There’s an exciting new South Carolina beer collaboration this holiday season as Charleston’s Holy City Brewing teams up with Brian Nelson, owner of The Keg Cowboy in Lexington, to create a craft beer take on traditional holiday mulled wine drinks like Swedish glögg. The result is Julbocken, a 10.6 percent ABV American Barleywine that is spiced with cloves, cinnamon, star anise and other Nelson family secrets. Like the Scandinavian Christmas figure it’s named for, this “Yule goat” bears great gifts but can be hard to find. Specifically, the only places you’ll find the keg-only release of Julbocken are at Holy City and at Keg Cowboy’s tap room. So whether your holiday travels take you to faraway Charleston or not-so-far-away Lexington, you should definitely stop by and have one. Keg Cowboy has expanded its tap room with four more taps recently and is still keeping its “no crap on tap” policy, and is also in the process of putting in a kitchen. Holy City has its own expansion going as well, according to beerofsc.com. New fermenters and tanks should be rolling in soon as well as possibly a bottling and canning setup so you can take that Holy City love home with you as soon as February.
In more Charleston brewery news, Paste Magazine (which is now just a website but is still called a magazine?) named Westbrook Brewing Company one of the 20 best craft breweries of 2013. The article in fact ranked it at No. 11, calling Westbrook “perhaps the best young brewery in the US.” Paste cites Westbrook’s amazing barrel-aged Mexican Cake, released to a long line of brave souls during a torrential summer downpour, and its canned sour Gose (I actually tried the Gozu variation last weekend and loved it even more) as reasons why Westbrook killed it this year. Congrats, guys!
I’m always on the lookout for ways to better and/or entertain myself while having a beer, and this week there are a couple great opportunities to do so. First up, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. at the new awesome Half and Half headquarters (912 Harden St.), you can meet renowned designer-illustrator Mikey Burton as part of Half and Half’s Meet The Press series, all while having some free burritos and beer, free burritos and beer, free burritos and beer. And this Sunday, Dec. 15, starting at noon, you can get your Christmas shopping done at the independent craft fair Crafty Feast at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (admission is only two bucks) while sipping on the beer and wine they will have on sale as well. A drink certainly makes Christmas shopping a little easier to deal with, right? See the Arts section on page 22 for more information.
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