Sunday, October 8, 2017

GABF Results: Hillman Brewery

Planning a visit to Hillman Brewing in Asheville, NC,  this coming Thursday (Oct 12) to get a taste of their GABF Bronze medal winning beer, Four Fat Baby, Belgian-Style Quadrupel. At 10.1% abv, I'll be treading carefully but eager to try it. Major congrats to the Hillman crew on this awesome win!! I'll post my reactions after the visit.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Back in the USA

As some of you know, Kay and I spent the last two weeks visiting France and Italy. More of a wine expedition than beer tho we did drink a lot of helles, pils and weizens...

...some of the adventures will be recounted soon, after some extensive photo editing. For now, some just returned home activities:

Back to a busy day here in the Greenville beer community. Thomas Creek Brewery had a sour release, three of them, all of which I really liked, and Quest Brewing Company had an art show going on. Keep an eye out for their Funkcation 2.0. It's a delicious, big flavored brew. And, no, I won't tell you how I know.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mills River Brewery Our Latest Find

And the chosen NC brewery is:
Mills River Brewery, in Arden (across I-26 from Asheville airport and Sierra Nevada). Owner/Brewer Joey Soukup has upped the brewery's game, with 15 beers on tap (two chili stouts were out!) and a very diverse range of styles. Jennifer Anderson easily handled our tasting flight orders (4 of them) and offered style recommendations as well. Two IPAs and a Citra Wit were standouts for me; the Pounding Mill and Bad Fork Rye and the Lumber River Wit. The collab with Ecusta, Motofican, was a popular choice among the group as well.
We combined this stop with a visit to Sierra Nevada, about 5 mins away, so I'd recommend the same for you for a first time visit. 

Some photos to orient yourselves: Mills River Brewery

Monday, July 31, 2017

New Brewery: New Groove, Boiling Springs, SC

Details, you want details? Ok, got some for you, about our (Brew Crew) first-ever visit to New Groove Artisan Brewery Saturday. Just recently opened (July 15 officially), brewers Josh Dodson and Jonathan Duke see this as the culmination of a journey that began back at the Spartanburg Brew Club where as home brewers, they met and became friends. Being only the third brewery in Spartanburg County, this location has lots going for it, not the least of which is the structure itself: a former Tornados convenience store. Roomy, industrial-comfy and plenty of space at the bar.

Four of their own beers were on tap (with more to come) for our tasting flights; a stout, a porter, a brown ale and a Berliner Weisse (which we all declared a winner and a highlight). Jonathan told us about a couple IPAs fermenting that we will certainly be back to try.
He also told us about their unique brewing system, a single vessel system in which the mash tun and kettle are the same. The grain container fits inside the kettle, the wort is circulated and filtered through until time for the mash out and boil, then an electric pulley lifts the grain out, the boil then starts in the remaining vessel. Very innovative and saves space and brewing time. Ask Jonathan or Josh about that system when you visit, they'll be more than happy to elaborate.

Everyone in our group agreed to come back when more NG beers are available. Thanks to Josh and Jonathan for taking time to talk with us and to April Dodson for handling the beer wrangling behind the bar while the boys were playing tour guides.
As you might expect, several photos were taken and I present most of them here (certainly the ones in focus anyway). Cheers.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

New Brew Saturday - 3 to Visit

New Brew Saturday, Waynesville, part 1.
This time the Brew Crew headed for Waynesville, NC, an 1:45 hour drive to visit three breweries for the first time. First stop, Tipping Point Brewing and Tavern. The group consensus was that all their beers we tasted were consistently good. Stand outs for me were the TKO Chili Pepper Ale, a Strong Ale, with habanero, serano and jalapeno peppers. Tons of fresh pepper flavors, very little heat - well balanced. I left with a crowler of it.
The Punch in the Face IPA, a gold medal winner, certainly made an impression; full of IPA good things but restrained abv. Had we had more time I'd still be drinking it. Another fave of the group was the Pale of the Dragon, with a citrusy and very clean finish. A crowler of that also made the journey home.
We were fortunate that Jon Bowman, owner and brewer was there to give us a tour of the brewery's cellar site (a 3.5bbl system) and he was generous enough to pour us a "direct from the brite tank" sample of his newest, a Peach Berlinerweise; refreshing balance of fruit and tart. This one is gonna be real popular when it's released later this week.
I should also mention the delicious Crispy Brussel Sprouts appetizer, a favorite bar food of mine and these were exceptional. Were reluctant to leave but we did have to move on, lunch and Boojum were waiting.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Quest Brewing's 4th Birthday Bash.

 Got back from our New Brewery Saturday (details later) in time to participate in Quest Brewing Company's 4th Birthday bash, glad we did. Really larger crowd, filled with hula-hoopers, dancers and all around beer lovers. Speaking of loving beer, I was smitten by the Gin Barrel Aged Ponce, really made the jalapeno cucumber saison even more complex. Weather cooled off, and the party was still going on when we left around 9. Congrats to Don, Andrew and the Quest crew for four years of good craft beer dedication and here's to many more; Cheers!
Adam Cribbs Lizz Riley Chris Hooper Kay Bingner Mairr Uhrinek Jason Uhrinek Andrew Watts