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A Beer Babes Year In Review

Well, 2014 is done, let’s see what we ladies did in Craft Beer this year with the Charlotte Beer Babes!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Cheers,
Bethany

CLTBeerBabes

Hello Charlotte Beer Babes & Friends!

I wanted to summarize everything we’ve done this year, to give everyone an idea of what we’ve accomplished and participated in for 2014!

I have had the extreme pleasure of leading this group for this year, and I look forward to 2015 and expanding & continuing all of these pieces with each of you! So thank you for attending, participating, donating, and giving your feedback! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Charlotte Beer Babes at December 2014 Second Saturday Beer Education class at The Beer Growler Charlotte!

Monthly Beer Education:
– Winter Seasonals at World of Beer (January)
– Reds, Ryes & Romance at World of Beer (February)
– Spring Seasonals at World of Beer (March)
– Wild Yeast Saisons at World of Beer (April)
– International Beer Bottle Share at Good Bottle (May)
– Cooked With Beer Food & Bottle Share at Good Bottle (June)
– NC…

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Beer Spills All

Hello Beer Friends!

I had a friend send me a very entertaining picture about (tongue-in-cheek?) what our favorite beers say about us and wanted to share it with you all. Courtesy of Sad And Useless dot Com, sourced from biTe TV & Online‘s website.

What does your beer choice say about you?

What does your beer choice say about you?

I personally am an Oatmeal Stout/Stout/Porter fan more than anything, and all I can say is that it is clearly a good thing I can arm wrestle, and that I, being a soft teddy bear, can also regular wrestle with other small bears!

As an avid Pumpkin Ale fan as well, I’m going to just leave that one be! 😉

So what does YOUR favorite beer say about you? And what do you think it means if you like ALL of these beer styles? A good friend of mine and I were debating this the other day when I shared this picture with him…

Does it mean you are Normal? Have Awesome Tastes? Are Extra Awesome as a Person? Are well-rounded and a good person? What do you think?

In parallel to the above picture, I found this fantastic article by a fellow wordpresser, that I wanted to share: The 10 Types of Craft Beer Drinkers. I am not quite sure where I fall in this, but hopefully it’s not TOO annoying wherever I may land! Feel free to tell me where you think I’m at on the landing platform of Craft Beer Drinkers! However in the meantime, enjoy reading the lovely dissemination of Craft Beer Drinkers that Oliver Gray presents.

Okay, that is all for now, and hope to see some of you out and about in the beer scene (or at least have others see you and be able to enjoy your presence while sharing your love of beer if you’re not in my neck of the woods).

Craft You Later,
Beth

Help A Kid, Earn a Pint: 01/29/13

Help A Kid, Earn a Pint.

The Charlotte Beer Babes join forces with #CLTBeerUp on January 29th, 2013, at Good Bottle Company and will be helping out Hope Haven, a local nonprofit geared towards helping homeless & chemically dependent adults and their children. Bring a donation item (list below), get a beer courtesy of the Charlotte BeerBabes & BeerUp! Hope to see you all out there for some good beer with great people to support a wonderful cause!

Items Needed: currently in serious need of children’s books (all ages), book bags, pull-ups, wipes, toiletries, notebooks, shoe laces, uniforms, underwear, tank tops, t-shirts, and socks. They have let us know that the top three items they are in need of would be: pull-ups, wipes, toiletries.

Craft You Later,
Beth

Charlotte Oktoberfest – Homebrews Plus

Hello Beer Fiends,

As long-promised and overdue, here is the second of the Charlotte Oktoberfest write-ups that I have from the 2012 Charlotte Oktoberfest festival held at the Metronlina Tradeshow Expo on September 29, 2012. Apologies for the delay, this took forever and a half to type up! Yeesh, my fingers hurt now!!! All for you all, though, all for you! 😉

2012 Charlotte Oktoberfest Homebrewers

2012 Charlotte Oktoberfest!

Homebrewers. The local legends of beer one-off experimentations, imitations-of-large-name-beers, and classic styles redone with new twists. These are the people that like making little tweaks to their recipes to make it that extra little bit more <insert beer flavor, aroma or aftertaste of your choice here>.

So to make up for missing so many of the homebrewers available to you all, I am going to list the brews that I didn’t get to try in my post yesterday. You will feel shame for me, I am sure, when you compare the lists of today and yesterday. I definitely hung my head in shame at myself!

Homebrews I Missed (in order from Oktoberfest booklet:
Adam Kaufman: Rex’s Rye Rocket
Bill Lynch: Big Bill’s IPA, Buster Cherry Blonde, Citradiculous IPA, Robusto Porter
Brian Beachemin: Beat The Heat Wheat
Brian Schonder: Hunt For Red Oktober
Bruno Wichnoski: Old Ace, Sir Bruno’s ESB, The Great One
Charles Scheffer: Pumpkin Ale
Chris Black: Smoke and Mirrors, Drunkin’ Punkin’
Chris Webber: Rhine Rain, Tip The Porter
David Jones: Eternal Hoppiness, Half Wit SC Peach Wheat
Felton Dengler: Cut The Grass Damn It! Pale Ale
James O’Leary: Night Vision Black IPA
Jen Kaufman: Jen’s Joy Juice
John Oshman: Osh’s Awesome Ale
Kelly Pruett: Centennial IPA
Lisa Johnson: Dandelion IPA
Mark Graham: Fear The Turtle!
Mike Schenk: Kashi Brown Ale
Pat Wichnoski: Crimson Oktoberfest, The Big O (aka Sexual Chocolate)
Paul Bright: Mahopma Curry IPA
Randy Griesman: Kumawannaliea Pineapple Wheat
Rob Adams: Cinderella’s Last Ride
Scott Jacobs: God Save The Hops
Stephen Gilbert: Dunkel Donuts, Flummoxed Lummox
Stephen Hutchinson: Peaceful Warrior
Tom Henderson: Ich bin ein Berliner
Tyler Norris: Choppy’s Old Bier

Alternative Beverage Staff: Alt Bev American Red Bitter, APA, Hefeweizen; Red Hook ESB Clone
Bethea Baker: Alt Bev American Pilsner, Black IPA, Dortmunder Export, Irish Red, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale, Raspberry Wheat, Small Session Brown Ale; 60 Minute IPA Clone, 90 Minute IPA Clone, Hophead Potter, Southern Belle’s Half Hearted Ale
Chris Austin: Cherries Forever Stout
Clif Mullis: Black Currant White Merlot, Peach Chardonnay, Strawberry Riesling
Christopher Grzebyk: Hop Smuggler Centennial
Ian Peterson: Cockin’ Cannons Cherry Chocolate Stout, Eastern Steamer, Outta Boresight Bitter
James Lafferty: Autumn Trailblazer Sweet Potato Ale, Dirty Shirley Wine Cooler
Jason Thornton: Black Beard IPA
Loren Standley: Not Your Common Cider, Thomas Jefferson Ale

Crystal Gainous: Copacetic CABREW Pale Ale
Eric Allgaier: Cabarrus Breakfast Stout, Dreadful Sorry, Get your !*@$ing Chocolate Outta My Peanut Butter Porter
Ford Craven: Craven’ Cucumber Kolsch
Jenn Waterson: Hoppier The Better
Josh Davis: Deutscherdbeer Hefe Weissbier
Luke Waterson: Wit You Want?
Nancy Scott: Blumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Pie
Patty Acquaviva: Strawberry Blonde
Rick Godby / Sharon Doherty: Dark Lady Porter
Rusty Agee: Brown Party Likker
Scott Peterlin: Granny’s Apple Saison
Steve Propst: Millennium Falconer
Tim Kelley: The American Hefe

Bill Dubas: El Deguello, Masala Porter
Brian Sico: Dicken’s Cider, Hop Monster, NitWit
Chris Duke: Sweet Georgia Blonde
Dave Buning: Campfire Wheat, Some like it hop, Yep that’s a Stout
Mike Hahne: Knicker Twist

Adam Childers: Fraulein’s Delight, He Ain’t Hefe He’s My Brother, What the Helles?
Barry Wray: Go2Helles, Woooooo!
Brenton Queen: My British Fling
Eddie Wetmore: Carpet Doesn’t Match The Drapes
Jason Garvin: Velocity Redlight 1.1, Velocity Redlight 1.2, Velocity Redlight 1.3
Lee Wagoner: Wham Bam Thank You Mamber
Paul Watkins: Dead Ringer
Steve Moulton: Knicker-dropper, Stoutzilla
Tom Wechter: Painted Lady

Chris Miller: Fade To Blackberry Wit, Frost On The PUmpkin Porter
Jake Atwell: Amaretto By Morning
Lee Hill: Captain Nolan’s ORCA
Mike Marble: One Giant Leap Double IPA, One Small Step Amber
Mike Pflugrad: Porky’s Prostitute Porter
Sam Victory: Creature Feature, How ‘Bout Them Apples, Unity Wit
Silas Swaim: Cottonmouth Brown, h’Wheat
Terry Smith: You Didn’t Brew That!
Terry Smith / Sam Victory: HOPS’ High Point Pride Cask English Bitter
Tim McDonald: Fire In The Hole Jalapeno Ale, Man On The Moon Cherry Wheat, Once In A Blue Moon, Skidmark Porter
William Speisberger: Hubba Bubba Cranium

Brad Albrecht: American IPA
Brian Little: Jamils Evil Twin
Chris Olden: Chirs’ Pilsner
John Crnich: German Hefeweizen
Kevin Neyland: Chocolate Milk Stout
Michael Thomas: Dry Hopped Cider
Patrick Stephens: Brown Eye Ale
Press Brewery: American Pale Ale, Jalapeno Ale
Velocity Brewing: Redlight Version 1, Redlight Version 2, Redlight Version 3
Russ Burnitt: Old Chub Clone, Surly Furious
Rusty Starnes: Black IPA
Tim Kelley: American IPA, Oxford Nut Brown
Wes Midkiff: Axis IPA, Sorachi Ace IPA
Will Omsbach: Right Coast IPA, Right Coast IPA 2

Adam Puzerewski: Bunny Hop Wheat, Philly Peach Wheat
Alex Pagano: Batch 674
Andy Kalinoski: Brown House Ale, Das Golden Shower
Brent Brewer: Knockout Stout
Louis Oliver: Cherry Poppin’s Cider
Michael Pribble: Breakfast of Champions
Patrick Allen: Red Blooded American Ale
Trevor Gildea: Fantasy Draft 2

Brad Petit: Nothing But Cascade
Dan Adams: No Soul, Welfare John
Jim Griggers: Guten Morgen, Janet Weiss
JP Boileau: Land of Barley & Blue, Palmetto Oaked Ale, Waking up at 6:23am Breakfast Stout, Hop Witit, Push Up, Sweet Southern Blonde
Keven and Wendy Deaton: Cluster F#$K Chocolate Coconut Stout, London’s Folly, Oaked EPA
Matt Rodgers: Dweller Marzen, The Black Key
Paul Selig: SMASHed Cherry
Phil Tollison: Gestalt, Souther WatermALEon

Chad Hahn: Blonde Ale, IPA
Jason Alarcon: Snatches of Pink
Kevin Dolan: The APE
Ryan Trask: CitrAm Pale Ale
Ryan Weir: Cream Ale, Peanut Butter Porter

Bill MacElroy: Stiche Alt Bier
Brian Cendrowski: Dieterhosen Festbier, The Fixer
Hang To: Tripel
Jake Grove: Sage Advice Cascadian Dark Ale
Jeremy Grieshop: Harold-is-Weizen
Joe Coxey: Doverdale Wheat
Margaret Antonik: Sweet Ginger Brown

Dave Koenig: Brunette Bombshell, Koenigfest, Pooh’s Hunny Blonde Ale
Dave Wanucha: Dag Gum Dunkel
Mark Stoehr: Bahama Mama Smoked Coconut Wheat, Hoppy Stout
Steve Nance: Absinthe Of Malice
Tom Nolan: Cocoa Love, Farmhouse Floozie

Dave Keller: Bat Cap
Bernie Kessel: Pink Lady Cider
Mark Staffon: My IPA
Rich and Lee Pettus: Smokey Mountain Porter

Bill Lynch: Amber Ale with Carrots, Candied Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Vanilla Beans in Bourbon
Brian Beauchemin: Smoked Porter
Charles Scheffer: Pumpkin Ale
Felton Dengler: Ale Brewed with Carrots and Spices
Ford Craven: Brown Porter Mashed with Butternut Squash
Josh Davis: Farmhouse Ale with Wild Blackberries
Kevin Martin: Ale Brewed with Roasted Tomatoes and Fresh Rosemary
Lisa Johnson: Ale Using Sweet Potatoes In The Mash
Mike Schenk: Ale Brewed with Potato, Sweet Potato, Carrots and Beets
Rob Adams: Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Belgian Dubbel
Shawn McBride: Olde Ale with Pumpkin

WHEW! That was quite the list! As you can see, my trials versus misses were grossly outnumbered. Clearly I need to party with the homebrew tent way more next year! 😉 So that is all for today, and thanks for your patience while I got all of that typed up. I will continue more in the next installation after a short baking/cooking break tomorrow! Until then, though….

Craft You Later,
Beth

Charlotte Oktoberfest – Homebrews

Hello Beer Fiends,

As long-promised and overdue, here is the first of the Charlotte Oktoberfest write-ups that I have from the 2012 Charlotte Oktoberfest festival held at the Metronlina Tradeshow Expo on September 29, 2012.

2012 Charlotte Oktoberfest Homebrewers

2012 Charlotte Oktoberfest!

Homebrewers. The local legends of beer one-off experimentations, imitations-of-large-name-beers, and classic styles redone with new twists. These are the people that like making little tweaks to their recipes to make it that extra little bit more <insert beer flavor, aroma or aftertaste of your choice here>.

Now, I will admit, being a novice to the Oktoberfest scene, that I did not do the Homebrewer section the way I should have, and in fact missed a LOT of homebrewer tents completely, let alone beers that I wanted to try out.

So to make up for that, to the homebrewers as well as myself and you all, I am going to list the brews that I tried, and then tomorrow post the list of all that were available that I wasn’t able to try. Got to give a nod to everyone, after all!

Homebrews I Tried:
Brewer / Style of Beer / Unique Beer Name: Review of Beer
Bill Lynch / Strong Scotch Ale / Bill’s Big Kilted Co*k: This was a full flavored scotch ale, and the “strong” part was definitely right on the money. The malts in this were close to an amber ale, and balanced nicely with some caramel undertones in the aroma and flavor. A little sweetness and a heavy dose of oak finished the flavor off nicely for me.

Bill Lynch / Imperial IPA / Cunning Linguist Imperial IPA: this hearty IPA was full of hops and citrus, with a smooth bite to the end of each sip that let you know you weren’t drinking a wimpy Pale Ale (really, I love you PAs, don’t hate me!!!), but rather an Imperial (Double) IPA full of character and, well, hops! This was good. The name clearly was a seller for it as well.

Bill Lynch / Specialty Beer / Dork Peppermint Patty Stout: This was my favorite of the homebrews, actually. First, it says “Dork”, and that fits me VERY well as a moniker (hey, wear it and be proud, right?!?), and second – peppermint patty?!?! Yes please and thank you kindly. This tasted like a York Peppermint Patty married a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, and this beauty was the amazing offspring they produced together. (Now do you believe it was my favorite?) The porter coffee notes came through very lightly, but this beer was all about the chocolate and peppermint from start to finish. It didn’t taste like an Altoid, it tasted like a -chocolate- mint. Very well balanced with an understated alcohol punch to it.

**Maybe I should insert here that Bill is a friend of mine’s dad, so we of course had to try quite a few of his beers out! ;-)**

David Jones / Bohemian Pilsner / Czech Your Head: This cleverly titled beer was lighter density, with clear citrus and hop notes from start to finish. It had a bit of a bite to it with the hops, but it smoothed out with the citrus completely. This was a really good beer, we all enjoyed it.

Brian Schonder / Specialty Beer / Dirty Blonde Kitty: This banana beer was super surprising. It tasted almost like a super banana-y banana bread without the nuts (ok, shhhhush!). The caramel malt flavor came through very well underneath the banana, and complemented the medium-weight feel of this beer very well. Plus, again, the name. Gotta love it, and gotta try them, especially if you have a Kat with you! 😉 (loveyoumeanitlady!)

Rob Adams / Fruit Beer / Chocolate Cherry Stout: As a self-proclaimed chocolate junkie, I had to try this beer out. This wasn’t quite as chocolatey as I was expecting, more of a light milk chocolate (lighter flavor and profile), but the cherry flavor came through very well and was almost stronger than the chocolate. This was a good fruit stout, and a lighter feeling one at that (that is not a criticism either).

Loren Standley / Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer / Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Ale: This was a nice surprise in a very nutty ale, which definitely tasted of sweet potato and malted caramel flavors to me. I enjoyed this more vegetabley beer a lot, especially as it stood out from so many of the others by taste. This was very much an earthier yet sweet medium-bodied beer.

Jason Thornton / Specialty Beer / Joyful Coconut Porter: This was a delicious and island-feeling porter that was basically like someone soaked a stout with Mounds candies. A lot of coconut flavor, a hint of nuttiness but just a hint, and a lot of strong porter coffee and chocolate undertones combined to make this a very enjoyable porter. Everything balanced nicely, and I thoroughly enjoyed this as a huge fan of Mounds candies! 🙂

Nicole Cendrowski / American Stout / Metrosexual Chocolate: This milky chocolate stout ale had an undertone of coffee, but was mostly milk chocolate and a little bit of spice melded into the blend for a nice and somewhat lighter stout. This was a really good stout, I thought, plus the name is just fun as well!

Dave Koenig / Cream Ale / Cheap Trick: This was a decent cream ale, and since I’m not a huge fan of the style, that is pretty much a good recommendation, haha… It was definitely creamy, and definitely had a full flavor though I personally thought it had a little bit of a caramel undertone to it (my friend disagreed), while still being a solid ale with the malt flavors as well. Plus, this band just rocks, so we of course had to try it!

Tomorrow I will post the other Homebrews available which I was unable to try! Gotta share the love after all! 😉

Craft You Later,
Beth

Fall Beer Tasting Fun

Hello Beer Fiends,

A few friends and I took a trip down beer tasting lane and did a Great Pumpkin Tasting event at one of the friends’ houses a while ago. Everyone brought a selection of beers to share, and a few munchies to pass around, and the hosts provided the glasses and a spot for everyone to congregate! Awesome!

So that said, before we get into the plethora of Charlotte Oktoberfest beer tastings, I wanted to outline the beers we tasted for this fun get together event.

pumpkin beer tap carving oktoberfest

Inspiring Pumpkin ‘Beer’!

Disclaimer: I am pretty sure that I missed a few of the beers, so if you see a favorite Fall beer is missing, comment and tell us all about it so we can go find it to share the love!

These are in no particular order:

Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Ale by Uinta Brewing Company: this 10.31% pumpkin ale was strong, with a hearty feel to each sip, slightly heavy on the oak undertones, and had some strong pumpkin (not pie spice) flavors intertwining with it all to tie it together. Another good one by Uinta.

Ace Hard Pumpkin Cider by Ace Cider: this was probably the best hard cider I’ve tasted. And I really like hard cider. Pumpkin juice overtones, pumpkin spice undertones, with a hint of the apple cider crispness and feel at the beginning and end of the sip. The light flavor was not understated at all, and made the flavors that much more enjoyable. YUM.

Gordgeous by Noda Brewing Company: ahhh, Noda Seasonals. How I love thee, let me count the ways. Seriously, if you like everything by Noda like me, you’ll just add this to the checklist of “YUM” productions. Since I did a write-up on this beer already, I’m just going to link & copy here: At 6.4% ABV with 17 SRMs and 29 IBUs, this is a fantastic pumpkin ale that isn’t too pumpkiny, isn’t too pumpkin pie-spiced, and isn’t too heavy. The carmelization of the pumpkin comes through the sips, as do each of the spices they added. The ginger adds a nice balancing note that makes it not taste like every other pumpkin ale. This beer has a great “this is fall!” feel to it while you sip it staring at the falling leaves. It tastes, quite simply, like a harvest pumpkin beer should: pumpkin, blended spices and harvest married on a medium-bodied sip of ale. Maybe under a full moon. In a gordgeous tux, no less.

Fat Jack Double Pumpkin by Samuel Adams: this 8.5% ABV beer has a molasses and malty flavor winding through the strong pumpkin and caramel-pumpkin pie spice flavors. Has a heavy feel on the front and middle, but finishes with a flourish of flavor. Another great and delicious contribution by Sam Adams to the seasonal selections!

Oktoberfest by Blue Point Brewing Company: this 5.5% ABV ale is crafted in the spirit of the Oktoberfest origins, with hints of malt, caramel, honey, toast, nuts and a touch of apple to take you on the journey from start to finish of this beer. It had a definite fall taste and aroma to it throughout!

Gruntled Pumpkin by RJ Rockers Brewing Company: this 7.3% ABV ale has an aroma of more straight pumpkin and a taste of more pumpkin pie spice. It was delicious, I thought, and very pumpkiny while not being super overwhelmed by the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove flavors that you can definitely teaste. There was also a hint of a pie crust taste underneath, which was very hard to describe in any other way.

The Great’ER Pumpkin by Heavy Seas Beer: this 9% ABV bourban barrel-aged pumpkin ale spends an apparent 3 weeks going from The Great Pumpkin to The Great’ER Pumpkin, courtesy of the barrels at Virginia’s A. Smith Bowman Distillery! Taking the brown sugar and caramel flavors, and intertwining them with cinnamon, vanilla, graham cracker crust (aka, with butter!), nutmeg, slight amount of ginger, and then pulling them all together with the pumpkin (gourd, not pie spice) flavor making everything taste delicious from start to finish. Three of the partiers dodn’t really like pumpkin, but all of them LOVED this beer. I love pumpkin, so this was high on my list of the days selections! Mmmm.

Coney Island Freaktoberfest by Shmaltz Brewing Company: this is a Freaky looking beer. If you want a great Halloween trick, give this in bottle to some friends with a glass, and make them pour it out in front of you. Observe and enjoy the exclamations that proceed! This delightfully dry, hoppy, slightly citrusy Oktoberfest surprises you mightily (at least it did all of us) by not being very ‘berry’ tasting at all. At least we didn’t think so. I expected it to taste like old school Robitussin, but it didn’t. It wasn’t my favorite beer, but it was definitely a decent and fun selection to add to the party!

Shmaltz Brewing Coney Island Freaktoberfest red beer

Shmaltz Brewing’s Coney Island Freaktoberfest!

Wookey Jack by Firestone Walker Brewing Company:  this delicious 8.3% ABV Black IPA is an unfiltered Rye Black IPA that carries the traditional Rye flavors along with the caramel, chocolate and coffee notes, to carry you from start to finish of each sip. As a fan of rye ales, this was really a nice surprise to sip on, and provided a nice contrast as well amongst all of the pumpkin and Oktoberfest offerings! Definitely a beer to drink at a bonfire or something equally woodsy, as well!

Cherry Saison by Funkwerks: this surprisingly delicious 9.5% ABV cherry saison completely blew my mind. Now, most of you probably don’t know it, but the first beer I ever actually liked (which is why I now still drink beer) was Cherry Wheat by Sam Adams. So I am very partial to the cherry beers, especially ones that don’t taste like lambics or cough syrup. I am also a little picky about them. This one was deeeelicious. Dark candied sugar and cherry (think bing or dark, not maraschino) flavors are up front, with a little cocoa and a little caramel on the back side of the sip. This beer I do believe was aged a little by the person who brought it, which may be why it was so smooth and delicious. It did have a little of the yeasty saison flavor and aroma but to me that was very understated compared to the other flavors and aromas. Definitely a good one to try though for fruit beer lovers!

Lolita (2011) by Goose Island Beer Company: This aged, 9% ABV “American wild ale” was probably the crowd favorite. This raspberry, CabSauv-oak barrel-aged ale was tart, fruity, oaky, with a little undertone of sour caramel (weird sounding, but that’s what it tasted like to me, okay!). The raspberry flavor was very strong, probably helped by being a 1-year aged (I think) bottle! I definitely recommend this one. I’m sure someone will correct me if my aging notes are wrong, though! 😉

The Great Pumpkin by Elysian Brewing Company: this 8% ABV imperial pumpkin ale has all of the roasted pumpkin flavor that I was hoping for with a side note of pumpkin pie spices (allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg). It was a good, strong-profiled pumpkin ale that definitely had some malt and brown sugar notes to complement the pumpkin and spice.

Barktoberfest by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company: this traditional-styled Oktoberfest was really delicious, and had just enough sweet malts to temper the hop and spice flavors. I don’t know if it was the candied brown sugar or the caramel or the spice notes – but one of them, or maybe the combination, definitely made me think of fall when drinking this beer. At 6% ABV, it wasn’t nearly as strong as many others we tried, but the flavor was definitely as full as the others we tested out!

Forewarning: because we all brought so many beers, not everything was tried, so we’ll be doing a follow-up to try more beers sometime soon, and I will be sure to let you all know how those wind up tasting as well! 😉

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log- Noda New Releases

Hello Beer Friends,

I am sure you are going “what about Oktoberfest” right about now if you read my Friday beer log entry. However, I have decided to take this week to write them all up, then the next two weeks to post them up. This way I can be sure nothing is missed, and everyone gets to enjoy the awesomeness that is the list of beers from Charlotte Oktoberfest.

That said, Noda Brewing Company recently released a few new good (okay, great) beers into their line-up. Some for good, some for the season, and some for a very limited time. So let’s observe:

Get The Party Tarted: Cherry Sour Ale (until it runs out)
This beer was inspired by a Berliner Weisse…we call it a “NorthCarolinerWeisse”.  It’s infused with Bing cherries and raspberries. With 4.5% ABV and 10 IBUs, this tart and sour ale is absolutely delicious, light-bodied but full of flavor in every sip. I had two pints in a row of it, it was that good. (Yes, for me that is telling!) I really liked the fact this beer had a sour flavor that melded phenomenally with the tart cherry and light raspberry flavors. It never got too sour, too tart, nor too sweet. It was just perfectly balanced. Nice job Noda!

image

Get the party tarted indeed!

Dark-o’-Lantern: Pumpkin Spice Porter (Nodable Series, Limited Amount)
This pumpkin spice porter has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves which lend to a more earthy character, with cinnamon being the primary taste.  At 6% ABV, 38 IBUs and 36 SRM – this beer has a strong malt flavor along with toasted barley, and a hint of the pumpkin pie spices we all know & love. This smokier beer has vague hints of pumpkin, but it is enough that it is definitely classified by taste as a yummy pumpkin porter!

image

Dark O' Lantern needs some light....or not!

Gordgeous: Pumpkin Ale (Fall Seasonal)
This Pumpkin is hot, and it knows it. Gordgeous uses over 100 lbs of organic pumpkin caramelized with 40 lbs of brown sugar. Noda used whole seed spices cracked on brew day and mixed allspice, cardamom, cloves and freshly shaved whole ginger root to create a unique pumpkin ale. At 6.4% ABV with 17 SRMs and 29 IBUs, this is a fantastic pumpkin ale that isn’t too pumpkiny, isn’t too pumpkin pie-spiced, and isn’t too heavy. The carmelization of the pumpkin comes through the sips, as do each of the spices they added. The ginger adds a nice balancing note that makes it not taste like every other pumpkin ale. This beer has a great “this is fall!” feel to it while you sip it staring at the falling leaves. It tastes, quite simply, like a harvest pumpkin beer should: pumpkin, blended spices and harvest married on a medium-bodied sip of ale. Maybe under a full moon. In a gordgeous tux, no less.

Hope’s Stout: Milk Stout (made for a great cause, click here for more information)
Noda wanted to achieve both a full bodied & complex stout character, but with the drinkability of a session ale, something that wouldn’t be unapproachable by the non-heavy dark beer drinkers. In part, probably because Hope’s dad (see link above if you’re lost by now) is a Budweiseresque beer drinker. Noda added a hefty amount of cocoa nibs to give the beer a distinctive dark chocolate character that melds well with the roasted notes from the dark malts. This 4% ABV, 39 SRM and 35 IBU beer is a definite keeper. This is a lighter-bodied stout, for sure, however it tastes like it was cooked with some steamed milk to bring the comfort of hot cocoa into a beer. I am not kidding here, nor waxing poetic. That is what it tastes like. With a little bit of malted milk ball flavor, a teeny bit of hoppiness (or happiness as the case is), and a lot of  the steamed milk flavor thrown in to give it just that perfect blend of a light stout. If you want a comfort beer, get this one. If you want to support a good cause, definitely get this one. Again, click the link above if you’re lost… 😉

Craft You Later,
Beth

Friday Beer Log – Polish Region Beers

Hello Beer Friends,

I was in a weird beer mood a few weeks ago and decided that I wanted nothing more than to try out some beers from some neighboring countries that aren’t so popular and readily available. I headed over to my local Total Wine & More store, and found these beers that are made in neighboring countries of Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and The Czech Republic.

czechvar golden pheasant utenos porter black boss porter polish beer slovakian beer lithuanian beer

Polish Region Beer Tasting!

Stawski Pivovar Zlaty Bazant Golden Pheasant – this Slovakian beer is a Czech style lager and has a 5% ABV. This is a very light beer, similar to a Corona in my opinion, and had a slight hoppy undertone with a vague hint of citrus. Personally, I thought it tasted better than Corona, but I’m not a huge fan of it, and I did enjoy this beer.

Czechvar Premium Czech Lager – this Czech beer is a **gasp** Czech style lager, which has a lower ABV (couldn’t find the exact one), and a very Heineken-esque flavor to it. This is a decent light beer, but I think the Golden Pheasant is a little better. So is Heineken. But it’s not bad, definitely worth trying.

Carlsberg Group Utenos Porter – This Lithuanian Baltic Porter, a 6.8% ABV content, was almost reminiscent of a Nut Brown Ale to me. This malty, yeasty, dark brown porter reminds me of a caramel nut bread to be perfectly honest. It’s pretty good. It’s also not very heavy, so that is a nice surprise. Goes down smooth, which just a little kick of carbonation at the end of the sip. Good one to try!

Browar Witnica S.A. Black Boss Porter – This was my favorite. And not just because it’s 9.4% ABV, either! This Polish Baltic Porter was amazing – had a very heavy porter feel to each sip, but was nicely balanced in flavor with fig, dates, caramel, malt, and chocolate and kept you pleasantly surprised for the entire sip! I also like that while it sits heavy while sipping, it doesn’t sit heavy as you finish it (heavy in mouth not stomach!), and has a delicious aftertaste. So this one, if you’re only trying one, would be my choice – however if you like lighter or medium-bodied beers, you may want one of the others!

I hope you enjoyed my foray into the Poland-and-friends beer world! I am attending the Charlotte Oktoberfest tomorrow, 09/29/12, so keep tuned next week for the goods on that! And yes, I will be the chick walking around taking copious amounts of notes that may even rival the amounts of beer being consumed! Enter #BeerGeekdom in style, I say!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Charlotte Beer Babes September Beer School

Hello Beer Fiends!

We had another monthly beer education class at World Of Beer Southend with the Charlotte Beer Babes. Due to Charlotte’s DNC event, this event was on the 3rd Saturday of the month, not the normal 2nd Saturday, and was still a pretty darned great time!

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes

Beer Babes Learning!

Preston led us Beer Babes through a wonderfully detailed, yet concise, history of Belgian Beers.

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes

Beer Teacher

Among the fun facts we learned were:
– Belgian beers originated around the early Crusades, and started when the Catholic Church requisitioned beer from the Abbeys for safer drinking
– Original Belgian Beers had very low alcohol contents since were used primarily in place of the unsafe drinking water
– In order to be a Trappist brewery, you have to be funded by the church, all proceeds have to go back to the church (basically making it a non-profit), and has to be brewed solely by the Monks.

The 7 Belgian Trappist Breweries in existence today are:
– Chimay
– Roquefort
– Orval
– Westmalle
– Westvleteran
– Achel
– LaTrappe

Now, onto the actual beers that we taste-tested…. dun dun dun!

First up, we had Witterkerke Blik (aka White Church) from Brouwerij Bavik, a 5% ABV White Belgian beer that had an incredibly light taste to it. This belgian white wheat beer has flavors of citrus and wheat throughout, and is incredibly light in flavor, aroma and weight (when drinking). As a Belgian White, it’s a good one to try to get into the style for those coming from the lighter side of beer drinking (Miller/Bud or even Mikes) into more craft beers, as it is not super strong. This would be a good sipper if you’re just wanting something really light on a hot day.

charlotte beer babes world of beer belgian beer tasting

A Blogger (okay, me) and THE Beer Babe enjoying a White Church!

Second, we have the Delirium Tremens by Brouwerij Huyghe’s – aka the Pink Elephant. This beer jumps us up to 8.5% ABV, and ups the ante on taste and flavor considerably. This malty and spicy beer has a heartier flavor and aroma, while still not going into the realm of “dark beers” with extra heaviness added into it. The fruity flavors are very subtle when drinking this beer, but if you’re paying attention you’ll find them. Alongside the peppery malted spice note, of course! I think “Pink Elephant” alone as a nickname means that everyone should have to try this beer at least once. But that’s just me and my memories of Dumbo and Fantasia talking, I’m sure!

Third to bat is the favorite of mine for the day: Saint Bernardus’s Pater 6. Don’t let the design and name fool you – this is not a Trappist Brewery, but a for-profit brewery. This beer was like malted carmel and dark brown sugar explosion, with almost a dark cherry or currant undertone. It was my favorite in part for the smoothness of the drink, but also because it’s a rich, dark beer. Even though it’s a 6.75% ABV beer, you don’t feel that in each sip, which is nice.

belgian beer class world of beer southend charlotte beer babes pater 6

Pater 6!

At this point in the tasting, we did a quick poll to see who liked which beer best. Halfway title went to Pater 6, though the Delirium Tremens came in a close second. A few did like the Blik, but most of us liked the other two better. 😉

Back to the beer tasting… Choice Number Four: Chimay Triple, aka “Cinq Cents”, which was the only Trappist beer that we tried. This 8% ABV beer was delicious, a little hoppy, a lot carmelly with a hint of apples, and very smooth up until the end where you get a little spice and bitterness in the aftertate, which isn’t unpleasant at all. This beer is a bit heavier, but the flavors are enough that you don’t have to have multiples to enjoy all the flavors fully. This was probably my second favorite of the day, tied with the last beer. I do love my hearty beers, after all!

Last beer to bat was the Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik / De Halve Maan’s Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel, which was a great end to the day’s tasting. This super dark, malty, dark carmelized brown sugar, and dark candied berry flavors were delicious and went very well as an ending to a Belgian Beer Tasting. This beer also has an 11% ABV rating, and it’s not up front in the flavor at all. This is more of a sipper beer for me, something to go with a stew or hearty dessert, and doesn’t detract in flavor with time when sipping. That, for me, is key. I recommend this beer for hearty and dark beer lovers. I also think it’s a good one for non-dark beer lovers to try because it is very smooth and not bitter.

Tomorrow, I will post about what I made to go with the Beer for the tasting: scratch-made Belgian Chocolate Truffles! So come back and see me! Let me know if you’ve had any of these beers before, and what your thoughts are about them! Or if you’re a fellow beer babe, let me know what you thought of the event!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Saturday Belgian Beer Class

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the Charlotte Beer Babes monthly Beer Class at World Of Beer Southend!

charlotte beer babes women beer tasting group

Tomorrow, Preston will enthrall us with a tour through the world of Belgian Beers, complete with a multitude of tastings that he has chosen just for us!

Now, now, don’t expect me to spoil the surprise of the beers – for that and many other reasons, Preston doesn’t let us know what his special selections are until we get to the class!

So if you’re in the Charlotte area on Saturday, September 15, come join us Beer Babes as we enter the world of Belgium through this wonderful class and tasting adventure for $10!

I am going to be making Chocolate Truffles to go with our beer tastings, and everyone is encouraged to bring a light munchie to share with at least your table since no food is served at WOB. If you want to come with friends, or come alone to make new friends – you’re welcome either way!

Guys, sorry, but if you show up, you’ll be sequestered with the other ‘token babes’ across the way from our class. This is the Beer Babes women-only beer class, after all!

We hope to see you out there tomorrow, as it will be a fantastic time!

Also, don’t forget to check out my 100th Blog Post and enter your name (via comment) by Sunday at midnight for a chance to win a personalized wine or pint glass from yours truly! 😉

Craft You Later,
Beth

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