Drink It In: Festivals and Events For the 21+ Crowd
Thursday, May 9, 2019 4:00 PM by Dayna Cantelmi
Whether you’re planning for a weekend with friends, a date night, or an outing sans children, we’ve rounded up a number of upcoming and annual events that feature the best beer, wine and liquor we have to offer. So let’s have a toast together in Columbia SC!
P.S. Please drink responsibly and we highly encourage using an Uber/ Lyft to and from these events.
Mark Your Calendars For....
Lexington Wine Walk | May 11
Spring = wine season. Gather around in downtown Lexington for this annual event that allows you to stroll around with glass in hand as you sample wine and hors d’oeuvres from participating Lexington restaurants and vendors.
We love a good block party, especially one with excellent craft beer. Come on out to Craft and Draft on Devine Street for two days of food trucks, games, live music and a lineup of beer from River Rat Brewery and Tradesmen Brewing Co., including two new collaboration offerings. Cheers!
Mexican and island cultures collide at this brand-new event at the West Columbia Amphitheater. Pop by for chef stations from Black Rooster, COA Agaveria y Cocina, River Rat Brewery, F2T Productions, Bourbon, Cantina 76 and more, plus cocktail pairings and tequila, mezcal and rum tastings. Live reggae entertainment and hand-rolled, infused cigars available for purchase round out the vacation experience.
Punch’d - The Rum Punch Party | June 9
We can’t imagine any better way to close out South Carolina Carnival 2019 than with a Rum Punch Party at the historic Robert Mills House & Gardens. Caribbean music and cuisine bring the island vibes. We’ll raise our rum punch to that!
“Art, drink and be happy” at this quarterly event held at the recently-renovated Columbia Museum of Art and Boyd Plaza. Explore the exhibits, take part in interactive opportunities like crafts and the occasional scavenger hunt through the galleries, listen to live music and, of course, enjoy some craft beer throughout it all.
Celebrate the summer equinox with River Rat Brewery’s annual Summer Kickoff Party. Cool off with a Prosecco Pop, frozen cocktails and craft brews, including a Pinacoladaburg Kolsch, RedRum Red Ale, Mai Tai Red Ale and a Raspberry Lemon Wheat. Hang out on the rooftop bar with your beverage of choice in hand – we can’t think of any better way to say hello to summer.
Brew at the Zoo | August 2
Logic might try to tell you that craft beer in proximity to animals like lions, gorillas and elephants don’t go together, but trust us, the combo just works. Head to Riverbanks Zoo after hours for an evening of sampling brews from all over and seeing which animals stick their heads out once the sun starts to set.
Barbeque and champagne go together like…. well, we don’t quite know. But we’re excited to find out! Join us at City Roots and bounce around to up to six stations serving grilled or smoked ‘que, then enjoy tasting more than 30 different champagnes from around the world. We’ll see you there!
Stay Tuned For....
Nearly five years ago, Craft and Draft graced Columbia with its presence, offering a cool place to hang out with friends, family and pets over a few quality craft beers. And each July, they celebrate turning another year older with an all-day party, featuring food trucks, an all-local lineup on tap, live music and extra beer offerings being poured outside.
Once the weather begins to turn crisp, don’t you just love cozying up with a lil bit of whiskey? How about with a lot a bit of whiskey? Enter the Great American Whiskey Fair, an evening of sampling nearly 100 different types of whiskey, a bartender challenge, a cigar-rolling station, entertainment and, don’t worry, food from local restaurants.
Oktoberfest(s) | Sept. - Oct. 2019
If you’re visiting Columbia in September or October, you’re likely to stumble upon an Oktoberfest or two. We’re all for blue and white checkered tablecloths, brats, steins full to the brim and Oom-pah music for days. Keep your eyes out for announcements from Bierkeller, Soda City Market, River Rat Brewery and the Incarnation Lutheran Church, to name a few. Prost!
Who says a holiday celebration has to be all about a heavy feast and hot chocolate? The Free Times, our local alt weekly newspaper, lends itself toward the nontraditional with a wintertime fiesta instead. Throw on your tackiest sweater and chow down on tacos from local restaurants, washing it all down with margaritas and tequila samples. ¡Felices fiestas!
For a couple weeks each year toward the end of January and beginning of February, Bourbon transforms itself into Bourbon Oasis for Tiki Week. Come in from the cold and warm your body and soul with fun, fruity tiki cocktails and special island dishes like tuna poke in a hollowed-out coconut.
For several years now, Soda City Suds Week has kicked off in March in celebration of how much Columbia’s craft beer scene has grown. Satellite events at locations like Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at the Curtiss-Wright Hangar, The Whig, Craft and Draft and others keep the craft beer spirit alive all week long.
This is an event that tends to sell out quickly, so consider this your official warning to keep an eye out for when ticket sales open and get them immediately. Because who wouldn’t love a night spent sipping on all the reds, whites and roses amidst the beauty of one of the most breathtaking botanical gardens in the country?
Don your pink and white duds and get ready to sample as many of the more than 100 different types of rose that you can handle (pro tip – munching on paella and cheese throughout the day helps). Tried something you like? Order a bottle or two from the onsite wine store to enjoy at home later. While this event is just around the corner, this year’s is already sold out. So we highly suggest you plan ahead for next year, snag your tickets early and make a whole weekend of it!
Looking for more fun happenings in Columbia SC? Check out our Calendar of Events.