Before we passed ‘the pint bill’ (in 2013), all you could do in SC was give away four four-ounce samples of your beer with a tour,” said McCameron. “When the pint bill was passed we got to open tap rooms and you were able to sell people up to three pints a day. If you have a DHEC food license you can operate your tap room as a regular bar, just no liquor.”
Though the bill paved the way for most breweries to get their name – and suds – out to the public, many are still considered regional. This festival is an opportunity for you to try beer that your friends in Greenville, Myrtle Beach or Charleston are constantly raving about that isn’t readily available locally.
For the ticket price you will receive a commemorative glass and most importantly, the opportunity to sample beer from each vendor. Food, trade show vendors and live music from the Chris Compton Duo and the Mustache Brothers also are on tap.
For future Guild festivals, the idea is to have it in different locations around the state to expose locally crafted beer to South Carolina to everyone. But for this year McCameron is praying that word will spread like a spilled beer to any and everyone interested in attending.
“There will be some of the most rare beers in the state poured at this festival,” McCameron said. “You’re going to get the chance to sit and sip and talk to all the different breweries about their products and their company. It’s going to be a really fun day.”
You heard the man. Now make like an IPA and “hop” to it.
If you go
SC Brewers Festival
Where: Brick Works Park, 190 Knox Abbott Dr., Cayce
When: Saturday, May 21 from noon - 4 p.m.
Scheduled to attend: Holy City Brewing, RJ Rockers Brewery, The Frothy Beard Brewing Company, Brewery 85, River Rat Brewery, Freehouse Brewery, Revelry Brewing Co., Salt Marsh Brewing, Cooper River Brewing Company, Tradesman Brewing Co., New South Brewing, Seminar Brewing, Legal Remedy Brewing, Southern Barrel Brewing Company, Hub City Tap House: Home of Ciclops Cyderi, Thomas Creek Brewery, Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom, Birds Fly South Ale Project, Upstate Craft Beer Co., Carolina Bauernhaus Ales, Oak Road Brewery, Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company, River Dog Brewing Co., COAST Brewing Company, Lo-Fi, Palmetto Brewery
Details: Ages 21 and older only. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2532089