Archive for the ‘Coolness’ Category

Holiday Guest Post: Joanna Baker, Noble Cider

Posted Dec 19, 2013 in Cider, Coming Soon, Coolness, People

 

IMG_1177Joanna Baker is the co-founder of Noble Cider in Asheville, NC. She’s written some tasting notes on ciders available at the humble storefront. Look for bottles of Noble in mid-2014!

Bruisin’ Ales: Bring Hard Cider Home for the Holidays

Bruisin’ Ales has the largest selection of craft hard ciders of any bottle shop in Asheville. We like that!  Since folks can’t take home a bottle of Noble just yet, we wanted to give you a review of some delicious and interesting hard ciders you can bring home for the holidays from Bruisin’ Ales. If you’re looking for something from North Carolina, try McRitchie Hard Cider and Dry Hard Cider.  Although they’re a winery, McRitchie has been making hard cider for many years. They’re the boss in this neck of the woods and really great people, too. Their ciders are very straight ahead and deliciously simple. They go great with food and never overpower.  Foggy Ridge and Windy Hill Cidery are also great regional cideries.  Foggy Ridge, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia,  is run by the current Queen of hard cider in the southeast, Dianne Flynt. She’s an excellent spokeswoman for the industry. Windy Hill is out of York, SC and uses their own and WNC apples to make their hard cider. Their ciders are of the sweeter variety.

Here are 5 hard ciders we at Noble Cider think you and yours will enjoy this holiday. They’re all a great value, too!  In order from sweet to dry:

McKeown Original, 6% ABV, 750 mL

McKeown is made in Rougemont, Canada.  We were drawn to the beautiful, clear cider nicely displayed in clear bottles.  And it’s from Canada. Who doesn’t love Canada?  We tried to look up the website, but it’s only in French.  No one in our group could read French.

  • NOSE:  The leathery aroma of real cider apples, followed by sweet apple
  • TASTE:  McKeown Original has a straight-ahead apple flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Applesaucy-like. The carbonation is very subtle. It was the sweetest cider on our list. A bit too sweet for our groups’ palette, but it’d be great with some stinky, dry cheese, or even a light fish or poultry dish.

McKeown Cranberry, 6% ABV, 750 mL

I love a good rose champagne. The color of this cider reminds me of pink champagne. The Cranberry flavor drew me, too, as a great idea for the holidays.

  • NOSE:  The smell of the Cranberry cider is almost identical to the McKeown Original, with only a slight tart aroma from the cranberries.
  • TASTE:  Like the nose, the taste is also very similar to the Original, with a slightly more tart finish.  It’s also a sweeter style hard cider.  This cider could be paired easily with an appetizer course of cheese and salty meats and nuts.

Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb, 6.99%, 22 oz.

Made with Montmorency cherry juice, which is said to have health benefits and anti-aging properties, this cider definitely goes “BOOM!” with cherry flavor. It comes in a 22 oz. bottle, which lends to easy finishing in one sitting, especially when shared with a friend.

  • NOSE:  Immediate cherry!  Thankfully, it’s not a candy cherry smell, but one of real tart cherries.  It’s an awesome aroma!
  • TASTE:  Very tart cherry.  So much so that it made us ask “Are there apples in this?” Most likely, Julian has back sweetened their hard cider with this delicious cherry juice, which lets the full cherry flavor shine through. The finish is smooth with a nice amount of bitter. The tartness hides the sweetness of this cider, but be wary. There’s a good amount of sugar in this cider.  Cherry Bomb would make an excellent drink with chocolate cherry cheesecake or a Black Forest cake.  Or serve it in small amounts to sip, like port.

Doc’s Draft, Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider, 6% ABV, 22 oz.

I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything.  Food, drink, even those stupid Yankee candles that smell like pumpkin pie. So a hard cider that’s fermented with pumpkins?  Yes please!

  • NOSE:  First sensation is pumpkin pie: earthy, spicy, but not too sweet.  Not much apple smell at all.
  • TASTE:  Doc’s has done it right.  The spice is more of an aroma than an overpowering spice taste.  There’s the right amount of bitter, a good balance of the apple and pumpkin and spice, and it stays fairly dry throughout. The spice stays with you into the finish as well – more into the nose than down the throat.  This cider is more a drink alone cider. Or maybe a delish cider float with Carmel de Leche ice cream!  Yes – that’s it!

Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie 2012, 5.5% ABV, 750 mL

Ahhhh…. French cider. French cider apples from Normandy make delicious hard ciders. If you’re new to French ciders, hang in there. They can come across as medicinal and leathery in both aroma and taste. Doesn’t sound good to you?  Try it.  You might be surprised!  This cider is unfiltered and unpasteurized. Traditional French ciders are bottled and stored for at least a year, where they finish their fermentation in the bottle, ending up drier and more carbonated than when they began.  Think champagne.  The color of this cider is very gold. I recommend a champagne flute for this one.

  • NOSE:  Leathery and medicinal – a true cider apple smell.  The bubbles really bring the dry flavor to the nose.
  • TASTE:  The taste is really effervescent due to the intense champagne-like carbonation.  It’s slightly medicinal, dry, with a good earthy flavor.  This cider will go the very best with any part of a meal.  Like a good white wine, it will complement your food.

Happy Holidays from Noble Cider! We hope you add hard cider to your shopping list! 

NOTES on experiencing hard cider:  Always pour your hard cider in a glass.  Think of hard cider like a wine. Give it a good sniff. Smell it the way a dog would sniff out that tasty bone in the trashcan – a few short, deep sniffs to really take in the unique aroma that each hard cider has. Then take a sip – roll it around in your mouth and then swallow. With a well-made, complex hard cider, you’ll get several different flavors and tongue sensations, as well as a finish – long or short, depending on the complexity.  Just like craft beer and wine, every hard cider will have it’s own characteristic

Joanna Baker, Co-Founder Noble Cider
Public & Community Relations
www.noblecider.com

Bruisin’ Ales new Store Manager: Philip Dotson

Posted Nov 01, 2013 in Coolness, Goings on, In the news, People, The Beerlanthropy® Project

 

Today is big day. For us, personally, and the continued success of the humble storefront, Bruisin’ Ales. As we quickly approach our 7th anniversary in December, a big thing has happened. We have a created a new position, Store Manager, and the person filling that position is Philip Dotson. Many of you know Philip from years past—he worked for us from 2008-2009 before leaving Asheville to travel the world, performing around the globe with his massive voice. (He’s a singer, you see, and a bit of a renaissance man. See photo. How slick! How Matrix!) But, he also knows beer from years of drinking craft, homebrewing, and jaunts around the world. As they say all good things do, he came back to us in May 2013—bringing with him our other new(ish) amazing staff, John McCarley and Jay Monoghan—and as of today, Philip will be in charge of the storefront, orders, tastings, and product expansions. While it’s extremely hard to let go of responsibility for a store that is essentially our baby, we are pleased to have him on board in this capacity, which will allow us to step back a little (and not be so crazy).

But, have no fear: Nothing is changing. We’re not passing the reigns and we’re not going to be missing from the action. The only difference is that we now have the perfect fit to our team to run the day-to-day, so we can focus on new ideas and development of Bruisin’ Ales. (Maybe take a vacation?) Congrats to Philip and we’re happy to have you!

In closing, we’d like to say this one thing: “Whoooooooooooo!”

—Julie and Jason

Music + Beer = The Mountain Oasis Craft Beer Experience Package

Posted Oct 18, 2013 in Beer, Beer Places, Breweries, Coolness, Events, Goings on, In the news, Music, The Beerlanthropy® Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are very excited to be participating in Mountain Oasis’s Craft Beer Experience and we would like to share with you some important information about redeeming your packages. Please read the below carefully. If you don’t yet have this delectable add-on, you can buy them here. More details on the Mountain Oasis Festival page.


Electric Pale Ale

Bring your photo ID and purchase confirmation to Bruisin’ Ales at 66 Broadway Street to redeem your official Mountain Oasis Beer Stein by Eco Vessel. Remember to bring your Stein with you to the U.S. Cellular Center to get your discounted Electric Pale Ale!


Witbier Package

Bring your photo ID and purchase confirmation to Bruisin’ Ales at 66 Broadway Street to obtain your official Mountain Oasis Beer Stein and your voucher to ride the Hop-N-Go Shuttle out to Highland Brewing Company. Please arrive at The Vance Memorial at the intersection of Biltmore Avenue and Patton Avenue on Friday at 3:45 pm.  Shuttle will leave promptly at 4 PM for Highland Brewing Company. The shuttle will board at 5:45 PM and leave promptly at 6:00 PM to return downtown.


Imperial Package

Bring your photo ID and purchase confirmation to Bruisin’ Ales at 66 Broadway Street to receive your official Mountain Oasis Beer Stein and your voucher to the Brewers Brunch and Panel at the Lexington Avenue Brewery. The Brunch will start promptly at 12 PM on Sunday, October 27th in the back room of the Lexington Avenue Brewery located at 39 N. Lexington Avenue.


Holy Gaelic Grail Package

Bring your photo ID and purchase confirmation to Bruisin’ Ales at 66 Broadway Street to receive your official Mountain Oasis Beer Stein, your voucher to ride the Hop-N-Go Shuttle out to Highland Brewing Company, your voucher for the Brewers Brunch, and your assorted local six pack of beer. Please arrive at The Vance Memorial  at the intersection of Biltmore Avenue and Patton Avenue on Friday at 3:45 pm.  Shuttle will leave promptly at 4 PM for Highland Brewing Company. The shuttle will board at 5:45 PM and leave promptly at 6 PM to return downtown. The Brewers Brunch will start promptly at 12 PM on Sunday, October 27th in the back room of the Lexington Avenue Brewery located at 39 N. Lexington Avenue.


You do not need a Mountain Oasis ticket for the purchase of any Craft Beer Experience package, but purchasers must be 21+ to pick up or consume any alcohol associated with the packages.

 

Asheville Brewers’ Alliance helps “Cut the Cold Challange”

Posted Oct 16, 2013 in Breweries, Coolness, Goings on, In the news, People

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2013

Asheville Brewers’ Alliance eases burden of government shutdown

ASHEVILLE, NC—Today the Asheville Brewers’ Alliance made a $1000 contribution to Eblen Charities’ Energy Assistance initiative.  That gift was matched by the Eblen/WCQS “Cut the Cold Challenge” program, doubling its impact toward cutting heating costs for people in need this winter.

John Lyda, President of the Asheville Brewers Alliance, described this initiative.

“Yes, the current government shutdown is hindering the brewing industry, but its effects are hitting some of our Western North Carolina citizens much more deeply.  Life-sustaining programs, like heating-oil subsidies, are among the initiatives that have been stopped.  The ABA has a long history of assistance in the communities that support our industry.  With cold weather bearing down upon us, we felt it was right to turn away from our issues and help those truly in need.  Eblen Charities and WCQS have graciously matched our contribution via their “Cut the Cold Challenge” program, and we hope the $2000 net impact keeps some folks warm this winter.”

About the Asheville Brewers Alliance, The Eblen Charities, and WCQS’ “Cut the Cold Challenge”:

The Asheville Brewers Alliance is a non-profit group of Western NC beer industry professionals whose mission is to promote the regional brewing industry and give back to the communities that support it.  More information may be found at:  http://www.ashevillebrewersalliance.com

The Eblen Charities is a non-profit organization whose outreach extends throughout the counties of western North Carolina and through its numerous programs has helped thousands upon thousands of families each year with medical and emergency assistance.  More information may be found at:  http://www.eblencharities.org/about/

WCQS, North Carolina’s Public Radio station, and Eblen Charities, have created the “Cut the Cold Challenge” to match every contribution made toward easing heating costs for those in need.  More information may be found at:  http://wcqs.org/post/sustain-wcqs-and-cut-cold-every-gift-matched-eblen-charities

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Thursday Tasting 5/16 5-7pm: Foggy Ridge Cider

Posted May 15, 2013 in Beer, Cider, Coolness, Events, Goings on

Foggy Ridge Cider

Cider fans, rejoice! Tomorrow, we’ll be sampling Foggy Ridge Cider from Virginia. About Foggy Ridge: “At Foggy Ridge Cider in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, Cidermaker Diane Flynt grows heirloom apples and makes award winning hard cider. Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Foggy Ridge Cider hosts events spring through early winter celebrating apples, local food and music, growing trees and, of course, cider.” Join us Thursday, May 16, between 5:00-7:00 p.m. Let’s sip some fermented apples!

Foggy Ridge First Fruit Cider: “Foggy Ridge’s First Fruit cider blends early season American heirloom apples to create a rich fruity cider with lively acidity to drink, like Thomas Jefferson, on its own or with a meal.”

Foggy Ridge Serious Cider: “Serious Cider mixes traditional English cider apples like Tremlett’s Bitter and Dabinett with tart American favorites like Ashmead’s Kernel and Roxbury Russet. This crisp light food friendly cider is a refreshing aperitif paired with cheesy nibbles.”

Foggy Ridge Sweet Stayman Cider: “The famous Virgnia Stayman apples ripen late in mountain orchards but are worth the wait. Our Sweet Stayman Cider blends the original Stayman apple with heirloom varieties like Grimes Golden and Cox’s Orange Pippin to create a lightly sweet cider to sip on its own or with spicy food.”

Foggy Ridge Handmade Cider: “Our latest hard cider is Foggy Ridge Handmade, bottled in baby champagne bottles and for sale only at restaurants and retailers. This crisp cider made from Newtown Pippin apples has beautiful soft tannins and a delicate apple flavor with light pear notes.”