Archive for November, 2008

Finishing the week strong

Posted Nov 29, 2008 in Beer, Breweries, Coming Soon, Coolness, Goings on, In the news, Limited Release, Movies, People, Rants, Seasonals

Everyone said it was going to be a weak Black Friday. We had a great day, so thanks to everyone that dropped by the humble storefront! We appreciate you. Even on the way to work yesterday, I-240 was backed-up from the Asheville Mall exits in both directions onto the highway. We get it: Good deals. But is it worth getting up at 5 a.m. only to get trampled or shot? And then there’s bit of local flavor that leaves a terrible taste in our mouths. Apparently the economy and estranged Chinese wives make people go bonkers. For the record, we’re going to shop local this year at all our neighbors stores with maybe a wee bit of Cyber Monday, where it’s fairly certain no one can get wounded. Speaking of wounded, how can we forget Mumbai?

Leaving all the depressing nonsense behind, thanks for two very special presents yesterday: Southern Tier Krampus and Southern Tier Cuveé One. It is so amazing to us how people bring us things. We’re so grateful. People make long hauls to visit the store and when they bring us things we can’t get, it is extra-special.

Yes, we still have Highland Cold Mountain 22oz bombers left. Come and get ‘em.

French Broad’s Wee-Heavy-est is selling fast, too—folks love the Belgian version of their popular Wee-Heavy-er. New label art this year. We asked Drew yesterday if he’d please make this year-round. He said no.

Pisgah’s Hellbender is down to a few bottles. If you want any of this year’s vintage barleywine, you should probably get it today. Seriously. [UPDATE: It's all gone.] And the word on Baptista is that it still has a way to go on the secondary fermentation and will be cutting it pretty close to Christmas/New Years. No matter. We’ll drink it anyway.

Beer spies tell us that Dirty Jack’s has the Imperial Stout on cask again. Wheee!

Asheville Pizza & Brewing is showing The Dark Night this week.

Finally, if you visit any of our local breweries between now and Christmas, please take some canned goods with you. All breweries (to our knowledge) are participating in the MANNA Food Bank drive.

Press release: More MANNA

Posted in Coolness, Goings on, Miscellany, Unrelated to Beer

Carolina Mornings and Biltmore Village Villas Help Hunger Take a Holiday with “Kids, Paws and Claus,” a Charity Event for MANNA FoodBank!

Asheville, N.C.—Carolina Mornings will host the first annual “Kids, Paws and Claus” charity event on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, noon-5 p.m. The event will be held in the heart of Biltmore Village inside the Biltmore Village Villas, complete with stunning holiday decorations, refreshments, a jolly Santa Claus and the opportunity to donate canned goods to the western North Carolina community.

Carolina Mornings is Asheville’s leader in luxury mountain vacation rentals and is excited to be hosting an event contributing to MANNA FoodBank’s efforts.

“At Carolina Mornings, we love giving back to the community,” said Shari Goldstein, chief executive officer and founder of Carolina Mornings. “We hope this event brings in a lot of food for our WNC neighbors who are in need, and we are looking forward to making this a yearly event.”

“Kids, Paws and Claus” offers a chance for entire families – kids, pets and kids at heart – to meet Santa Claus at the Biltmore Village Villas while helping MANNA FoodBank. Cameras and video cameras are welcome.

MANNA FoodBank is a non-profit organization that distributes food to 331 partner agencies in 16 counties in western North Carolina. MANNA FoodBank distributed more than six million pounds of food in 2007 and this year, they are hoping to do more. MANNA FoodBank’s mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger.

“According to a recent study, we estimate that 115,500 different Western North Carolinians seek emergency food assistance in a single year,” said Josh Stack, communications and marketing coordinator at MANNA FoodBank. “That’s one in six of our neighbors and double the national average.”

While guests can donate canned goods on site at the Biltmore Village Villas the weekend of the Santa Claus Meet-and-Greet, other sponsors will be hosting MANNA FoodBank collection bins prior to the event.

“We want to collect as much food as possible. We hope that making the bins available at local businesses can help make it easier for people to give,” said Goldstein.

Drop-off bins for canned goods are conveniently located at several businesses, including: T.G.I. Friday’s and Bruegger’s Bagels on Hendersonville Road, State Employees’ Credit Union and Starbucks Coffee on All Souls Crescent Road, Rita’s Cantina on Garfield Street and La Paz Restaurante and Cantina at Biltmore Plaza. These businesses will have bins available until Dec. 7, 2008.

“Hunger has a cure. It’s each and every one of us. We would be upset if a physician had a cure to cancer and refused to share this cure with the world,” said Stack. “Hunger has a simple solution: food. There’s enough to go around. We hope the community will show up with cans in hand to enjoy this event.”

For additional information on the first annual “Kids, Paws and Claus” charity event, contact Shari Goldstein or visit:

Shari Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer
Carolina Mornings


Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted Nov 27, 2008 in Miscellany, Unrelated to Beer, Weird/Odd

We’re wishing everyone a bountiful season and a happy, full belly! Bruisin’ Ales will reopen tomorrow, 12:00-9:00 p.m.


The Feast

Posted Nov 26, 2008 in Beer, Beer Awards, Beer Pairings, Breweries, Cooking with Beer, Music, People, Rants, Seasonals, Weird/Odd

The day is almost upon us. The day we celebrate the “first harvest” by gorging ourselves with insane amounts of questionably healthy food, nap, watch college football, and maybe talk to a relative here and there at times when a fork isn’t in our mouths or no one’s in the Red Zone. Maybe you play with the canned cranberry sauce and question its jiggly, adhesive-like properties. Perhaps you ponder the shelflife of dried onions and whether or not they make a good addition to your 2012 Impending Doom underground shelter. Either way… Hooray Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is ingrained in our heads from grade school by making crayon “hand turkeys” and dressing as “Pilgrims” (not really a correct term, by the way) wearing silly hats made out of construction paper. A personal favorite was the construction of the buckle on the boys’ hat—layering the crap out of that paper with gooey white Elmer’s squooshing its way all over the place, even using foil for the buckle—because dammit, you were going to have the baddest hat in the entire 6-year-old Pilgrim Mafia. Throw on grandma’s kitchen apron, and magically, you’re a “Pilgrim.” Brown garments required under the apron, of course. White tights (if you’re a girl) and black shoes for everyone. Let’s all make cornucopias!

So much about this holiday is wrong and yet, we’re foodies, so we kinda like it. Americans like to eat and any day that’s like a “free calorie/fat pass” should be celebrated, right? In the last years, we’ve shed the easy-recipe table and started creating some of our own annual food traditions, like the cranberry/marmalade sauce and a delectable pumpkin cheese cake. This is perhaps the first year that Bruisin’ Ales is celebrating without family or friends, alone at the homestead, putting our epicurean skills to the test, skipping the wine and having a bounty of beer with which to cook and drink.

Here are some suggestions for your holiday table (or Laz-y-Boy), linked to a description of the rating/style on BeerAdvocate. You can have some of the best beers at your holiday table for less than a mid-range bottle of wine. Cheers!

AVERY Old Jubilation Ale*
BARBAR Winterbok*
BELL’S Expedition Stout*
DE DOLLE Arabier
DE REGENBOOG t’Smisje Kerst*
DIEU DU CIEL Route des Espices (Spice Route)
DOGFISH HEAD Palo Santo Marron*
DUPONT Avec le Bons Voeux*
GREAT DIVIDE Hibernation Ale*
MEANTIME London Porter
MONCHSHOF Kellerbrau
NEW HOLLAND Poet Oatmeal Stout
NØRREBRO Old Odense*
RIDGEWAY Criminally Bad Elf*
ROGUE Hazelnut Brown Nectar
SALOPIAN Entire Butt English Porter

SAMUEL ADAMS Chocolate Bock*
SCHMALTZ He’Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale
SCHNEIDER Aventinus 2004 Vintage Wrap
SIERRA NEVADA Celebration Ale*
TRAQUAIR Jacobite Ale

UERIGE Doppelsticke
URTHEL Samaranth

Finally, and completed unrelated, DRAFT is buying a beer this week for Axl Rose for the release of Chinese Democracy. Rolling Stone gives it a 4-star rating. (Oh, and RS, if you’re reading this, we hate your new small print format. It kinda sucks.)


Pre-Thanksgiving: Stuff to ponder this week

Posted Nov 25, 2008 in Beer, Beer Pairings, Breweries, Goings on, Limited Release, People

More Cold Mountain arrives today! It’s true, it’s true!

Pint Night @ Pinthouse is Highland Cold Mountain
According to the Asheville Beer Blog, Highland Cold Mountain will be the featured beer at The Thirsty Monk’s weekly Pint Night. Get a take-home pint glass and meet the brewer! Nice way to kick off the holiday in Asheville.

News from Weyerbacher
Thanks to Adam at, we learn of not one, but TWO, new Weyerbacher seasonals in the Brewers Select Series. First will be Weyerbacher Delta—a 7.3% abv holiday stout made with ginger root, cinnamon and molasses to taste like ginger snaps—followed by Weyerbacher Fireside, aka Charlie “resurrected,” 7.4% abv dark ale made with smoked malt. The latter will be available in all markets while the Delta will only be available in the Northeast. Bummer. We love ginger snaps!

We like this thread on BeerAdvocate
You’ve been drilled by us about pairing food with your beer, but what about pairing your music with beer? We love music and we love beer, and admittedly, it’s not really something we ever gave much thought to. However, it’s a cool concept. Contribute to the forum! Do you listen to specific bands, songs, or albums while consuming your favorite brew?

Joe Sixpack gives his Christmas list
This is the time of year when every beer writer sums-up his favorites of the season. Our man from Philly puts together a nice selection of Belgian brews that will warm your holiday table (and tummy).

Do you have a Winter Beer Trinity?
Keeping in line with his Catholic faith, beer writer David Turley names his Winter Beer Trinity. You know, the ones you go back to over and over…