And then there were three…
On a hot, sunny Sunday in August, Columbia unleashed its third brewery. Practically neighboring Conquest and River Rat, Swamp Cabbage Brewery boasts a convenient Williams-Brice Stadium locale—and good beer to boot.
After anticipating the brewery’s opening for nearly a year, I was delighted to finally take on a wristband and step into the warm sanctuary of the taproom area. Though the day’s ecstatic crowd made the space feel cramped, I’m sure it’s a pleasure on a calmer weeknight. Standing in line gave me plenty of time to observe the extensive theming: a partial shack facade encases the taps and register, all nestled into a hand-painted mural of lowcountry swamps. Talk about embracing the swamp feel!
I started with a flight—ESB, Amber, Blonde and Porter—and a seat at the picnic table by the window seat (yes, they have a window seat). The ESB wasn’t the least bit shy about its dry bitterness, while the Amber proved a malty, slightly bitter companion. Though the hazy, light Blonde was the perfect refreshing beer for the season, the rich Porter won the “favorite” title from me. No surprise there. By the time I finished my flight, my table filled with five new faces, two of which happened to be the founders of the new Columbia Brew Bus. (FYI, this should be cool, with tours starting and stopping at Vista restos and including dining deals so you can easily plan an afternoon out for drinks and great food. Check it out!) I sipped a charitable neighbor’s Chocolate Brown, which had a great taste but weak mouthfeel. My little group hummed with “mmmm”s and praises of the true-to-style flavors, and we laughed as the chap beside me proclaimed each new beer in his flight “the best.”
With satisfied taste buds I headed out to explore the remaining space. The exterior boasts a large patio space, which was dotted with tents and food carts. Not even the terrible music of the hour could spoil the excitement of the crowd. Naturally, I stopped for a bite at the Wurst Wagon before ordering an ESB pint and ducking out of the sun into the brewhouse. More eager drinkers crowded each nook and cranny surrounding the 20 BBL system, and unfortunately, no tours were being offered to give an insight into the brewery.
Though my visit wasn’t as immersive and informative as I would have liked, I look forward to returning after football season to learn more about the newest brewers on the block. If you’re interested in seeing Swamp Cabbage, be sure to check out this Living Social deal for a tour, flight and glasses.
Of course, I couldn’t come all this way without popping into the other two brewers literally around the corner. I joined the River Rats and Brewsky Brothers for drinks at Conquest, where we had the pleasure of chatting with brewer Joseph Ackerman, before popping over to the Rat Cave for a few more pints. Both breweries have done a spectacular job maintaining quality flagship beers whilst releasing equally delicious new brews. Plus, both are now bottling, making their beers even more accessible to beer rovers.
Don’t miss this trio next time you’re in ColaTown!