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:

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Community Tap's 6th Annual (and final) Craft Beer Festival

So, The Community Tap's 6th Annual Craft Beer Festival is now officially in the history books. I am among the many who are raving about how special this event was; quite the swan song, at least for this venue and size. I'm looking at my many photos, yet to be edited, glad that I have so many reminders, but resigned to spending a couple hours or more sorting and titling.

In the meantime, I want to pass along my personal thanks to all who contributed to making this such a successful way to spend an afternoon, including these four fine folks: Ed, Kim, Anna and Mike.
Lots more pix to come, stay tuned!

Cheers! See ya next time, whenever and wherever.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Craft Beer Week Is Upon Us

Greenville Craft Beer Week, aka GCBW, is happening right now. Started Saturday, the 14th at GBX, aka Greenville Beer Exchange, and will wrap up next Sat, the 21st. Here's a schedule of events for the week. I'll see ya at some of them, trying to make them all!!


(Not sure what's happening in that cool ship but I am sure that beer was involved.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Wonderful Week's Worth of Beer!

A Week In The Life....
So, sometimes I get asked (usually during a lull in conversations) "what's it like being a beer blogger these days, lots of beer parties and fun events, right?"
Well, the answer is, I guess, that there are indeed many events to cover, tastings to share and, of course, lotsa stickers.

As an example, looking back over the past week that ended last night, here are some events in which I participated (many, many others were taking place without me, it's that kind of town):
On Feb. 22, Birdsong Brewing Co. Launch Party!! happened at the Tap, where Tara Goulet, Birdsong Sales, was on hand to describe the beers as they entered the SC market for the first time. Naturally, I had to try the beers available... tasters only you undestand (sort of the equivalent of a wine spit bucket). I was already familiar with a couple, especially their Jalapeno Pale and Higher Ground IPA. New to me and most of the crowd was the Mexicali Stout. Robust and spicy, not exactly a Spring time beer, but a delight to drink. Keep in mind for next winter.
Movin' on.

Feb 23 was the big rebranding day for Highland Brewing Refresh Reveal Party! in Asheville. Beer Blogging involves travel too, you know. Their new logo and label design was officially unveiled along with some small batch beers that may or not be ever repeated. The new beers tasteworthy and very drinkable; I especially liked the Alternate Cargo IPA. There was also an Imperial Cold Mountain on tap making many folks happy. The weather being very cooperative, the Rooftop was available for sipping and admiring the hillside views. Doggies are welcome up there as well (no pets in the taproom allowed). Memorable way to kick off a new chapter in Highland's long history. Also, congrats to Leah and her crew.
Feb 28, Growler Haus Village of W Gvl was the location for some excellent beer tasting from D9 Brewing Company, with Jessica Lowe, Brewery Rep, present to spread her enthusiasm for their beers. I confess I didn't need any encouragement, having been a long time fan of theirs. In fact, thinking back, I believe Whiskers On Kittens was the turning point in my appreciation for sour beers. I enjoyed their Discord Sour ale that night, also the latest in the Systema Naturae Series, this one with Maple and Spruce... sour maple, who knew!

And so, March 1, last night.
Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. Launch Party! This is the kind of event that makes beer blogging so much fun. 9 beers to sample (free!) and 5 on tap for pint enjoyment. Edmund's is new in our market, cans especially, so those of us who have been to their brewery/pub in Charleston were very excited by this opportunity to try some of their new offerings. Hard to pick a fave from the collection tho I did choose Enchantment Under The Sea and Bound By Time to have as pints. I did see several folks drinking the Azathoth Imperial Stout as well, so the variety of styles ready to sample was a crowd pleaser. I chatted briefly with Cameron Read, Oast's Brewing Director, about their brewing philosophy and learned how their most popular beer, Something Cold lager, came about. As Elvis used to say, "what a night!" Thanks to Mike and crew at Tap for making this a blogger's delight!

And that was the week that was!!

Some photos from my greatest hits album:

Today in Beer

It's National Beer Day, everyone must do their part. Cheers!!