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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

Charlotte Beer Babes Meet Highland Brewery At Mac’s

So last week was a special treat for NC Craft Beer fans in Charlotte. First of all, because the Charlotte Beer Babes were doing an event, and really, let’s be honest, that is always a special treat. But secondly, because Highland Brewery was doing a special draft release in Charlotte at, the third and final treat, all the local Mac’s Speed Shops! Whew, what an awesome collaboration!!!

Highland-drinking Beer Babes at Mac’s!

So for all of you non-Charlotteans, or those who know not the fabulousness that is Mac’s, let me break this down for you a bit. This is a very low-key, highly awesome hangout that specializes in BBQ, Craft Beer selection, outdoor & indoor picnic tables, and bike nights.  Very chill atmosphere with awesome people watching. Regardless of the night you go.

As for Highland Brewing, this first-into-Asheville brewery specializes in the first +5% gravity beer in North Carolina (thank you for the trivia Lisa!), Gaelic Ale. Truly delicious classic Ale. They also have an Oatmeal Porter which is a staple for stout drinkers. I must say. Yum. So for this event, Highland decided to spice things up a bit and bring in a few seasonal beers to let people sample. Which Tracie and I took great delight in doing!

Highland Beer Tasting (with an Evil Twin end-cap)!

As we asked for a sampler, the server came back with this awesomeness on a paddle. Right to left we have Highland Thunderstruck, Highland Farmhouse Saison, Highland Razor Wit Belgian Wheat, and the Evil Twin Biscotti Break Porter from Evil Twin Brewery as the ‘filler’ beer – since I had to have 4 of them and Highland only had 3 on tap.

So let’s review…

Beer tasting, start your engines!

Thunderstruck Coffee Porter:  thick coffee and chocolate porter with a spicy hop flavor to finish the flavor off on your tongue. If you like coffee porters, you will love this one. So yummy and wonderfully flavored, I couldn’t stand it. Well, okay, actually, I could, and did, and thoroughly enjoyed myself while doing so… however you get my drift, admit it! Important Notes about this beer: 5.8% ABV, 26 IBUs, Winter Seasonal from Highland, named after the Thunderstruck Knob mountain in Green Mountain, and with a nice mixture of grains & hops to flavor it so deliciously into the taste you will be in love with as a fan of stouts. Or even as just a fan of good beer!

Farmouse Saison: this citrusy, hoppy, spicy spring ale is a very limited edition brew from Highland. Traditional Saisons are fruity, earthy, mildly tart, and only a little bitter. This 5.2% ABV beer definitely lives up to the traditional, with a good kick of citrusy spice (similar to an allspice-corriander mix-in to orange juice to me) to finish it off in Highland style. It was good. I know many are not fans of Saisons, however I really did enjoy this adventure of the palate!

Razor Wit Belgian Wheat: as a fan of Belgian Wheats, this was a truly delicious rendition of a classic white ale. Pleasantly citrusy, with some nice spice and a very light (not heavy) wheat flavor, this 4.5% ABV, 25 IBU “Wit” is named after the Razor Mountain Summit  in Buncombe, and, like a good hike, finishes smoothly and leaves you feeling refreshed.

The lone Evil Twin brew of the group was a porter called Biscotti Break. This beer was just as good as the Thunderstruck, and had the coffee, chocolate, vanilla and almond flavors just floating around in your mouth until you really started to look for a biscotti. Somewhere, anywhere, get it now! Mmm. This is truly a heavy hitter, too, at 8.4% ABV, and you could truly taste each and every flavor in a wonderful meld on your tongue.

Progressing through the beers like Verizon towers!

After truly enjoying the heck out of some yummy beers, I became sad when I realized that I had to go home and leave all the wonderful people and beer. However, as I was leaving, the fire alarm went off, and two fire trucks appeared fully loaded and ready to save the day. I am not sure who pushed the “hotness” level over capacity, however it became clear that someone did! Who was it? You know who you are, so come on, tell us, was it you?!? 😉

Hot Early-Summer Night Fun!

Okay, on that note, I will leave you for this week and bid you adieu. Let me know if you have tried any of these wonderful beverages, and what you thought! Would love to hear from you all (hint hint!)…!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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