Jeff Woodruff started Keg Cowboy in Houston as an Internet supplier of homebrewery gear, he told Patch. When his wife got a job in Lexington, he decided to bring his business along and open a storefront. He decked it out with all the same supplies that were once in his online store, supplementing them with a climate-controlled grain vault that keeps 55 varieties of yeast, 61 varieties of grain, and 21 varieties of hops fresh and free of pests and freeloading scarecrows. He finds himself delighted with the transition, saying "Lexington has great water?and great water makes great beer."
On Saturdays, homebrewing classes supply students with all the skills needed to begin making their own bottled beverages at home. Keg Cowboy also offers do-it-yourself kegerator and beer dispensing equipment for chilling and serving their home-brewed beverages. In addition to enhancing novice brewing abilities, Keg Cowboy houses its own craft beer tavern on the premises where patrons can sample a rotating stock of global beers which changes bi-weekly.
For three years running—2011, 2012, and 2013—Columbia Metropolitan magazine has declared Gervais & Vine's wine list the city's best. What earned it the distinction is simple: globe-spanning variety. Its menu hosts everything from California's 2011 J. Lohr pinot noir to South Africa's Spice Route “Chakalaka” and Germany's Dr. L Riesling, which completed medical school during its fermentation. All told, more than 40 wines by the glass fill the list, complementing the Mediterranean-inspired tapas of head chef Jason Holowacz.
When crafting his entrees, Holowacz focuses on pairing. Dishes range from the Spanish flavors of grilled shrimp to Italian favorites such as pizza with goat cheese and herb-infused olive oil, allowing guests to experiment with their white or red selections. For pointers, periodic winemaker dinners and wine tastings cover different varietals and their best edible matches. And while guests sip and sup, inside or on the outdoor patio, Gervais & Vine entertains their ears every Wednesday and Thursday night with live jazz.
Solstice Kitchen owner and executive chef Ricky Mollohan takes pride in crafting creative seasonal menus while working closely with local suppliers to ensure ingredients are as fresh as possible. Start taste buds tingling with a table-side beef tartare served with parsley-caper salad, worcestershire, black pepper, red-wine mustard, and Manchester Farms quail egg ($14), before moving on to indulgent entrees such as olive-oil-seared wild salmon tamed with horseradish-black-pepper cream, wild-mushroom and goat-cheese risotto, port-wine reduction, and a salad made from friendly local herbs ($19). While Solstice boasts an expansive wine and cocktail list, guests who prefer a familiar libation are welcome to tote their own favorite potent to the restaurant's cozy yet modern dining room for a $15 corking fee, or the equivalent value in cubic zirconia. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sundays from 5:30 p.m to 9 p.m.
The hum of Five Points' lively dining-and-nightlife scene purrs across Jake's Bar & Grill's outdoor patio, where the sound of draft beer pouring into glasses couples with the sound of gourmet pizzas smelling delicious. Chefs ornament thin-crust pies with toppings of grilled chicken, sunflower microgreens, or fried eggplant, and douse organic, free-range wings in garlic parmesan, honey lime, or jalapeño ranch. The tenders behind the full bar dole out pints of domestic and craft drafts in a large indoor bar area, as pool, shuffleboard, and darts stoke competition among guests. Flat-screen televisions and red umbrellas tower above the tabletops of the wooden outdoor deck, and a gushing fountain invites patrons to make wishes or take advantage of the reflective water to reapply hair gel.
As the head winemaker at Courson's Winery, Beau Courson puts more than 20 years of experience to good use while he crafts Southern-style muscadine, scuppernong, and fruit wines. Visitors can head to the tasting room to sip samples and purchase bottles of their favorite wine, or browse supplies for making wine at home. Aside from vino, the winery also keeps its shelves stocked with jellies, salsas, hot sauces, and gift baskets.