When: Sat., June 23, 1-8 p.m. 2012
After months of long winter nights, beer-loving Bavarians fill the local beer gardens in search of hearty food, lively music, and flavorful seasonal beer. The organizers of the inaugural Charleston Beer Garden festival want to emulate that tradition by transforming Brittlebank Park into “the largest pop-up beer garden Charleston has experienced.” The roster of breweries at the Charleston Beer Garden will feature three South Carolina micros: Charleston’s Holy City, Spartanburg’s RJ Rockers, and Greenville’s Thomas Creek, who will also be setting up a homebrew supply shop on the grounds. Seven national breweries will be there, too. Teams from Founder’s, Shipyard, Blue Moon (part of the craft and import division of MillerCoors), Magic Hat, Leinenkugel, Crispin, and SweetWater will offer a variety of craft-brewed ales, lagers, and seasonal beers. Fest organizers are not releasing a full list of specific beers in advance, but they say that each brewery will have two or three brands available to sample. Most of the participating micros will be sending their own brewers and staffers to serve the beer. They’ll also offer full-size pints and growler fills. The Charleston Beer Garden will deliver a full day of live local music, too. Americana duo Shovels and Rope (featuring Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent), will share the stage with twangy rock quartet Southwood, gypsy-rock twosome Megan Jean and the KFB, and reggae/funk ensemble Long Miles. Any proper beer garden needs authentic, Bavarian-style oompah music, so the brassy Hans Schmidt German Band will be on duty as well. A general admission ticket comes with a commemorative festival pint glass, a koozie, a “sampling passport” notebook, coasters, and other fun swag. Attendees will have free access to Earth Fare’s Beer School Classes, photos in the Craft Beer Exchange’s A-Plus photo booth, pretzel necklaces, misting fans, and cornhole lanes. Designated drivers can buy a reduced price ticket for $15. Attendees must be at least 21 (with ID handy). No children are allowed. The festival will be held rain or shine. Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit, y’all.
T. Ballard Lesemann