River Rat Brewery, Columbia, SC

I stopped in at River Rat Brewery in Columbia, South Carolina and tasted several beers.  Their American Kolsch Story was a very easy beer to drink and enjoy.  The Metal Man Pale Ale reminded me of other hoppy pale ales I have enjoyed – like Sierra Nevada.  The …And I Shut My Mouth Sweet Potato Imperial Stout collaboration with Cigar City Brewing was also a winner.  The others were tasty, just not as noteworthy to my palate.  I’m glad I stopped.

Conquest Brewing Company, Columbia, SC

I stopped in at Conquest Brewing Company in Columbia, South Carolina.I really enjoyed a couple of beers on tap.  The Coffee IPA was a delightful blend of bitter flavors – hops and coffee.  I really enjoyed this unique beer.  Old Naps Scotch Ale was a delightful version of this style.  It was wonderfully malty, delicious to drink and would be easy to pair with food.  While I was visiting they were hosting a Soda City Suds Week event – making pottery beer mugs.  I wish I had been in town longer and could have participated because it looked fun.

Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company, Columbia, SC

I stopped in at Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company in Columbia, South Carolina for a beer and got more than I expected.  I absolutely loved the Dunkelweizen.  Although I typically think of this as a heavier fall beer, this example of the style pleasantly surprised me.  It was fresh and flavorful.  I could drink it year-round.  After I was served, the owner offered to give me a tour and graciously shared their entire story with me.  I had a blast.  I wish them the very best.

Akasha Brewing Company, Louisville, KY

Akasha Brewing Company I stopped in at Akasha Brewing Company in Louisville, Kentucky with some industry friends to taste a flight of beers.  Akasha Brewing has an industrial/warehouse feel to it.  Although we got there rather late in the evening there were still at least a dozen people still at the brewery in various small groupings.  Clearly Akasha has somewhat of a local following.  Several of the beers on the list I would have loved to have tried but were out at the time.  The Gose was well worth having.  Its salty and sour flavor was distinctive – not for everyone – but a great example of this style.  The DoubleCrush IPA was solid. Piper Smoked Porter was rich and smooth.  The Knaves and Staves Bourdeax Barrel Aged Saison was sweet and smooth – delicious!  And, I loved the taster tulip glasses so much that I bought one to take home – perfect size for a bourbon in the evening.

Goodwood Brewing Company, Louisville, KY

I stopped in at Goodwood Brewing Company in Louisville, Kentucky. Several industry friends and I stopped in after dinner to try their beers.  With the current construction in Louisville, getting there was a bit tricky, and we may have used a slightly illegal maneuver to park down the block.  The area the brewery is located in felt a bit sketchy, but that’s not always uncommon for breweries.  Fortunately we got there safely.  When we arrived it was close to last call so we quickly put in our flight orders.  There was only one other small group in the tap room at the time.  The atmosphere was rustic – very enjoyable.  Having tried several of their beers, here are some thoughts.  The Cinnamon Stout was new for me.  It tasted like a mix of Red Hots and stout at the same time.  Tasty for what it was.  I think my favorite brew was the Bourbon Barrel Ale – an ale smoothed out with the flavor of bourbon – sweet and tasty.  The Pale Ale was crisp and hoppy.  The Bourbon Barrel Stout was smooth and flavorful.  I hope I have another time to stop in here before this trip ends.