Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Thursday Tasting 3/20: Oskar Blues

Posted Mar 19, 2014 in Beer, Breweries, Events, People, Seasonals

Welcome to the canned beer revolution! We’ve got the folks from Oskar Blues WNC in-store tomorrow evening from 5:00-7:00 p.m. sampling their wares for you. Join us!

Deviant Dale’s: “Deviant Dale’s IPA (8 percent ABV, 85 IBUs) was born at the crossroads, in a juke joint, as if Dale’s Pale Ale sold its soul to balance Deviant’s foreboding aromas of citrus, grapefruit rind and piney resins, its copper ball-of-fire color and inscrutable flavor-intense finish. Deviant is the Devil incarnate with untold amounts of malt and hedonistic Columbus dry-hopping. Oskar Blues delivers this boundary-buster in the brewery’s first 16-ounce tallboy can.

G’Knight: “Our ‘Velvet M-80′ is a hefty, dry hopped double-red ipa with a nose full of aroma, a sticky mouthfeel, a malty middle and unctuous hop flavors. G’Knight sports a surprisingly sensuous finish for a beer of its size (8.7% ABV, 60 IBUs). It’s brewed in tribute to a fellow Colorado craft beer pioneer and Vietnam vet who died fighting a 2002 wild fire outside of our Lyons hometown. For all the details behind this tribute follow this link to www.N3978Y.com . G’Mornin’. G’Day. G’Knight.”

Gubna: Gubna was bred from Oskar Blues Brewery’s hankering to confront 100+ IBUs by cranking up the complexity of hops by pouring Cascade on top of copious amounts of Summit, then balancing that with a backbone of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt. GUBNA’s post-fermentation dry-hopping with both hops allows this monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma while providing a rye malt-induced, spicy-yet-round middle, and a brisk, clean bitter finish (10 percent ABV, 100+ IBUs)

Old Chub: “This jaw-dropping Scottish strong ale (8% ABV) is brewed with bodacious amounts of malted barley and specialty grains, and a dash of beechwood-smoked malt. Old Chub features semi-sweet flavors of cocoa and coffee, and a wee-bit of smoke. A head-turning treat for malt heads and folks who think they don’t dig dark beer.”

Thursday Tasting, March 7, 5-7pm: Blue Mountain Brewery (VA)

Posted Mar 05, 2014 in Beer, Beer Places, Breweries, Brewpubs, Events, Goings on, People

 

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This Thursday, we welcome David Wrenn of Blue Mountain Brewery into the wee Tasting Room. Enjoy a four-beer sampling, including specialties from their Blue Mountain Barrel project, too. All ratings in the high 90s!

Steel Wheels ESB: The music of The Steel Wheels and the beer from Blue Mountain are both original and handcrafted, with inspired Americana flavors from the heart of Virginia. Our collaboration E.S.B. draws from the past with British crystal malts and Scottish yeast, but uses American hops to put our own stamp on the creation. Like this beer, The Steel Wheels draw you in from the first sip…not because their music is loud or in your face, but because it’s surprising and original, and because its inspirations – a story, a character, a memory – have been brewed with just the right ingredients. Take time to drink slowly and listen truly. Wherever you are, get ready to sing along, to harmonize. Maybe even get up and dance. [6.5% abv]

Local Species Belgian-style Golden: A hybrid beer unlike any other. Belgian fermentation, American hops, Virginia foothills deep-well water and Kentucky bourbon barrels. Bizarrely delicious. [6.6% abv]

Evil 8° Belgian-style Dubbel: A truly spiritual ale, Evil 8° will blur the lines of what you think you know about American beer.  Brewed in the Belgian Abbey style using caramelized Biscuit malt, Goldings hops and a unique strain of brewers’ yeast. Available January-April. [7.7% abv]

Dark Hollow: Dark Hollow blends the miracle of two crafts–brewing and distillation–to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. An Imperial Stout has been aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels still dripping with uncut whiskey. For 100 days the young beer patiently breathes in and out of the wood, gaining complexity, character, and serious attitude. This ale is always bottle conditioned and can be enjoyed immediately upon its release from the brewery…or five years later, when you dust off the last vintage bottle from your cellar to share with good company. [10.0% abv]

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

Thursday Tasting, 11/21, 5-7pm: Boulevard Brewing Company

Posted Nov 20, 2013 in Beer, Breweries, Events, Goings on, People, Rarerities, Seasonals, The Beerlanthropy® Project

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Join us with Caleb from Boulevard for a five-beer line-up (four from the Smokestack series) on Thursday, November 21, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

 

Reverb Imperial Pilsner: “With its classic recipe and impeccable craftsmanship, this summer seasonal is a study in delicately balanced contrasts. Up front, Pilsner malt makes a clear yet restrained statement, answered by the steady, harmonious hum of Saaz hops, traces of which linger in the dry, crisp finish.” [7.7% abv]

 

80 Acre Hoppy Wheat: “With roots in two of today’s most popular brewing styles, 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat Beer is the result of careful cultivation by our brewers and cellarmen. Their efforts to craft a hybrid yielded a bumper crop of flavor; a delightfully distinctive ale with the aroma of an IPA and the refreshing taste of a wheat beer.” [5.5% abv]

 

Tank 7 Farmhouse: “Most breweries have at least one piece of equipment that’s just a bit persnickity. Here at Boulevard we have fermenter number seven, the black sheep of our cellar family. Ironically, when our brewers were experimenting with variations on a traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale, the perfect combination of elements came together in that very vessel. You could call it fate, but they called it Tank 7, and so it is. Beginning with a big surge of fruity aromatics and grapefruit-hoppy notes, the flavor of this complex, straw-colored ale tapers off to a peppery, dry finish.” [8.5% abv]

 

Reboot IPA: “This re-release of our 2011 Collaborations Series No. 2 White IPA brings back the unique marriage of a classic Belgian wittier to an American IPA. We enjoyed the experience so much the first time around that we happily pressed Control+C (Command+C for Mac), and Reboot was born. Version 2.0 has upgraded its spicy aroma, with hints of bubblegum and clove. Bold flavors will launch upon uncorking, as sage and lemongrass balance the tangy, zesty wheat malt profile. Rather than merely blending a wittier with an IPA, Reboot harmonizes distinctly fruity Belgian yeast overtones with big, fruity American hop notes by creating an herbal bridge between these two somewhat contradictory flavors. The beer’s complexity os supported by a spritzy effervescence, finishing dry, with lingering hop notes.” [7.4% abv]

 

Bourbon-barrel Quad: “Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.” [11.8% abv]

 

Thursday Tasting 11/7, 5-7pm: New Holland Brewing

Posted Nov 07, 2013 in Beer, Breweries, Brewpubs, Events, Goings on, Limited Release, People, Seasonals

Join us tonight in the Tasting Room with Brandon from New Holland. Two lip-smacking IPAs are on deck along with three of the high-grav series.

Mad Hatter IPA-”Dry-hopped for a distinctive, floral hop aroma; subtly balanced with delicious malt notes.” [5.8% abv]

Imperial Hatter-”Assertive dry-hopping provides an aromatic telltale nose, indicative of the robust, bitter symphony to follow. Bold hop character with lively grapefruit and citrus notes.” [9.4% abv]

Beerhive Tripel-”Local bees create a spring wildflower-honey that lends a sweet, earthy complexity to a traditional style of beer with a balancing snap of ginger in the finish.” [8.5% abv]

Dragon’s Milk-”A stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.” [10.0% abv]

El Mole Ocho-”Our exploration into the flavors of mole, the legendary sauce of central Mexico. Malty aroma and rich, cocoa-laden body laced with an invigorating tinge of dried chilies and coffee.” [9.8% abv]