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Craft Meet Up: Letters To Our Troops

Hello Crafting Friends,

I have an idea that I have been tossing around for awhile now in my own mind. I think it would be super fun to meet at a local Park in Charlotte, as a group, and do a craft activity. I also think it would be awesome if said craft served a purpose other than just being fun. Like, say, being something we send to the troops before Veteran’s Day…. hmm? Hmm? Hmm?!?!!!

So I was looking around this place called the internet (you may have heard of it), and I found this organization called Operation Gratitude, which has a whole section of its services being geared towards volunteers writing letters to troops (active, and veterans of past conflicts). HELLO we have a winner!

operation gratitude handmade card marine troops

Handmade Cards to Troops

Because this organization is based in California, and I (we) am in North Carolina, I cannot organize anything to go volunteer at the actual volunteer events. However if you’re reading this in Cali, and want to get some community service in, go check out their volunteer schedule. Or if you’re not in NC nor CA and want to donate to the cause, you can do so here to help send care packages to military personnel overseas.

operation gratitude handmade card army troops

More Handmade Cards to Troops

Anyways, back to my plan. I would like to organize a meet-up for Sunday, October 28, 2012, in order to get a group together to get this started. I have a park in mind, but figure I will see how the date works first before nailing down a park.

Plan:
1) Get together at a specified date and time (Sun Oct 28 @ 3pm?).
2) Everyone brings a few supplies (no glitter!) to decorate cards (markers, crayons, stickers, colored pencils, pens, stencils, stamps, etc) for everyone to share.
3) I will supply a good amount of cream and white card stock cards (pre-folded), based on the amount of participants.
4) Make cards following these guidelines for the troops and veterans of past conflicts (your choice)! This includes possibly including your information for responses, if you so chose, or you can use mine.
5) Everyone gets together and shares in a craft activity for a good cause outdoors for ~1 hour, and maybe makes some new friends as well!
6) I will then ship the cards to the donation location for delivery to the troops, and pass along any responses that I get from OG or the troops to whom our cards are sent.

So… I really need your responses people, for real. Is this something you would be interested in doing? Is this something that sounds fun and crafty to you? Is this something you would actually respond to my blog with a “YES I AM IN!” at all?!? Responses appreciated sooner rather than later, but at least by Monday October 22, so I can plan and plot accordingly! Oh, and please include your email so that I can include you in our plans! (Yes, I am being optimistic here!)

Give me your thoughts, pretty please, and let me know if you would be up for doing this craft volunteer outdoor adventure together! We can adjust the date and time if need be, but please let me know about any interest you have in this!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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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

100 Posts: Thanks Giveaway!

Dun dun dun!

As promised, I have a fun and different thing for my 100th post for you all!

100 posts have a bite

Happy 100th Post to my readers and me!

First off, THANK YOU for reading everything that you have. I started this as an outlet just to let me ‘say’ things, and it’s instead turned into so much more and so much unexpected fun! I hope you all enjoy reading it half as much as I do to do all of this stuff!

Second, please please please leave comments if you see something you want me to address, if you do or don’t like something I write, or if you have any ideas or comments or feedback. I like feedback. 😉

Third, for the honor of my 100th post, I am actually going to do a giveaway (thanks for the idea LN!) for the first time in my blogging history. This will be a random drawing, equal opportunity drawing. All I ask is that you write a comment in this post with your name, email and “I Want A Giveaway!”

What IS the giveaway, you ask? Well, I am going to take either a pint or wine glass (winner’s choice), and do a custom design on it for the winner. For instance, if some guy named Eric won and told me he liked all things beer and dinosaur related, then I would do something like this for him, with his name or initial(s) added in of course:

beer pint glass hand painted dinosaur t-rex tyrannaurus rex T initial

Beer and dinosaur loves are joined together in a toast!

Or if you love wine, penguins and celebrating your birthday, I would do something like this:

wine glass birthday hand painted penguin

Birthday and penguin loves are joined together over wine!

So that said, please comment with your name, email and “I Want A Giveaway!”, and hope you continue to enjoy the posts that I make along the way, even if just a litte! Thanks again for stopping by, and thanks for playing!

UPDATE: Giveaway entries will be good until Sunday, September 16, at midnight. All names will be entered into a fishbowl and a name will be drawn Monday morning! One lucky winner will be announced in a post on Monday, and they will be emailed to ask wht they want for glassware and design!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Hello Hello!

Hello Hello friends,

I apologoze for not posting the last few days. I am on vacation with some friends and we are so busy that this is my first chance to post! Wooo!

I promise that I have lots of posts coming, just going to not happen this week, sadly. Well, not sadly for me since I’m enjoying the heck out of my vacation, haha! See?

image

Vacation Delight!

Oh, and in addition, my next post will be #100 (holy cow that flew by, woohoo!), and I have a little something fun & interactive planned for y’all! 😉 Beware!

So thanks for your patience while I’m relaxing for a week of fun!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Getting Ready For Fall Beer in NC…

Well Beer Friends,

It’s about that time of year again. Oktoberfest Festivals and Oktoberfest brews are gearing up to start hitting us in late September through October. For all the Fall lovers out there, this is a special time of year that is ‘home’ to some of the most yummy creations (and combinations of breweries under one ‘roof’) known to us beer lovers.

Get Ready For Oktoberfest with these earlier events!

However in the spirit of Oktoberfest, sometimes you want to go out and start before mid-September. I’ve found a few events that will be screaming your name out loud. In order of date, below, starting this Saturday!

lazy daze festival arts crafts sister cities beer garden

Lazy Daze in Cary has the Sister Cities Beer Garden 8/25!

This coming Saturday, August 25, if you’re in the Cary area of the RTP, you can check out the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival! From 9am – 5pm on Saturday, enjoy the Arts and Crafts shopping options: which include local artists working with Clay, Candles, Paintings, Floral, Furniture, Glass, Jewelry, Photography and Wood. You can also check out the Entertainment options available (wandering and stage entertainment), and whilst you peruse all of these fun things… Grab a Beer from the Sister Cities Beer Garden! According to their site, “The SCA Beer Garden is getting crafty! This year, you’ll find local craft beers provided by three local breweries. There’s food, a place to relax and refresh with brats and beers. You’ll find the SCA Beer Garden located beside Creative Images on Chatham Street. Cary’s current Sister Cities are County Meath, Ireland; Hsinchu City, Taiwan; LeTouquet, France; and Markham, Canada.” So go and get your international craft groove thing on this weekend, and do let me know what you find!

busy beef cafe fall beer raleigh beer week 2012

Busy Bee Cafe Kicks Off Raleigh Beer Week August 25!

Also this weekend on Sunday, August 26, go to the Raleigh Beer Week Kick Off Party at the Busy Bee Café in Raleigh! Kick off the Raleigh Beer Week right, with a selection of special draft beers at the Busy Bee Café! Starting at noon on Sunday, go find these drafts to sample:

  • Olde Hickory Event Horizon
  • Terrapin Knob Creek Maple Syrup Monk’s Revenge (last keg of our 2nd anniversary brew!)
  • Founders KBS
  • Bruery White Oak
  • Mother Earth Bourbon Barrel Aged Tripel Overhead
  • Thirsty Dog Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Imperial Stout
  • Olde Hickory 7 Devils
  • Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti

For more information on Raleigh Beer Week, which is 8/28-9/1, and their events you can participate in, go here!

mecktoberfest olde mecklenburg brewery oktoberfest seasonal fall beer

Kick Off Charlotte’s Oktoberfest Season @ Olde Meck!

On Wednesday, August 29, will find the Charlotte local brewery Mecktoberfest Kick-off Party. Hosted by Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, this is the kick-off event for their annual Oktoberfest Festival, Mecktoberfest. From 5:30-8:30 pm, you can go to Olde Meck and enjoy the Marzen-Style Amber Lager that is the Fall Seasonal. Live music will be presented by Jay Mathey, and the beer will be flowing with that wonderful fall aroma!

high country beer festival fall beer festival pre-oktoberfest

A Beer Festival in Boone, NC

In Boone, on September 1, is the 5th Annual High Country Beer Festival. This event is put on by the Ivory Tower Brewing Department of App State, and proceeds are donated to the Appalachian State University Fermentation Sciences Program, the Hunger and Health Coalition and the North Carolina Brewers’ Guild. Additional pertinent information is as follows:
Location is Broyhill Center on Appalachian State University’s Campus
Cost is $35 per person, or $10 for Designated Drivers (our favorite friends!)
Date is Saturday, September 1st, from 3-7 pm (yes, friends, this is Labor Day weekend, and yes for Charlotteans, this is a chance to get out of the DNC craziness for a day!)
Breweries Present: NC BREWERS: Boone Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Big Boss Brewing, Buchi Kombucha, Carolina Beer Company, Catawba Valley Brewing, Cottonwood Beer, Duck Rabbit Brewery, Foothills Brewing, French Broad Brewing, Huske Hardware House Brewing, Ivory  Tower Brewing, Laughing Water Brewery, Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery, Mother Earth Brewing, Natty Greene’s Brewing, Olde Hickory Brewery, Pisgah Brewing, Roth Brewing, Triangle Brewing, Weeping Radish Brewery. OTHER BREWERS: Blue Moon, Blue Dawg, Bluepoint, Brooklyn, Crispin Cider, Dogfish Head, Full Sail, Harpoon, Kona, Left Hand, New Belgium, New Holland, Original Sin Cider, Oskar Blues, Shock Top, Smutty Nose, Southern Tier, Stone, Victory, Magners Cider, and Spaten Brewing.

westbend beer event brewhouse rocks lewisville nc beer

Westbend Vineyards & Brewhouse Rocks! for St. Jude’s!

On Saturday, September 8, if you’re around Lewisville, NC (west of Winston-Salem), you can head to the Westbend Vineyards & Brewhouse Rocks event! Best part? This event is $10 and benefits the St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital!!! According to their website, “Live music all day! The Phase Band performs from 1 to 5pm. Blue Monday performs from 6 to 10pm. Come see the finest BMW M-series cars in the southeast and enjoy some authentic German food! Also, #31 Zack Staley will be here so bring your camera and he will be signing autographs. Food will be available for purchase by the Snack Wagon from Greensboro and The German Club. Picnics welcome, no outside alcohol allowed. Gates open at 11am. Westbend Brewhouse introduces its NEW Pumpkin Ale! Profits donated to St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital. $10 per person.” So go support a good cause if you’re in the area, and drink some beer and wine crafted by Westbend while you’re at it!

grapevine wine bar oktoberfest beer sampler fall beer

Grapevine’s Oktoberfest Saturday Beer Sampler!

At Grapevine Wine Shop in Baxter Village of Fort Mill, SC, there is a Saturday Beer Sampler coming up on September 8 featuring 6 Oktoberfest pours. Each pour will be a 6-ounc pour, no chintzy tastings from Grapevine, no sir! You can stop in anytime between 2-5 pm on Saturday and ask for the Beer Sampler to get your Oktoberfest drink on! Cost is $12 per person for this yummy sampling!

greek festival greek beer yiasou charlotte

Visit Charlotte’s Yiasou Greek Festival for Greek Beer & Wine!

Finally, from September 13-16 in Charlotte, you can go to the Yiasou Greek Festival off of East Blvd, and try out your hand at some Greek Beer and Wine, while enjoying lots of wonderful Greek Food, to the accompaniment of Traditional Greek Dances, Music, and Singing. In addition, there are plenty of shops to peruse, free tours of the Greek Orthodox Catherdral, recreations of the Greek Changing Of The Guards Of The Unknown Soldier and Warriors of Greece Reenactment, and enjoy a few hours wandering about fully entertained for the cost of $2 admission plus whatever you purchase! Non-Alcoholic drinks and Domestic Beer choices accompany a selection of Greek Specialties: Mythos Beer, Greek Red & White Wines, Greek Retsina (Rosé Wine), Mavrodaphne (Greek Dessert Wine), and Greek Sherry!
WHEW! Okay that took a lot of time, so yes, it’s Thursday when I’m posting this, but I know you guys are awesome and patient, so it won’t bother you at all that all this information is not coming out on my normal Wednesday for Beer Postings! Because you rock like that.

Anyways, let me know if you visit any of these events, and what you think of any of the beers that you try out! I think you’ll all enjoy whatever you get into from this selection of events, so keep me posted on if I’m right or not! Until later, cheers and Happy Thursday!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Charlotte Beer Babes August Beer School

Why Hello Beer Babes and Beer Lovers!

This past Saturday, August 11, the Charlotte Beer Babes, led by the beautiful & beer-loving organizer Tracie, went to our second Beer Babes Beer School event at World of Beer Southend.

Held the 2nd Saturday of each month, this Beer Babes school is a tutorial for women into the lives of various types of beer, including a variety of tastings to help the lesson sink in better. Our fearless teacher, Preston, continued the learning with a focus on IPA style beers.

For this event, we did add in a ‘bring an appetizer or snack to bolster you’ note for all participants. I actually made some for the group, which you can check out (they paired AWEsome with the Ghost Hop and Death by Hops, in particular) here (Asparagus & BBQ Rumaki, and Island Chicken Kotopitas)!

charlott beer babes ipa beer tasting

Charlotte Beer Babes Try Out IPAs and Appetizers!

IPA History:
First off, IPA styles came about in the 1800s when India was a British Colony. British soldiers stationed in India complained because the beer tasted horrid when it reached them in-country via shipping vessels. The brewers started adding extra hops, which were known for preservation, and sending over to India-residing troops. The original name of this style of beer was, wait for it…. “Pale Ale as prepared for India”. Yup. That mouthful was the full name. Kind of reminiscent of the mouthful of hops it contained, when you think about it, huh?!?

So next, the soldiers return to England and, after drinking PAAPFI for so long, they started requesting it at their British pubs back home. In 1835, George Hodgson of Bow Brewery started making IPA officially…at a whopping 4% ABV! And from there, IPA exploded like the hop-flavor it’s known for!

Fast forward to present day, you will find three main styles of IPA available:
1) English Style: 5-7.5% ABV, 40-60 IBUs (hoppiness) and 8-13 SRM (color).
2) American Style: 5.5-7.5% ABV, 40-75 IBUs, and 4-15 SRM.
3) Imperial/Double Styles: 7.5-10% ABV, 60-120 IBUs, and 8-15 SRM.

Fun fact, the human palate can only process up to or around 120 IBUs. After that it’s hard or impossible to distinguish. (Any error in that statement is mine, as my shorthand notes could just suck.)

So on to the beers that we tasted! Being in North Carolina, with an ABV limit, we had a little bit of limitation on our selection, but thankfully there is such a wide selection within NC standards, that we had 6 wonderful options presented to us by Preston!

1) Dogfish Head‘s 60-Minute IPA: this brew is extra-hopped, 1 extra hop addition every minute for an hour, to be precise! This English-style IPA has a very citrusy and grassy flavor and aroma, and a 6% ABV & 60 IBU profile are evident in this delicious and hoppy treat.

2) Noda Brewing Company‘s Ghost Hop: this white IPA is made with witbier yeast and Northwest hops to give a citrus and pine aroma for this light and hoppy beer. Coming in at 5.9% ABV with 70 IBUs and an SRM of 3.7, this is definitely a unique and delicious choice for hop-loving beer drinkers that also like lighter citrus flavors.

3) Uinta Brewing‘s Dubhe: this Imperial Black IPA was delicious, and probably my favorite of the bunch. Toasted malt, chocolate and hemp seed flavors united beautifully with a strong hoppiness for this dark IPA, which comes in at 9.2% ABV, 109 IBUs and with an SRM of 110! This is more a beer that those who like porters and stouts would enjoy, versus the lighter ales and lagers. However it is definitely one that I think most would enjoy on a cool winter’s eve when you want something hearty yet hoppy!

4) Olde Hickory Brewery‘s Death By Hops: with 7% ABV and 108 IBUs, this incredibly hoppy American-style IPA contains 20 grams of hops per pint! The brew gets 71 pounds of hops added to it throughout the process, and leaves a very hoppy and citrusy flavor, with a lightly piney aroma, in the finished product.

5) Noda Brewing Company‘s Noda RyeZ’ed: this double rye IPA is a spicy and 7-hop-blend creation by Charlotte’s own Noda Brewing Company. This is one of my favorite Rye IPA’s that I’ve tasted, as it has a zing of spice, a hoppy flavor that intertwines with the spice, and an aroma that has hops and spice in it. This is a beer that is 8.65% ABV, with 90 IBUs and an SRM of 12. Definitely worth trying!

And the final beer we tried was….

6) Green Flash‘s Imperial IPA: this San Diego-bred beer is 9.4% ABV with 101 IBUs to it. This beer had an intense pine aroma, and a very hoppy and citrusy flavor. It is in the style of the “San Diego IPA”, a new subset of American IPAs, which is a beer that’s “pale in color, super-hoppy, high-gravity, yet a highly quaffable ale”. This was a pretty intense hop session in your mouth, not going to lie, and it was definitely a good note to end the class on IPAs with for the day!

So that is today’s entry, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed it! I know those of us at the event had a blast (including with Dad-tuck-interloper-dude’s wonderful distraction), and we all cannot wait for the next class, September’s Belgian Beer Course! Hope to see you there ladies!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log – Noda Hope Stout

Hello Beer Friends,

I feel honor-bound, as a full supporter of good causes – in particular causes in honor of/for kids – everywhere, to write today about a beer event that I found out about through a friend at work, via one of his friends who runs CharlotteBeer.Com.

So what is this worthiness I speak of (well, allude to mostly at this point), you ask? Let me tell you about Hope Stout, an inspiring young lady that the world lost too soon. Though from the mark she left on the community and so many people nationwide, you’d never guess she only lived 12 years.

Suffering from a rare bone cancer, osteosarcoma, Hope Stout was diagnosed and in a serious cancer battle over a very short period of time before her death in January 2004. While ill, the Make A Wish Foundation asked her what she wanted for her one wish. Her response was to ask how many kids were waiting for wishes. Upon learning there were 155, she declared her wish was that all of those kids got their wishes granted. When she heard that there wasn’t enough money available to grant the 155 wishes, she decided to raise the money herself. The months-long journey enabled her to raise over $500,000 – and was even more spectacular due to the fact that she did all of this while her disease was trying to take the fight out of her. This amazing girl refused to let it. Her generosity sparked a movement in the Carolinas, and the entire Nation, and eventually the goal was met. Hope did it. She gave hope to so many others. There is way more to this story, of course, but I just wanted to hit the highlights. Also, it’s hard to gather all the facts for you without resorting to emotional mini-meltdown from reading all of this incredibly touching information. Hard to say her life story was tragic when she more than exceeded living up to her name in only 12 years: Hope, indeed.

This young lady was so inspirational, and touched so many people with her selflessness, that there are a few ‘big events’ going on in the near future to honor her memory:

1) A movie is being made about her story, called “Hope’s Wish“. The screenplay is still being written, but big things are happening to memorialize this wonderful and selfless girl.

2) Annual Golf Tourney (October), Gala (March), and Cheerleading (February) Events, as well as various 3rd Party Fundraisers occur throughout the year.

annnnnd 3) NODA Brewing has come out with a beer in Hope’s honor, the Hope Stout. Hence being my Wednesday Beer Blog entry!

This 4% ABV Milk Stout was created by NODA head-brewer Chad in honor of the fact that Hope would have turned 21 on March 4, 2012. The debut of this beer is today (Wednesday 8/8/12) at VBGB Beer Garden in the NC Music Factory starting at 6:30pm. In addition, this beer will start being on the regular line-up starting early fall for NODA Brewing.

I plan to taste this beer soon, and I will do a follow-up with my opinion on it. However I can’t imagine that anything from NODA isn’t going to make my mouth water. And especially something this wonderful, well, the inspiration behind it just will make it that much tastier. So I had to share this with all of you, and I’m sure that many of you will be trying this wonderful concoction in the near future.

So go try a Hope Stout tonight at VBGB if you can, and regardless of where you are – raise a glass in toast to Hope Stout tonight. Happy Belated 21st Birthday, Hope! **cheers**

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log – A Tasting of Fruit Beer

Hello Beer Friends,

It’s that time again, time for a review of some previously-never-tasted-by-yours-truly beers. I was out for dinner and decided that I didn’t know what I wanted to try, as I had about 5 beers on my “hmm?” list, and then I realized that the place I was at offered beer flights!

Joyous, joyous day!

Widmer’s Marionberry Hibiscus Gose!

So, Mac’s Speed Shop was the venue that made my beer day. This is a BBQ joint that I have long enjoyed frequenting for their delicious food, fun atmosphere, and great beer draft selection. Yes, they have PBR, but they also have some high-end craft beers as well. MMMM for everyone!
So for this outing, I tried the following beers in a 4 ounce pour each:

Jared’s Smoked Peach Porter – New Belgium Brewing, Lips of Faith Series
Untappd: 3.54 Average Rating.
BeerAdvocate: 83 Score (Good).
This 8% ABV American Porter was definitely a little disappointing to me. I tasted way too much of the liquid smoke and tobacco flavors, neither of which are appealing to me, and not nearly enough of the peach flavor. I think anyone that likes those smoky flavors more than fruity flavors will enjoy this beer immensely, however… just wasn’t for me, though I do love New Belgium’s beers!

Beer Geek Breakfast – Mikkeller’s Brewery
Untappd: 4.08 Average Rating.
Beer Advocate: 92 Score (Exceptional)
This 7.5% ABV Imperial Stout was a little lackluster in the oatmeal and chocolate flavors, but incredibly strong in the coffee department. The sips start a little bitter on the coffee front, then mellow out a little. I think a dollop of milk (juuust kidding) would have made me enjoy this coffee more as I drink coffee with cream, but anyone that likes black coffee will really enjoy this stout. Having had other Mikkeller offerings, Evil Twin to be precise, I look forward to trying more of their stuff soon!

Cerise – Founders Brewing
Untappd: 3.58 Average Rating
Beer Advocate: 83 (Good)
I. Loved. This. Beer. This is a 6.5% ABV fruit beer that has incredibly strong aromas and flavors of tart Michigan cherries (cerise is french for cherry, as your trivia fact for today), and is definitely a lighter beer than the previous two in how heavy they go down. Obviously. But still. I really enjoyed this after the harsher flavors of the prior two beers – especially with my barbeque chicken dinner. Something about tart cherries just goes straight to a Michigan girl’s palate!

Marionberry Hibiscus Gose – Widmer Brothers Brewing
Untappd: 3.33 Average Rating
Beer Advocate: 80 (Good)
This was an incredible delightful surprise for me, who has never even heard of “Gose” beer before. This slightly sour, slightly malty 5.5% ABV wheat-style beer had lovely undertones of the hibiscus (flowery) that are balanced with the marionberry fruit (think like a blackberry) in both flavor and aroma. I am definitely intrigued by this style of beer and hope to find more producers of it to try a wider range. I definitely recommend this beer, though, on a warm summer night to cool you down!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Having Fun With Hair Chalk

Hey Friends!

A few weeks ago some friends and I were at a beer event (with the Charlotte Beer Babes) and we decided to play a little bit and act like goofy delinquents. Okay, fine, that is what I myself decided to coin the phrase for our acting, and it was not a group consensus for the title! But I stand by it – we were acting plain outright goofy! And it was a blast!!!

Hair Chalk Fun!

So one of the friends is the rest of our hair stylist, and she just happened, by chance, to have in her purse some different colors of hair chalk. Muahahaha. Daaaangerous!

I could have the brand wrong, however I am pretty positive they were from the Donna Bella Hair Chalk product line. We had blue, green, yellow and purple hair chalks to chose from, and everyone got to pick one color and have it added to their ‘do!

Well, aside from me (pictured above), who was standing there minding my own business and then felt a tug upon my ponytail. This was followed by a quick “Don’t move woman!” stage whisper in a wannabe-teacher scolding voice, which was completely ruined by all of the giggling by everyone else, which of course was causing the speaker to try not to giggle as well while ordering me to stay still. Being born before the proverbial “yesterday”, I had my suspicions, but decided to stay still and plot revenge possibilities in case they were needed. (Spoiler: they weren’t needed!)

So back to everyone else… Tober actually started the shenanigans when he mentioned he used to have black hair with blue stripes. Teesah then mentioned she had hair chalk in her purse, so did he want blue hair again. This was the result of that:

Blue Tober!

Next came Tober’s wife Kat, who wanted purple added to her lovely red locks:

Purrfectly Purple!

Followed by QCBB, who decided that green was the only color acceptable for her stripe of hair:

Sassily Green!

And finally came Mr. Tall, who was guilt-forced into submitting to a hair color addition to his ‘do by his lovely wife, QCBB. Observe the yellow-ness of his make-over:

One Tall Bumblebee!

So what do you think of our lovely ‘dos, my dears? Any takers? Also, as a note, Teesah told us if you take hairspray and spray — from far away — the chalk, it will stay in your hair until you wash it out. Otherwise, it will somewhat come out throughout the course of the day. You are now warned! Now, hope you have some fun with this idea, let me know what you think of this fun stuff!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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