Started at the Growler Station where Oskar Blues Brewing was the guest brewer for the Thursday evening tasting. Then over to Barley's where Dogfish Head was the guest of honor, with 11 brews being poured and a special guest anticipated.
First, the Growler Station:
Many of you already know that Oskar Blues is originally from Colorado, but earlier this year opened a second facility in the NC mountain town of Brevard, just down the road a piece from Asheville. Tonight was the first opportunity for Oskar Blues to pour at the Growler Station so the excitement was running high. Amy Rubin, NC Sales Leader, had the complete lineup of seven beers for tasting, fresh from the can. I quickly joined the line to start sampling.
|Amy pouring Deviant Dale's IPA for a new fan.|
|John really likes the G'Knight Imperial Red IPA and so do I!|
|Amy was assisted by Brewer, Zack Horn, both from Oskar Blues Brevard|
After sampling all seven, with G'Knight being a big favorite (tho Kay and I liked them all) the one that made the biggest impression was the Ten FIDY, a seasonal Imperial Stout with a hefty 10.5% abv. Perhaps it was the addition of flake oats that made this the creamiest stout I have ever tasted. No alcohol burn, just a luscious taste of chocolate and roasted malts with a very satisfying dry finish.
A fun tip: be sure and look at the bottom of each can for a special message. They are obviously having too much fun there on the canning line!
Here's what they were pouring this evening:
I started with the American Beauty Imperial Pale Ale ( a tribute to the Grateful Dead), 9% ABV, which is brewed with granola and all-American hops. Like most DFH beers, big mouth feel, well balanced malt sweetness with the large hop presence. No noticeable alcohol heat.
Kay tried the Hellhound On My Ale (another tribute, this one for blues great Robert Johnson), 11% ABV, and found it not quite to her taste. The dry hopping with 100% Centennial hops made the aroma and body very hop-forward, the dried lemon peel adjunct not so present on my palate but definitely a dry, full bodied finish with surprisingly little alcohol presence.
And, as mentioned, a special guest appeared later in the evening, just as we were heading to our table: Dogfish Head founder/owner/author Sam Calagione, on a tour of SC pubs where his fabulous beers are available. He was gracious enough with his time to pose for a photo with a very excited Dogfish fan, Kay Bingner.
|Sam and Kay, with her pint of Hellhound.|
Another exciting beer-oriented evening in Greenville (our new home town) came to an end, but another one looms, might even be tonight! Stay tuned.