Columbia, South Carolina, known as the cola town, is growing fast in population and economically. Along with the changes, it incredibly maintained the historical values of many landmarks and landscapes.
The craft beer industry is among those who keep the neighborhood’s culture, history, and nature. Many local homebrewers had been bold enough to bring the unique identity of Columbia and its culture through the quality and styles of beers. No need to look hard at why it’s among the best places to live in the US; just check how they love beers with excellent food from their best breweries!
1. River Rat Brewery
Named after the three rivers that run through Columbia and those who labored on the canal more than a century ago, River Rat opened in 2013. The brewery offers perfectly balanced and refreshingly bold beers to make everything better, like food and conversation.
On taps are their core and seasonal beers poured in pints but also available in cans and ready for a delicious carryout menu of appetizers, wings, and tacos. Hanging out on their beautiful deck or rooftop patio, you are sure your beer moments will last.
- Crowd Favorite: Astronaut sauce. A hoppy and hazy New England IPA with 5.4% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Hazelnut Brown Ale
- Hop-py note: Dog-friendly. Kid-friendly. Outdoor seating. Brewery tour. Private events hosting.
- Fun Fact: River Rat won a silver medal for Bohemian Pilsner in the 2016 World Beer Cup.
Hours: Open Wed 4pm-9pm, Thur 4pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 11am-6pm, Mon & Tue Closed
Address: 1231 Shop Rd, Columbia, SC 29201
Contact: (803)724-5712 | Facebook | Instagram | Website
2. Columbia Craft Brewing Company
Columbia Craft Brewing opened in 2017 with the goal of promoting Columbia as a home of the best and most innovative craft beers. Committed to staying current on brewing trends and techniques, they boast an excellent lineup of ales, lagers, hazy IPAs, sours, and barrel-aged beers served fresh in drafts and cans. The 2022 US Open Beer Championship recognized Columbia Craft Hazy IPA with Silver Medal for Juicy/Hazy.
Their tap room in Greene Street has a lively patio and rooftop that beer patrons can’t miss while enjoying the neighborhood views or special events like live sports broadcasts and comedy shows.
- Crowd Favorite: Famously Hop. A hoppy American IPA with 6.2% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Columbia Craft Lager
- Hop-py note: Brewery tour. Food trucks. Private Events hosting.
- Fun Fact: Columbia Craft Brewing started brewing in single pots until they built a customized, built-from-scratch system.
Hours: Open Mon-Thur 2pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun Closed
Address: 520 Greene St, Columbia, SC 29201
Contact: (803)799-6027 | Facebook | Instagram | Website
3. Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Ale House
Launched in 1995, Hunter-Gatherer Brewery is the first and oldest microbrewery in Columbia. Since then, they have been crafting the unmatched ales in the city praised by its patrons and newcomers. They have two locations, Downtown and The Hangar. Both serve excellent foods prepared by their house chef and have unique, quaint interiors, especially the one in Hangar that was restored in 2018.
As part of the company’s advocacy, they support Biscuits and Bluegrass, a fundraising beer event to make sure that elderlies in the neighborhood are fed adequately.
- Crowd Favorite: ESB. A rich and malty ESB with 5.25% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Pale Ale
- Hop-py note: Family-friendly. Games. Outdoor seating. Live music. Private event hosting.
- Fun Fact: Columbia and Free Times readers voted Hunter-Gatherer Brewing as the Best Brewpub of 2022.
Hours: Open Wed & Thur 4pm – 10pm, Fri 4pm – 11pm, Sat 11am – 11pm, Sun 1pm – 8pm, Mon & Tues Closed.
Address: 1402 Jim Hamilton Blvd, Columbia, SC 29205
Contact: (803)748-0540 | Facebook | Instagram | Website
4. Twisted Spur Brewing
Twisted Spur Brewing was established with a vision to share the art of crafting beers and becoming the “heartbeat” of the community through one of a kind selection of brews and great cuisine that creates a unique taste for South Carolina.
The tap room is a brick-clad structure that gives a relaxing atmosphere to guests. They have 15 fresh brews on taps, a full bar for every curious beer enthusiast, and a simple food menu but highly recommended by patrons. The popular favorites are the dollar oysters, chicken quesadilla, and of course, the classic American pub fare.
- Crowd Favorite: Dead Head Red. A sweet and complex Marzen with 5.9% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Fräulein Hefeweizen
- Hop-py note: Trivia night. Discounted Oysters. Music Bingo. Outdoor seating.
- Fun Fact: Twisted Spur has a Woman’s Day collaboration beer called Hop Girl Summer.
Hours: Open Thur & Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-6pm, Mon 4pm-11pm, Tue & Wed Closed
Address: 705 Gervais St A, Columbia, SC 29201
Contact: (803)764-0203 | Facebook | Instagram | Website
5. Savage Craft Ale Works
A veteran-owned beverage company, Savage Craft Ale Works is creating a leading-edge brewing of craft beer styles. Their historic taproom is a landmark in West Columbia but is just 5 minutes away from downtown Columbia. It has a very spacious and beautiful patio, a rooftop, and a Jailhouse for groups wanting to experience the distinct quality and variety of their beers.
They’re ready for guests who want a great meal while enjoying their drafts, a beer garden and a brunch menu served with great flavors and presentations.
- Crowd Favorite: Galaxy Banger. Hazy, Dank, and Tropical New England IPA with 7.5% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Vanilla Creamin
- Hop-py note: Dog and kid-friendly. Private event hosting. Live Music. Handicap accessible. Public Parking is available.
- Fun Fact: Savage Craft Ale Works supports veterans, law enforcement, and first responders.
Hours: Open Tue-Thur 11:30am-10pm, Fri & Sat 11:30am-11pm, Sun 10:30am-9pm, Mon Closed
Address: 430 Center St, West Columbia, SC 29169
Contact: (803)888-6005 | Facebook | Instagram | Website
6. Peak Drift Brewing Co.
Founded in 2021, Peak Drift Brewing is coming very soon to Columbia. They’re set to open by 2023 in North Main District with a state-of-the-art 20-hectoliter brewhouse, bar, restaurant, sports complex, and entertainment options.
This most anticipated brewery to launch soon was inspired by the state’s rivers, oceans, mountains, and, most of all, people to share their high-quality and award-winning craft beers. Currently, you can have their tasty beers through Smoked Restaurant & Microbrewery on Main St.
- Crowd Favorite: Hefeweizen. A light and easy wheat beer with 4.7% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Golden Ale
- Hop-py note: Coming soon.
- Fun Fact: With Ashley Kinart-Short, Peak Drift Brewing will have the Midlands’ only female head brewer.
Address: 3452 NORTH MAIN STREET COLUMBIA, SC 29203
Contact: (803)888-6005 | Facebook | Instagram | Website
7. Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company
Swamp Cabbage Brewing is a family-owned brewery that offers a strong lineup of handcrafted beers, from light to hoppy, crisp to full-bodied – and everything in between that would satisfy the palate of every beer lover.
Swamp Cabbage Brewing welcomes tours for their guests and provides a shaded pergola for groups who prefer a cool outdoor drinking bond. With a complete pack of special events, friendly staff, and fantastic beers, it’s the hoppy place of the community. Try a flight or two and see how the fun goes!
- Crowd Favorite: Chocolate Brown. A slightly nutty and smooth American Brown Ale with 6.2% ABV
- Highly Recommended: Dunkelweizen
- Hop-py note: Dog-friendly. Brewery tours. Crowler Club. Trivia nights. Growlers-to-go. Food trucks.
- Fun Fact: Swamp Cabbage Brewing’s Dunkelweizen was the 2018 Beer Army Beer Wars 1st Place.
Hours: Open Wed & Thur 5pm-8pm, Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat 2pm-9pm, Sun 2pm-6pm, Mon & Tue Closed
Address: 921 Brookwood Dr, Columbia, SC 29201
Contact: (803)939-2589 | Facebook | Instagram | Website