River Rat Brewery

Photo by John Carlos


This weekend is the Columbia Food and Wine Festival, and while “food” and “wine” are in the name, this year cocktails and craft beer will be getting their own time in the sun as well. There are lots of satellite events this year, including Brews & Views, a rooftop craft beer collaboration. Enjoy the River Rat rooftop on Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m. with the release of perhaps the biggest Columbia beer collaboration ever. Tangerine Dreams, the official craft beer of the Columbia Food and Wine Festival, was created by folks from River Rat, Cottontown Brew Lab, Swamp Cabbage, Bierkeller and Craft and Draft. You can be the first to taste it at this party. There is bottomless craft beer at this event plus hors d’oeuvres by River Rat, which just got a new chef in Jonathan Cooper, formerly of Tazza. If you want to get a quick look at what he’s got in store for River Rat, this would be a good place to check it out. Tickets are $45 and available at columbiafoodandwinefestival.com.

If you’re more into the wine side of things, don’t miss the Sips and Seminar in the Pastor’s Study at Lula Drake on Saturday at 4 p.m. Lula Drake owner and sommelier Tim Gardner will be leading a tasting in Lula Drake’s gorgeous private event space. The wines featured will be very rare and not available on Lula Drake’s regular wine list. Tickets are $90 at columbiafoodandwinefestival.com.

I would also point out that at the Columbia Food and Wine Festival main event on Sunday, many people focus on the food and various libations, but one of the best parts of the festival is the seminars held throughout the day. Local wine experts Erlinda Doherty and Mike “Wine-Guy” Simmons will be at the Five Points fountain leading discussions like “Getting Serious About Rosé,” “Bubbly is my lady, my lady!” and “For Goodness Sake,” which is of course about Japanese rice wine, not exasperation. Details on talk times and ticket info can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

Have a Sour Saturday

Speaking of puns, beer folks are never ones to leave a good (or bad) pun just lying there unused. That is probably how we ended up with the Golden Sours event this Saturday, April 27, at Flying Saucer. Punny names aside, Flying Saucer will be putting up some great sours on their board all day long, so if you’re looking for a motherpucker of a good time (see, writers can play the pun game too), you’ll want to swing by. They will be featuring sour and wild ales from Lakefront, Westbrook, Southern Barrel, Avery, Allagash, Jester King, and one of my favorite maker of sours, North Carolina’s D9 Brewing Company.

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