With Swamp Cabbage set to become Columbia’s third brewery with a taproom (Aug. 17 is the official opening date), it wasn’t going to be long before some smart, enterprising folks started a bus to shuttle beer lovers from brewery to brewery so they can enjoy all the craft brew goodness that our town has to offer without drinking and driving.
Started by Cam Powell, Mike De Kozlowski and Chris Campbell, the Columbia Brew Bus has a Facebook page, a cool logo and, as of last week, a church bus. (I’m looking forward to seeing how they redesign it.) They plan to start offering tours in late August, and with their mission statement “to help make Columbia a major beer tourism destination by offering a previously unavailable, exciting and safe transportation method that showcases some of the Southeast’s newest and best breweries,” I think they will fit into the Columbia beer scene just fine. There’s no official website yet, but you can follow their Facebook page and Twitter account (@columbiabrewbus) for updates.
Who Made Your American Whiskey?
Last week, the Daily Beast reported a story (that would go on to be picked up by NPR and other major news outlets) that, while maybe not big news to industry insiders, certainly came as a surprise to the general drinking public. It turns out that your favorite “artisanal,” “craft,” or “small batch” whiskeys may not be the Portlandia-esque, locavore-worthy special snowflakes you thought they were. Many of these whiskeys actual get their product from a factory in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, called MGP Ingredients. The MGP mass-produced rye whiskey can be found, in some form or other, in some of your guaranteed-favorite rye whiskeys — Bulleit, Angel’s Envy, George Dickel, High West and Prichard’s, to name a scant few.
On one hand, it’s not so shocking that a new start-up distiller wouldn’t have the capital to actually make and age a five- or 10-year whiskey before selling any of it, and thus would resort to getting some capital going with someone else’s whiskey. But to market that as “hand-bottled in Littletown, USA” with a hefty price mark-up is pretty disingenuous, especially for more well established distillers. It’s definitely something to keep in mind next time you’re picking out a bottle. Check the label and see if it’s distilled in Indiana.
A driving force behind Whiskeygate is food blogger Sku (attorney Steve Ury by day), who has cataloged over four-dozen brands that use MGP whiskey; I recommend checking out Ury’s blog at recenteats.blogspot.com. His list of distilleries and what they produce themselves and what they outsource is a fascinatingly thorough rabbit hole.
Drink with Your Favorite Characters
So everyone by now knows about the Game of Thrones beers by Ommegang, but you really don’t see a lot of beer being consumed on the show. Mostly when characters in the show get “in their cups” it’s because they’ve had too much wine. While there’s no official Game of Thrones wine, Australian ad agency Common Ventures is planning on releasing an unofficial Wines of Westeros series. Each of the main noble houses from the show and books will get its own release, including a dark pinot noir for the Lannisters and a passionate red cabernet for House Martell. The wines won’t be released until the season five premiere next year, but you can pre-order at thewinesofwesteros.com. The site’s under construction right now, but the notice “Hangovers are coming” gives me hope that these will at least be a fun tribute to the show.
In other tie-in drinking news, Shmaltz Brewery (makers of He’Brew, The Chosen Beer) is paying tribute to Jack “King” Kirby later this month at an event at the New York brewery celebrating the legendary comic creator’s birthday, Aug. 28. Kirby created the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Captain America and hundreds more (including Groot and Ronan the Accuser from that Guardians movie you saw and loved last week), and his family is still in legal battles with Marvel about all those now-oh-so-profitable characters. Proceeds from the sales will go to Heroes Initiative, which supports comic creators (who often don’t have health insurance) in need. The party will feature King Kirby Ale brewed by Shmaltz and sold exclusively at the party. There is King Kirby Messiah Ale (dark) and Genesis Ale (light), and, in true comic book tradition, a variant sketch label bottle. So if anyone wants to go to New York and bring a case back, there’s a certain drink columnist who would like to be your new friend.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com
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Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: email@example.com.
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com