Conquest Brewing Co. opens June 1

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It was nearly a year ago that Conquest Brewing Co., the first and only production brewery in Columbia, planned to open to the public. If they had it their way, the beer would have been flowing by the time the Gamecocks kicked off their first home game of the 2012 college football season.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. While the brewery began distributing beers to local bars earlier this year, one delay after another meant the brewery was not cleared for the public yet. The crew has been working constantly on nips and tucks to get the OK to open.

And now, the wait is finally over. On Saturday, June 1, Conquest will officially open to the public.

Thursday morning, the brewery passed its final inspection and received the OK to open its tasting room to the public. The brewery will be open to the public from 2-8 p.m. that Saturday with catering provided by the British Bulldog Pub. You’ll be able to buy tastings and get growler fills as well. Expect to see most of Conquest’s offerings on tap that day.

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S.C. House approves Pint Bill, moves on to governor for signature

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For all the hiccups and hurdles South Carolina’s Pint Bill has faced recently, this week has seen the bill fly through the state Legislature. On Thursday, the amended bill successfully made it through the S.C. House of Representatives with a 73-37 vote.

As expected, the bill – which passed out of the Senate on Wednesday – came up against little opposition in the House. Lawmakers concurred with the changes made from the version they originally passed.

It’s fully expected that Gov. Nikki Haley will sign off on the legislation. Once it becomes law, the changes immediately go into effect. She’ll likely sign the bill within the next couple of weeks.

Holy City reveals secret Iron Brew ingredient

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The second annual Iron Brew homebrewing competition sponsored by Holy City is now officially underway after the secret ingredient was unveiled last night.

More than 60 homebrewing teams from across the state will compete in the annual competition for a chance to have their beer professionally brewed at Holy City and served at Mellow Mushroom’s Charleston location. But each team is required to use a certain ingredient which was kept under wraps until last night.

In a video posted last night, homebrew guru Charlie Papazian unveiled the ingredients: coriander seed, basil, rosemary and lavender. Brewers can concoct any kind of beer using any combination of the ingredients.

Beer submissions begin July 15 and end July 29. The winner will be announced Aug. 3