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Myrtle Beach planners say three brew pubs could come to downtown

(WPDE)

Time for Myrtle Beach to start hopping? Maybe.

City planners say three companies have contacted them about the possibility of opening brew pubs in the historic downtown area, in or near the Superblock.

They say representatives for one company have toured the area, while another will be in town Saturday to look at possible locations.

Planning Director Carol Coleman said the third location could be a satellite location of the brewery being planned in the Market Common, if the primary location is successful.

RELATED: New beer brewery in the works for Myrtle Beach

"You have the opportunity for a true brew pub crawl," Coleman explained.

The craft beer explosion has mostly skipped over Myrtle Beach, with only a handful of places in the city serving their own product.

It's in contrast to much of the nation, where brew pubs are popping up in up-and-coming areas of cities.

"We've gone from eight breweries to over 70 [in South Carolina]," Brook Bristow, of Bristow Beverage Law, explained.

Myrtle Beach officials have been working with Bristow to update zoning regulations to allow brew pubs, which are different than normal breweries, and make sure the city is following state law.

Bristow said he thinks the Grand Strand is about to experience its own boom.

"Across my desk, I've seen no more than three to four new breweries in the Myrtle Beach area that are actively looking to open," he explained. "If they don't already have space, they're looking for it right now."

Coleman and other leaders hope he's right.

They see the possible brew pubs as anchors to a revitalized Superblock, which currently lacks major attractions to draw locals and tourists to the other store fronts.

Coleman said the city is eyeing the spaces along Nance Plaza, which faces the tourism district, because it could potentially host outdoor seating and live music in addition to being within sight of the boardwalk.

She said the companies, while working separately, are interested in being located near or next to each other.

"Everywhere I can think of, go there and it's active, it's vital, people are there," she said, of other cities where multiple brew pubs exist.

She said officials have been working with nearby New South Brewing, which is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, for advice and to make sure the brewery is on board.

A New South manager told ABC15 the company would welcome the pubs to help put the region on the beer map.

Coleman said one of the pubs could be moving forward by January.

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