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Swamp Cabbage Brewery, 921 Brookwood Drive: 18 December 2022   9 comments

Posted at 10:19 pm in closing


















I never made it to Swamp Cabbage Brewery while it was open. I like a beer every now and again, but generally as dessert for a sit-down meal, so I usually stick to brewpubs. In point of fact it was actually hard to to locate this place, and I had to make two trips. It turns out that street numbers on Brookwood Drive are really odd, but after going home and consulting google maps, I finally got there, and found the setup still pretty much intact.

The Free Times had two stories about the closing, here and here.

(Hat tip to commenter MB)

Written by ted on February 6th, 2023

Tagged with , , , , , ,

9 Responses to 'Swamp Cabbage Brewery, 921 Brookwood Drive: 18 December 2022'

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  1. Yeah, I think they just got lapped by the rest of the local beer scene. To me, they never did anything that really grabbed me. I never had a bad beer there, but never anything that knocked me out of the park like some of the stuff at a River Rat might. They also seemed to be so taproom-dependent (which is unusual for such a lousy location, as you covered), not seeming to have a wide distribution of kegs or even cans/bottles. Not good for trying to survive and thrive during- and post-COVID. A lot of factors that just didn't add up in their favor, in my view.

    Justin S.

    8 Feb 23 at 2:21 pm

  2. They were always very nice. Every other brewery is a damn daycare. Toddlers and kids running around everywhere.

    Dan R

    8 Feb 23 at 2:30 pm

  3. I agree with previous comments -- beer was fine but unremarkable. The days of a popular brewery hiding in some nondescript buildings are over. I also had a hard time finding their beer in stores, and when bigger breweries (with honestly but better beers) River Rat, Cola Craft and Steel Hands got going 5-6 years ago, I kind of forgot about these guys.

    It's sad that some of these early craft breweries in Columbia (this one and Conquest) didn't survive. Makes me wonder how Hunter Gatherer has been around so long, late 90's as best I remember.


    9 Feb 23 at 1:02 pm

  4. I liked their beer a lot. They were one of the few around town that seemed to use a lot of peppers in their beer. They had a great little trivia night, and the people were very friendly, but I think it was about as mom and pop as you can get. I only saw a couple and their daughter working there.

    Mr Bill

    14 Apr 23 at 12:46 pm

  5. Didn't know this brewery specifically, but I know the brewing business as an owner/investor and it's totally different today than it was in 2019. If anyone is opening a brewery today without a full kitchen serving something they're wasting money. The beer business has changed a ton, pure taprooms can't even support anything more than a 1 barrel system, which is a hobby/proto setup. This is partly because Covid changed the dynamics of people visiting breweries, partly because it was changing anyways (food trucks led people to expect food at breweries), and the competition now is much more fierce than it used to be with all the breweries chasing a small, and declining, segment of consumers.

    Sad really, as the breweries get squeezed by distro (cans/kegs at retail) and the distributers make more money than the breweries, and they have little to no incentive to carry products speculatively as the share of craft beer is declining, while it may be 15-20% of total market, total beer consumption is down double digits and shows no sign of slowing. The most leveraged get squeezed the hardest, followed by the smallest. Seltzers took over many beer customers. Plus the stores were puking over unsold inventory piling up from microbreweries no one heard of but eveyrone produced something and expected to become the next Goose Island.

    That said, all the breweries that only brew variations of IPA in their taprooms deserve what's coming.


    9 May 23 at 9:49 pm

  6. Felt like expanding on my IPA comment: Hops is a preservative in beer, someone somewhere decided using different varieties in different quantities to give various amounts of bitterness makes great beer. IPA is just about as boring beer as one can get. So many more beer types require much more art of the trade than making another over-hopped IPA. When the craft brewery story is written (about the collapse of the industry) in a few years, overreliance on IPA will be one of the chapters.

    The second will be the sheer numbers of breweries pumping out mediocre ales at $10/ea, driving general beer drinkers back to BudLight....err I mean Miller Lite. If I had a dollar for every crummy brewery draft I sampled over the years, it would pay for quite a bit of malted barley.


    9 May 23 at 9:58 pm

  7. Preach AQW! Agree with almost every word you said. I have friends that consider themselves "beer snobs" and they are always excited to try the latest "juicy" overhyped/overhopped IPA but turn up their nose to a nice porter, stout, or good old fashioned amber ale.


    11 May 23 at 9:51 am

  8. Let the IPA hate flow!
    Give me porters, stouts and ales!

    Dan R

    11 May 23 at 11:06 am

  9. ted

    11 May 23 at 11:12 pm

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