Posted by Dave on March 2nd, 2011 | Comments Off
As of this week Raleigh’s Cherry Bomb Bar and Grill is no more. Brewmaster’s Bar and Grill will be taking it’s place with a theme where craft beer and North Carolina beer is the focus. Grand opening celebration this Friday March 4th featuring local breweries, samplings, and a cask. Les Stewart is running the Beer Program at Brewmaster’s and has agreed to answer these questions about the new direction of this beer bar.
1 How will Brewmaster’s be different from Cherry Bomb?
Along with a new menu, outdoor seating and a fresh, if subtle, look. The morphing of Cherry Bomb to Brewmaster’s mostly focuses on ushering in a renewed focus on the beer. There are many wonderful things about Cherry Bomb that we are expecting to continue practically untouched into Brewmasters. Not the least of which would be “the Hangover”, man is that a good burger! On the other hand in some ways the concept couldn’t be more different than Cherry Bomb. For example Cherry Bomb’s menu was designed to celebrate favorite dishes from different major cities across the nation. The images that hung on the wall touted America’s love affair with the automobile and the open road, a path to somewhere else. Brewmasters will celebrate the wonderful gems in our own backyards. We are so excited about beer that is made here, in our community, that we focusing on expanding our already lush selection of local beers. Further, our chef Scott Schabot, is looking forward to incorporating even more local ingredients into the new menu. Ultimately, this is about being a good steward of the community. Oh, and we’re also rolling out more veggie options, which my wife is very excited about.
2 How will the beer program be expanded upon? – you already have 66 taps!!?
Excellent question. 66 taps is a wonderful system to have. Our through the wall tap system is state-of-the-art, but as you know, a great system isn’t what makes a great beer program. Crafting a beer selection with 66 taps available is like painting a picture with 66 colors of paints… and you have to use ALL of them. It needs to be balanced; with that many taps you are expected to have something for everyone and we aim to. Perhaps a greater challenge with such a large number of taps is making the selection digestible to your patrons. We will be rolling out a new menu that separates our beer by style and highlight special beers we might have on. Also, our new menu will be designed to help you pair meal with one of our beers. Taphandles of beer that have won recent medals or deserve special attention will enjoy an indicator placed on the wall directly above them letting the patron appreciate the accolades of the brewer that produced the beer they are drinking. Additional attention will be paid to provide year-round support to breweries that produce particularly wonderful seasonals, so that we can earn the right to share limited production beers from these breweries in the future. Of course we are also looking forward to doing beer dinners and cask events. But my favorite thing… Flights! We will be serving 4 and 8 glass flights on paddles. As responsible drinkers, we of course won’t be throwing any kegs of good beer out, so on the day of the opening you will see much of the same great line up that Cherry Bomb touted, but you should expect the whole selection to, over time, become even more robust and exciting.
3 Why make the change now?
That’s a fair question. Cherry Bomb is a great place to go for a beer and a great meal now, so why change it? There were a lot of forces at work that ultimately pushed us to decide to morph Cherry Bomb into Brewmasters, but the greatest of those is simply that Cherry Bomb wasn’t exactly what the owner Mark Cook envisioned. Mark, you see, is passionate about beer and the people that make beer around here. Since 2003 Mark has owned and operated American Brewmaster, a homebrew supply shop not far from downtown Raleigh. Having watched many of his store’s customers and friends go on to brew at the commercial level and produce wonderful local craft beer he was ready to support them further by helping our local breweries get their beers into the hands of fellow Raleighites. Brewmasters, more than Cherry Bomb could, is ready to help him do just that along with actively celebrating the art of brewing from top to bottom.
4 Please describe the grand opening event on March 4th:
We will be having our Grand opening on Friday March 4th. Starting at 5pm the full new menu will be launched, local brewers will be here giving out samples. Pulse radio will have a live broadcast from 7-9pm giving away a bunch of stuff. Erik Smallwood will be rocking the stage. We will have a cask from Huske Hardware of Fayettville! It should be a blast. We’ll also have some fun beers on tap that you won’t see anywhere else in town. If you can’t make it on Friday come out on Saturday to catch the local brewing guru John Federal’s band JDC Funk Project rock out along with beer specials we’ll be running through the whole weekend.
5 What is in your personal beer fridge right now?
Hmm, let’s see, a 750 of Duval Triple Hop, Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous, some Dales Pale Ale, some of Great Divide’s Claymore Scotch Ale and a 22 of their Fresh Hop Pale Ale, a few assorted Big Boss bottles, a bunch of homebrew, and a Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA. I recently finished building a cellar under the house too, and it has some really fun stuff in it. mmm, I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.
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