Beer is in the spotlight this week in the Midlands, with Saturday’s St. Pat’s in Five Points Festival and the launch of Soda Suds Week.
But if this warmer weather makes you want to get out and discover craft beer and other drinks outside the Columbia area, too, there are new ways to do just that.
DiscoverSouthCarolina.com, a web site of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, has launched the South Carolina Satisfy Your Thirst Tour Guide to help you plan a beverage-centric excursion just in time for spring road trips.
Download a print version of the guide mapping out known locations of breweries, wineries, distilleries, dairies and more throughout the state. You also can download the free Satisfy Your Thirst Tour app for mobile devices.
The easy-to-read map is color-coded for ease of use, dividing the state into three sections: Mountains, Midlands and Coast; and sorting individual locations by type – beer, wine, spirits (moonshine and distilled alcohol, for example) and beverages (dairy, tea, cider and more).
Satisfy Your Thirst Tour is available through the Apple App Store or Google Play and features an interactive map, calendar of events and a reading room of beverage-related articles.
Getting started is easy. Zoom in on an area of the state to see what beverage producers are nearby. Click on one of the locations to bring up general information such as an address, phone number and a link to an available website. You never leave the Satisfy Your Thirst app, so checking multiple sites within the app is easy.
There also is a calendar of beverage-related events where you can learn more about an event, set a reminder or purchase tickets.
And, if you ever wanted to know more about a topic – such as the relationship between sweet tea and Southern porches – or see what beverage-related topics are trending on social media, The Buzz portion of the app is a cool place to check in and read while sippin’ your favorite beverage.
For a day of eating and drinking some of the best the state has to offer, pair the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour map with DiscoverSC’s BBQ Trail Map. There is no official BBQ Trail Map app, but www.destination-bbq.com is a site that is dedicated to South Carolina barbecue in all of its forms.
On Destination: BBQ you will find restaurant reviews, calendar of events and links to other barbecue sites.
Satisfy Your Thirst Tour
Download the map and guide or get the mobile app at www.discoversouthcarolina.com
Rules of the (back)road
▪ Make sure your vehicle is road ready. Check the tires, top off the fluids, gas up and roll down the windows.
▪ Make sure you have a phone charger for the car for streaming Google Maps if you don’t have built-in GPS.
▪ Use secondary roads whenever possible. Interstate highways are there for convenience, but you miss a lot of stuff – random junk/antique store stops, roadside stands, barbecue joints and really good food.
▪ Pack a cooler with ice and water and leave room for on the road purchases.
▪ For travelling with kids, try to unplug them from their latest and greatest electronic devices. Get them involved in the journey (count cows or cars) or go old-school and grab a paper map of the state and have them follow along.
Columbia beverage-related events
A sampling of happenings in coming days:
Historic Hoppy Hour at Hampton-Preston Mansion: 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, takes a look at the history of beer in Columbia. View images of historic breweries and participate in a beer-themed Easter Egg Hunt (with prizes). $15 for Historic Columbia members, $20/nonmembers. Must be 21 or older. historiccolumbia.org.
Soda City Suds Week: Columbia’s Independent Craft Beer Celebration includes a slate chock full of events, Friday through March 26, ranging from pizza and beer to sculpting and beer, yoga and beer, local bands and beer, and more. Information, ticket links at sodacitysudsweek.com.
Farm to Table Pop-Up Beer Dinner @ the Brickyard in Cayce: 6:30 p.m. March 25. Chef Henry Griffin and the team from Ristorante Divino, along with chef Kristian Niemi from Farm to Table Event Co., prepare a four-course, family-style dinner with beer from River Rat Brewery. Tickets $75/person available at eventbrite.com. www.farmtotableeventco.com.
Wine, Bubbles & Chocolate: 6-8 p.m. March 26 at Gervais & Vine. No reservations needed as you learn which wines go best with different flavors of chocolates. Joseph Vernon, of Evolution Through Chocolate, hosts. (803) 799-8463, www.gervine.com.
Michael Mondavi Presents: California and Beyond: Special Live Stream event 7 p.m. March 26 at Total Wine & More. Submit questions for the third-generation Napa Valley winemaker as he talks about his California wines and iconic reds from Italy and Argentina. Use #TWTASTING to submit questions via Total Wine & More’s social media channels. Tickets $20/person, available at eventbrite.com
Tasting Notes 2016: A fundraiser for S.C. Philharmonic, 6:30-9:30 p.m. March 28 at S.C. State Museum. Sample dishes from some of the Midlands’ favorite restaurants and more than 50 wines from around the world. Tickets $100/person, includes live music from Reggie Sullivan Band, cigar samples from Tinder Box, River Rat Brewery beers and a chance to purchase and/or bid on specialty wines and more during a silent auction. Tickets available at www.scphilharmonic.com.
Only the best: Veuve Cliquot Dinner at Ruth’s Chris: 7 p.m. March 30. Enjoy a five course meal paired with wines from one of the world’s most celebrated Champagne houses. Menu and reservations at ruthchris.net, Hilton Columbia Center Hotel, 924-A Senate St., (803) 212-6666