Ace of Cups has done a commendable job giving Columbus a solid venue for national and local independent bands. By turning a ho-hum campus bar into a spot for acts like Divine Fits, !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and Purity Ring or the ridiculously popular Heatwave dance party, Ace of Cups has provided a go-to spot for music fans. But did you know Ace of Cups has partnered with Ray Ray’s Hog Pit to offer a Friday happy hour — where Envelope spins records — that’s second to none?
The best way to take advantage of discounted drinks at Ace of Cups is their drafts. The 16 taps possess some very good craft varieties; standouts include Founders, Rouge, Bell’s and Hoppin’ Frog breweries. A beer I hadn’t tried before, the Rodenbach Grand Cru, was the winner. The Flanders Red Ale, named for the region of Belgium it’s from, and not the Simpsons character, is amazingly complex. Hints of sweet, sour and malt come through immediately, and there’s a small oak in the finish. Make sure you try the Rodenbach; it may be the best beer I’ve tried this year.
During happy hour all drafts are $3 — except on Fridays where all beers are half-off from 5-7 p.m. — and bottle and can beers are $1 off. Well liquors are $3 during happy hour, but you should skip those in favor of Ace of Cups’ in-house infused vodkas and tequila. All infusions are also a $1 off.
On Fridays, Ace of Cups brings in two, count ’em two, trucks from Ray Ray’s Hog Pit to sling the tastiest barbecue wares north of Memphis. All sandwiches from the food truck are half-off. From 5-7 p.m. you can choose from the pulled pork ($2.50), Carolina pulled pork ($3) and the beef brisket ($3) sandwiches in one of Ray Ray’s homemade sauces; sweet, fresh jalapeño, fire-roasted hab and vinegar base. I’d go with the beef brisket and jalapeño sauce — it’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet with a hint of spice — but you can’t go wrong with any choice.