Monday, August 6, 2018

A Beery Busy Weekend

So, how was your weekend?
Mine involved numerous new breweries and went very well, thanks for asking. It actually started on Friday when the demands of research required that I attend the official opening of Liability Brewing Co., which I did along with a large percentage of GVille's craft beer loving community. Everyone had a great time trying new beers and no one got their clothes dirty.

Then came Saturday.
Cornelius, NC, is located about 15 minutes north of Charlotte, very near Lake Norman. It also happens to be the home of three breweries all of which were visited for the first time by me and a small crew of the usual suspects.
D9 Brewing Company is well known for several beers, including Hakuna Matata Tropical IPA. But for me it's known as the first sour beer I came to enjoy, Whiskers on Kittens; my first step on the path that led me to appreciate that style. This day I had tasters of Discord, a Sour with Concord Grapes (very tasty), and Brewer's Day Off, a cuke infused Gose, very refreshing on the palate. No one in the group had anything but positive comments about all the beers we tried.

Next stop and just up the road a mile or so, was Ass Clown Brewing Company, one of the principal reasons we made the trip. I've had their beer in cans, usually from Greenville Beer Exchange, but one of our group, Bob Muller had been there before and was so taken with their beers that he intended (and did) propose marriage (and I have the photo to prove it). As the menu board shows, many good choices but I limited my self to four tasters, including the kettle sour Don't Wine, Pucker Up; Negative Image Ale, made with blackberries and peaches; and both IPAs, the Ass Clown and Orange Citrus. The group tasted nearly everything (and using up all the taster glasses) with pleased expressions all around. Oh, Bob never got a response to his proposal, despite buying several 4-packs and a t-shirt, which was just as well, as he proved to be rather fickle, immediately heading for the nearest brewery around.
Which turned out to be Eleven Lakes Brewing, literally a half block down the street. They had been below our radar prior to this but I am glad we found them, all the beers we tried were well made and solid versions of the styles. See the menu board photo below to see the variety. The stand out beers for me (and we tried most, if not all of them) were the Orange Is The New Pale pale ale, the Apricot Habenero Blonde which had a perfect balance of fruit and heat, something that can be very elusive with pepper beers; and of course, Teri's Berry Ale, a raspberry wheat pale named for Teri Lippy, owner/general manager (a very friendly lady who visited our table to answer questions). Ray Hutchinson, Brewmaster, was very busy in the back room preparing a yeast pitch so I didn't have an opportunity to talk with him. If I had I would have congratulated him on his skills and informed him of our group's appreciation for his efforts.

So, that leaves Sunday. Sort of a day off, a hankering for a hamburger for lunch kind of day which I satisfied at the GB&D food truck, just behind the Aviary at Birds Fly South Ale Project. Easily one of the best burgers in town and a perfect pairing with Apologize Less, BFS' a double dry-hopped IPA. Yep, I love my job.
Some photographic proof of our adventures:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Central State Comes To Town

Inspired line up of beer to sample last night at The Community Tap when Central State Brewing's Jordan Boinest came to pour us samples of exotic brett infused beers. Two Oatsplosions, one with mosaic hops, the other citra;  plus a Haizon one-off dry-hopped Farmhouse ale and even a Gose thrown in. Very enjoyable beers for those who like funk and tartness. Thanks, Jordan and Ashley Bower too!

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.