Saturday, July 14, 2018

Quest Brewing, Greenville, Turns 5 Today!

As the cliche goes, my how the time flies.

5 beer filled years, several medal winners and tons of outdoor fun.

Starts at 3pm today, look for me there, camera in hand1

Some older pix:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

FireForge Prepping For Official Opening

Checked in yesterday with Brian and Nicole at Fireforge Crafted Beer to see first hand all the progress that has been made. Harvin Bedenbaugh Tap Room Manager, graciously gave me a quick behind the scenes tour. Typical brewery activities happening: brewing, cleaning, checking gravity, more cleaning and even some electrical work. 
A brewery in every way except they can't sell their beers yet. Something about property permits. Once that hurdle is overcome, I know people are going to like the space and I know from experience they will really enjoy the beer. They've already had neighbors stopping by, eager to have a pint (or two). They've also been complemented on the aroma that's been added to the area. Nothing like a hop-infused boil fragrance to arouse the senses.
Some snaps of people who actually have jobs:

Here's hoping they can be open by July 4th. Cheers!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Grisettes Explained

"What's a Grisette," you ask.

Glad you asked cause here's an opportunity to expand your beer drinking horizon, assuming you're unfamiliar with the style.

First off, you should know that you can get one starting today at Upstate Craft Beer Co. which has just released Baby Phife, a 3.6% version. Actually grisettes are all typically under 4% abv, (which also makes them a table beer, but that's another story to be told later).

Grisettes are originally Belgian, brewed to refresh the stone mine workers, in the same vein that saisons were brewed for seasonal workers. 

Different than most farmhouse beers in that Malted wheat is used in the grain bill. Most wheat in the early days would have been Unmalted. Baby Phife has a 25% malted wheat base which gives the beer more body and a sturdier head than say a saison would. Grisettes are also hopped more than the farmhouse style, perhaps to add flavor impact considering the low abv.
In summation, let me say that I like the style, it's very refreshing, not sweet but pretty consistently Belgian. A good choice for sun-filled days and activities.

Oh, the name means "little gray" which may refer to either the appearance of the miners, covered with rock dust, or to the smocks worn by the women who served the beers.

Ok, enough history. Go drink one!!


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Saison Rosés, A New Summer Treat

As a long time Rosé wine fan, particularly the ones from Provence, this more and more frequent trend in Saison Rosé beers I find interesting; and the ones I've tasted are surprisingly complex and a perfect accompaniment to Summer picnics (if it ever gets here) and outings. This article has some good background on the style and this one Saison in particular.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mills River Brewery (actually in Arden)

Anyone on an Asheville beer pilgrimage would be advised to give Mills River Brewery a visit. Enticing variety of styles including this new NE style IPA, Lily Belle. And just added, a collab with Ecusta Brewing Company, Clam Bake, another NE IPA. There’s also a Rye IPA I like.
Go find a fave for yourself.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Effect of Iron Hill on Greenville's Existing Beer Scene

Some thoughts after visiting Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant last Saturday.

First of all, it's a brand new animal for the GVille brewing scene, no other place like it in town. Yes, it's a chain with most locations in Delaware and Pennsylvania; this is the first entry into the Southern Market. But make no mistake, this is a serious brewery. Head Brewer Eric Boice has been brewing for 13 years, mostly in Delaware and that experience shows up, certainly in the beers we had. He's a big fan of Kolsch beers and his Upstate Kolsch (brewed on premises) is a classic of the style. Brewers know the challenge of making a successful version and will appreciate this one, I think.

In all, we had 12 beers to sample among our group of seven; all were deemed good, solid brews and all the subsequent pints we ordered confirmed our response.
Eric told me that their plan is to have several seasonals on tap all the time, and those currently in the fermenters range from a BerlinerWeiss (no fruit) to an Imperial Russian Stout. And of course, recognizing the popularity of the style, a new version of the Hipster NE IPA is in the tank, gathering up the goodness we expect.

A topic of discussion among our group was what effect this venue would have on GVille's existing breweries. The consensus seemed to be that Iron Hill will be popular because of it's location across from the Mall and especially with travelers from the three nearby hotels who want a good dining experience (our food was roundly declared as excellent and well prepared) as well as good beers, but will not pull folks away from our local breweries because that's a different experience.
It's certainly not going to take us away from Quest Brewing Company's Ponce release this Friday. Nor from any other local brewery events. We have a very established craft beer community with a loyal following and Iron Hill will not change that.

That said, we all agreed that we would certainly come back to have our faves again and to try Eric's new releases. It's a comfortable, spacious facility with huge colorful graphics on the wall, community tables by the bar and a well trained staff who can seriously discuss the beers on tap (due in large part to the presence of Big Jon Richards, a Cicerone Certified Server and good friend to all of us).

Our beer communities' horizon has been expanded once again. Just be prepared for the next ones already in the beer pipeline.

Why yes, I do have some additional photos, thanks for asking.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Greenville's Newest Brewery: Iron Hill Opens

Well, yes, I did attend the soft opening yesterday at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (official opening Tuesday). I enjoyed the good food, meeting Head Brewer Eric Boice and I certainly enjoyed the beers! I'll have more details later today, but for now a snap or two of the fun day: