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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

Raleigh Beer Adventures

This past weekend I was able to hang out with some of my cousins from Michigan in Raleigh. As a treat, I decided to take Monday off and take us younger ones on a  beer tasting and leave the parents with each other! So we ended up hitting three spots – one of which was not beer related.

First, we went to Tyler’s Taproom & Restaurant, which has locations all over the RTP area. I highly recommend  this place. Great food, good service, awesome beer selection (draft & bottle), and they have seasonal beer flights of NC draft beers! We did a flight of 4 NC beers, plus a Black Forest specialty beer mix. YUM. MY. NESS.
1) Foothills Brewing Seeing Double. This 9.5% ABV double IPA is the first high gravity beer by Foothills. 126 IBUs, and you can taste the citrus of the IPA with the heartier malt taste of the double IPA complimenting all the hops.
2) Duck Rabbit Brewery Rabid Duck. This 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout was delicious, truly chocolatey and coffee-esque like a good stout, and with a hint of almost a light licorice flavor (to me). This is Duck Rabbit’s first higher ABV beer release into NC!
3) Highland Brewery Little Hump. This 4.5% American Pale Ale is a session beer that is very light yet full of flavor, with a light and crisp flavor that reminds you of spring in a glass.
4) Lonerider Brewery The Preacher. This 7.3% ABV belgian saison beer is an American Twist on the classic Belgian seasonal with a spicy kick to the hoppy and grapefruit flavors. Nice finish to the palate with an almost light hint of cherry or white grapes that is almost hidden. That may just be my palate but that is what I tasted!
5) Black Forest – a wonderful concoction from Tyler’s that combines the yummy Wells & Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with the deliciousy fruity Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic.

So Rob rated his favorite beers as the Little Hump, followed by the Black Forest. Paige said her favorites were Black Forest, Little Hump then Rabid Duck. My favorites were The Preacher, Rabid Duck, and then Black Forest. Looks like we had a good collaboration of tastes going here!

Next, we went to the Duke University Gardens. BEEEEEAUTIFUL. Here are a few pictures to highlight the awesomeness of this adventure. No more words are needed, pics say it all.










Lastly, we went to Fullsteam Brewery in Durham (right around the corner from Duke University as it turns out – good planning on the driver’s part, right?!?). We actually made our own flight up in an arrangement with the barkeep. We tried all the beers they had to offer – sampler sized! Really. Some may only have gotten 6 sips, but we tried them all! 🙂

Beer Tasting at Fullsteam!

1) El Toro, a 4.2% ABV cream ale with NC grits. This was the “what on earth?!?!” description that first nabbed our attention. All of us being from Michigan, grits are this really strange concoction that is white and scary looking. 😉 However trying it, was a very pleasant surprise. This beer was delicious. Similar taste comparison of Coke to Cream Soda when compared to a typical ale. It was light, but not super citrusy, and not super hoppy. It was more just smooth and cool and refreshing.
2) Carver, a 4.8% ABV sweet potato lager. This was a light yet spiced and hearty ale. It had a light start and finish, but a hearty flavor and the aftertaste was slightly spiced and sweet.
3) Working Man’s Lunch, a 5.6% ABC Moonpie-inspired chocolate ale. This ale was a spicy chocolate ale with a heavy feel but a crisp aftertaste. I didn’t taste the for-me-expected graham or marshmallow flavors but it wasn’t a bad beer. Not quite a stout, but still a heavier beer.
4) Carolina Shandy is a 3% ABV concoction that is 2/3 El Toro ale mixed with 1/3 Lemonade. This is a very crisp, light and refreshing drink that was incredibly nice for a hot summer afternoon!
5) Beasley’s Honey White is a 5% ABV wit beer made with oats and honey. This was a delicious, incredibly honey-flavored white ale that tasted crisp with just a little “heavy” feel from the toasted oat flavor.
6) One Hop Rye, a 7.2% ABV rye IPA. This was a wonderfully rye flavored beer that was hoppy but not overpowered by the hops. Rather the rye flavor dominated this beer, but not so much it knocked you over. Yum.
7) Overtime is an 8.5% ABV imperial version of the Working Man’s Lunch. This is a stout beer, a heavy smoked chocolate flavor that brings out all the subtleties of the Moonpie that I missed in the WML alone. I, as many of you know, really like stouts, so I really enjoyed this one much more than WML alone. Delicious.
8) Hogwash is a 5.5% ABV BACON beer. You read that right. Only you find out when you ask (yeah, I’m sure you thought I was shy), they don’t actually USE bacon in the beer, they just smoke the hops. Huh. It tasted like bacon to me. It actually was a little much on the smokey side, for me, though I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles it was made with real Bacon. It tasted that bacon-y. For all my bacon-loving friends out there: definitely try this one, if for no other reason than the experience. And to say you had a bacon beer.

So Rob’s favorites were the Honey White followed by the Carver and then the Shandy. Paige’s favorites were the Carver followed by the Shandy. And my favorites were the Rye followed closely by the Honey White and then the El Toro (not the Shandy, just the ale). 🙂

Observer their tap selection (3 of which are other breweries that they feature on a rotating basis, which I thought was pretty nifty!):

Regardless, you should try these spots out, all 3 of them!, if you are in the Durham area ever! Let me know if you have tried any of these beers, and what you thought of them all! Have a great Monday all!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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