Cheers and Bottoms Up at the Myrtle Beach Beer Fest

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Beer has come a long way in recent years. Once considered the swill of choice for Joe Six-Pack, the beverage has been elevated to wine-like levels when it comes to production, diversity and even snobbery. From the art of the brewing process to the explosion of microbreweries, the buzz over handcrafted beer has created a wide-open market that rivals that of wineries.

Featuring more than 20 breweries serving 100-plus unique flavors of beer, the Myrtle Beach Beer Fest has become quite a hit among both local and visiting beer aficionados. The eighth annual edition of the event, scheduled for Saturday, May 7, promises to be bigger and better than ever as new brewers and more beer lovers continue to pour into the festival.

Designed with both the beer snob and casual beer drinker in mind, the festival attracts hundreds to sample some of the more creative brews on the emerging market. Small-label breweries have staff on hand to serve up 4-ounce samples and answer questions about their beers for those in attendance, who taste their way around the stations at Pelicans Ballpark.

Held from 3 to 7 p.m. on May 7, the Myrtle Beach Beer Fest combines its unique beer offerings with a unique venue. The baseball stadium offers plenty of room to roam and try new beers, make new friends and discover new favorites. The beer garden and grandstands will be open in sunny weather, and the event moves under the covered concourse in case of rain.

Among the many microbreweries that have committed to attend are Myrtle Beach's own New South Brewing, along with Angry Orchard, Stone, Duck Rabbit, Sam Adams, RJ Rockers, Thomas Creek, Palmetto, Boulevard, Founders, Ballast Point, Lonerider, Highland, Oskar Blues, New Belgium and 21st Amendment, just to name a few. Each brewery will serve samples of its top beers.

Among the many creative beer names and flavors that will be offered at this event are Grapefruit Sculpin, Green Tea IPA, Sea Monster Imperial Stout, Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale, Love Child Wild Ale, Espresso Porter, Sexual Chocolate Stout, Apple Crisp, Bulleit Rye Barrel Aged G'Knight, Oyster Stout, Lemon Shandy, Coffee Oatmeal Stout, and Banana Split Chocolate Stout.

Take your friends and your taste buds out for a real treat as live music and good food will be on hand while patrons mix and mingle, sharing their favorite brews. The event is for adults 21 and older, and tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the gate. Patrons will receive special collector’s cups that can be refilled at each station and taken home as a souvenir from the fun-filled event.

The Myrtle Beach Beer Fest is only a short, one-mile cab ride up 21st Avenue North from Breakers Resort. Patrons can keep the party going after the festival by visiting Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square for more craft beers and food. Check out the new American Tap House, a national chain that specializes in hard-to-find microbrews, as well as sports bars like Broadway Louie’s, Chuck and Duck’s, and Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery for more tasty beers.

After a long day of sampling beers and saying “Cheers,” head back to your vacation home away from home at the Breakers Resort on the downtown Myrtle Beach oceanfront for a relaxing evening on the beach or your private balcony. Featuring indoor and outdoor water facilities and on-site restaurants like Papa’s and the Rusty Reel Oceanfront Bar & Grill, the Breakers has plenty of cold beers you can enjoy on-site, too.