He Likes the Warm Feeling but He’s Tired of all the Dehydration 

As part of the Lowcountry Local’s “Eat Local Challenge” I am drinking my way through Charleston’s local inebriating options.

 

So the day after the bridge run weekend I had the NCAA Championship game in which my favorite team the North Carolina Tar Heels were playing. UNC would end up losing one of the better Championship games I’ve seen on a last second shot. And being the second best team in the nation is quite an accomplishment. And as proud as I was of the team, sitting at the Upper Deck with a full keg of Holy City Pluff Mud Porter made the end result a little bit easier to swallow. A couple pints later and an Uber ride and I was tucked in bed to sleep off a solid couple days of drinking.  

My wife’s job makes her hours week to week change. So after that Monday she was working early in the morning every day. That, coupled with the long weekend of celebration, made me take some time off. But she was going to go out of town and leave me to my own devices that weekend. So Friday when she left town I was left to find activities on my own. However even by Friday staying in and watching Netflix seemed like a better idea than venturing out into the jungle that is the bar scene in Charleston on a Friday night. I instead made plans to meet with some friends Saturday afternoon at Holy City Brewing. My friend Brandon who I occasionally DJ with had grown up in New York and is a Syracuse fan. We put a bet of a couple beers on the game. My friend Amy and her children were also going to meet us out there.

Holy City is really great that there is stuff for parents to do (eat really nice food, drink even better beer, and watch sporting events on their TV’s) while also being kid friendly where a little bit older children can enjoy themselves (corn hole, live music, and basketball games). They have a wide variety of beer, some of which you can’t find in the store, along with selling some bottles of very limited edition run beers. I made my way up to the bar and ordered a “S’more of the World”. This was an American Imperial Double Stout finished with a fire kissed marshmallow. My friend Sarah who was working there looked at me and my friend Brandon and said “oh what a manly beer” and then got us our beer. And I’ll admit it, it looked really odd for two very large gentlemen (Brandon is about 6’3, I’m 6’6) drink small glasses of beer with a marshmallow in it. But do you know what, it was so delicious that we didn’t care. My friend Amy got a “Washout Wheat” for herself and got her kids a glass of the homemade pineapple soda. I then proceeded to talk a bunch of smack to Amy’s kids while playing them in corn hole and basketball. Just kidding, they were totally better than me at both events. Over the next three hours I also tried the “Holy City Pilsner” which was also great. There were plenty of other “big” beers that I wanted to try but I had driven. I envied the customers that were being driven around on brewery tours in party busses. Still, there is no greater Saturday afternoon this time of year than spending some time with friends, supporting a local business, and being outside in just perfect weather.  

  

Another nice surprise was that “The Cake Farmer” was at the brewery. Apparently she reads my blog. She makes a “Salty Pluff Mud Pie” with Holy City’s Pluff Mud Porter. She gave me a small pie to try out. And wow was it fantastic. My wife is a big baker and I knew that I had to save her some of it. She was also blown away with it. Apparently Holy City and The Cake Farmer are going to start selling the pie at the brewery soon. But you can also find her at local farmers markets. Pro-tip: if you’re out and you see her selling her cakes and pies make sure to buy one. You’re significant other will be on cloud nine. And if you don’t have to share, even better!

  
That night I spent some time at the Night Bazzar on King St.  There I sampled food from vendors along with the bourbon from High Wire distilling.  It was a pretty interesting experience, including a really good DJ set from DJ Jeff Turner.

The rest of my weekend was pretty low key and was spent getting supplies for my daughter’s birthday party, getting ready for the Prom at the Upper Deck, and cleaning my house. But Tuesday was going to be another adventure.

Tuesday I was attending a bachelorette party for my friend Apryl. Apryl had worked at Jack’s Cafe when Jack still worked there. She became a good friend over the years with us both visiting each other’s place of employment. Eventually we would end up even taking trips together and having a lot of fun over the years. Now the group of ladies that all worked at Jack’s were all a close group. And they are also crazy people, in the best way possible. So I met up with them for Apryl’s bar crawl. I met up with them on the back porch of the Kicken’ Chicken. There we polished off a couple of Kicken’ Chickens signature cocktails and local beers. From there we hit a couple more bars before ending up at the Recovery Room where a daylight dance party ensued. Someone along the way had given Apryl a water gun which resulted in some funny moments. It was a really fun time. I’m not sure that I stuck 100% to the local drinking challenge I must admit. When you’re picking up tabs for multiple people sometimes you go with the thrifty option. But I tried to make sure that I got at least one local beer at each bar.

  

The rest of the week has been pretty low key. I’ve been so busy hosting events that I haven’t had time to explore more breweries. But before this is out I’ll get to more. Much to my liver’s chagrin.  

  

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Like A Bridge over Troubled Water, I will Lay You Down

As part of the Lowcountry Local’s “Eat Local Challenge” I am drinking my way through Charleston’s local inebriating options. Here is my report from The Cooper River Bridge Run Weekend.

Friday:

I woke up early after going to bed late. Still, I was excited because I had lots of fun activities planned for the weekend. My brother and sister in law were staying with us over the weekend. They were going to be in town for a wedding that night and with the bridge run that night all the hotels in the area were sold out. They arrived said hello and got ready for the wedding. My wife and I made the decision that we were tired and just ordered some Chinese food from Chopsticks house downtown. I stayed up with the baby as she hasn’t been sleeping well lately. I walked out on the porch at one point and my brother and sister in law’s Uber was arriving at the house. My sister in law was tired out from dancing and a long day of driving so she went to bed. My brother in law and I decided to go grab a drink. 

We walked over to the Recovery Room. It wasn’t open when he lived here and he had never been. I’ve known Chris, the owner, for probably a decade and like to support my friends. I walked in and made my way over to the bar and ordered a Budweiser and a shot of Makers Mark. Know I know what you’re thinking “hey neither of those things are local”. And guess what? You’re right. I messed up right off the bat. But the place was so packed (along with there being some unsavory people I didn’t want to see) that we decided to call it one and done at the Recovery Room and we caught an Uber over to Local 616. 

Dwayne and I have also known each other for a long time (as friends and he and I used to work together) and I really love the bar there.  I was confident in Local 616’s ability to satisfy my need for local beers and having a more relaxed crowd. And to my delight, not only did we find a couple bar stools, we found all of Local 616 beers on draft to be local. So we finished off the night talking, playing ring toss, and making plans for Saturday. We walked home and I made us a couple of omelets which we washed down with a couple Holy City beers. It was around 3:30am when we went to bed.

Saturday: 

Holy crap the bridge run starts early. My wife was running it and woke up at 6:00am to catch the shuttle to Mount Pleasant. Her alarm wasn’t set correctly and luckily one of her friends called her who was running with her. Her phone was on the night stand next to me and I heard it and tried to answer the baby monitor next to it. The kid decided to take mercy on my soul and fell back asleep soon after she left. 

We both woke back up around 8:30. I quickly changed her diaper and fed her. Then we hustled out the door to go watch my wife run. Well, in actuality, we hustled out the door three times because on one trip I left my phone and then on the next trip I realized I forgot the diaper bag. We see my wife come down King Street and then met up with her and friends at our usual meeting spot, in front of the Knights of Columbus building. From there everyone decides to head over to the bar I “manage”, The Upper Deck Tavern. We sit and talk and more people join us from the group. I buy a round for everyone because why not start drinking local beers at 10:00am. We walk home, doing some people watching and waving (my daughter is really into waving at people, our cat, cars, the blinds, really anything). 

I figure I have time to get a nap in before my brother in law and I have to head out to watch a soccer game. But then my friend who lives in Scotland gets in touch with me and tells me that she and her mom are in town and want to know if they can come over to meet my kid. So they come over and visit and it’s lovely to see them. But by the time they leave its time to walk over to 616 again. I mean, it had been 12 hours since I’d been there.  

Now I don’t care about soccer but my brother in law is a big fan. So we walk over and I decide it’s time to sample one of Dwayne’s Bloody Mary’s. But I request that he makes it as local as possible. So using local vodka, Dixie Vodka, local Bloody Mary mix, and topping it with Holy City’s Pluff Mud Porter, I was happily drinking my first local liquor drink of this assignment. And while Dixie Vodka is a pretty terrible name for vodka, it made a pretty good Bloody Mary. So the game finishes up and we walk back home.  

Finally, I can take a nap. Just kidding, my friend Heather who lives in Knoxville is in town and wants to get a drink at Barsa. Heather is an old friend of my wife’s time in Medical School. She is an ER doctor in Knoxville and is in town for the race along with some friends. Since we’re moving there soon we’ve seen a lot of her and her family and they are some of my favorite people. At this point however I’m tapped out on local beers but my wife orders one, so that counts, right? We get back home and we make dinner because now it’s time for the main event.

  
The North Carolina Tar Heels, my favorite team, are playing in the Final Four against Syracuse. I’ve made plans to meet up with friends at Cooper River Brewing to watch the game. So we head over there and watch the game. UNC puts in a pretty dominate performance and wins. I put in my own dominate performance and try 6 of Cooper River’s beers. They are pretty delicious. The tasting room is very nice and the owners turned out to be a bunch of UNC fans as well. And towards the end of the night someone came by and brought around pizza!

The pizza would be crucial because my night wasn’t over. I had a good friend who was having people meet him for his birthday. My brother in law and I get dropped off at the Mellow Mushroom. There I order a pint from Coast. And that was my final local beer of the night. It however, wasn’t my final beer or even stop for the night. I stayed out with my friend until about 4am. At which point I came home but my brother in law and sister in law were staying on our extra bed (read: pull out couch) and my kid was asleep with my wife in our bed. So I grabbed a comforter and passed out on the floor in our nursery.  

Sunday:

I woke up to my wife telling me that they were headed to the beach. I went back to bed and then woke up to my friend Matt calling me to see if I wanted to go grab drinks for his birthday. So, being a man with more will than sense I dragged myself out of bed, into a shower, and into a clean shirt, and headed to the Tattooed Moose. There I met my friend and had a bite to eat. From there we headed to Edmund’s Oast where I had one of the beers they make there. We sat around talking and then decided to check out the new Home Team Barbeque. Now, I am highly critical of Barbeque but that’s a story for another day. I will say that Home Team has just fantastic wings. They also have delicious frozen drinks including a local Strawberry daiquiri.  

  
So there you go fearless readers. I’ll continue to do the drinking and eating all in the name of the local economy just for you. Some sacrifices just need to be made from time to time.

Oh, and after Home Team we went to dinner at The Darling where I ate local clams and oysters and washed them down with a martini. I then went to bed at 7:30 and slept for 12 hours. 

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Putting Talents to Use

I been beat up bad, I’ve been kicked around, I’ve been thrown outta every bar in this old town.

Well as much as you will miss me writing about my kid (and life), I’ve decided to take an assignment to write about drinking local. I do generally write after drinking, something highlighted by my incoherent rambling that I pass off as a blog. I decided to take part in the Eat Local Challenge presented by Lowcountry Local First. Lowcountry Local First asked my editor at Grit if I was interested, he asked me, and I told him I’d drink my way through the challenge. I thought my editor would scold me as he often takes my suggestions as idiotic (and he’s right to do so). Then the fine people at Lowcountry Local First also thought this was a good idea. So, bottoms up. 

I guess I’ll be drinking a bunch of local beers. Holy City Brewery is one of my favorite places to visit on a Saturday afternoon. Westbrook cranks out a variety of really nice beers. Palmetto Brewing has changed their lineup and has been offering a nice selection lately. And there are just a bunch of other breweries opening up shop. There are also a couple local distilleries for when I want to switch to the hard stuff. And there are rumors of moonshine, and like Toucan Sam, I can try to follow my nose to the smell of grain alcohol. What trouble I can get into.

So come worship at the alter of Dionysus with me. Meet me out for a drink, just remember to let someone who is sober do the driving.

Touring Holy City

***And thank you to all of you who voted for my blog as best blog in Charleston.  I blame the shitty, ornery, and drunk writer as the reason why I didn’t win.

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