Monday, March 24, 2008

Gordon Biersch opening soon in Myrtle Beach; an interview with the Head Brewer at the new Gordon Biersch in Myrtle Beach

Pete Velez is working on some brews that will probably make you smile.

Velez is head brewer at the local Gordon Biersch restaurant-brewery, which is scheduled to open on April 3 in The Market Common development on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

The Myrtle Beach location will be the first in South Carolina for Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc., which has 27 locations in 17 states.

And this will be the first Gordon Biersch gig for Velez, who left Capitol City Brewing Co. in the Washington, D.C., area for the job here.

The Gordon Biersch concept focuses on "upper-end casual dining," according to the company, with appetizers such as Garlic French Fries, and entrees including Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Stir Fry.

And, of course, on-premise brewing. The company adheres to a German "Purity Law" for beer-making that dates back to 1516.

When Velez recently took a few minutes to tell me more about how Gordon Biersch makes and serves beer, I started looking forward to the grand opening.

First, all of the beers are made exclusively with German and Czechoslovakian ingredients, and they are all lagers, which take a little longer to brew than ales.

Gordon Biersch beers are served in half-liter glasses, although there is a smaller glass available at 0.4 liter, a difference that makes more sense when the glasses are set side-by-side, Velez said.

The prices on those glasses will be competitive with the going rates in the local market, but they haven't been finalized, he said. The Happy Hour prices at most Gordon Biersch locations are a dollar less than the regular price, he said, but those specials aren't official for Myrtle Beach yet.

Velez will offer growlers, too - a regular, half-gallon jug like Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery and Quigley's Pint and Plate offers, and possibly a more expensive, German-style jug with a flip top.

Gordon Biersch will also, probably, have a spin on the mug club, Velez said. It will be a bit more fancy and German - a stein club.

So what will be on tap when the restaurant-brewery opens? Click here to find out.

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