Roll Out The Barrel-Aged Stout

Last week, Coast Brewing Company unveiled a boldly creative seasonal brew: a barrel-aged Blackbeerd Imperial Stout. Brewers and co-owners David Merritt and Jaime Tenny recently obtained several oak barrels from the Jack Daniel’s distillery. The barrels retained the woody and smoky character of the liquor, which was imparted to the Blackbeerd stout as it aged. According to the brewers, this one’s lighter in body than some might expect, despite its mighty strength of 9.3 percent alcohol by volume. “As dark as the legend of Blackbeerd himself, behold the Imperial Stout,” they state in a promotional release. “Sweet malts battle roasted grain on the decks of yer tongue. Like a blast from a cannon, hops are followed by smoked malt. Hold on to yer booty.” While Coast normally kegs its beer for distribution, the Jack Daniel’s Barrel-Aged Blackbeerd Imperial Stout will enjoy a limited-edition bottled release in tall 22-ounce bottles with a wax dipped top (a la Maker’s Mark). Downtown craft beer store Charleston Beer Exchange (14 Exchange St.) currently has a limited supply on hand. Call the store at (843) 577-5446 for details, and visit and for more info. —T. Ballard Lesemann

More beer: They Drank, They Judged

The results are in. Local brew club Lowcountry Libations’ Charles Town Homebrew Competition — Charleston’s first officially sanctioned homebrew competition — drew 69 entries from local and regional homebrewers for a judging held on Sat. March 7. Two dozen certified beer judges and brewing enthusiasts — pocket flashlights, pencils, and AHA-approved guideline literature in hand — convened in Coast Brewing Co.’s main storeroom for the all-day session. Scott Johnson from Auburn, Ala., won Best in Show with “Scotty’s Kölsch,” a delicate, golden-colored German-style ale that earned an outstanding score of 45 points out of 50. Charlotte brewer Thomas Vasoll’s “Smoke Bomb,” a bold specialty lager made with smoked barley malts, took second place overall in the classic Rauchbier category. For a complete list of winners visit —T. Ballard Lesemann

Anniversaries and Closings

As Crave in Mt. Pleasant and the Glass Onion celebrate their one-year anniversaries (see our picks), a couple other restaurants have closed their doors, including Six Tables in Mt. Pleasant and Sodawater Grill on Daniel Island. And there are still new restaurants coming to life. Halls Chophouse should finally be open, even though we reported that they were open a few weeks ago. Guess opening day didn’t arrive like they hoped. Out on Folly, Center Street Kitchen plans to open this week. And re-opening soon, after an extensive renovation, is the Old Post Office Restaurant on Edisto. We’ll have more details about their renovation on our blog Eat at this week. —Stephanie Barna

Lata & Brock Get Favorable Tweets From Reichl

During the recent Charleston Food + Wine Festival, we discovered how much fun Twitter can be and signed up to follow Ruth Reichl, Gourmet editor-in-chief and most notable foodie in all the land, who happened to be in town for the event. We followed as she had an “inspiring dinner” at Hominy Grill, enjoyed “Sean Brock’s awesome charcuterie,” and listened to her husband Michael blather on about FIG after they returned home: “Said it was one of the best meals he ever ate. Can’t stop talking about lamb bolognese.” According to local PR firm Byrdhouse, who represents FIG and Mike Lata, a photographer from Gourmet was in a few weeks ago, taking pictures for a spread on Charleston in the May issue. More recently, a photographer from Details was in there taking shots. No word on whether Lata will get the cover. —Stephanie Barna

Hey, we may not be as exciting as Reichl, but you can sign up to follow us on Twitter. User name: @cpeats. Or just read the blog,