Hilton Head Brewing Company has created Java the Bock beer, a “mad brewer’s dream” libation. It’s a classic, big-bodied Weizenbock full of banana and wheat flavors, plus a hint of coffee. The direct-trade coffee is a medium roast with notes of crisp honey, floral aromas and brown sugar.

Chefs Matt RoherWINE & FOOD FESTIVAL SERVES UP THE BEST OF HILTON HEAD

In March, foodies flock to Hilton Head Island for the Hilton Head Island Food & Wine Festival, a six-day celebration starring Lowcountry cuisine and wine from all over the world. Chefs Matt Roher, of The Sea Pines Resort, and Joe Gilleland of Rock Fish Seafood & Steaks at Bomboras offer a peek at what’s on the menu for this year’s festival.

Bee-Town Mead & Cider is opening in Bluffton. Owner Mike Tripka will start with six products, including hard cider, traditional meads, coffee-flavored meads and fruit-flavored meads. Patrons will be able to taste and purchase a glass of the products. Mead is a fermented alcohol drink that uses honey; Bee-Town plans to use locally sourced ingredients.

The Juice HiveThe Juice Hive and Health Emporium has been named a winner in the 2018 Good Food Awards for its two kimchi creations in the Pickles category. The national award recognizes those making delicious food that is respectful of the environment and connected to communities and cultural traditions. Leslie Rohland, owner of The Juice Hive, was presented with the award at the historic San Francisco War Memorial in January. The winning recipes, Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi, can be found year-round on the menu at The Juice Hive and Health Emporium.

Stooges Café in Sheridan Park has new owners. Jobita and Efrain Salgado recently bought the restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch. The Salgados also own El Super Internacional, an international grocery store with locations in Bluffton and Savannah and on Hilton Head Island.

gustoA new Italian restaurant is opening at The Fresh Market Shoppes on Hilton Head Island. Gusto Ristorante is scheduled to open this month and will feature a full bar, extensive wine list and al fresco dining on a garden patio. Executive chef and owner Giancarlo Balestra and his wife, Nancy, plan to bring the vibrant flavors of his hometown Rome to Hilton Head.

Hilton Head chefs Lee Lucier of FISH Seafood and Raw Bar and Clayton Rollinson of Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar are friends who share two passions: food and football. After playfully ribbing each other on social media, diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan Lucier and New England Patriots devotee Rollinson made a friendly wager: The chef whose team loses the Super Bowl will host a pop-up event in the winning chef’s restaurant. The Eagles came out ahead, beating the Patriots 41-33, so Rollinson will be cooking at FISH to benefit Volunteers in Medicine at 6 p.m. March 1.

CELEBRATING YEARS OF LOWCOUNTRY OYSTER HERITAGE

I married into the oyster business 30 years ago. My husband's grandfather moved to Hilton Head Island in the early 1900s and started one of the first oyster shucking houses in the area, and it has been a mainstay in the Toomer family for all of these years.

The business has changed drastically over time. Waterfront docks have been sold because the land was prime property. As our families got older, there haven’t been many others to fill in. We have been fortunate to remain in business here in Bluffton, but we’ve felt the labor shortage.  

NEW PROGRAM HOPES ‘SEA-TO-TABLE’ FOCUS WILL LURE VISITORS AND BUSINESSES 

Aquaculture, sea-to-table, aqua-tourism, merroir: Larry Hughes loves using expressive terms for the Lowcountry Oyster Trail.

“Why can’t we have aqua-tourism? We have ecotourism,” he said. “It’s just tourism focused on our special marine ecosystem.”

When it comes to oysters, “merroir” is the maritime version of what terroir is to wine — the environmental factors that affect the grapes the wine is made of. The term is gaining acceptance among oyster lovers.

G Free SpotThe G-Free Spot recently opened in Coligny Plaza and its menu is entirely gluten-free. The bakery offers baked goods such as brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes and breads. Nicole Gardner, owner of the bakery, opened the storefront after running an online store. Gardner and her daughter both learned they were gluten intolerant in 2011, which was about the time they moved to Hilton Head. The store is at 1 N. Forest Beach Drive. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays during the offseason and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day during peak season. The bakery also offers wholesale distribution to local restaurants and hotels.