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Wednesday Beer Blog: Foothills Brewery

Hello Beer Buddies!

I recently did a beer event where we went and tasted a bunch of beers with a backdrop of the US National Whitewater Center. It. Was. Gorgeous. And sunny and hot enough that my no-sunscreen-applied state (whoopsies!) left me a bit burnt, but hey – eventually that turns into a tan, so at least it didn’t turn into sun poisoning, right?! Maybe? Okay, I give up. Back to the beer…

First brewery up to bat is Foothills Brewery, out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina! This brewery doubles as a restaurant, and uses the freshest ingredients possible for both their beer and food. Having never been to the store, I was excited to get to try their beer again!

Foothills Brews 1 @ USNWC

Foothills Brews 2 @ USNWC

Staple beers year-round (* indicates was available at the event):

Salem Gold

Pilot Mountain Pale Ale

Torch Pilsner*

People’s Porter*

Hoppyum IPA*

Seeing Double IPA

Carolina Blonde

Carolina Strawberry

Cottonwood Endo

Seasonal beers (* indicates was available at the event):

Total Eclipse Stout

Rainbow Trout ESB

Gruffmeister Malbock

Sexual Chocolate

Foothills Red

Foothills Hefeweizen*

India Style Brown Ale

Oktoberfest

I have had the Hefeweizen, Carolina Blonde & Strawberry, Cottonwood, and People’s Porter. I thoroughly enjoyed each of these beers for each of their unique qualities, and hope to try as many more as possible from this brewery. Another winner of a craft brewery that is hard-pressed to produce anything even just “okay” for each of their styles! Yum! Let me know your thoughts on this brewery and their beers!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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CBBs Kill The Cask at Grapevine

Hello Beer Fiends!

I apologize for this being super late, it’s been a crazy week/weekend that just took me over! A week ago Sunday, the Charlotte Beer Babes were able to join Grapevine Wine Shop (Fort Mill, SC) for a co-hosted Westbrook Oak-Aged American IPA Kill The Cask Event. It went fantastic! I absolutely love Grapevine, and so I am going to share with you a bit about the beers we tried AND a bit about Grapevine. So gear up!

First off, the lovely Tracie (aka Charlotte Beer Babe) worked with Dave of Grapevine to host this event. So props, thanks, and good-on-ya’s to you both for that.

So below are some pictures I wanted to share from the event. This was all during the just-taste-the-Westbrook time. So lasted about maybe 90 minutes for us! 😉

Westbrook Oak Aged American IPA: I very malted hops taste to the IPA with an incredible oak aged flavor for the entire beer taste: aroma, first sip and aftertaste. I am not a huge fan of the American IPAs, but this was a pretty yummy one. The only real drawback was that it was a heavier beer on a hot day, and I just wanted something crisp & cool. So I had my one and then switched over to the ACE Pear Cider… 😉

Grapevine Storefront Cask Kill

Charlotte Beer Babes Cask Kill

YouBetterCraft Around (me) + QCBeerBabe (Tracie)

See, Beer Babes!

WE are Beer Babes!

More Cask Killing Going On

Dave showing the Proper way to open a Beer: With Flair!

So after this fun pictured above, we got a bit more serious about our beer. What a surprise, yes? 😉 So we started tasting a bunch of different beers.

Draft Beers:

Draft Beer Selection!

Of the above drafts, we sampled the Bell’s Two Hearted, ACE Pear Cider, Dogfish Head Old School Barleywine, Old Mecklenberg Brewery Fruh Bock, Westbrook Mexican Cake,  and the Dogfish Head Aprihops. I thought for the hot and humid day, the Pear Cider and the Aprihops were the best choices, as they are both light and refreshing. However the Mexican Cake would be wonderful on a cold day, as it is a very heavy and spiced stout. The Fruh Bock, Old School and Two Hearted are great for anytime really, as they are all classic beers for their individual categories – from the Bell’s hoppy IPA , to the OMB lagered Bock to the Dogfish Head heady Barleywine. Again, as I’ve stated before, I’m not a huge fan of Barleywines, however, that DFH was definitely the one to drink if I wanted to drink one!

Bottled Beers:

Bottled Beer Selection!

Draft Beer SelectionFrom all the massive selection of beers pictured here (which doesn’t actually show all that they have in stock), we tried like 5 different beers. Troeg’s Nugget Nectar (good honey aroma, not so much honey in the flavor though, but good ale nonetheless), is sadly the only one that I can remember offhand, but I will find out the others and update a new blog about them, and a few other beers, on Wednesday! I promise!!!!

So with that said, I highly recommend you hit up Grapevine (seriously, it’s only 30 mins from North Charlotte, peoples!) and check out their great selection of beers. Because I sure enough spent about $50 on rare craft beers the day before this event, which I am slowly going through and enjoying the heck out of! And if you don’t like beer, they have an even bigger selection of wine. It is such a cute place, and great people watching in Baxter Village as well. Okay so there is my plug for them, because I really like this place, if you couldn’t tell, so now y’all need to get off your duffs and go try some of these beers at Grapevine!!!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log – Feb 29

Happy Leap Year Day!!! Okay fine it’s a day later, but still, work with me here people!

Hello friends and craft beer lovers, I’m back with another installment of the Beer Log for my Blog! Hope you had a Hoppy Leap Day, and you enjoyed your extra day of the month.

I must say, though, it’s always amused me that people think the “monthly fees” gets jipped on leap years (yay!), when in fact it’s us payees that really get jipped each February by 3 days – except in leap years! Haha… I know I know, I’m a math dork with that comment, but hey I had to say it, this is my only chance for 4 more years! 😉

Okay back to the beer, after my little sidebar. Yes, I know you want the good stuff, and I’ve got plenty of it for you! First off, as I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear, I attended another Charlotte Beer Babes event. Okay, you can stop the jaw-dropping-in-shock faces, I get it, really…

Anyways, we went out to see Chivonne from Tryon Distributing as she took us through a Craft Beer Tasting at the awesome members-only pub Dilworth Billiards, courtesy of Susan from our host pub DB. There was a whole slew of bottles to test out, and we had our handy dandy little plastic cups.

So the five beers that I tested out are coming, I promise, but first I would like to share our fearless Beer Babe leader’s t-shirt, which I think we can all agree is flipping flopping fantastic!
The @QCBeerBabe Herself, Queen of @CLTBeerBabes and #CltBeer enthusiast: Tracie!

THE QCBeerBabe!

So on to the beers. I promised you I’d get there, now I’m making good! So we had a few buckets of beers to chose from, and could taste at our leisure – just ask for what we wanted and voilà!

My Number One (in all ways): Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde. First off, I have to say as a French Minor, listening to the various pronunciations of this beer were cracking me up all night long. So when I wasn’t choking in laughter, I was in heaven drinking this beer. If I could have adopted this beer, I probably would have. I like flavors in my beer. I like being able to feel like I’m on a palatte-journey when I try something new. And wowzah did this beer hit those points! So this Trippel-style beer was created by the brewery Unibroue (hehe), out of Quebec. It is 9% ABV, 19 IBUs and 5.5 SRMs, to get the technical specs in. This brew just has so much flavor, I found it a creamy, malty, fruity, honey-spiced goodness. YUM. Rate it on Beth’s Beer Scale: 5/5!!!!

#2 (this is actually drinking order, haha): Flying Dog’s Garde Dog. This 5.8% ABV, 27 IBU, 14 SRM bière de garde-style ale is steeped in history as a French spring/summer ale, and has a slightly hoppy, spiced malt flavor. Traditionally this type of ale is brewed to bring everyone out of the winter blues (okay, fine I ad-libbed that part, sue m—-wait no don’t!). I gave it a 3.5/5 rating.

#3: 21st Amendement’s Back In Black. This black IPA / cascadian dark ale has a very unique flavor that I quite enjoyed! This ale is 6.8% ABV, 65 IBUs and 40 SRMs. This super dark (think guinness in color) beer had a very malty and hoppy flavor that reminded me a little of a chocolate malt shake, to be honest. It wasn’t as creamy, but it had a kick-in-the-pants hopness to it that was settled by the malt flavor so that it didn’t overwhelm with all of the different hop flavors. I gave it a 4/5 rating.

#4: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. I have a confession. I’ve actually made beer bread with this beer before, and also used it for beef stew, but I have never actually drank this beer until last night! I know, I know, for shame on me… I’m hanging my head in shame while I type this, trust me! So this beer has a very full-on oatmeal flavor (the good kind that makes you think “MMMM!”), with a nice heavy molasses/maple syrup finish to get that Stout pull in with each sip. This has almost a brown sugar oatmeal flavor to it, I thought, which was really pleasant and not too overwhelming. This beer is 5% ABV, 35 IBUs, 25 SRMs in profile, and  I really do recommend it for drinking as much as cooking! 🙂 I give it a 4/5 rating.

#5: Allagash’s White Ale. This is a great citrusy, spicy white Belgian ale. It is a clear and pure  flavor, has 5.2% ABV, 15 IBUs, 10 SRMs, and has a really nice flavor to finish that carries a hint of spice to it. I cheated and looked it up, and it’s coriander. Yum. This was a great beer to finish the night with as it left the palatte feeling refreshed and delicious. I give it a 4/5 rating.

As for Dilworth Billiards itself, the highlight of the night was probably going out onto their courtyard and seeing their Koi Pond and extensive “patio” area, complete with a second mini-bar (not pictured, darn it) that was super fantastic to sit out on and around while we kibitzed some more!

Dilworth Billiards

KOI!

More Patio

Kibitzing!

So that completes this week’s round of beer reviews. Hope you all enjoyed, and please comment and let me know if you agree, disagree, like what I’m saying, don’t care at all, or so on and so forth. Just please be kind… 😉 But until next time….

Craft You Later!
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log – Feb 22

Hello My Fellow Beer Fans!

I have been slack this last week as I’ve been out of town, so apologies on the delay. However last night, Wednesday Feb 22, I went with the Charlotte Beer Babes to the Noda Brewery for a Beer Tour and tasting. Okay, fine, I chose to do a tasting, whereas everyone else chose to drink full beers to their taste! 😉

So first up a bit about the brewery. Noda Brewery is located on Davidson St, just west of the Noda area. This brewery specializes in the large-selection, small-production craft beers. Their head brewer regaled us with tales of how the Coco Loco beer came to be, and their attempts to get their first beers out the door. The owners are a ‘mom and pop’ pair, Todd & Suzie, and their 3 ‘doorbell’ dogs, who wanted to get into craft brewing, and the entire staff is friendly, knowledgeable and fun.

Next up, the brewery tour. Our guide is head brewer Chad, who took us through the entire beer-brewing process from start to finish. Here are a few pictures:

Chad starting the tour of Noda Brewery

Beer Babes on the tour of Noda Brewery

Where the Wort Happens!

Hot Water Filtering

Fermenting Beer

Chad explaining the 'cute little pot' to the Babes

Tracie & Charlotte Beer Babes enjoying the Noda Brewery Tour

Okay, now onto the beer. I did a beer flight sampler of 4 of the beers available this week at Noda Brewery: 10 Blocks South, Coco Loco, Midnight Madness and Ramble on Red.

Noda Beer Flight


Isn’t that beer flight just pretty? I love the flight holder – nice piece of sturdy wood to provide protection for your beers as you travel back to your seat from the bar!

Aerial View of the Noda Beer Flight


Now onto the beer reviews. From Left-to-Right in the picture, in order below:
1) 10 Blocks South: Xtra Pale Ale, 15 SRM (beer color), 56 IBU (bitterness scale), and 5.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). I found this a nice, light, somewhat hoppy, slightly citrusy beer. Really good balance of flavors of hops and citrus.
2) Coco Loco: Chocolate Coconut Porter, 32 SRm, 43 IBU, 6.3% ABV. I found this a really nice, chocolately porter that had a nice undertone of toasted coconut, and balanced nicely with the chocolate flavors.
3) Midnight Madness: Cascadian Dark Ale, 39 SRM, 71 IBU, 6.75% ABV. I found this a very thick ale, with a light hint of toasted-coffee flavor in the aftertaste, and to quote Tracie, had a “toasty, roasty flavor” to it! 😉
4) Ramble On Red: American Amber Ale, 15 SRM, 28 IBU, 5.2% ABV. I had a hard to identifying the exact flavors, as this was the last beer I tried and I didn’t have a water (I am special like that) to cleanse my palate. However I definitely liked the caramel flavoring on this light amber ale, and it had a good afertaste to it. I guess I need to go back and try this one again, huh?!? 😉

To finish out, here is a wonderful invention a local baker has created for the Noda Brewing Customers: A cupcake made with Coco Loco!!!

Local Baker makes Coco Loco Cupcakes!!!

Enjoy this, let me know what you think of these beers, or Noda in general, and hope to ‘see’ you all next time!

Upcoming events for Charlotte Beer Babes at Dilworth Billiards on Feb 29 at 6:30pm put on by Tryon Distributing (craft beer tasting); and at Whisky Warehouse on March 7 at 7pm put on by Big Boss Brewery (a Beer Tasting Dinner). Hope to see you Beer Babes & friends out there!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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