I found out about the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s Microbrews Cruise a little late in the summer last year, so I didn’t want to wait until the last minute to mention the tour series this year. Put on by the U.S. National Whitewater Center, the Microbrews Cruises happen every Wednesday and alternating Fridays from April through October and are the perfect combination for people who like their craft beer with a little Mother Nature on the side for good measure. Yes, it’s technically an event located in Charlotte, but it would really make for a perfect little afternoon to evening road trip. Each cruise starts out at 6:15 p.m. with a check-in at the USNWC Kayak Center, where you’re set up with your own kayak (tandem kayaks are available, if you want to make a date out of it) and then taken on a guided flatwater paddle along the Catawba River. When the sun starts to go down, everyone heads inland and enjoys a fireside dinner on Hawk Island along with a tasting from that tour’s craft brewery of choice. Representatives from the breweries will be on hand also to lead you through the tastings. The highlighted brewery changes with every tour, and upcoming highlights include everything from the well known and readily available (Sierra Nevada, Left Hand and Dogfish Head) to the lesser known and generally unavailable in South Carolina (Heavy Seas, Mother Earth, Boulevard, Olde Hickory). One that I would be particularly keen to check out is coming up this Friday, May 16, when the featured brewery is Charlotte’s own Birdsong Brewing Company, whose brews I have enjoyed quite a bit whenever I’ve been able to get my hands on them. Tickets to the Microbrews Cruise are $55 per person and can be purchased at usnwc.org/microbrews-cruise-2014-schedule. You can also check out the full schedule there. If you’ve wanted to step up your river-drinking game, this is the way to go.
Total Wine Hosts Beer Tastings
As for tastings a little closer to home, this week kicked off the Total Beer Experience at Total Wine & More. The discount beverage store will be running beer specials as well as hosting beer tastings every day from now until May 18. Times and breweries change with the day, of course, but a couple that will definitely be featured are Terrapin, Founders Brewing, Anderson Valley and Oskar Blues. Check out the Columbia store page at totalwine.com for the whole schedule.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
The Lake Carolina new home community has it all! 1 YMCA, 3 pools, 10 parks, 20+ community events each year, and much more! Learn more. www.lakecarolina.com