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Wednesday Beer Log- Noda New Releases

Hello Beer Friends,

I am sure you are going “what about Oktoberfest” right about now if you read my Friday beer log entry. However, I have decided to take this week to write them all up, then the next two weeks to post them up. This way I can be sure nothing is missed, and everyone gets to enjoy the awesomeness that is the list of beers from Charlotte Oktoberfest.

That said, Noda Brewing Company recently released a few new good (okay, great) beers into their line-up. Some for good, some for the season, and some for a very limited time. So let’s observe:

Get The Party Tarted: Cherry Sour Ale (until it runs out)
This beer was inspired by a Berliner Weisse…we call it a “NorthCarolinerWeisse”.  It’s infused with Bing cherries and raspberries. With 4.5% ABV and 10 IBUs, this tart and sour ale is absolutely delicious, light-bodied but full of flavor in every sip. I had two pints in a row of it, it was that good. (Yes, for me that is telling!) I really liked the fact this beer had a sour flavor that melded phenomenally with the tart cherry and light raspberry flavors. It never got too sour, too tart, nor too sweet. It was just perfectly balanced. Nice job Noda!

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Get the party tarted indeed!

Dark-o’-Lantern: Pumpkin Spice Porter (Nodable Series, Limited Amount)
This pumpkin spice porter has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves which lend to a more earthy character, with cinnamon being the primary taste.  At 6% ABV, 38 IBUs and 36 SRM – this beer has a strong malt flavor along with toasted barley, and a hint of the pumpkin pie spices we all know & love. This smokier beer has vague hints of pumpkin, but it is enough that it is definitely classified by taste as a yummy pumpkin porter!

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Dark O' Lantern needs some light....or not!

Gordgeous: Pumpkin Ale (Fall Seasonal)
This Pumpkin is hot, and it knows it. Gordgeous uses over 100 lbs of organic pumpkin caramelized with 40 lbs of brown sugar. Noda used whole seed spices cracked on brew day and mixed allspice, cardamom, cloves and freshly shaved whole ginger root to create a unique pumpkin ale. At 6.4% ABV with 17 SRMs and 29 IBUs, this is a fantastic pumpkin ale that isn’t too pumpkiny, isn’t too pumpkin pie-spiced, and isn’t too heavy. The carmelization of the pumpkin comes through the sips, as do each of the spices they added. The ginger adds a nice balancing note that makes it not taste like every other pumpkin ale. This beer has a great “this is fall!” feel to it while you sip it staring at the falling leaves. It tastes, quite simply, like a harvest pumpkin beer should: pumpkin, blended spices and harvest married on a medium-bodied sip of ale. Maybe under a full moon. In a gordgeous tux, no less.

Hope’s Stout: Milk Stout (made for a great cause, click here for more information)
Noda wanted to achieve both a full bodied & complex stout character, but with the drinkability of a session ale, something that wouldn’t be unapproachable by the non-heavy dark beer drinkers. In part, probably because Hope’s dad (see link above if you’re lost by now) is a Budweiseresque beer drinker. Noda added a hefty amount of cocoa nibs to give the beer a distinctive dark chocolate character that melds well with the roasted notes from the dark malts. This 4% ABV, 39 SRM and 35 IBU beer is a definite keeper. This is a lighter-bodied stout, for sure, however it tastes like it was cooked with some steamed milk to bring the comfort of hot cocoa into a beer. I am not kidding here, nor waxing poetic. That is what it tastes like. With a little bit of malted milk ball flavor, a teeny bit of hoppiness (or happiness as the case is), and a lot of  the steamed milk flavor thrown in to give it just that perfect blend of a light stout. If you want a comfort beer, get this one. If you want to support a good cause, definitely get this one. Again, click the link above if you’re lost… 😉

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

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 – April 4

Hello Beer Fiends!

Now I am sure most of you reading this have already read my post from Monday about the viewing party at Noda Brewing Company for the movie “The Love Of Beer”. And if you haven’t, well, then, shame on you, and get hoppin’ over to reading it! 😉

Back to the beer for today. When I was at Noda Brewing Company on Sunday for the viewing, I got another 4-beer sampler of Noda Beers to try out! Having previously tried 4 of their brews, and not yet finding one that I didn’t like, I decided to be adventurous again. Please, contain your shock, I know it’s a lot to take in, but I trust you can handle it…

First up to bat:

TriUmphant Belgian Style Tripel: ABV 9.7% IBU 35 SRM 6.8

TriUmphant, indeed. This was a heavier “lighter-bodied” beer, if that makes any sense. This brew had a definite “belgian” taste to it, that I really enjoyed. I had to take a few sips of this one to try to narrow the flavor down, and I really didn’t get it quite figured out until I read this from the Noda website, which nails this beer flavor perfectly: “[with] enough Belgian candi-sugar to make an Umpalumpa blush”. That is exactly it! With a little bit of malted citrus (think of that as a candy, I dare you!), but just a TINY hint, to round out the flavor.

Second at bat:

Hop, Drop ‘n Roll IPA: ABV 7.2% SRM 9.7 IBU 80

Can we say hops? And one more time, please! This is a hoppylicious concoction of lighter-bodied ale that had a hint of citrus, but not too much. Mostly it was just Hop Hop Hopping along. (Quit groaning, you chuckled, you know you did, so just admit it already!)

Third to bat:

NoDaRyeZ’d Double Rye IPA: ABV 8.65% SRM 12 IBU 90

I am not really experienced with the Rye Ales, however I have to say the flavoring on this Double Rye added some zing and pizazz to my beer drinking palate: malt with a bit of a bite to it. This was really good, not that I’m surprised with Noda, but hey – new kind of beer, you never know!

Fourth for the home run:

Coco Loco Porter: ABV 6.2% SRM 32 IBU 40

I actually have had this beer before, but as it was my favorite last time, and I had only 3 “new” beers to try, I had to get this one again. Dessert-esque beer goodness? Yes, please!!! Chocolate undertones, and toasted roasted coconut goodness, with the wonder of a porter? BRING IT ON. I mean it, where is my Coco Loco beer, seriously?!? Slacking, I tell you, so sad.

Wait, this is my blog, so maybe I should have had some beer for you? Crackers, what a fail. Tell you what, head over to the Tap Room at Noda and it’s Noda Brews all the time, that should work for us all, right?!? Or there is a whole list right here of other places that serve Noda Brewing Co. beers on-site! 

If you didn’t notice, I really like this brewery. I also would like to say they freaking rock extra now, because I totally (first time EVER) left my debit card there (that whole “start a tab” totally bit me for real!), and since it was Sunday and the Tap Room is closed on Monday (EEK!!!!) I was a bit freaking out (Todd & Suzie: thank you guys for NOT smacking me for that!) that I wasn’t going to have my lifebloo—debit card until Tuesday. NOOOO! So Suzie called me back (you know I had to call and leave a probably-groan-worthy-annoying-to-boot message about my foible with them in an attempt to find the thing), and let me know that I could swing by because someone was there “right now” that would wait for me until I could come get it (since I work 15 mins away and all). HOW SWEET?!?! How awesome?!?! I seriously will forever be a fan of Noda solely because they didn’t call me an idiot for this (me doing it NOR me freaking about it), despite such open opportunity for it! Pretty sure Todd wanted to pat me on the head a few times and tell me to breathe, though, haha… 😉 But anyways, they rock, I heart them dearly, their beer is awesome, and I swear I will never do that tab-and-leave thing again!!!

So now that my Beer Log for Noda Brews is done, complete with a shake-your-head-ruefully story, I hope you all have a wonderful week , and let me know if you have any beer recommendations for me to try and ‘review’!

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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