Saturday, February 28, 2009

New South Brewing to start canning

From my new column in the Weekly Surge:

Soon, you’ll be able to purchase a six-pack of New South Brewing Co.’s White Ale in area grocery stores.

You can already buy the Myrtle Beach microbrewery’s beers at local bars and restaurants. New South has been producing kegs of several types of beer for 10 years.

But now a canning machine is primed and ready to go, said owner Dave Epstein, who has been finalizing the art work and labeling for his cans.

“We’re still on track for late next month or early April,” Epstein said. That’s to start canning. The famous White Ale – the microbrewery’s “flagship” brew – should appear in local package stores and grocers by May, maybe late April.

Beer distributors, rather than New South, will make the sales pitches for the White Ale to individual stores and chains, so Epstein doesn’t yet know for certain where you’ll be able to buy his beer. But those distributors have long-standing relationships with area retailers.

“Anywhere you find a good selection of beer, hopefully you’ll find us,” Epstein said, adding that local golf courses are also a target market.

New South will start with ringed six-packs and White Ale, but of course, Epstein plans for more.

If the microbrewery can keep up with demand during the summer months, and if everything runs smoothly, Epstein will add a second beer in the fall. Twelve-pack cartons are a possibility, eventually.

The price for that locally brewed six-pack? That’s yet to be announced. Epstein noted that the baseline price for most microbrews is $8 for a sixer. Whatever you pay at the checkout counter, Epstein said it will be competitive, on the lower end of the microbrew price scale.

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