A visit to RED HOOK Brewing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Photos and some video of the tap room, beer garden and brewery taken on a visit in September 2011.
© 2013 Craft Beer Collective / Away Team Media
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A visit to RED HOOK Brewing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Photos and some video of the tap room, beer garden and brewery taken on a visit in September 2011.
Recently, HopZilla & I had a chance to ride most of the 34 Mile Virginia Creeper Trail and of course we couldn’t help myself by looking into the local beer culture while we were there. Here is a beer guide where every location is a few blocks off of the trail!
The Virginia Creeper Trail is a former railway that hauled lumber down from White Top Station near the Tennessee border through Damascus Virginia and on to the final stop in Abingdon, Virginia. Today, the trail is similar to that of the American Tobacco Trail: cleared for biking and recreational travel. There is a plan to continue the trail into Lansing, North Carolina but little progress has been made.
QUINCY’S PIZZA – Damascus, VA
Damascus is a center-point for the Virginia Creeper Trail, a popular pit stop for the Appalachian Trail and home to the biggest hiking / biking party of it’s kind: Trails Days. I hiked through part of the AT in 1998 and QUINCY’S was there. It’s still there with an expanded area for live music. Food selection is burgers, pizza and sandwiches. On tap today you might be able to find a Highland Brewing beer, something from Depot Street (from TN), New Belgium or Terrapin.
BELLA’S – Abingdon Virginia
Bella’s is a Greek / Italian family food place not far from our hotel. Beers are offered in 10 and 22 ounce (ice cold) glasses. On tap, Highland‘s Gaelic, New Belgium Fat Tire, and Warsteiner were available. Bottle selection was pretty good and consisted of Blue Grass Brewing Co Bourbon Stout, Magic Hat #9, Harpoon IPA, Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Boulder Hazed & Infused, Abita Purple Haze and New Belgium 1554. We settled on Beers from Terrapin: Hopsecutioner & Rye Pale Ale!
Address: 872 East Main Street / Abingdon, VA 24210
RAIN – Abingdon Virginia
Rain had an extensive wine list but had the surprise beer selection on the trail. Saint George Porter (Hampton, VA), Longtrail Alt, Wolf Hill’s Honey Cream Ale, and Nectar IPA were the highlights. I enjoyed the Porter while HopZilla dove into the IPA and we shared a plate of mussels. The staff knew their beer and were glad to meet like minded drinkers.
Address: 283 East Main Street / Abingdon, VA 24210
THE TAVERN – Abingdon Virginia
The Tavern was built in 1779 and served as an Inn, bar, Civil War hospital and now the best damn German food in the hills! In fact the beer menu is mostly German beers with the exception one local: Wolf Hill’s Brewing. Offering both 16 and 22 ounce selections from Franziskaner, Spaten, Warsteiner, Paulaner and the locally made Wolf Hill’s IPA! The ceilings are low, the floors are crooked but the food, beer and atmosphere is world class!
Address: 22 E. Main Street / Abingdon, VA 24210
WOLF HILLS BREWING – Abingdon Virginia
About a block away from the Virginia Creeper trail lies Wolf Hill’s Brewing Company. In a former ice house, head brewer, Josh Gambrel is producing a consistent line up of great beers. A stout, a Scottish, an Amber, a Cream ale an IPA and a Double IPA! Growler fills are available a couple days a week but in July the new law will be in effect and you’ll be able to buy a pint at a brewery! Seriously, HopZilla and I were impressed with every beer coming out of this tiny building. I look forward to seeing them again!
Address: 350 Park St SE / Abingdon VA 24210
ACS is Coming to Raleigh, NC! Mark your calendar: August 1-4, 2012 The 29th Annual American Cheese Society Conference & Competition is coming to Raleigh from August 1-3, 2012! Check out this video for a glimpse of what to expect from the friendly cheese community in North Carolina, including a keynote speech Temple Grandin.
From August 1st through 4th, cheese makers from around the nation will come to Raleigh to compete, network, attend discussion panels and presentations in a series of events that culminates with an evening known as Festival of Cheese. The American Cheese Society conference is the GABF of Cheese!
So what does this have to do with a beer blog? Beside the parallel I just drew to the Great American Beer Festival, there are amazing pairing possibilities between cheese and beer. Our friends at Girls Pint Out were recently treated to night of beer and cheese at Mystery Brewing. Then there is the pairing event at Big Boss on April 11th hosted by yours truly! Interest in the subject is growing.
To bring the wonders of cheese and beer to the masses there is still work to be done as Joshua M. Bernstein, author of Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution points out in recent email correspondence: “A beer-and-cheese pairing is a targeted weapon for destroying preconceptions. Wine and cheese have been placed on a pedestal, with advertising dictating that the two foodstuffs go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. That’s simply not the case. Beer is ideally suited for scraping your palate, leaving you lunging for another piece of cheese, then another sip of beer. It’s a delicious loop.”
There’s a lot to learn and a plenty to explore. That’s why I’m excited that the American Cheese Society will be hosting their convention to Raleigh this August.
Bernstein will also be attending the conference as a guest speaker and exploring the North Carolina beer culture. “Over the last few years, North Carolina has become one of the country’s top destinations for craft beer. Every month, it seems like a new brewery is popping up—many of which never distribute their beer outside of the state. For a beer lover such as myself, this is pure torture. The only way to alleviate that is to head to Raleigh and dive, stomach-first, into the craft beer scene.”
I posted a few links to articles below as a rough guide to beer and cheese pairing plus a video of Triangle area food and cheese destinations that was created for The American Cheese Society Conference.
Greg Koch, CEO and co-founder of San Diego’s famed Stone Brewing Co., is making a trip to Charlotte and Raleigh for two epic events March 23-24.
Greg will be celebrating the 3rd Annual Charlotte Craft Beer Week at Taco Mac (South Park) on Friday, March 23. Besides hanging out and having a good time, he’s also bringing around 20 rare and vintage Stone beers with him, including several collaboration and special one-off brews.
From Charlotte, he’ll be heading up to officially bestow upon The Raleigh Times Bar the distinct honor of being named “Most Arrogant Bar in America.” Each year, Stone holds a weeklong nationwide competition to find the bar that can sell the most pints of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale, and OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale. The Raleigh Times Bar took tophonors in last October’s bout, and Greg will now be presenting them with a most righteous plaque (which carries with it some pretty heavy bragging rights) and rolling out an impressive list of well-deserved treats for the evening, including a vertical tasting of 2005-2011 Double Bastard Ale vintages.
North Carolina has become the state to beat in the “Most Arrogant Bar” competition, now enjoying its third straight victory, with The Raleigh Times Bar following Charlotte hot spots Mac’s Speed Shop and Tilted Kilt, which earned the title in 2010 and 2009, respectively.
Friday, March 23, 7pm
Taco Mac | 4625 Piedmont Row Dr, Building E, Suite 115, Charlotte | (704) 972-0503
http://facebook.com/tacomac | @TMacSouthPark
http://facebook.com/CharlotteCraftBeerWeek | @CharlotteBeerWk
Saturday, March 24, 2pm
The Raleigh Times Bar | 14 E. Hargett St., Raleigh | (919) 833-0999
http://facebook.com/RaleighTimesBar | @RaleighTimesBar
Greg will also be signing copies of his book—The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore,Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance
Looking for a good beer road trip? For many of us in North Carolina Atlanta is a short trip away. That’s why Sarah at Sweetwater was nice enough to share some of their upcoming parties!
Brew Your Cask Off March 10th
SweetWater Brewery invites you to celebrate and sample cask ale at its finest during the “Brew Your Cask Off” Cask Ale Festival on Saturday, March 10 from 6 – 10 p.m. More than 80 special guest brewers from the southeast – including beer writers, retailers, home brewers and a few charities – will work alongside SweetWater’s brewers, to create their own one-of-a-kind cask for festival attendees to sample and judge. The festival will also feature SweetWater’s award-winning lineup of lip smackin’ brews, live music and tours of the brewery. Tickets are $35 per guest for online pre-sale and $40 per guest for day of purchase. Tickets include unlimited cask samples. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.brewyourcaskoff.com.
SweetWater 420 Fest April 20-22
Come celebrate Earth Day at the 8th Annual SweetWater 420 Fest this April 20-22 in Atlanta’s Candler Park. SweetWater 420 Fest is a free event featuring live musical performances, local art, food vendors, environmental workshops, a comedy tent, crafts, activities for the kids, and much more! Those 21 and up are encouraged to purchase a $5 wristband (portions the proceeds fund park improvement projects), which gives them access to SweetWater’s lip smackin’ brews. This year’s musical lineup includes Maceo Parker, Perpetual Groove, Donna the Buffalo, The Mickey Hart Band featuring Dave Schools, Soulive and more. For more details on SweetWater 420 Fest and a full musical lineup, visit www.sweetwater420fest.com.
Overnight reports are coming in: Sierra Nevada will build in Western North Carolina putting to rest months of rumors and scouting in the region:
Officials with California craft-beer maker Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. are expected to announce this week they have chosen Western North Carolina for the company’s much-publicized East Coast expansion, sources with knowledge of the negotiations have told the Times-News. The sources asked not to be named because of the confidential nature of economic development projects.
Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada — the nation’s second-largest craft-beer producer, which distributes to all 50 states — is expected to build its new facility at Ferncliff Industrial Park in Mills River.
The property — which was annexed by the town in 2009 after landowner Vaughn Fitzgerald requested that 220 of his family’s acres be rezoned for an industrial park — is on Old Fanning Bridge Road between Broadpoint Industrial Park and Asheville Regional Airport on the east side of the French Broad River.
Ohio’s most celebrated craft brewer of award-winning lagers & ales, announces its plan to enter the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (North Carolina) market with Long Beverage Inc. on February 20, 2012. GLBC previously launched products in Charlotte and Greensboro in March 2010; “The Triangle” is the next natural step in the company’s strategic growth plans. Customers can expect to see GLBC’s year-round family of beers in package and draft, as well as the new “Taster’s Pack” (a sampler 12-pack).
The new market rollout will involve multiple customer appreciation events, meet-and-greets, tastings and giveaways throughout the area. “We’ve been courted by distributors all over North Carolina for a number of years now, and there’s a large population of Ohioans clamoring for our product down there,” explains Patrick Conway, GLBC Co-Owner. “We are committed to our methodical growth and look to penetrate deeper in the states we currently serve. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill presents an excellent opportunity, and we look forward to providing our customers with the products they love.”
GLBC currently serves 12 states and Washington DC. Founded in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway as the first craft brewery in the state of Ohio, GLBC is nationally known for its exceptional family of beers including Dortmunder Gold Lager, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry India Pale Ale and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.
Photos from a recent Raleigh beer tour (Saturday July 30th) with Jason and Julie of world famous Buisin’ Ales in Asheville. HopZilla and myself chauffeured the beer couple to 3 breweries and 4 beer bars in 8 hours including Roth, Lonerider, Big Boss, Busy Bee, Raleigh Times, Flying Saucer and Foundation.
View Raleigh Beer Tour in a larger map
Echo View Farms have announced their second annual Hops Festival on Saturday July 16th starting at 11am. Follow the link above for RSVP details and help the spread the word!
534 Old Mars Hill Hwy / Weaverville, NC 28787 / 828-645-7667
Hop_zilla and I spent last Saturday at the Floyd Fandango, a wine, beer and music festival just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Virginia just above the North Carolina border. The low key camp out event featured an all VA winery line up and a small but tasty craft beer booth filled with six VA breweries (Big Daddy’s, Blue Mountain, Bull & Bones, Devil’s Backbone, River Company and Starr Hill). Highland and Foothills represented NC plus Terrapin, Stillwater, Dogfish Head, Breckenridge, Longtrail, Otter Creek (among others) made the trip.
Favorite beers for me included Star Hill‘s Double IPA, Blue Mountain‘s Alt, River Company‘s Peachicot Blonde Ale & Devil Backbone‘s whose 8 Point IPA took the “best of the festival” medal by the judges.
While the promoters billed this as a wine and beer fest the bands featured were top notch: JJ Grey, Acoustic Syndicate, Anders Osbourne, Danger Muffin, These United States all put on entertaining sets especially Acoustic Syndicate who closed out with the Who’s Baba O’Reilly!
A quick trip through the town of Floyd I stumbled upon a gift shop with in impressive beer section in the back. I took home some 21st Amendment, Firestone Walker, Yard’s, Geary’s and others.
Beltline Brew Tours will be providing brewery tours of Fullsteam, Triangle, and Bull City Burger and Brewery one Saturday a month!
“Our Kegs after Eggs tour will start at Bull City Burger and Brewery at 11:45am on either the second or third Saturday on each month. From there, we will load the bus and head over to Triangle Brewing Company for an hour of tours and beer sampling. After Triangle, we will get back on the bus and travel just down the road to Fullsteam Brewery. We will visit with them, tour the facility and taste some samples for about an hour and then its back to Bull City. When we get back to Bull City Burger and Brewery, we will tour their brewery and try their beers. As this will be our final stop, all brewery tour guests are encouraged to hang around after the tour and try some of the local fare! We hope to see you on a tour soon!”
Two North Carolina Breweries will attend SAVOR, the ultimate beer and food pairing event in Washington DC on June 3rd and 4th.
Big Boss Brewing and LoneRider brewing of Raleigh will join 72 breweries from all around the United States for 144 food dishes prepared specifically for each of the 144 beers being offered!
If you’re lucky enough to have tickets this is what you can expect:
LoneRider Brewing Company
Shotgun Betty Paired with Banana Bread
Chef’s Pairing Notes: The beer resembles the bread in the notes of vanilla and banana. Also try smelling both of them and looking for the same notes.
Sweet Josie Paired with Shrimp in a Blanket
Chef’s Pairing Notes: Gentle chocolate aromas and candy sugar notes pair nicely with the gastrique and help cut the shrimp and polenta.
Big Boss Brewing Company
High Roller Paired with Stromboli
Chef’s Pairing Notes: this beer matches well with the spice in the pepperoni.
Monkey Bizz-Ness Farmhouse Ale Paired with Chilled Pork Rillette
Chef’s Pairing Notes: The barnyard flavors of the beer are classically paired with pork for a jump “back in time” to a traditional farmer’s evening snack.
For a complete list of participating Breweries and their food pairings visit savorcraftbeer.com
In addition to participation at SAVOR, Big Boss will host a cask and draft event at the ChurchKey (1337 14th Street Northwest, Washington D.C.,) on Wednesday, June 1st featuring: On Cask: Big Boss High Roller IPA Big Boss Bad Penny Brown Ale On Draft: Big Boss Blanco Diablo Big Boss Hell’s Belle Belgian Blonde Big Boss D’Icer Dunkelweizen Big Boss Monkey Bizz-Ness Big Boss Big Operator Belgian Black Raspberry Big Boss Angry Angel Kölsch.
And on Saturday June 4th at Birch and Barley Big Boss will a part of a multi-brewery brunch that will feature owners and brewers from Short’s, O’Dell, Rouge, Sierra Nevada and Boulevard Brewing. At the brunch they will pair Whiskey French Toast with Apples & Mascarpone with Big Boss D’Icer Dunkelweizen.