17 December 2018

Brewery #40: Steel Hands Brewing

I love when a new craft brewery comes to town.

Not one, but two breweries opened up in Columbia while I was pregnant with Riley. Was I a tiny bit annoyed at the timing of the openings? You bet. I love when a new craft brewery comes to town and usually want to be one of the first people to check it out. When Twisted Spur, Columbia Craft Brewing, and Hunter Gather's Hangar location all opened... I was either there opening day or opening week.

I not-so-patiently waited for the day that I could head back to a brewery so that I could check out the two newest ones in town.

Patrick and I snuck out of the house this Saturday, leaving Riley with his mom to watch, to have a day date at Columbia's newest brewery. Technically, Steel Hands Brewing is in Cayce, which is less than 10 minutes from our house {win!} It's also right down the road from one of our favorite restaurants {Henry's} and from the Timmerman Trail where we like to bike. There's a lot of good things coming to Cayce and I'm all for it.

But back to Steel Hands. It's the 40th {!!!} brewery that Patrick and I have visited together since 2015.

Steel Hands Brewing announced that they would be opening up the Midlands largest craft brewery back in March and I have been counting down the days until I could visit ever since. The taproom seats 150 people and they're busy working on their outdoor patio space that will seat even more people. The outdoor space is about half complete.

Right now, they're open on Thursdays from 4-10pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am-10pm, and Sundays from 12-8pm.

On tap, they have:

I tried the Pilsner, Pepper Pilsner, and the Lager. Hands down, the Pilsner was my favorite of the three that I sampled but I'd be ok with grabbing a pint of any of them.

As for Patrick, he tried the Tropical IPA and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout in addition to the three that I sampled. We also checked out their kitchen and had their Duck Fat Fries and their Pretzels + Beer Cheese. Patrick loved the fries and y'all, I need their beer cheese in my life on a daily basis. It was delicious!

We both loved everything about this brewery. It's got a huge {by Columbia standards} taproom that's filled with plenty of seating. Not every brewery has a lot of seating but this one definitely does. Their beer is fantastic. The atmosphere was wonderful - enough people to be lively with a quaint bluegrass duo playing in the background.

Does anyone else spy @easelcathedral setting up shop in the background of this photo?

Their brewery capabilities look to be fairly expansive, with room to grow if needed down the road.

And the outdoor area? I can't wait for better weather to be able to get outside and enjoy this area! To the right of all of this outdoor seating is a big grassy lawn that has a nifty stage built from shipping containers at the end of it. Live music, great craft beers and plenty of space for everyone? I'm ok with it.

Have we already tentatively planned two trips out there this week? Maybe. Is this going to be Riley's first brewery? There's a really good chance it will be! This is one brewery that I have a feeling we are going to be regulars at sooner than later.


12 December 2018

Exploring Columbia: Città del Cotone

I love when new businesses open up in town! Especially ones that are locally owned and bring something new and different that we don't already have here. There's a new area in Columbia that is slowly becoming home to several unique, local businesses that fit that description:

War Mouth
Cottontown Brew Lab
Indah Coffee
Circa Barbershop

That area of town is just north of downtown Columbia, and is known locally as Cottontown. This area hasn't always been the greatest side of town to be on... but as new businesses move in, it's beginning to become a better and more popular place to be. There's a brand new restaurant that just opened up over there that Patrick and I checked out a few weeks ago on their opening day.

Città del Cotone is a delicious new pizza place that serves up pizzas that cook in about three minutes in their brick oven. Located in the heart of Cottontown, Città del Cotone translates to "town of cotton" which, if you ask me, is the most appropriate name ever for this restaurant.

Patrick and I ventured out here the week that it opened. It was either grill some chicken and cook some veggies at home for dinner... or try out a new pizza place for what could potentially be one of our final "just us" date nights. Obviously, we opted for the pizza!

It was 100% not what we expected when we walked in. There are a few tables to sit at, but the bulk of the seating is at the bar that surrounds the kitchen and brick oven. It's a good place to go with one other person or to grab a pizza to go. I definitely wouldn't attempt going here with a group! Also, the pizzas aren't your traditional ones - they're more along the lines of what you'd find if you ordered a pizza in Italy. You won't find a pepperoni pizza here.

I went with the Pizza Marinara {tomato sauce, garlic, and a sprinkle of oregano}. Note to self: if it doesn't explicitly list the ingredient, don't expect to find it on your pizza. Mine didn't mention cheese. There's no cheese to be found on Pizza Marinara.

I was super disappointed to see my pizza come out but you know what? It was so good! I was surprised by how much I loved it despite the fact that it wasn't what I was expecting. I would hands down order it again.

Patrick ordered the Pizza Tagliata {tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, sirloin, mushrooms, onions and bell peppers}. He loved his pizza, too!

Our next stop in Cottontown is going to be Cottontown Brew Lab and y'all, you better believe that we'll be grabbing a pizza or two to go from Città del Cotone and enjoying it alongside a Bull Street Wheat and a Tropicarolina IPA. I'm excited to try out Cottontown Brew Lab - they opened up while I was pregnant so I haven't had a chance to enjoy their craft beer yet. But I hear that it's awesome!

10 December 2018

Welcome to the World, Riley!

Welcome to the world, Riley!

Patrick and I are thrilled that sweet girl is here, and we're loving life with her in it. Life as a family of three is pretty awesome if you ask me.

There have been so many baby snuggles. All the snuggles. We can't get enough of them. Who needs to be productive or get things done when you can have baby snuggles instead?

We ventured out for one walk before the freezing cold rain rolled in, and I'm already looking forward to our next walk around the neighborhood. I keep checking the weather forecast looking for days where it'll be warm enough to take her outside. It's the downside of having a baby during this time of year - lack of warm walking weather.

We spent a morning with Aaron of Joshua Aaron Photography doing a newborn photo session. I cannot wait to see how those photos turn out! And I'm excited to create our first family Christmas card to send out to everyone. We snuck in a few good Christmas-themed photos since we had our tree up and our stockings on the mantle.

Our parents have been amazing in helping us out! They've been coming over to get in baby snuggles so that we could get things done around the house from eating lunch to doing laundry, running to the grocery store, and showering.

Life sure is sweeter with Riley in it. Thanks to everyone for all of the well wishes, the cards, and gifts - we've appreciated them all and we look forward to being able to introduce her to more of our friends and family soon!

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