Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Birthday Party at The Community Tap!

Today's the day. Get funky and celebrate at the same time; Win-win!!


Monday, June 19, 2017

My Girl, My Whiskey, and My Beer

Hey, lest I forget, I want to mention how much I enjoyed My Girl, My Whiskey and Me's performance yesterday at Upstate Craft Beer Co. where not only did they do a farewell (for now) show but also premiered their collab brew, #50in52, a Whiskey Stave Aged Double IPA. One complemented the other, making for a grand afternoon as the crowds and smiles will attest. We'll welcome them back in the Fall; the beer is still on tap, so you still have time to enjoy it.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Cucumber Salt & Pepper Gose

I was fortunate this past Sunday to get to sample a collab between Fire Forge and Adam Cribbs, called a Salty Cucumber Gose. Every thing about this beer says "drink me all Summer," it's that refreshing. Alas, only the keg at their release party is left and that may have kicked shortly after I left. Another reason I like doing this job is such an opportunity to try a new, possibly one-off brew, the result of creative brewing attempts. Some pix of the people enjoying the party and of course, a picture of the brewers.

Cheers and thanks to Adam, Brian and Nicolle for the invite!!

Canning Begins at Thomas Creek Brewery: A First!

Before taking on this week's critical research agenda, I'm looking back at this past Sunday's events that drew my attention.

First, Thomas Creek Brewery began their first ever canning operation, putting the latest Tres Gringos Hoppy Lager release into brightly colored cans. This version is light bodied, has a hoppy balance and could easily be a Summer Lawnmower beer. Thanks for Tim G. Smith for giving me the heads up about their canning debut.
Cans make a lot of sense; easier to chill, carry outdoors and are recyclable. Plus what else you gonna do with a cozy?? Some pics I managed to get without getting in the way:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Upstate New Brew Thursday Release

(I'm a bit late on this post but I was at Upstate Craft Beer last night and the three beers were still on tap, but I'd get there soon cause their beers go quickly)

Another busy day doing critical research, this time Upstate Craft Beer Co., and their New Brew Thursday releases. Two IPAs and a Hefe, all described as "haze forward" and from the photo you can see the accuracy of that description. Aoraki DIPA, pure grapefruit creaminess; Haus Music Hefeweizen with yeast and grainy notes; Triple C's IPA with three popular hops, all starting with the letter C. All three beers very satisfying and true to their respective styles. Drink'em up, they won't last long, especially with hot weather approaching. Cheers!


Dumplings Day - With Beer!

For those of you thinking that your day will be lacking dumplings, think again:

Especially good if you're using chopsticks.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Brew Saturday- In Four Parts

t appears that the rain has stopped so it's time to wring out the keyboard and get back to delivering beer news.
So, this past weekend was New Brew Saturday so a group of fellow enthusiasts and I headed to NC with a modest agenda: two new breweries. Didn't quite work out that way, as you'll see.
First stop, Columbus, NC, where the only brewery in Polk County is located, Winding Creek Brewing Co; Les Potter, Brewmaster, explained that his first introduction to home brewing came while attending some Scottish games, which might explain why his Heather Hearth Scottish Ale is one of their signature brews. A traditional styled ale with an abv of 6.5%, our entire group liked the beer (we tasted flights of all beers on tap, which come in assorted airplane shapes) and would have it again, the true test. Another Scottish ale on tap was Animal Pancakes Maple; not sweet but nicely flavored, well balanced; the group liked this one as well. As you can see from the menu photo, there is quite a range of styles available. Side note: the building was once a recording studio so the audio baffling along the ceiling helps with the sound when weekly live music is performed there. Well worth the visit, just east of I-26.
(Next post features our second stop)

 New Brew Saturday, second stop.
A Google search by Jason turned up this new brewery, Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery in Chimney Rock, not so far off our planned route, so we headed out.
What a location! Right beside the Broad River, with decking that goes down to the water, mountains and Chimney Rock providing a backdrop of natural beauty, perfect for relaxing with a cool pint. Made for lingering, I might add. Of the offerings that day (check the menu photo) the Nitro Stout and the Merritime Barley Wine were hits with the group. The beer lineup changes frequently I was told, but there will always be a couple of guest beers and ciders on tap.

 New Brew Saturday, third stop:
One of our original destinations was this brewery, Whistle Hop Brewing Company located in Fairview. Part of the excitement for me, being an unabashed train nut with my own Lionel set, was the setting: a caboose and boxcar perched atop a small hill, easily seen from the road and offering great views of the surrounding valley. Oh,.... the beers.
Well, we hit the rail on the head (pun?) on this stop. Along with the free peanuts, we liked all three of their beers (see menu, theirs are circled in pink chalk) and were very fortunate that they tapped a Honey Fig Saison just after we arrived. Full of flavor, saison style, not sweet but definite fruit notes, a satisfying beer. I found a new friend in the Pale by Rail Pale, an abv of 5.2% making it almost sessionable. Fun spot, the tap room is a very compact end of the caboose and the cupola seats are made for sipping a beer while enjoying the view. I can't recommend this place highly enough. It was also here that we learned the location of our fourth stop, coming up.

Turgua Brewing. Never heard of it? We were in the same boat until a fortuitous tip from a beertender at Hickory Gorge led us to ask at Whistle Hop about it's location. Turns out, not far away at all, so continuing the crawl we were on our way. Not an easy place to find even tho we had good directions. When we hit the dirt road, we knew we were about to find it. And what a find it was. Basically Phil Desenne, owner and head brewer, is brewing (legally) out of a garage on a gorgeous property, beside a large garden and meadow. A singular discovery along the NC beer trails. On to the beers, which are mostly named after birds. More about that later.
My and Kay Bingner's flight was the Firefly, Towhee, Frayzon and Waxwing. I also tasted the Sapsucker which was so good I had a pint of it. Adding some bread and cheese to the mix, we stayed there the longest, listening to some live music, thoroughly enjoying the surroundings and agreeing that this place was the perfect spot to end our New Brew Saturday. We'll be back and I encourage any and all to do the same. You won't regret it.
Oh, Turgua is a term meaning "Valley of the Birds" in Venezuela, where Phil is from. See the connection now?

Where's our next New Brew Saturday? Stay tuned to find out.