Cheers: Holiday Beers

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Holiday Beers

By Andrew Johnson, ColumbiaFoodieNews.com contributor

Let’s be honest. It’s never a BAD time to have a beer, but one of my favorite times of year to enjoy a few is when the leaves start to fall and the nights become much cooler. My beer taste buds seem to evolve in those autumn months from a desire to drink hop-forward beers and wheat beers to craving more malty and darker beers. It all begins in the middle weeks of September with the emergence of Oktoberfests and Marzens and continues through the Holidays with Stouts and Porters. If you’re out and about, be sure to try some darker offerings from some of our local bars and restaurants. Below are few of my favorites for some smooth cool-weather sipping.

Highland ClawhammerHighland Clawhammer Oktoberfest, 5% – Asheville: This is one of my favorite Oktoberfest styles because of its drinkability. Even if Oktoberfest is officially done, this beer can hold its own in the cooler months thanks to a malty backbone packed with a rich caramel flavor and a smooth, biscuit-like finish. Enjoy this beer as it was meant to be: in sessionable quantities. Thanks to the low ABV, it’s easy to down a few and not be over-served.

Swamp Cabbage Dunkelweizen, 4.8% – Columbia: Swamp Cabbage LogoNot many breweries brew a dark wheat beer that’s as good as this one. This beer has the banana and clove profiles of a traditional German-style hefeweizen, but there’s a significant boost in the malt character with the addition of caramel malts. It almost tastes like semi-sweet banana bread. Enjoy by itself or with roast chicken or pork.

Westbrook Dark Helmet Schwarzbier, 5.5% – Mt. Pleasant: Schwarzbiers are dark lagers Westbrook Dark Helmet logo(schwarz is German for “black”) that drink dark due to the specific malts used in the brewing process but also finish light because they’re lagers – this simply means they’ve fermented at lower temperatures. Westbrook does a fantastic job of striking this balance with some coffee and dark chocolate notes that finish crisp and clean with flavors that don’t linger. This one pairs well with hearty red meats fresh off the grill.

Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard Barrel-aged Scotch Ale, 11.2% – Grand Rapids, MI: Founders puts their “Dirty Bastard” scotch ale in bourbon barrels to obtain the complex and non-traditional flavor profiles, but to also add a subtle hint of bourbon found in the finish. Notes of sweet caramel and roasted malts come through from the scotch ale and blend with the sharpness of oak barrel bourbon, and at 11.2% ABV, it is certainly a sipper.

Stone Xocoveza Stout, ;8.1% – Richmond, VA: This is the heaviest beer on this list, but alsoStone Brewing the most flavorful. Inspired by Mexican chocolate, which is created with a spice addition (usually a smoked pepper), Xocoveza boasts a complex flavor profile full of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and spicy pepper. This is the perfect post-dinner dessert beer, but it also makes a sitting by a campfire even more enjoyable.

You can find most of these beers throughout the season in a variety of establishments, but you’re more than welcome to stop by Craft And Draft to enjoy even more varieties of seasonal offerings! (Shameless plug, we know). We hope you enjoy the Holidays better with BEER!

Andrew Johnson is co-owner of Craft And Draft craft beer store and growler shop here in Columbia.

Food Lover Events: November

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Casual Pint Vista| Team Trivia and $2 tacos

Wednesday, November 8 | 7 PM | 807 Gervais St, Ste 100

You will love the upscale, yet casual Craft Beer-centric atmosphere at The Casual Pint beer garden! Get your team together and enjoy $2 tacos during this trivia event. More here.

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Craft And Draft | Devine Night Out

Thursday, November 9 | Craft And Draft, 2706 Devine St.

Craft and Draft will have a variety of specials on November 9th (Devine Night Out!), plus they will be featuring an all-Columbia beer lineup, 10% off merchandise and growler fills, and an “Early Bird Happy Hour” where every beer is $1 off before 5pm! There is not better place to sample ALL Columbia beers on tap than Craft and Draft! More here.

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Karaoke Night and Reverse Happy Hour | Casual Pint Vista

Friday, November 10 | 9PM | 807 Gervais St, Ste 100

Enjoy karaoke at your favorite beer garden in the Vista! Play to win and sample new beers during this fun event! More here.

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Arts & Draughts | Hosted by The Whig and Columbia Museum of Art

Friday, November 10 | 7 – 11pm | 1515 Main Street

Art, drink, and be happy! Enjoy beer tastings from Golden Road Brewing, live musical performances, D.I.Y. art projects, interactive art, scavenger hunts, unique perspective tours, and food from The Wurst Wagen, Real Mexico, The Belgian Waffle Truck, and treats from Curiosity Coffee. More here.

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90’s Bar Crawl in Columbia

Saturday, November 11 | 2 – 10pm

Go back to the 90s! This event will take place at several local participating bars (TBA), and in several different cities! Enjoy drink specials, 90s music, a “welcome” drink at registration and a signature bar crawl cup. More here.

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9th Annual Bubbie’s Brisket and Bakery…A Jewish Food Extravaganza!

Sunday, November 12 | 11am – 3pm | Beth Shalom Synagogue, 5827 N. Trenholm Rd

Mark your calendars – Bubbie’s Brisket and Bakery is back! Enjoy delectable homemade, kosher foods prepared under Bubbie’s direction, right in the Beth Shalom kitchen. On the menu this year: Homemade Horseradish, Potato Knishes (for the very first time), plus favorites like Brisket, Corned Beef Sandwiches, Tzimmes, Matzah Ball Soup, Falafel, Stuffed Cabbage, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Kugel, Israeli Salad, Challah, Rugelach, Mandel Bread, and much more. Have guests coming for Thanksgiving or the upcoming holidays? Bubbie’s desserts and dishes are perfect for a crowd! You can even purchase her brisket and corned beef by the pound during this event. The day’s festivities will also feature an auction. More here.

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River Rat Brewery Dinner at Ruth’s Chris

Monday, Nov. 13 | 7PM | 924-A Senate Street

River Rat’s perfectly balanced, refreshingly bold and deliciously drinkable beers and Ruth’s Chris’ exceptional fall menu – the perfect pairing! Dinner event will feature a delicious, five-course meal served alongside some of River Rat’s most popular beers, anf for dessert – a Poached Pear Tart with House Made Maple Bourbon Ice Cream
paired with Hazelnut Brown Ale! Make your reservation today for this special dinner by calling 803.212.6666. More here.

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“No Lunch” lunch | Harvest Hope and Golden State Foods Foundation

Wednesday, November 15 | 12pm | 320 Senate Street

Join Harvest Hope and Golden State for the Feeding Hunger: “No Lunch” Lunch at the Hall at Senate’s End. All proceeds from the one-hour soup kitchen-style luncheon will benefit child feeding programs, helping to provide food for the 1 in 4 children in South Carolina who struggle with hunger. Tickets are limited, so please RSVP to Sarah Sipes at 803-254-4432 ext. 1143 or to ssipes@harvesthope.org. More here.

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The Casual Pint | Vista Lights 2017

Thursday, November 16 | 807 Gervais St, Ste 100

Join The Casual Pint Vista during the Vista Lights celebration! Casual Pint’s beer truck will be in front of 807 Gervais Street with $5 drafts. Also enjoy 15% off growlers and shirts, and buy a $50 gift card and receive a free $10 card! More here.

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Mindful Eating Workshop | St John’s Lutheran Church 

Saturday, Nov. 18 | 213 Saint Johns Church Road

Join certified dietician, Jeremy Ponds, for a two-hour workshop focusing on mindful eating! Learn more about what mindful eating is and how it affects us, as well as the physical, biochemical, and nutritional benefits of mindful eating. This is a free event, though monetary contributions to Harvest Hope Food Bank are appreciated. More here.

Keg Fest 2017 in Lexington

Saturday, Nov. 18 | 1-6pm | Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main Street 

kegKeg Cowboy presents this inaugural grassroots craft beer festival at the Icehouse Amphitheater in Lexington! Featuring over 20 breweries including Holy City, Tradesman, Frothy Beard, NoDa, OMB, Highland, Founders, Stone, D9, Ballast Point, Unknown, Sierra Nevada, Freehouse and more, and live music from Lexington locals The Nick Clyburn Band and The Kenny George Band. Food trucks will also be on site. There are a limited number of tickets available, so get yours today by clicking here!

21st Annual SC Oyster Festival

Sunday, Nov. 19 | 11am – 6pm | Robert Mills Historic House & Gardens, 1616 Blanding St.

Plate of oystersColumbia’s largest outdoor oyster roast featuring steamed oysters for sell by the bucket is brought to you by Pearlz Oyster Bar. Also enjoy oyster shooters, fried oysters, and oyster gumbo for purchase once inside the festival. Food vendors will also be on site, and there will be ice cold beer for sale as well as a wine garden! You’ll also enjoy live music all day on 2 stages, from local favorites like Prettier Than Matt, Reggie Sullivan Band and many more. Arts and Crafts vendors will be on hand displaying their creations, and kids will enjoy amusements, games and activities. Admission price does NOT include Oysters. Bring your appetite! Tickets here.

 

Stay Tuned… we’ll bring you new food and drink events again on Nov. 21st!

Want to know what’s happening this week? Click here to see This Week’s Top 10 Things to Do! or better yet, subscribe and we’ll send you the list every other week via email!

Beer Pairing Tips

Having the gang over to watch some football?

Pair the finest quality blends of barley, yeast, hops and water with the foods you serve! Make it fun and host your own Beer Pairing Party.  Here are some ideas on what goes with what…AdobeStock_159752333.jpeg

Steak, hamburgers, roast beef and turkey: Pale Lager. A pale lager is a very pale or golden colored lager beer. Flavors are subtle, with no one traditional beer ingredient dominating the others. Lightness of body is essential. This makes the beer work well with foods that are more subtle in flavor as well. Favorites: Mecklenburger (available on tap right now at The Casual Pint), Pilsner Urquell, Alpine Wiesen Oktoberfest (currently found on tap at Craft and Draft – get a growler-fill)

Fish, chicken and cheeses: Light Beer. Today’s light beers are no where nearly as flavorless or watered down as light beers of the past. People who are watching their calorie intake or alcohol consumption prefer to drink light beer and will appreciate a host offering good light beer. Favorites: Corona Light, Michelob Ultra Amber, Heineken Light

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BBQ, blackened chicken, Mexican foods: Ale. Ales are sweet, full-bodied and fruity in taste. When pairing with food, think about tastes that complement each other. Sweet and savory, salty and sweet, sweet and spicy… ales work well with strong tasting foods. Favorites: Chocolate Brown (brewed locally at Swamp Cabbage Brewing and available on tap at the brewery), Coast Brewing Kolsch (available at Craft and Draft), Oberon Ale (on tap now by the growler at The Casual Pint)

Desserts: Since desserts can vary wildly in character and level of sweetness, no one beer style works with every dessert. Pair these common desserts with these beers – Carrot cake, caramel cheesecake or crème brulée: Double/Imperial IPA like Stone Ruination Double IPA | Caramel apple tart, ginger spice cake, rice pudding: India Pale Ale… our favorite is Rubrum Red IPA from Swamp Cabbage Brewing, available on tap at the brewery here in Columbia or sold in stores | Dark chocolate desserts like truffles or chocolate raspberry mousse cake: Stout, like Founders Brewing’s Breakfast Stout found at Craft and Draft

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Craft and Draft

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Battle of the Breweries: Fall Kickoff @ Craft and Draft

Wednesday, September 13 | 2706 Devine St.
battlJoin Craft and Draft for the Fall Kickoff edition of the Battle of the Breweries! This one will feature six beers from Ballast Point Brewing Company versus six from Founders Brewing Co. Tap and KC Hotdog Food Truck! Begins at 4pm. More here.

 

Under The Foam: Craft and Draft

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Craft and Draft: Wine Wednesdays and Food Trucks

2706 Devine Street | 803.764.2575

Join Craft and Draft for Wine Wednesdays, featuring $5 off select wines by the glass. Craft and Draft also offers $1 off pints to ALL military and first response personnel! Check Facebook to see which food trucks will be set up at C&D every night from Thursday through Sunday, through the end of September. Trucks will vary each night, and will operate from around 5pm to close!

Swamp Cabbage Brewing: Three Year Anniversarybeer

Sunday, August 20th | 1pm – 6pm | at Swamp Cabbage (921 Brookwood Drive) | Free admission and kid friendly

Join Swamp Cabbage in celebrating THREE years!! There will be live music, food trucks, misters to keep you cool, plus enjoy special release beers all day! The live music will be featuring Whiskey Bears and The Black Bottom Biscuits. Random Taste and Ludicrous Foods will be there serving up some great food too, plus Swamp Cabbage will have a commemorative glass for sale celebrating their 3 year anniversary and commemorating the solar eclipse! Visit event FB page here!

The Casual Pint: Solar Eclipse PartySolar Eclipse Party

Monday, August 21st | 1pm – 10pm | at the Casual Pint Vista (807 Gervais St.)  or Lexington (217 Saluda Springs Rd. Suite A, Lexington) | $75 per person

Where are you going to watch the eclipse? Does it offer all of the beer that you can drink? Casual Pint in the Vista and their second location in Lexington do! Enjoy half off food specials, all you can drink beer and receive a free viewing glass too! Get your ticket(s) here for Vista locationGet your ticket(s) here for Lexington location.