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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

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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

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 – March 14.4

Hello A Final Time This Week Beer Lovers!

I am finally finishing the four-part beer log for this week, because I have so much to tell you about this past Saturday’s 4th Annual BEERTOPIA! A Festival Of Beer event that was put on by Baxter Village’s own Grapevine Wine Shop in Fort Mill, SC, and it really couldn’t all be in one entry!

The festival is an annual benefit for the Pints For Prostates organization, and this year additionally supported both York County Cancer Association, and the Charlotte Beer Girls’ choice organization, Project Halo.

Today I am going to outline all of the craft beers that I tried (or have tried) from the festival. We are finally to the end, woohoo! (Or Boo, if you prefer, which I’m okay with, haha).

And finally I remembered to take a picture of the beer tasting glass (plastic, fine, call me out why don’t you!) included with the tickets!

Grapevine's Beertopia 2012 Glass!

Breweries Present (In Alphabetical Order):

Abita
Barley Wine, Triple Haze, Double Dog – I have had the Triple Haze before and I really liked it, however I didn’t actually see Abita in my travels that day, and so am now going to have to go find the Double Dog because it sounds DELISH!

Ace Premium Hard Ciders
Joker Dry Cider, Apple Honey Hard Cider – I have had the Joker before, and it’s good but a dry cider, but the Honey Cider is DEElicious. I love honey, so it’s a great blend of honey & apple with a kick of spice to make you realize it’s HARD cider, and not the kid’s drink we all remember and love.

Allagash
White, Dubbel, Fluxus 2011 – Like Abita, I totally missed this brewery. Although I do enjoy the White, as I’ve had that quite a few times! Booo on me!

Anchor
Steam, Porter, Old Foghorn Ale – Okay not only have I never heard of this brewery, but I didn’t even see them out there. Pssht oie vey. Old Foghorn being a barleywine, I probably wouldn’t have tried, but that Porter would’ve been delicious I’m sure. **sigh**

Avery
IPA, Ellie’s Brown Ale, The Maharajah – I like Avery, but I didn’t make it to them before they ran out, darnitall. Clearly I did not do this alphabetically, people, give me a break! I am definitely going to try the Ellie’s Brown though, because it sounds delicious. That is also the main one I wanted to try that they went out of by the time I got there. 😦

Bell’s Brewery
Oarsman Ale, Bell’s Lager, Kalamazoo Stout – Okay, disclaimer. I LOVE Bell’s. Bells & Sam Adams are my 2 favorite breweries, hands down. I am from Kalamazoo so that is a big part of it. AND the brews are freaking spectacular, so that makes it even better. The Oarsman is probably my least favorite Bell’s, as it’s a very traditional “light beer” taste. It isn’t bad, but not the best of theirs. The Bell’s Lager is just yummy for an every day beer, any day. I like it. So my first sip of the Kalamazoo Stout really rocked me, it was so delicious, and had a very good chocolate and coffee balance – not too strong, just hints. Yum!

Birdsong Brewing
Free Will Pale Ale, Lazy Bird Brown Ale, Higher Ground IPA – Another brewery I didn’t see so didn’t get to try. 😦

COAST Brewing Company
Scotch Ale, Blackbeerd Imperial Stout – I tried a sip of the Scotch Ale – it was delicious, not too scotchy, just the right amount of scotch flavor so you remember you’re drinking a beer!

Dogfish Head
Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron, Namaste – This is my brother’s FAVORITE brewery. I will say, the Palo Santo Marron was one of my favorite beers from the entire Beertopia experience. It. Was. Delicious!!!! The guys loved (and I concurred it was delish) the Midas Touch, and the Namaste was agreed to be the least favorite though by no means was it a bad beer, it was good in its own right, just paled next to the Midas & Palo for us! YUM!

Duck Rabbit
Milk Stout, Brown, Cask Ale – I really like the Brown Ale by Duck Rabbit,

Four Friends Brewing
I77 IPA, Queen City Red, Gold Rush – We tried the I77 and Queen City Red, and I really, really enjoyed the Red. The I77 was good, but the Red just had so much flavor it was very much my style of beer – full of flavor.

Grand Teton Brewing Co
Bitch Creek ESP, Sweetgrass APA, 5 O’clock Shadow – We absolutely HAD to try this brewery due to the name of that ESP, haha. It was surprisingly delicious, hoppy, a little caramel-like undertone that isn’t overpowering in the least. The Sweetgrass was also sipped on, and it was a good, light APA style beer with a sharp citrus flavor that was a tad different from IPAs and made it uniquely scrumptious. Both were good, and I regret that we didn’t try the 5 O’Clock Shadow. Oh well, next year.

Great Divide
Wild Raspberry Ale, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Claymore Scotch Ale – I missed this brewery, but I had really wanted to try the Yeti. I am now going to have to try to find it somewhere – aww shucks!

Green Flash Brewing Co
West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red, Barleywine Style Ale – I missed this brewery as well, and had wanted to try the Hop Head Red, as I have never had a Red IPA before. Better luck next time. 😦

Harpoon
Celtic Ale, Leviathan – I have had the Celtic Ale and Leviathan before and enjoyed both. Celtic is a great red ale, with a malted flavor that is true Irish-Red flavor, and the Leviathan IPA is a very hoppy and clean citrus flavor. Both are good!

Highland Brewing
Little Hump Spring Ale, Gaelic Ale, Tasgall Ale – The Gaelic is of course an all-time classic ale. Great for a summer or winter eve, lots of flavor, and not too heavy or hearty. The Tasgall is a great Scotch Ale that just has such a rich and full-bodied flavor, it is unbelievable. I didn’t try the Little Hump, but as with all Highland brews, I’m sure it’s delicious as well.

Kind Beers
Pale Ale, Belgian Red – I somehow missed yet another brewery, but luckily it is a local Charlotte brewery so I can track it down here and try it out.

Lagunitas Brewing Company
A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, Maximus, Cappuccino Stout – yet another that I missed tasting because they were out by the time I made it over to them. I did at least get a visual, for all the good that did me. **sigh**

Left Hand Brewing Co
Sawtooth Ale, Week Sauce, Black Jack Porter – Again, a brewery sold out when I finally found them. Sad face here.

Lightning Brewery
American Amber, Black Lightning Porter, Electrostatic, Sauerstrom Ale, Thunderweizen Ale – I missed this one too, and REALLY wanted to try that Electrostatic, darnit! 😦

Mad River Brewing Company
Steelhead IPA, Steelhead Extra Stout, Steelhead Porter, Jamaica Sunset IPA – Another missed brewery that I didn’t even see. 😦

Magic Hat Brewing Company
#9, Circus Boy, Vinyl – The #9 is a classic beer that is light but good for summer nights with friends. I didn’t try the other two, however they had a demo beer that was tasty!

Mendocino Brewing Compnay
White Hawk Select IPA, Red Tail Ale, Black Hawk Stout – Missed this one due to the fact they were out when I found them. 😦

New Blegium
Fat Tire, 1554, Cocoa Mole Ale – The Cocoa Mole was one of my favorite beers of the day. Spicy, chocolatey, with a nice finish full of flavor and pizzazz! YUM! And the Fat Tire and 1554 are always good choices as well! 🙂

NoDa Brewing Company
Ramble On Red, NoDaRyeZ’d, Midnight Madness, S’more Porter, Tri-Umphant – I. Love. Noda. I’ve tried all of these but the S’more Porter, which will be rectified next week, and I have yet to have a beer of theirs I don’t like. Yum. My. Deliciousness. Period. Plus they come out with new stuff all the time, which my creative heart loves, too! And the Coco Loco they have (and pairing cupcakes) is just sinfully good.

Ommegang Brewery
Abbey Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Three Philosophers – Three Philosophers is honestly one of my all-time favorite beers. It is a splurge beer, a celebratory beer, a quadrupel ale that has such chocolate and malted cherry goodness I cannot stand it (okay yes I can, let’s be real – it’s chocolately beer, I can stand it TOTALLY!). And I totally got the guys all hooked on it Saturday, too, muahahaha! 😉

Oskar Blues
Dales Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yellow Pils, Ten Fidy – I have had the Dales PA before, and it’s okay. Didn’t try the other two, as I got there after they ran out.

PALM Breweries
PALM Ale, Steenbrugge Tripel – PALM? Where the heck was this? I totally missed it on the program, not just in the event. Whoops! Sounds good, though… I do like my Belgian beers… Drat.

Redhook
Long Hammer, Pilsner, Nut Brown, Demo Ale – YUM. Their Demo was the best Demo I tried, and no it didn’t have a name, darnit. I’ve had their Pilsner and Nut Brown before and both are pretty darned tasty. But that Demo was magic, I must say.

RJ Rockers
Patriot Pale Ale, Black Perle Dark IPA – Dark IPA sounds intriguing, and I’d have loved to try it, but they were sold out completely when I found them. Boo.

Rodenbach
Classic Ale – Same guys as PALM Breweries, probably why I didn’t see them AT ALL… 😉

Rogue
American Amber, John John Dead Guy, Chatoe OREgasmic Ale – American Amber was the only one I tried, but it was delicious, with a good lightly malted coffee taste to it. Hoppy, but not too much so. Very yummy. I wish I’d tried the OREgasmic Ale but alas, will need to find it in stores or draft now instead!

Sam Adams
Boston Lager, Dark Depths, Cinder Bock, Griffin’s Bow – This and Bell’s are my ALL-TIME favorite breweries. Period. Cherry Wheat is the beer that made me start liking beer, many moons ago. I. Love. All. Sam Adams. Boston Lager is just delicious and yummy and classic; Dark Depths had some very dark depths and was my favorite of these new 3, Cinder Bock was good with a true full Boch flavor, and Griffin’s Bow was kind of disappointing for a SA beer – it was probably my least favorite SA beer ever tried. It was just a little off in the hops. That was a first for me, but the other 2 were scrumdilyicious!

Sierra Nevada
Kellerweis, Pale Ale, Torpedo – Like this brewery, and the Pale Ale is good, but the Kellerweis was surprisingly delicious – I was pleasantly surprised by that one, wasn’t expecting that hefe to be so good and smooth, so yay, go SN!

Southern Tier
Eurotrash Pilz, 2XIPA, Unearthly Imperial IPA – Missed these as they were out when I got there. Boo! 😦

Spaten
Lager, Optimator – The Spaten Lager is a classic hoppy German Lager. It was good, but I have to be in the mood for it I think. While I didn’t try the Optimator (out!) I think that would be more my style…

Stevens Point Brewery
Point Special Lager, Point Amber Classic, Russian Imperial Stout – They were out too, boo on that fact, boo! 😦

Stone Brewing Company
IPA, Arrogant Bastard, Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter – These beers were all good, the IPA was nicely hoppy but not overpowering, the AB is a great classic ale with lotsa attitude, and that Porter was smoking vanilla-ey awesomeness!!!

SweetWater Brewing Company
420 Extra Pale Ale, Blue, Happy Ending – If I am in the mood for a very flavor-friendly beer, I get the SweetWater Blue, cuz it is nicely blueberry flavored without feeling like cough syrup just made a new flavor. Yum. The 420 is a great hoppy EPA, and I have to say I didn’t try the Happy Ending and boo on me for that, right?!?

Terrapin Beer Co
Hopsecutioner, Moo-Hoo, Wake ‘N Bake – Wake ‘n Bake is one of the best coffee porters I’ve ever had, period. It truly does wake you up. They were out of the others when I got there, but the Moo-Hoo is supposed to be FABulous. Boo for no Moo-Hoo! 😦

Thirsty Dog Brewing Co
Labrodor Lager, Old Leghumper, Siberian Night, Raspberry Ale – Totally missed this one completely, darn those sound fun!

Thomas Creek
Class Five IPA, Dockside Pislner, Conduplico Monochus – Yet another that I missed until they were out of beer, though I have had the red ale and it was delicious… 😦

Victory Brewing Company
Golden Monkey, Storm King Stout, St Victorious Doppelbock – Again, missed completely even seeing this one. 😦

Westbrook Brewing Co
IPA, Vanilla Tree Dubbel, Mexican Cake – The Mexican Cake is supposedly one of the best they have at Beertopia each year, but they sold out in like 5 minutes (shhh! that is my story, darnit, work with me!) so I had to try the IPA, which was a very full-hop beer, and yummy!

Widmer Brothers Brewing
Drifter Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Drop Top Amber Ale – This Hefe is one of my favorite Hefe’s to date. YUM! Didn’t try the others cuz I was too happy with my Hefe. Nom nom nom.

Windy Hill Cidery
Ginger Gold, Strawberry Pippin, Gala Peach, Rusty Gold – I tried the Rusty Gold, I think, and it was a good hard cider with some unique fall-tasting flavors. Would definitely buy that one in the store, and would love to try the others!

Ayayayayaya – so much beer, so little time! It also didn’t help that I needed to stay sober, so I needed to pace myself so that I wasn’t drinking more than 1.5 beers per hour… I did it, but definitely wish I’d been able to try sips of some of these missed beers! Oh well, next year, for sure, I will plan this out MUCH more efficiently! 😉

So that is today’s (and the final!) edition – March 14.4 – of the Beer Log entries. I apologize it didn’t come out Friday as planned, but as you can see, it was a lot of links to find, a lot of notes to write, and a lot of eye-bleeding to avoid! Plus there was this thing called work on Friday that kept interrupting, and this thing called St Patrick’s Day on Saturday… Tsk tsk for both of them! 😉

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log – March 14.3

Hello Yet Again Beer Lovers!

I am still continuing a four-part beer log this week, because I have so much to tell you about this past Saturday’s 4th Annual BEERTOPIA! A Festival Of Beer event that was put on by Baxter Village’s own Grapevine Wine Shop in Fort Mill, SC.

The festival is an annual benefit for the Pints For Prostates organization, and this year additionally supported both York County Cancer Association, and the Charlotte Beer Girls’ choice organization, Project Halo.

Today I am going to outline all of the craft beers that were offered at the festival. Then Friday will be the non-homebrew beers that I tried and my taste thoughts (including for ones I’ve had before so didn’t try there)! :-) Be prepared, this is going to be an explosion of craft beer!

Beer Everywhere!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breweries Present (In Alphabetical Order):

Abita
Barley Wine, Triple Haze, Double Dog

Ace Premium Hard Ciders
Joker Dry Cider, Apple Honey Hard Cider

Allagash
White, Dubbel, Fluxus 2011

Anchor
Steam, Porter, Old Foghorn Ale

Avery
IPA, Ellie’s Brown Ale, The Maharajah

Bell’s Brewery
Oarsman Ale, Bell’s Lager, Kalamazoo Stout

Birdsong Brewing
Free Will Pale Ale, Lazy Bird Brown Ale, Higher Ground IPA

COAST Brewing Company
Scotch Ale, Blackbeerd Imperial Stout

Dogfish Head
Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron, Namaste

Duck Rabbit
Milk Stout, Brown, Cask TBD

Four Friends Brewing
I77 IPA, Queen City Red, Gold Rush

Grand Teton Brewing Co
Bitch Creek ESP, Sweetgrass APA, 5 O’clock Shadow

Great Divide
Wild Raspberry Ale, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Claymore Scotch Ale

Green Flash Brewing Co
West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red, Barleywine Style Ale

Harpoon
Celtic Ale, Leviathan

Highland Brewing
Little Hump Spring Ale, Gaelic Ale,  Tasgall Ale

Kind Beers
Pale Ale, Belgian Red

Lagunitas Brewing Company
A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, Maximus, Cappuccino Stout

Left Hand Brewing Co
Sawtooth Ale, Week Sauce, Black Jack Porter

Lightning Brewery
American Amber, Black Lightning Porter, Electrostatic, Sauerstrom Ale, Thunderweizen Ale

Mad River Brewing Company
Steelhead DIPA, Steelhead Extra Stout, Steelhead Porter, Jamaica Sunset IPA

Magic Hat Brewing Company
#9, Circus Boy, Vinyl

Mendocino Brewing Compnay
White Hawk Select IPA, Red Tail Ale, Black Hawk Stout

New Blegium
Fat Tire, 1554. Cocoa Mole Ale, Demo Beer

NoDa Brewing Company
Ramble On Red, NoDaRyeZ’d, Midnight Madness, S’more Porter, Tri-Umphant

Ommegang Brewery
Abbey Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Three Philosophers

Oskar Blues
Dales Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yellow Pils, Ten Fidy

PALM Breweries
PALM Ale, Steenbrugge Tripel

Redhook
Long Hammer, Pilsner, Nut Brown, Demo Ale

RJ Rockers
Patriot Pale Ale, Black Perle Dark IPA

Rodenbach
Classic Ale

Rogue
American Amber, John John Dead Guy, Chatoe OREgasmic Ale

Sam Adams
Boston Lager, Dark Depths, Cinder Bock, Griffin’s Bow

Sierra Nevada
Kellerweis, Pale Ale, Torpedo

Southern Tier
Eurotrash Pilz, 2XIPA, Unearthly Imperial IPA

Spaten
Lager, Optimator

Stevens Point Brewery
Point Special Lager, Point Amber Classic, Russian Imperial Stout

Stone Brewing Company
IPA, Arrogant Bastard, Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter

SweetWater Brewing Company
420 Extra Pale Ale, Blue, Happy Ending

Terrapin Beer Co
Hopsecutioner, Moo-Hoo, Wake ‘N Bake

Thirsty Dog Brewing Co
Labrodor Lager, Old Leghumper, Siberian Night, Raspberry Ale

Thomas Creek
Class Five IPA, Dockside Pislner, Conduplico Monochus

Victory Brewing Company
Golden Monkey, Storm King Stout, St Victorious Doppelbock

Westbrook Brewing Co
IPA, Vanilla Tree Dubbel, Mexican Cake

Widmer Brothers Brewing
Drifter Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Drop Top Amber Ale

Windy Hill Cidery
Ginger Gold, Strawberry Pippin, Gala Peach, Rusty Gold

All of these breweries were setup across four tents, and there were some wonderful raffles and foods as well. The York County Cancer Association was selling pretzel necklaces (okay, taking donations in exchange for pretzels!), there was a BBQ, Fish Market, Bavarian Pretzel sellers, and Wingzza all selling food as well. New Belgium was doing a Fat Tire Bike raffle, as well as a raffle for a trip for 2 to Belgium for a Beer week in September. Yes, I entered both, and no I didn’t win the bike. They will draw the Trip raffle in July…so I will keep y’all posted on that one – woohoo! 😉

So that is today’s edition – March 14.3 – of the Beer Log entries. To be continued tomorrow for the final edition for the week!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Wednesday Beer Log – Feb 8

Why hello again my friends and fellows! I know I’ve been a little bit slack lately on posting, however I promise to start doing better! I have at least decided to do a Wednesday Beer Log each week, and 1 cooking and 1 baking thing each week as well. So woohoo, I have a plan, yay, lalalalala, and happy doo da day! Now, to get started on the good stuff: the last week in adult beverages, mostly, of course, beer!

This past Sunday was a kinda big day for American Football. You may have heard of it? Super Bowl Sunday…? No, oh well too bad. Yes, you say? Then you were similarly situated in front of a television anxiously awaiting the assumedly-and-hopefully-uber-creative ads that people have spent literally millions of dollars making for this ONE opportunity to hit millions of people at once. And, oh yeah, there was a sport game on, these two teams called the Giants and the Patriots. You may have heard of them. They’re both kinda good at football…. 🙂 And totally non-beer related, this was my favorite Superbowl commercial by far!

So because of this great football game, a few of us were able to get together at a ‘new’ restaurant (only I had  been there before) in Charlotte’s Southend, the British pub Big Ben. They had Crispin Cider on special, and they also had Young’s Double Chocolate Stout in a bottle. So in true current-Beth-beer-of-choice fashion, I asked them to mix my two beers of choice up like a Black & Tan, and voilà – deliciousness in a glass! Take a look at these yummy choices – mmmm!

As a note – I have found that Crispin cider (très yummy!) works MUCH better than Woodchuck for doing this mix. Also, the Double Chocolate Stout is absolutely delicious on its own, and most Stouts work pretty well mixed with the Ciders. This drink, overall, tastes like a really sweetly chocolatey kick in the pants. It is deeeelicious. Truly. A very few of my guy friends that I have had (okay, fine, I totally whined and browbeat them until they gave in graciously and took the token sip I was offering) try this have likened it to a Now Or Later candy flavor. Every other guy that has tried it, and EVERY lady, has absolutely loved the flavor of this concoction.

Crispin Hard Cider

Youngs Double Chocolate Stout

Next up: my brother is a HUUUGE and I mean huge Dogfish Head Brewery fan. He especially, like most people, is a fan of the 60, 90 and 120 minute IPAs. So like a good sister, I treated him to a 6-pack of the 60 minute IPA this week. And like a good brother, he shared with me on Monday while we were catching up on DVR’ed episodes of Flashpoint(yes, I love that show, and yes, you should totally check it out!). 🙂 Yay for good siblings! So the beer, it’s a great IPA, very light and very hoppy, but not too overpowering on the hops. A good light citrus kick at the end of the sip.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Next up, on Tuesday, a friend & I tried Troegs BreweryDream Weaver Wheat Beer. I really enjoyed it – a citrusy wheat beer, light enough that it went great with Cheese Pizza, but heavy enough that I didn’t feel like I was drinking a completely bland beer. It added a very nice spice in there as well, which was a perfect balance with the pizza. Highly recommend this beer if you like lighter wheat beers. Similar flavor palate to a Hefeweizen, if that helps!

Dream Weaver

Finally, our non-beer adult drink for this ‘episode’… Today I spent 5 hours  helping one of my good friends get her house packed into a moving truck for her almost-cross-country move. Because my brother is completely awesome, he went with me and was our ‘muscle’ for the event. So after we finished up, I took my brother to TGI Fridays for a hearty dinner. Since my friend is a HUGE fan of Jack Daniels, I decided to have a JackBerry Smash in her honor, even if she wasn’t there to share in the wonderfulness with me. I thought of her with it, so that counts, right?!?! This drink is basically Jack Daniels, Berry Vodka, splash of Sprite and smashed blackberries. Yum!!!

JackBerry Smash

So that is today’s episode of the beer log, hope you guys enjoyed, and hope you let me know if you like any of these drinks and if you have any recommendations for me to try.

Craft You Later,
Beth

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