As a kickoff to Brewvival weekend, Thursday night we rolled up to Park Circle for Mixson’s Barrel-Aged Bash featuring Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery, and Charleston’s own High Wire Distilling Co. The two companies have a swap program wherein High Wire sends their recently used empty liquor barrels back to Fullsteam to age their beer. We tasted several contrasting beer selections for the occasion, but the highlight was an homage to North Carolina — a beer featuring Cheerwine syrup. Also on hand was High Wire’s very smooth, yet complex Hat Trick gin. We were told that they only made 233 bottles of the swill, and we were happy to get to sample it, as it ran out almost immediately. The V Tones played in the background and provided an eclectic, almost gypsy-like vibe. Mixson’s Chef Bryan Cates and food writer Jeff Allen provided the food, namely, porchetta, to which, I was told “heirloom” hogs were sacrificed.

As the sun set on Friday, Bull Street Gourmet hosted a block party oyster roast across from their King Street location. Five tables were set up for shucking, and we got to formally meet some of the BSG staff who we have seen no less than three times each week for at least the last four years. Our go-to counter server Jessica, who did not judge when we switched up our usual salad order to a burger on struggling afternoons, played host. Even random people off the street decided to pop in to hear the bluegrass band and chug a Westbrook or two.

After the Bull, we returned to North Charleston (in what might be some sort of a record for us in a given week) for Striped Pig’s Universole Hope charity benefit. Universole Hope provides at-risk children and young adults with shoemaking training as a way to escape poverty in many countries and is committed to ending human trafficking. To support the organization, multiple items were up for silent auction including everything from hot air balloon rides to signed photos of Johnny Depp and Billy Joel. The food was bountiful, and the only pig we saw was of the whole and dead variety, sans stripes.

Saturday afternoon we checked out the Hair of the Dog event at The Barrel on Folly Road. We almost got lost on our way, but let the faint scent of patchouli and sound of EDM guide us to the art show and small music festival. Once there, we discovered artists of multiple mediums, including Julie Byrne, who showed abstract, pastel artwork that seemed to welcome the summer months ahead. Other artists, calling themselves Blasting Rainbows, featured ink prints that reminded us of the monk-style art in season three, episode eight of House of Cards. (Oh, don’t act like you didn’t binge watch it too this weekend.) Interestingly, the canine-friendly Barrel has a laundry list of dog rules that seemed even longer than your standard “no lifeguard on duty” placard. That said, they’re there for a reason, and the cool bar offers a designated fenced-in area where Fido can roam free without the burden of a leash. Food was provided via the Smoke food truck, and a pleasant afternoon was had by all.

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