I’m not going to say I’m festival’d (made up word) out, but this weekend put my ol’ innards and piping to the test.
First up was the third annual Crafty Rooster Beer Fest in the open-air Farmers Market building in downtown Conway, which I attended on Friday. I was keen to check this event out because I’d missed the previous two, and well, it was a beer festival.
And I have to say I’m impressed.
It was like a cross between the much larger Myrtle Beach Beer Fest held annually at The Market Common and the fledgling Coastal Brew Fest at Litchfield Exchange that I attended back in late April.
I was impressed by the brick-and-mortar exposed farmers market – what a great place to have a party – and by the fact that each beer was described in detail on a laminated placard, so you could read up on what you were drinking while you were drinking, or try to figure out if a certain grog would be something you’d like before committing to it.
I didn’t hang out long because driving from Conway to my Burgess home after some high gravity beers quite frankly scared the bejesus out of me.
So, after mingling with Colin “The Beerman” Burch and sampling a few brewskis – including a couple of inexpensive options (2 tickets each) by Rochester, N.Y.-based Dundee Ales & Lagers that I really liked – I convinced Brock Kurtzman from New South Brewing to fill up a growler I’d brought with me with the Myrtle Beach brewery’s Oktoberfest and headed home to watch Major League Baseball playoffs on my back porch. And I needed that full growler for the unbelievable Washington-St. Louis Game 5 of the N.L. Division Championship Series that lasted past midnight.
The aforementioned Beerman will have more impressions from the Crafty Rooster Beer Fest in his column this week, so you can look forward to that. And more on what else is coming up in this week’s Surge print edition and online in a moment…
Si, Senor, we are here to rip you a new one.
On Sunday, I headed down to the parking lot at Spud’s Waterfront Dining/Crazy Sister Marina on the waterfront in Murrells lnlet to sacrifice my gastrointestinal system for the greater good as I’d agreed for the sixth year in a row to be a judge for the Surfrider Foundation’s 13th annual Lip Rippin’ Chilympics Chili Cookoff.
Speaking of rippin’, I knew I was in for trouble when I was already rippin’ ‘em on the way to the event. And I’ll spare you the gory details – but having 10 cups of chili didn’t help matters. “You don’t have to eat them all,” my wife says. “You know if you like it after the first taste.”
Well, not completely true, some of these concoctions have complex tastes and ingredients and it does take more than one bite sometimes to determine what’s going on. But she’s right, I didn’t have to finish each and every one – but I did.
Anyhow, it was a glorious day, with live music throughout, multiple vendors and sea of humanity pulsing in and out of the festival site - and this event just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger.
When you walk around the festival with a judge badge on people stop you and ask you which chilis you’d recommend, which is the best, yada yada yada.
I take the integrity of judging seriously, so I never tell
anyone what I’ve scored or which I think is the best, however, as I did a few
times yesterday, I ask the questioner what types of chili they like – i.e. are
they strictly a meat-and-beans type of person, or do they like to challenge
their palates, and can they handle spices – then point them in a particular
So, once again, I’m going to keep my ripped-lips somewhat sealed, however I’m going to give you the results of the cook-off, which my judging contributed to.
Here are the winners of the 2012 Chilympics cook-off, courtesy of event organizer Bruxanne Hein of the Grand Strand chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
Best Theme: Southside Patty's: Pot O' Gold/Pot O' Hot
2nd Place: Dagwood's Deli: Super Bowl of Chili
Palmetto State Rollergirls: Smoky & The Bandit
2nd Place: Greg Norman's Australian Grille: Smoked Tomatillo and Roasted Corn Chili
Best Use of SC Ingredients: Capt. Dave's Dockside: My Cousin Vinny's Chili
2nd Place: Creek Ratz: Caw Caw Plantation Pork & Sea Island Peas
Hottest: Village Bar & Grill: The Ghost
2nd Place: Dead Dog Saloon: Dudley's Dog Gone Good Chili
Most Original: Quigley's Pint and Plate: Bloody Mary Chili
2nd Place: Graham's Landing: Pork and Brisket Smoked Chili
People's Choice: Flying Fish: Lowcountry Seafood Chili
2nd Place: Dead Dog Saloon: Dudley's Dog Gone Good Chili
Best Restaurant: Spud’s Waterfront (John Vereen): Blackened Shrimp and Black Bean Chili
2nd Place: Village Bar & Grill: The Ghost
Best Overall: New South Brewing Co.: Bratoberfest
2nd Place: Dale Prox, Jr. for Gordon Biersch: Dale's Beer and Deer Chili
Look for images from the Chilympics in this week’s Party Pix, hitting the racks on Thursday, and before that online.
Also coming up in this week’s edition (and online): Gut Reaction checks out the food and ambiance of a new Mexican joint in the Inlet; Recliner Reviews rates whether at-home movie releases “Sound of My Voice” "126.96.36.199” and “Hysteria” are worth watching; and our cover story takes a look at the trend of creating artwork as a social experience.
SETTING THE TABLE
And now we come to the part of this blog where we set the table for the first part of the week – that time when you’re getting back into the work groove, but don’t necessarily want to rot on the couch.
Here are some early-week options.
TONIGHT, TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY
Major League Baseballs’ post-season has been riveting so far with unreal comebacks and tremendous heartbreaks. It’s down to four teams now – the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants in the National League and the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers in the American League – battling it to see who will advance to the World Series.
The Cardinals and Giants square off in Game 2 at 8 tonight on FOX; Game 3 is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, also on FOX.
Meanwhile, the Yankees and Tigers lock horns for Game 3 at 8 p.m. Tuesday on TBS; Game 4 is 8 p.m. Wednesday, also on TBS.
As I always do when mentioning a televised sporting event, you don’t have to sit at home and watch – grab some buddies and help stimulate the local economy and catch the game(s) at a local sports bar, pub or restaurant – there’s plenty to choose from up and down the Strand.
Don't be a Hader - the real James Carville is coming to the beach.
Is it sport – or entertainment – or a little bit of both?
Whatever you want to call it, politics has come to the forefront with the November elections on the near horizon.
No matter your political stripes, you should be aware that there’s an opportunity to see the political process in person as the first of two local debates between the candidates vying for the newly-created 7th Congressional District is slated for Wednesday at the Myrtle Beach High School Auditorium.
The debate features Republican Tom Rice going-toe-to-toe with Democrat Gloria Tinubu, but for political junkies, it’s also the opportunity to see big-time political consultants James Carville (a Democrat strategist) and his wife Mary Matalin, who is a Republican strategist.
The event is free and non-ticketed, so I assume that means the auditorium will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the program starts at 6:30 p.m. and the debate will begin at 8.
Myrtle Beach High School Auditorium is at 3302 Robert Grissom Parkway, Myrtle Beach.