Archive for May, 2008

Thursday Tasting: Global Brewers Guild

Posted May 30, 2008 in Beer, Beer Pairings, Breweries, Events, Goings on

The Brewsician is back in his new role of fancy-schmancy beer broker. Chris’ new position in the beer world is with Global Brewers Guild and we’re doing a five-flight tasting of a variety of Belgian styles from his portfolio. The special treat is finishing with champage beer! (Oh, yes, we love us some Malheur Dark Brut.)

Blanche de BruxellesLefèbvre
“The natural spice aromas of coriander and bitter orange peels are added during the brewing process. The brewing method, which includes infusion, is very slow. The beer, which is not filtered, is bottled and refermented with yeast and brewing sugar. You need only take a sip of this delicious drink to appreciate the fresh and mellow flavour with its hint of orange. It is really not like any other beer.” [Belgian Witbier / 4.5% abv]

HadesGreat Divide
“Hades is a Belgian-style strong golden ale brewed with a rare Belgian yeast strain that gives the beer a distinctive spicy flavor and aroma. Noticeable hops and medium malt character make it an extremely well-balanced, crisp ale.” [Belgian Strong Pale / 7.3% abv]

La MerleNorth Coast
“Le Merle is a rustic ale, pale in color, inspired by the rich brewing traditions of the Flanders region. Abundant hops and a Belgian yeast strain contribute exotic aromas of tropical fruit.” [Saison / 7.9% abv]

Allagash DoubleAllagash
“Allagash Dubbel boasts a dark mahogany color with ruby hues and a complex malty taste. The finish is dry with subtle hints of chocolate and nuts. With time, Allagash Dubbel will mature in the bottle and acquire distinctive port and sherry characteristics.” [Dubbel / 7.6% abv]

Dark BrutMalheur
(translated) “A dark brown ale with a creamy brown foam and 12% abv. Via special processes (moving and discharging), the yeast is eliminated from the bottle. The secrecy of the taste of oak lies in the beer barrels—Dark Brut rests on young American oak, especially roasted for this beer.” [Bière de Champagne / 12.0% abv]

AMP is underway

Posted in Coming Soon, Coolness, Goings on, Miscellany, People, Unrelated to Beer

The Asheville Mural Project (AMP) is underway! This project is a collaboration between artists that will beautify the underpass of I-240 on Lexington Avenue. The project is being sponsored by Arts2People. We are fortunate to have the Simple Gift mural on the side of our building and can’t wait to see this one, which is just around the corner.

From the press release:

ASHEVILLE, NC—The first stroke of paint on the I-240 underpass on Lexington & Broadway Avenues has begun on the six concrete piers supporting the bridge marking the Northern Corridor into downtown. Director of Arts 2 People’s Asheville Mural Project (AMP), Molly Must, expects phase one of the painting of the much anticipated Lexington Gateway Project Mural to be complete by the end of June.   

 “This bridge has always been a sort of dirty monument emerging from a conventional urban pattern.  It ushers hundreds of people to and from the downtown area every day, including a steady stream of local pedestrians.  The space presents wonderful opportunity to memorialize and further manifest the unique and beautiful collective intention that keeps so many of us in this town.  If we’re going to complain about gentrification, we should surely try harder to embrace the culture we still have, surround ourselves with it, and push it to the surface”, states Must.

AMP has full support from the Asheville City Council, the Public Art Board, the Office of Economic Development, the Asheville Downtown Association, the Downtown Commission of the City of Asheville, Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and many others throughout the community.  There are still sponsorship opportunities available to support this imaginative and creative project. Anyone interested should contact AMP director Molly Must at [email protected].

The AMP team, consisting of 5 local artists and several auxiliary painters, has planned a variety of themes for this expansive mural. The majority of the mural will portray original images of local characters and scenes that represent the unique Asheville community.  Themes include Sustainability, Arts and Culture, Community, and Asheville Saints.

The Asheville Saints portion of the mural will consist of over forty standing portraits of actual Asheville people, painted on the insides of the 3 x 12 foot concrete columns.  AMP seeks community input for the Asheville saints and is calling for nominations.  Nominees may be contemporary of historical, and should be community-minded and active in some way. A team of five community members will be established to select saints from the nominations. The committee members will be elected based on their knowledge of local issues, history, and their respective community interaction and involvement. To nominate a saint, visit

The Asheville Mural Project, a branch of Arts 2 People, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to design and implement their own public art. AMP believes that murals enhance quality of life and create artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. AMP’s murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.

Arts 2 People also houses the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF), the REACH Programming series, the new Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program, Moving Women, the Faces of Asheville and more.  LAAFF has played in integral role in the fundraising and awareness raising efforts to support AMP for the past six years; we are all excited to see this vision turn into reality.  Arts 2 People is devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the entire community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need of the healing power of art, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development. To find out more, visit

Welcome home, brews

Posted May 29, 2008 in Beer, Breweries, Limited Release, New this week, Rarerities, Seasonals

The new beer front has been a little slow the past two weeks, but some things are back in stock that many will be excited about. Check it.

CATAWBA VALLEY King Coconut Porter
OMMEGANG Ommegeddon*
NEW HOLLAND Existential Hopwine
* (a week late, sorry)

We also updated the entire beer list today. See you at the tasting tonight!

Mid-week round-up

Posted May 28, 2008 in Beer, Beer Places, Breweries, Coolness, In the news, Science, Sports

Beer from space?
Sapporo Holdings, makers of Japan’s Sapporo beer, is making a brew with barley grown on the Russian unit of the International Space Station. Launching in November, though not available for sale. Uh, why? More here.

Shenanigans on the links
The golf secretary of famed St. Andrews golf course in Scotland got canned over a drunken escapade. He not only took beer from one club to another, which is prohibited, but he then pulled a Cheney, tried to sleep on a camp bed in the cellar, and still managed to find time to proposition a “barmaid.” *golf claps*

New Belgium keepin’ it green
The Tour de Fat bike tour, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Co., is doing a car-for-bike trade at all of the 12 stops along the tour this year.

More merger news
Ah, hell, InBev doesn’t care who it is, they just want one of them.

Where do craft beers fit into distribution?
Ale Street News has a good article about all the hoopla surrounding the AB-InBev thing, saying it was AB’s acquisition of InBev brands last year (i.e. Stella Artois, Leffe, Bass etc.) that prompted the feeding frenzy. So, are these distribution deals—like the one Southampton made with Pabst—good or bad for craft beer? Discuss.

Holy Sh*t

Posted May 24, 2008 in Beer, Breweries, In the news, Rants

InBev wants to buy Anheuser-Busch. Please make the big, scary monsters go away.

Anheuser-Busch makes Budweiser and Bud Light. The company has an estimated 50.9 percent domestic market share.

Ken Crawford, an analyst with Argent Capital of suburban St. Louis, said the deal would make sense for Anheuser-Busch.

“We see a company that’s very, very profitable, generates a lot of cash,” Crawford said of Anheuser-Busch. “The question is: Where and how do they grow? It would not be unrealistic that they look abroad either for acquisitions or to partner with someone.”

It would be just the latest deal in a consolidating beer industry. Miller Brewing Co., the nation’s second-largest beer-maker, and No. 3 Molson Coors Brewing Co. are planning to combine U.S. operations in a deal expected to be completed by midsummer. Miller will distribute Grolsch in the U.S. after a February takeover by SABMiller of Europe.

Crawford said the impact on consumers remains to be seen.