Friday, September 13, 2013

Wicked Weed Time (No, not that one!)

Hops are a wicked and pernicious weed
- King Henry VIII, 1519

Wicked Weed Brewing is a new addition to the very active craft brewing scene in Asheville, NC and it appears to me that they have been successful from the get-go.


I finally had the opportunity to pay a quick visit while playing tour guide for some visiting CA friends.

As you can see, they have quite a selection and this is only the upstairs part! After checking out all the pulls, I headed downstairs to do some sampling among the brewing equipment, tasting bar and tables.

After a brief conversation with Walt Dickinson, Head of Brewery Operations, I narrowed the choices down to a flight of these six:

Starting at the 6 o'clock position (left front) and moving clockwise:
Freak Double IPA; 8% ABV
Napolean Complex IPA; 5% ABV
Tyrant Double Red; 8.5% ABV
XVI Devil Rye; 6% ABV
Poperinge BIPA; 7.2%
Udderly Milk Stout; 5.8% ABV

As an unabashed hop head, the Freak was on my wave length! Described as their "San Francisco inspired hoppy monster" this IPA did not disappoint. I'm sure one of the reasons is the outrageous amount of hops used, over 3 pounds of hops per barrel. And those are the West Coast hops so you can expect citrus and herb in the nose and a bitter, dank finish. Very satisfying and a good representation of the Double style, in my opinion.

The others are all well made beers, equally worth a try, with their Poperinge Belgian IPA a stand out of a version not often found.

Walking around their outdoor patio area I discovered some hops still on the bines, so of course I had to do some sniffing around (acceptable behavior in a hop field) to enjoy that fresh fragrance. I was told the hops were the Chinook variety, partly for decorative purposes but some may have made their way into the vats.

All in all, a very satisfying first visit to Wicked Weed and I hope to get back there soon to try some of their bourbon barrel aged offerings, currently still in the barrels.
And not once did anyone question my Sierra Nevada T-shirt nor my Lagunitas IPA cap. I wear them to show my impartiality and enthusiasm for well made beer.



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