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Wednesday Beer Log – Sweet Mixes

Hey Beer Lovers,

I had some recent experiences with mixing beer that I wanted to share with you, as I think you’ll enjoy them.

Even if just to poke fun at me for doing these! 😉

First up, the standard Black & Tan. The epic duo of Guinness and Harp’s, or Guinness and Smithwick’s, always pleases the palatte. These are staples in that they cut the heaviness of the stout with a light-or-medium ale that actually enhances both beer’s flavors (I think)!

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The trick to these beauties is to pour a half glass full of the lighter ale (either Smithy’s or Harp’s), then take a tablespoon upside down and pour the Guinness into the glass by way of the spoon!

Observe!

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Pour a Black & Tan!

So basically, you can do a Black & Tan with any combination of stout plus lighter beer (ale or lager styles). I really like them with Sam Adams Boston Lager or Bass or Red Oak Ales! Mmmm!

Next up, we have the Guinness Chocolate Shake. Recipe to come better, but basically you take ice cream, chocolate and Guinness and make a delicious shake. I first heard of this awesomeness at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX!

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Guinness. Shake. Yum.

Next up is the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout selection of tastiness. First up, the Young’s DCS alone is worth drinking. It. Is. Delicious.

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However, this is definitely a stout beer. So if you want the yumminess but not the heaviness, I recommemd one of these concoctions. Plus, they share really well at bars! 😉

Mix half & half with a hard cider, like Crispin Hard Cider. It makes it taste similar to a chocolate soda – a little zip and a lot of cool, refreshing apple to the classic chocolate taste.

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Now, if you want a little more zip, you could try a Pear Hard Cider and bring out some of that tartness for a more refreshing treat. Either way, they are delicious.

Finally, we have our chocolate-covered fruits. Recently, I was introduced to the womder that is Sam Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale. Holy fruit buckets, batman, this tastes like a field of fresh-picked strawberries just waiting to be devoured. Hpwever when I tried this it was a little sweeter than I wantes. So I decided to tame it with the Double Chocolate Stout. Voilà – a chocolate covered strawberry to drink!

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Now, basically, any fruit flavored beer, Lambic, Cider or other, will go deliciously well with the Chocolate Stouts. I fully intend to try the Seadog Blueberry with it next, myself! Oh and the Sam Smith Banana Bread Beer as well. Can we say sinful-sans-calories?!?!? Okay, fine, beer has calories, but way less than these scrumptious flavors would if turned into food desserts!

Point. Set. Matc—DRINK!

So what combinations have you tried? Any suggestions for me? Anything to avoid? Hope you all enjoyed this, and enjoy these drinks sometime soon!

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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