Outstanding Drinks & Food at River Rat Brewery

January 27, 2020

 River Rat Brewery
Style: Upscale, Blue Collar aka Comfortably Fancy
Chef: Chef BOH (Brandon O. Hairston)
Address: 1231 Shop Road, Columbia
Phone: 803-724-5712
Website: riverratbrewery.com

The City of Columbia was built on the backbone of hardworking men and women from generations past. This rich history is the corner stone for which River Rat Brewery was formed and it’s the present generations that are enjoying every skillfully crafted IPA, Lager, Ale and Stout they brew. They’ve even perfected their version of a hard seltzer in two great Southern flavors, COLAHARD Pineapple and Black Cherry.

And as if being VOTED the Best wasn’t enough, they’ve added the culinary genius of not one but two Chefs to please the hungry masses that pass through the doors. Whether they come to imbibe in a pint, try their hand at cornhole, or relax in the yard, on the patio, deck or a top the rooftop bar, all seasonally cooled or heated- the one thing they all agree on is the food is outstanding!

So, let’s cut to the chase and talk about it! Whether it’s a burger or sandwich for lunch, a late night plate of brisket nachos, Brunch on Saturday or Sunday morning with perfectly blended Bloody Mary’s or an elegant savory dinner- with Chef Brandon O. Hairston (aka BOH, pronounced “Bo” or otherwise known as “Back of House,” industry slang for Kitchen help) at the helm or Chef Andy by his side – you’re in for a treat.

The current menu is full of amazing foods served in epic proportions with a River Rat twist. Take the “Drewgernaut”- it’s a giant half pound Angus burger seasoned with fresh herbs, cracked pepper and topped with the crazy flavor of a Chocolate lab cheese, arugula, onion straws and chipotle BBQ sauce, heaped onto a toasted “customized” Brioche bun.

Need something in the comfort category? Try the Brisket Pimento Mac-n-Cheese! The individual pots come heaping with homemade Pimento cheese and River Rat smoked brisket. This golden, creamy, macaroni is topped with the most moist and tender brisket, house made BBQ sauce and a smattering of those tasty onion straws. This is not the dish for those who eat like a bird. If you’re one of those, go for the salads- they are equally tasty and made with the best greens around but know you’re missing out!

NEW FOR 2020: Coming in on a special occasion, be sure to ask if their Roasted Quail and Risotto is on the menu. This elegant dish offers a perfect blend of all that makes risotto great- it’s a balance of parmesan cheese, lemon and a bright white wine reduction and a whole grain mustard sauce with a perfectly seasoned, roasted quail set on top. This is a dish that everyone should savor!

Open daily, with brunch served both Saturdays and Sundays, River Rat is not only the spot for a cold brew, it’s the spot you want to celebrate every special occasion or end every hard day of work. Don’t wait, belly up to the bar, park out on the patio, dally on the deck or bring your party straight up to the rooftop (all seasonally heated or cooled), because as if they weren’t perfect, they welcome man’s best friend and kids too!

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?

Both Chefs had a ready answer for their favorite ingredient to cook with. While Chef BOH preferred “garlic and salt” citing the health benefits of garlic for immune and nervous systems, Chef Andy professed his love for “hot sauce”. They both agreed that the aromatics of cooking garlic adds to the full wafting experience that creates anticipation for the meal being prepared.

By: Julie Colson