Prost! -Columbia Metropolitan Magazine

Bierkeller Brewery

Pop-up Beer Garden: Saluda Riverwalk on Candi Lane, Columbia

Coming end of 2022: permanent location at CanalSide Plaza

At Saluda Riverwalk, bierliebhaber (beer lovers), children and dogs congregate on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, weather permitting. At the hospitality tent, buy first beer tokens, $5 for two. Two tokens will get you a full mug of a beer, or you can ask for half a pour for a token, allowing you to taste more beer. Rent a glass or ceramic tankard for another $5 cashback, or purchase a Bavarian flag-checkered Bierkeller tankard to keep. Jolly bartenders in the beer truck educate visitors on brewing choices, then pull off a pint of deliciousness.

If you wish, stroll along the river while enjoying your beer, bring a blanket to lay in the grass, or sit at one of the many community-style picnic tables. You might meet new friends with whom you have everything in common. Hungry people can visit the Wurst Wagen to sample authentic German cuisine.

“Bierkeller is modeled after the 300-year-old monastery breweries in southern Germany,” says owner Scott Burgess. It also reveals a new special: Bierkeller will soon have a permanent location. “We have been looking for the right place for a long time. We wanted to locate where we could showcase the city and its natural beauty. Like here, it will be family and dog friendly, convenient and accessible. Scott describes the new location’s menu as gourmet boutique meets lizard thicket; i.e. something for every palette. Prost!

Beer: Kellerbier, Braunbier, Leichtbier, Fastenbier, Bockbier and Kräusenbier

Brewery and Hunter-Gatherer Tavern

900 Main Street, Colombia

1402 Jim Hamilton Boulevard, Colombia

By far the oldest brewery in Columbia, Hunter-Gatherer on Main Street was established in 1995. Location being everything, Hunter-Gatherer enjoys a prime location near USC and the SC State House in a former Quaint building with lots of character and unique details, including old brick walls, polished wood, a full bar that surrounds steel fermenters, and an African wild dog in an upper window. Owner/Brewmaster Kevin Varner has brewed every batch since opening 27 years ago to ensure a consistent, quality brew. Kevin learned his trade at one of the nation’s oldest craft breweries, Hales Ales in Seattle. What Hunter-Gatherer does best is pair good beer with good food. Chef Lee Henshaw uses farm-to-table ingredients to create an impressive menu ranging from savory entrees to salads, sandwiches and a variety of entrees, including vegetarian.

After many years of operating Hunter-Gatherer on Main Street, Kevin sought a new adventure. After a visit to former breweries in England, the history buff discovered a spacious and unique setting for a new location in the derelict 13,000 square foot aircraft hangar tucked away at Owens Field Airport. He purchased German brewing equipment from a closed Japanese brewery and created his new space where he could expand his line and include bottling and distribution capacity. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating has gotten Kevin through tough pandemic years and provided fun-hungry Colombians with a place to enjoy socially distanced security. Families and dogs are welcome. As with the Main Street location, it offers wine, a full bar, and an outstanding menu. The Hangar location hosts many events, including live music and holiday-themed gatherings.

Main Street Beer: Pale Ale, Hazy IPA, Raspberry Sour, ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and Lights Out Stout

Curtiss-Wright shed beer: Main Street beers, plus HG-Session, Cherry Sour, and Child of Zeus IPA, among others