by Susan Cohen
In previous incarnations of the Charleston Farmers Market, you could eat local crepes, local baked goods, and local ice cream, but if you wanted to wash it all down with a local carbonated beverage, you didn't really have any options. Pepsi it was. Until this year.
Founded by two bartenders — 2012 Charleston Wine + Food Festival mixologist competition winner Mick Matricciano (of FIG and the Belmont) and Brandon Wogamon (Social) — along with their financially minded friend Matt Fendley, Cannonborough Beverage Company is one of this year’s new vendors at the Charleston Farmers Market.
“It’s kind of a way for us to take a culinary approach to something that often isn’t thought about in the culinary world,” Matricciano says.The guys have spent the last year experimenting on making sodas in various flavors, visiting GrowFood Carolina to get as much fresh, local produce as they can and then cooking and brewing in small batches out of Social.
The guys will be selling three different flavors each Saturday: one classic, and two more experimental ones. This week, you can choose from a refreshing lemon mint, a perfectly spicy-sweet ginger beer, and a strawberry jalapeno so crisp it’s more like you’re taking a bite than a slurp. Three bucks will get you a biodegradable cup of the stuff, and while they obviously can’t spike it up for you, they can offer up spirit-pairing suggestions using their professional expertise. They’ve made 30 gallons for Saturday, which equals 500 servings, but unfortunately they’re not bottling yet.
Keep an eye out for Cannonborough Beverage Co. and their three-tap set-up under a tent on the Tobacco Road portion of the market, mixed in with artisans. If you can’t make it to Marion Square on a Saturday, you’ll be able to find the sodas at the Belmont starting in May — whether mixed in a cocktail or on their own.