Beers in Review: River Rat Edition

Last week, I wrote about Columbia-based River Rat Brewery’s 5th Anniversary. As promised, here are a few of beers that I enjoyed at that event.

We start with their IPA collaboration with Munkle Brewing Company, a Charleston, SC-based brewery that brews in the German and Belgian styles and typically does not produce IPAs. River Rat and Munkle put their heads together, and the result is an American-style IPA that checks in at 5.8% ABV and 75 IBU. I found the beer to be nicely balanced with distinct malt notes and a moderate hop bite. Flavor notes included plenty of pine and just a hint of citrus. A basic but solid IPA.

Next up is Kerry’s Peanut Butter Porter. It pours a deep chocolate brown and has an ABV of 6%. I found this porter to be straight forward. It’s a light and smooth beer with plenty of roasted peanuts and just a hint of sweetness. Not a lot to say on this one. Again, solid but straight forward. Find your favorite fruit beer and do PB&J!

Finally, for one of their newest core beers, River Rat jumped on the New England IPA train with Astronaut Sauce. 5.4% ABV and 35 IBU, the Sauce pours an expectedly hazy apricot-ish color. Powerful citrus notes open the drinking experience, along with some fruit rind and just a hint of tropical fruit sweetness. Both of the latter notes push through the rest of the drinking experience, with the tropical notes occupying the back part of the sip while the bitterness of the rind, fueled with hop bitterness, really tend to come through in the finish and aftertaste. Pleasant overall.

Beers in Review: Holiday Rapid Fire

Christmas is fast-approaching, with the official start of Winter approaching even faster. With that in mind, I thought I’d throw down some quick thoughts on a handful of recent seasonal beers that I’ve had.

Highland Cold Mountain Spiced Ale-Highly enjoyable. As someone who does not necessarily care for many of this season’s beers, which can be overly sweet, I find Cold Mountain had a terrific balance of sweetness, spice, and other usual notes (like vanilla and dark fruits).

River Rat Winter Warmer-Not bad overall, though I felt like I was drinking the can a little bit in the one I had. Nice sweet and spice levels, though.

Abita Office Party-Abita’s limited-release Holiday Stout—they also have. Again, not bad overall (better than my River Rat experience). Quite mild overall. Not a lot of sweetness, and spices are present but not overpowering. That puts it right in my wheelhouse, hypothetically. It just needs…something…to be great.

I also had the Sweetwater Festive Ale, but that was a while ago, and it made so little impression that I can’t really recall anything, other than I wasn’t overly impressed. Take that for what you will.

Beers in Review: Dark and Light

For this first review, we go back to one of my hometown’s standard bearers, River Rat Brewery. My Morning Stout is their primary stout with an ABV of 6%. The beer pours a dark cola brown to near-black, and I found it to be fairly light-bodied. There is plenty of coffee present—a unique blend made by a Georgia-based independent coffee roaster. Burnt sugar, cocoa, and vanilla notes are all present, and I feel like the beer had a bit of a cold brew coffee-style thing going on: a little sweet and maybe a little milky, at least to me. Another solid effort by River Rat.

Next up, we go about as far in the opposite style direction as possible with this offering from Charleston’s Frothy Beard Brewing Company. They seem to like their fruity Blonde Ales (currently featuring a Blueberry Blonde), and got to enjoy their Strawberry Blonde Ale earlier this year. 5.2% ABV, the beer pours a fairly clear nice straw gold color. As expected, strawberries make up darn near everything in this beer. The sweetness level on this beer is pretty high, almost pushing to the point of being too much for me, but staying JUUUUUUST on the right side of my line. Overall, I found this to be a light and tasty Blonde Ale.

Beers in Review: Beers From Long Ago...

First up in today's BiR is Slow Your Roll from Bronx Brewery in New York City, of course. Slow Your Roll is a session IPA, just 4.6% ABV and fairly light in body and flavor intensity. The beer pours a lemon yellow color and is completely hazy. Citrus hop notes are the most prominent flavors present, along with tropical fruit and tropical greens and leaves. I also felt like I was getting a little bit of funkiness, but that may have been coming from the tropical sources.

Next is River Rat Brewery's offering created for August's Solar Eclipse, Moonraker. Coming in at 6% ABV and pouring a bold gold color, Moonraker is an India Pale Lager (IPL), a hybrid of the lager and IPA styles. To me, this hybrid style was interpreted as a sort of two-step beer. In the front half, I picked up the hoppy notes. This included citrus, especially candied orange, and perhaps a little bit of pine hoppiness. The back half of this beer brought more lager characteristics. There was a caramelly sweetness along with some cereal notes and a malty finish.

Finally, just my second-ever offering from Legal Remedy Brewing Company, the first being their excellent World Court Mocha Blonde Stout. Gorilla Law is a cherry Hefeweizen, and it looks like it may have been specially-produced for the brewery's 3rd birthday. The beer pours reddish copper, and measures at 5.8% ABV. I found it almost played like a farmhouse ale. There were mild cherry notes--far less than I expected--along with a little bit of a white wine taste and feel. There was a little bit of funkiness in there, as well, that really brought that farmhouse feel. Gorilla Law had a fairly light body, and I found it to be pretty refreshing. This beer maybe wasn't quite on style, but it was enjoyable.

Beers in Review: A Local Duo

In today's BiR, I check out a couple more beers from right here in Columbia, including a collaboration with one of my favorite bottle shops.

But first up is a Dunkel, or dark lager, from traditional German-style brewer Bierkeller Columbia. Their Fastenbier is what they call a "Franconian Dunkel", referring to a Dunkel style from a specific region in central Germany (as opposed to the more common, at least in America, Munich Dunkel, named after the city in southern Germany). In their preparation of this Franconian Dunkel, Bierkeller uses smoked malts, and I'm not sure if this contributed to what I interpreted as a bit of an odd flavor note. The Fastenbier pours a cola brown, comes in at 5.1% ABV, and I found it to be quite roasty, almost to the point of char, but not crossing the line. Presumably, that is the first indication of these smoked malts. I got a little bit of chocolate maltiness and perhaps a hint of cola, but the beer is not very sweet at all. There are also some roasted grain notes, but the flavor note that surprised me was green olives, which I found throughout the drinking experience. I'm not sure if my palate was interpreting some combination in an odd way, or the smoked malts influenced me in this flavor direction, but it was a distracting note that I found it very difficult to overlook. I have always found Bierkeller's beers to be well-executed, even if they aren't to my particular liking (mostly, I'm looking at the Rauchbier on this one), but this odd olive note seemed out of place to me. Otherwise, I found it to be fairly light and sessionable beer that didn't hang around too long, which made it easy to move on to the next beer.

Next up is a collaboration between River Rat Brewery and Craft and Draft bottle shop. I found Nah Mean? Peaches and Cream to be a very well-executed Cream Ale. Clocking in at 5% ABV, and pouring a hazy yellow-gold color, this Cream Ale brings a whole bunch of corn and grain notes with a perfectly mild amount of sweetness and a slight bitterness. Add a medium-light body and a fairly refreshing finish, and this adds up to a very nice, if simple, Cream Ale.

Beers in Review: Milking River Rat's 3rd Birthday!

Happy April, everyone! Today's review post on River Rat Brewery's 3rd Birthday Party will tend to focus more on River Rat's core beers and lighter offerings, compared to Wednesday's post, which had several of River Rat's higher gravity and higher ABV beers.

In case you missed Wednesday's set of Beers in Review, you can find that post here. In addition, if you missed the event recap video, you can find it here!

In the recap, I gave a review of the 2016 edition of the Moncks Corner Abbey Dubbel Ale. Immediately after, I had the 2015 version of the Abbey Ale. It pours a bronze-to-orange color, is listed at 7.2% ABV, though this aged version seemed heartier than that, as I detected a ramped-up boozy note and boozy sweetness compared to the 2016. I also got a lot more dark fruit sweetness, especially raisin, and these combined with the Belgian candy and some sweet malty notes to give a feeling of fruitcake to the Abbey Ale.

With that Abbey Ale, I  took a hard left turn to their core 803 IPA. Also fairly high in ABV (7.3%), this light gold-colored beer brings plenty of grassy and especially piney hop notes that combine with a mildly sweet note. There is also a little bit of orange and orange rind in there. This IPA had a medium-light body, and the prickly carbonation stood out in the mouthfeel.

I started ramping down a bit with a few fruitier beers, starting with the Pineapple Pale Ale, which poured a very light gold color, and was very easy drinking, especially considering my palate was nearing the end of its usefulness. This pale ale had very nice pineapple notes with no sourness or acidity and very little sweetness. Overall, it tended to be more on the mild side, and in a normal drinking environment, I might want more out of this. But given the situation, I was fine with a milder beer.

Finally, I tried the Blackberry Saison, which was a hazy, ruddy gold color. This Saison featured plenty of funk aroma, which carried into the taste. There were also some pepper notes and a little bit of berry, as well. Frankly, at this point, my palate was starting to tap out, so I might want to give this one another go, if River Rat ever offers it again.

I also had the Twisted Lemon Wheat, but my palate wasn't up to giving impressions on it.

So, that wraps it up. I gave River Rat plenty of love in the event recap, so I'll just say it was awesome to have so many, and such a varied selection, of River Rat beers. This included a number of their offerings that I hadn't tried before. A very good event by River Rat.

Beers in Review: Notables from River Rat's 3rd Birthday

A couple of weeks ago, I covered the 3rd Birthday Party for River Rat Brewery here in Columbia. If you missed it, you can find that video about the entire event here.  I have a whole lot of beers from that event to review, so you will be seeing them over a couple of BiR entries this week. For a few reasons (all same brewery, 5 beers per review instead of 2-3, etc.), the individual beer reviews will be slightly shorter than normal.  But River Rat had a number of special and rare beers to go with their excellent core line-up, so let's check them out!

I started off with the Sour Cherry Sucker Punch, and I told the full story of why in the video, but basically, don't let the word "Sour" fool you. This is a massive beer! It brings every bit of 12% ABV to the party, along with subtle cherry notes and a very mild sourness. Pouring a pretty reddish-copper color, Sucker Punch carries both a fruity sweetness as well as the expected boozy sweetness. If you can handle the alcohol it brings to the table, Sucker Punch can be highly enjoyable.

Next up was the 2016 edition of their Winter Warmer, which wasn't awful, but was easily my least favorite beer for the whole day. I think a fair amount of that can be owed to my mild aversion to the spicy seasonal beers that dominate the fall and winter months. Pouring a deep-brown ruby color, and clocking in at just 6% ABV, Winter Warmer brings cinnamon and a few other spices of the season, with the overall taste reminding me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (which is funny, since I believe they also have a beer that mirrors that cereal). It's mildly sweet, and really was fairly mild overall. I think a bit of a bolder beer could have been in order. Especially something intended for colder winter months.

Last year, River Rat collaborated with Tampa, Florida's Cigar City Brewing for an Imperial Stout (what I've now discovered they're calling a "Sweet Potato Pie Imperial Stout) called And I Shut My Mouth. A boozy sweetness dominates the flavor profile, which is not too surprising, given the reported 9.6% ABV (courtesy Beer Advocate) and the relatively mild-in-flavor nature of the supposed feature ingredient. While I wasn't looking for it at the time, I can't recall finding much of a sweet potato note in the beer. It did have some cocoa notes, along with maybe a bit of cola. Overall, I found it to be a tasty beer.

My last full entry for this review is the Barrel-Aged Imperial Milk Stout. This Milk Stout was aged in bourbon barrels for six months before release earlier this year. Also sporting a massive 12% ABV, this stout pours a very dark cola color--it was very nearly see-through, but just too dark to get there. Between the barrel treatment and the style, this had a terrific mouthfeel, just absolutely smooth. It featured chocolate and overall sweet notes, along with a surprisingly low boozy feeling, considering the ABV. Another really nice offering. I do feel I should note that subsequently had their core stout, called My Morning Stout, but only got a few minor notes--cola, smokiness--likely due to the beer that had proceeded it. This was an error on my part.

After pushing through a fairly powerful line-up of beers, I took a bit of a palate break before moving more towards River Rat's core beers and lighter beers. You can read all about them this weekend. See you then!

PRB Video: River Rat Brewery's 3rd Birthday Party!

As promised, I am glad to bring you a recap and some highlights from the 3rd birthday party of River Rat Brewery here in Columbia!

Before we get to the video, I must apologize for the two cardinal sins I committed in this video. The first is a production sin: filming vertically with my phone. I think this is the first live event for which I've actually done video, so I am learning, and will not make this mistake again. Promise. The second mistake is about midway through the video, when I refer to a beer as a "double" instead of a Dubbel. My bad.

As mentioned in the video, I tried many River Rat beers at the event, and they will be making their way to some Beers in Review posts in the not-too-distant future!

Enjoy the video! (You better--it was a pain in the butt to make!)

Beers in Review: Back to Local Brews

Now that I've worked my way through everything written from up north (I still have a few for videos), I can return to my group of decidedly local beers.

We'll start with Palmetto Brewing Company, and their Huger Street IPA, which they officially call a "Wheat India Pale Ale", and pours a slightly occluded gold-to-orange color. At 7.2% ABV, Palmetto uses Falconer's Flight, Cascade, Chinook, and Citra hops to create a flavor profile that starts off with pine needle notes. This pine presence ramps up through the entire drinking experience and is joined by just a little bit of citrus, specifically orange and grapefruit. Similar to the pine note, the hop bite starts out fairly mild and gradually increases in potency throughout the drinking experience. It seems like the "wheat" portion of this beer comes through in a subtle grassy note, and perhaps a spicy note, as well. A medium-bodied beer, I was impressed with the overall complexities throughout the flavor profile and tasting experience. While the piney notes were generally the most prevalent feature, various other flavor notes came through the drinking experience at various times, making for a fun ride of a beer.

Next up is Kerry's Peanut Butter Porter from River Rat Brewery. It has 6% ABV and pours a moderately deep brown, similar to dark iced tea or watered-down cola. Peanuts and hazelnuts, though not necessarily peanut butter, come through in a generally light-to-moderate overall flavor profile. I also felt like there was just a hint of coffee, but I couldn't quite tell if that was the porter talking or if I was reinterpreting roast from the peanuts. This porter has a creamy mouthfeel that's very nice, though this is probably the beer's best attribute, frankly. Based on the beer's description, they were going for a porter that is quite light overall, and I feel River Rat overshot this mark. There is nothing bad or off-putting about this beer; everything tastes and seems fine. It's just all quite light or mild--the flavors, the body--and it's all a tad underwhelming. I would have liked a little more potency, instead of tasting something that almost felt watered down. I really liked the idea, River Rat. It just needed to be stronger.

Beers in Review: Dark Collaborations

A pair of big time collaborations are on tap for today's BiR. They are a couple of Imperial Stouts that truly blew me away.

First up is And I Shut My Mouth Imperial Stout, from Columbia's River Rat Brewery and Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL. Pouring a very hazy dark brown (though the place I was drinking at was a little low-lit to make a fully accurate determination), I got notes of chocolate and spice, but to me, the prevalent flavor notes were raisins, as well as a fruit cake note. With just the mild amount of booziness, the beer is 9.6% ABV, I could almost reclassify the last note as rum cake or something similar. Some other fruits, such as plums, joined the raisin note. This was a tremendous beer to drink, but was only part of Imperial Stout experience this weekend.

My next collaboration was between Westbrook Brewing Company in Mt. Pleasant, SC and Denmark's eccentric Evil Twin Brewing. They essentially brought their own Imperial Stouts together to form a new Imperial Stout. Evil Twin combined their Imperial Biscotti Break with Westbrook's amazing Mexican Cake, slammed all the words together, and created Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break, and I'm about 95% sure I got all those words in the right order. As expected, this Imperial Stout pours near pitch black, and had a pretty tan head. This beer is 10.5% ABV, but that alcohol blends into the flavor profile very well. Flavor notes include lots of chocolate and vanilla, as well as cinnamon and perhaps some brown sugar (perhaps I am detecting this from another type of spice). There was also a bit of coffee on the back end of the drinking experience. Just like the beer above, this was another excellent drinking experience.

Beers in Review: They can't all be winners

This BiR brings a wide range of emotions to this blog. Beers will be liked. Beers will be disliked. Let's find out which is which together.

The folks at Craft and Draft had a fun little tasting last week, pairing assorted beers from River Rat Brewery with specific types of candy. I tried River Rat's Broad River Red with a Kit Kat, and this initially generated a bit of a mental "taste" already, as the aromas of the beer matched the sweet cocoa and wheaty, biscuity notes from the Kit Kat. At least, they did in my head. Overall, the Kit Kat matched well with the Red ale and it's solid malt backbone with some spicy sweetness, and perhaps a dark cocoa hint...or was that the candy doing its job. Regardless, the Red is one of my favorites from River Rat.

Next up is Fandom Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company. Fandom is a hoppy ale being brewed for the Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar chain. Now, perhaps that fact should have been the first red flag when it came to this beer. Pouring a straight-up yellow, I got tons of piney and vegetal aromatics before even taking a sip. These notes carried through to the taste. Flavor notes included assorted grains, vegetal notes, and hoppy pine. There was a mild hop bitterness that tended to carry through a dry finish into the aftertaste. These flavors, though were shoved in your face quite harshly during the drinking experience, and I found the flavor combination to be not very appealing. This was a serious miss by Lagunitas. Or a major cleaning problem on the part of my local BWW.

On a much more positive note, we move to a brewery that has rarely, if ever, disappointed, Bell's Brewery. Roundhouse is an India Red Ale brewed with honey, and is a fall seasonal with availability in September and October ONLY, per their website. It pours a reddish color, and is quite bold in both hop and especially malt flavors. Sweet honey blends well with a sweet maltiness along with mild crackery notes. This is balanced by a mild hop bite, with just a hint of pine present. I found this beer to be a quick drinker--highly drinkable and highly enjoyable.

Video Review: River Rat Hazelnut Brown Ale

So, I sat down with my beer and my new HD webcam, and filmed my review of River Rat Brewery's Hazelnut Brown. Then, I went back and discovered I had no sound because I screwed up the webcam set-up. I went back and redid the review summary-style, so at least we all got something out of it. Enjoy! It really didn't turn out too bad, considering.

Also, I've had to write "Hazelnut" about 40 times in the last hour, and I've had to check the spelling every time.

Sunday Funday on the Columbia Brew Bus (with a brand new brewery!)

So, as anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, Sunday is pretty regularly a blogging day for me. Needless to say, that didn't happen, as I participated in the Columbia Brew Bus's monthly Sunday Funday brewery tour. As an additional bonus, this was CBB's first tour to include the newly-opened Twisted Spur Brewery and Restaurant. More on them later. The tour started at 2pm with pick-up in downtown Columbia, providing transportation to Columbia's 3 commercial breweries--Conquest, River Rat, and Swamp Cabbage, before finishing up at Twisted Spur. At each location, we were provided with 4-4oz samples of each brewery's beer, along with the option to purchase additional pints and also beer to go (growlers or bottles) at cost. Per the guys running the tour, it seemed like this tour is targeted for about 4 hours total, but we blew well past that, not leaving Twisted Spur until 8pm. This was not a problem for me, but just be prepared for some extra time, especially if they continue to include a 4th touring location.

As I've had and written about the first three breweries in this blog previously, I will write about the breweries themselves while only mentioning highlights of the beers I had. This was my first time ever at Conquest and Swamp Cabbage, and my first time spending any meaningful time at River Rat. It was nice, in part, to finally learn where Conquest and Swamp Cabbage are located.

Our first stop was Conquest. They are located in an industrial building (all of these commercial breweries are located in industrial areas near the university's Williams-Brice Stadium) with a very nice bar area along with additional seating and space adjacent to their production area, as well as some outdoor space with picnic tables. The most notable of their four beers were the Coffee IPA, which I reviewed previously, and their Drinking Class Ale. This beer is in the style of an ESB (Extra Special Bitter), but uses some different ingredients for a very different taste. I can't describe it much, really (nice job from a beer blogger, right?), except to say it was very enjoyable but tasted unlike any ESB I've had before.

River Rat Brewery has a decent bar and sitting room, along with a decent amount of grassy outdoor space. They seem to be the most social of the commercial breweries--public areas away from the production space, frequent events like yesterday's charity cornhole tournament (though the other breweries are doing their share of events), and plenty of overall social space. The beer highlight was their collaboration with developing Greenville, SC brewery Birds Fly South, called Touch of Grey. This was listed as an Oatmeal IPA with citrusy notes, but the first thing I was getting was piney and dank hop notes. Now, make no mistake, the citrus was sneaky, always hanging around, but never quite the main feature of the flavor profile. It had very little bitterness, which was nice for a warm Columbia day.

The third brewery was Swamp Cabbage, which has a couple of small sitting areas featuring small bar, along with a very nice deck and open outdoor space beside the production area. A couple of the beers I had had before, of course, but their Peach Pale Ale was a new one for me. The peach flavor was present but generally pretty mild and the beer had a bit of a bitter finish. The SC Stout was also quite good, but the Peach Pale was a better match to the warm day.

Finally, we ended up at Twisted Spur for the final beer flights and some food. I just had an appetizer--chips with blue cheese, cheese sauce, bacon, and balsamic vinegar--and it was very good. In fact, our group of 20 ordered a considerable amount of the menu, and enjoyed most or all of it. Getting to the beers, first was their Southern Belle Blonde, which had a hint of white grape along with some mild crackery notes and a bit of a floral finish. Next was the Dead Head Red, a nicely balanced beer that is a little more hop-forward than most reds. It had mild malt and fruit notes with a decent bite. Third was their Hefeweisen, a very solid execution of the style, with notes of bananas, cloves and other spices along with maybe a hint of bread. Finally, we had the IPA, which hint several nice hop notes with very little bite. Overall, all of these beers were solid executions of their styles, and I look forward to seeing what else they can do as they get more comfortable with their venture (the space has only been open for a week).

With this, the Brew Bus returned us to our original location. Given the potential amount of beer that one can drink on these Brew Bus tours, I strongly urge consideration of a cab or Uber to and from the meet-up point. This was my first Columbia Brew Bus tour, and I would certainly be interested in doing one again in the future. Thanks, guys!

Beers in Review: Near and far

A quartet of beers ranging from local to international are on tap tonight. Let's start with the international, shall we?

From Brouwerij Verhaeghe in Belgium I had the Duchesse de Bourgogne, a Belgian-style Flemish red ale. It pours a matching reddish-brown color, and not much body, but this ale was loaded with fruit flavors. This is a result of maturation in oak casks prior to bottling. The fruit experiences were quite diverse: pear or apple, maybe cherry, with a massive sweetness. It was almost too sweet for my taste. In addition, Flemish reds typically have some sour attributes to them, and here they were more a complementary feature--not overly strong like I find in most sours. I expect this might be a result of having a legit Belgian Flemish as opposed to American attempts at the sour style.

Next up is the closest-made beer, American Kolsch Story by River Rat Brewery. It pours a pale straw color, and serves as a solid hot summer day beer. Initial impressions had bready and crackery notes early on in the sip. This gradually lead to hints of traditional German beer sweetness. It also led to a bit of a bitter finish, which was a bit surprising.

Next up is Oasis Brewing Company and their Scarab Red Ale. A pretty solid ale overall, I first got notes of graininess and even possibly corn. There was also a whole bunch of initial malty sweetness that dissipated pretty quickly after drinking. Again, solid, pretty tasty, but nothing spectacular.

Finally, what was supposed to be an Anniversary beer for Unknown Brewing Company, but it wasn't quite done on time. The result is 1.5-ish, an ale aged in Cabernet barrels with strawberries and vanilla beans. We'll get to all that shortly. The ale pours a cloudy bronze color and has a lot of body. As you might guess from the brief description above, the flavor profile has a whole lot going on. The Cabernet barrels shine through with strong initial red wine notes, leading to a kind of strawberry sundae thing going on from the strawberry and vanilla bean infusion. There was lots of sweetness (but not overpoweringly so, like the Duchesse above nearly was--note these were enjoyed on different nights) and even a little bit of funkiness. A hint of sourness rounded out this wonderful flavor experience of this ale. I had sat on 1.5-ish for a while before drinking it for no particular reason. Truly, I wish I'd drank it sooner and bought 4 more bottles. A really great drinking experience.

Columbia Craft Beer Week, Day 4: River Rat My Morning Stout

Hello, friends.

For Day 4 of CCBW, we return to River Rat Brewing and their My Morning Stout. It pours virtually pitch black, but also has a surprisingly light-in-color head, just a very, very light tan. A lot of typical but well-executed stout flavors in this beer--notes of almost spicy cocoa along with hints of coffee and vanilla (both especially in the finish). These blend together along with a mild sweetness (possibly generated by the vanilla?). The finish is fairly smooth. Another quality beer from the folks at River Rat.

Columbia Craft Beer Week, Day 1: River Rat Winter Warmer LIVE

Here in Columbia, today marks the first day of Columbia Craft Beer Week, one of two craft beer celebrations held in Columbia each year. This week features assorted events like tap takeovers, beer dinners, and special releases from many of the city's restaurants, pubs, and breweries. The week culminates with the World Beer Festival next Saturday at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

My own little contribution to CCBW will be a review of a different Columbia-brewed beer everyday through Friday. We begin today with River Rat's Winter Warmer. Pouring a clear reddish-gold, and having a pretty full body, this beer has just a hint of sweetness. It utilizes cinnamon and "sweet orange peel" as part of its recipe. Both come through, especially the cinnamon as part of that usual winter-ish spice profile. But neither is overpowering, and blend well with the malt profile that comes through later in the taste. Overall, a very nice beer.

Columbia's River Rat Brewery expanding

We just discussed a beer from the local River Rat Brewery on Sunday, so I was very excited to see a report in Columbia's The State newspaper about River Rat's expansion plans for 2016, an expansion that will allow them to more than double their production capacity and add a canning line and a food truck to their operation.

The expansion is seen as very necessary, as they would likely max out their production capabilities in 2016. The facility additions will ensure they have enough capacity for the future.

Congratulations to River Rat Brewery on their success!


Source: The State newspaper