Laura Alberts Tasteful Options welcomes a new “beertender” to their Daniel Island restaurant. James Wager moved to town from Chicago last year to work as an engineer. After the economic downturn, he decided to change career paths and pursue something more in line with his hobbies. Namely, beer.

Wager graduated from West Virginia University, where he first developed his taste for craft beers. “I was constantly driving to Pennsylvania for good beer since there was a 6 percent alcohol cap in Morgantown,” Wager says. “I was always bringing back new craft beers.” 

Since then, his talent for picking out good beers has grown immensely, and he has even begun homebrewing. Wager has won a few awards for his different combinations, like an Imperial Stout coffee chocolate mix.

When he’s not busy brewing up his own mix, Wager hosts a Growler Hour every Wednesday at Laura Alberts. The happy hour usually attracts a decent sized crowd, anywhere from 10-30 people, and welcomes newbies and regulars each week to try new beers on tap or play cornhole in the backyard.

Laura Alberts offers six beers on tap at any given time and usually switches up the choices every two to four days. The beer station always has a nice variety of light and dark to appeal to everyone. Recently Wager has been incorporating many of his favorites along with seasonal brews like the Foothills Oktoberfest. Other choices are influenced by website favorites and ratings from Beer Advocate.

In addition to Growler Hour, Laura Alberts features monthly beer dinners where Wager chooses four to five beers and the chef designs the meal around his selections. Their goal is to not only share good craft beer with their customers, but also educate them on the process that creates them.

The next beer dinner will feature Smuttynose Brewing Co. on Thurs., Oct. 1. Call for reservations: (843) 881-4711.