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Brewgaloo 2014

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014

It was a beautiful day to Brewgaloo…                           Anticipation had been growing all week, and with the weather shaping up for a gorgeous day it was finally here. As we arrived at Downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza – the site of this year’s Brewgaloo 2014 – we noticed one thing. As you looked from one end of Fayetteville St towards the capital building the crowds rivaled New Year’s Eve in Times Square, except for we had one advantage…food trucks and amazing NC Craft Beer! As we embarked on our journey to taste the best of the best NC Craft beer had to offer, we grabbed our Pint Glasses and immediately noticed the beautiful 919beer logo, along with all the other sponsors. Our first stop was Mother Earth Brewing, after all it was the closest one and this guy was thirsty. Now that we were locked and loaded, we decided to head towards the capital building and see what the day had in store. After swerving though lines of people eagerly awaiting to fill their pints with tasty brew, we spotted a familiar logo on the back of a shirt – 919beer. It was Matt Griffith and his wife Christy. After spending a few minutes toasting to great friends and great beer, they pointed us towards the VIP tent where they were offering food and beer pairings. As I am not one to turn down good food or good beer…we parted ways, and headed to see what the VIP tent had in store. We were too late to hear about the previous pairing, however there were some samples left. It was a spicy meatball and it was being paired with Aviator Brewing Company’s  Saison De Aviator W/Habanero and let me just say, this was a spicy goodness! Now that we were full, it was time to head back towards the capital. We made a few stops along the way, one of which was to visit our friends from Double Barley Brewing…I was eager to see if they brought the Wilma’s WanderingEyePA – they left her behind, so having never tasted the Thrilla in Vanilla Porter I filled my glass. This is a very smooth porter, with a bourbon soaked vanilla bean flavor in which the vanilla shines through very nicely. From there we continued on our way stopping for...

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Hickory Hops Report

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014

Saturday was a pretty epic day for NC beer lovers. The weather was amazing for most of the state, and there were beer festivals all over! One that we chose to go to was the 12th Annual Hickory Hops Festival in Downtown Hickory, NC. And, as is our custom, we decided to make a pretty nice weekend out of the trip… Friday We left Raleigh and headed straight to Hickory Winston-Salem for lunch at our favorite home away from home: Foothills Brewing. Here, we enjoyed three of our favorite things: Jade IPA, Ostrich Burgers, and our buddy Caleb. The Ostrich Burger didn’t last long enough to be photographed, but Jade and Caleb were more than willing! After lunch, we made our way into Hickory and stopped at Hops and Grapes (seriously, what the website lacks, the shop more than makes up for), where we grabbed a few brews to add to our collection for the weekend. Moving on, we checked into the hotel and headed downtown for dinner, where due to the hour plus wait at the Olde Hickory Taproom, we decided to venture around the corner to the Crescent Moon Cafe, which proved to be a pretty fantastic decision because they had just tapped a keg of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, along with some various other fantastic selections. I, of course, grabbed the Bourbon County and thought well of my decision. Saturday After making the hotel breakfast buffet beg for mercy, we took the shuttle downtown and got in line for the festival. While we were in line, Wayne and I got to chat for a minute with our current NC Brewers Guild Executive Director, Margo Knight Metzger.  After an hour of waiting in line for the gates to open, we made it inside, where more than 200 beers from over 50 breweries were waiting. Rather than exhaust you with unnecessary notes on beers you may or may not know, here’s the summary of favorites I hadn’t tasted until Saturday: Some of my local favorite beers I tried Saturday: Crank Arm’s Ryedaway Saison Lynwood Grill and Brewing Concern’s Mosaic Pale Ale I also got to try Outer Banks Brewing Station’s Gold Medal winning Maibock. Some of my favorites not pictured were as follows: Wicked Weed‘s Lupulin Lab IPA Red Brick‘s Three Bagger Rum Barrel-Aged Tripel Lexington Ave Brewery‘s Buck Mild (with coconut and cayenne) Mind you, this is only a few among many of the awesome brews I tasted Saturday. In between tasting, we got...

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Brewgaloo and Hickory and ‘Cuegrass, oh my!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014

As I sit here on a rainy Saturday, sipping on a Cryin’ Holy DIPA from Steel String, realizing I haven’t done any blog updates since our St. Baldrick’s event nearly a month ago, I realize we’re nearly 2/3 through NC Beer Month. There have been some fantastic events to celebrate the month, including White Street’s Brewer’s Collaborative, Crank Arm’s Casks on Fools, and the World Beer Festival. In addition, there are some other great events happening right now (Brewery Olympics), and there are some amazing events coming up next weekend (‘Cuegrass, Brewgaloo, and Hickory Hops). So, that means if you haven’t had a chance to get out to enjoy any of the events so far this month, you still have time because next weekend is gonna be huge! In fact, it’s going to be such a big weekend that 919 Beer is sending teams to everything! Plus, we’re one of the main sponsors at Brewgaloo this year! We figured that if we didn’t literally put our money where our mouth is, no one is going to take us seriously, so we’ve ponied up some cash to help make Brewgaloo a premier event in Raleigh. And, lucky for you, both Raleigh events can be enjoyed next Saturday, as Cuegrass runs from 12-6 and Brewgaloo goes from 2-10! And, if you see someone wearing a 919 Beer shirt, they’ll be giving away free high-fives, so be sure to claim yours! If you’re lucky enough to be in Hickory next week for Hickory Hops Fest, you’ll likely come into contact with a few even better-looking people from 919 Beer. So, not only will you get to taste awesome beers and talk to some of the key players in NC beer, you’ll also have the opportunity to get a prolonged, awkward, groany, chest-to-chest hug if you see me! In all seriousness, I’m master of awkward, so I look forward to meeting you (licks lips)! So, here’s hoping for awesome weather across NC next Saturday, as there will be outdoor events galore. And, if you haven’t made plans to attend anything yet, there’s still time to find a babysitter, kick your in-laws out of your house, or reschedule that cookout you’d made with those people from work you really don’t want drinking your beer anyway, and make your way downtown and spread some local love. After all, NC Beer Month only happens once a...

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Somewhere, St. Baldrick is Smiling

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nFnBqvtbUA&feature=youtu.be Buzzzzz… This past Saturday, we held our first ever St. Baldrick’s event at Aviator Brewing Company. Nearly 30 people decided to raise money and shave their heads to stand in solidarity with children who have no choice.  In total, we were able to raise over $20,000 for this awesome organization!  Here’s a glimpse into what happened… We couldn’t have ordered up better weather! It was perfect for hanging out on Aviator’s new tasting patio to enjoy some cold beer and watch the sheering.   We had talented and generous professionals who volunteered their time! Both DJ Collin Y and Kristy Akins helped to make the event such a great experience.  Plus, there was face painting… A guest-appearance by Heisenberg… The once-scary became, well… Still scary, just in a different way. Speaking of funny… Our shavees looked pretty hilarious throughout the course of the day.  But, at the end of it all, we were there for the kids, and that’s what mattered. And, we were privileged enough to have seven-time shavee Craig Allen join us! Craig was knighted into the Knights of the Bald Table for his participation.  Eve Griffith, a three-year cancer survivor, did the honors. In addition to Craig’s impressive seven years, our very own Kelly Holt announced at noon that if we’d raise $1000, she’d shave her head. It took about 2.5 hours, but we did it!  And she looks awesome! Final Thoughts… From our volunteers and shavees, to our donors and other contributors, this event was a fantastic example of how awesome people can be. I love beer festivals and cask events just as much as the next guy, but I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of what we did this past weekend. If you made it out, thank you! If you didn’t make it this year, join us next spring. Believe me, no matter if you’re a volunteer, a shavee, or simply coming out to watch the madness, you won’t want to miss it! Update for 2015: Want to be a part of this awesome event? We would love for you to join us! Go to stbaldricks.org/events/919beer and get signed up for our event on March 21st. Once you register, create your fundraising page and start hounding your friends and relatives to donate! Cheers!                  ...

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An Evening at Bombshell Beer

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014

Every month, we go to a different Triangle area brewery to learn and taste all they have to offer.  After all, the best way to “Taste the Triangle” is to get out there and do it, right? The month of February took us to Bombshell Beer Company in Holly Springs. Instead of meeting on our usual second Wednesday of the month, we met two weeks later, as the weather had other plans.  So, the event got pushed back from 2/12 to 2/26.  Despite the schedule change, more than 40 people worked their way into the taproom and brewery to get a taste of Bombshell’s operation. Folks began arriving around 6 pm.  They ordered flights and pints, grabbed name tags, and chatted while waiting for the tour to begin.  At 6:30, I introduced everyone to Steve O’Neill, the head brewer, who took us in to the brewery to talk to us about Bombshell’s 15 barrel system. The nice thing about Steve was that he recognized the diversity in our crowd, in terms of brewing knowledge.  He’d use big words like “decoction” and “diacetyl,” but he’d take time to also explain what he was talking about.  The only term he didn’t take time to explain was his use of the word “yinz,” but since he’s only been in the south for less than a year, we decided to cut the Pittsburgh native some slack! Steve’s tour/ Q & A lasted about 20-25 minutes.  Everyone was able to take a look at all the brewing equipment, grain mill, fermentation tanks, and walk-in cooler.  Those who had questions, asked them.  Others just enjoyed their beers while listening to all the information they were being given. Once Steve finished up, Jackie Hudspeth, one of the owners, climbed up on a Hyster forklift and talked to us a little about the brewery.  She told us how she and her two friends, Ellen Joyner and Michelle Miniutti, decided to take the step from home brewing and touring breweries to opening their own brewery, how they found Steve at The Church Brew Works, and how they came up with the concept of the “modern day bombshell” to represent their brewery. Once Jackie had finished her Q & A, everyone ended up in the taproom to close out the night.  Many bought another pint.  Several purchased growlers to take with them.  And we thanked our friends at Bombshell...

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On to Asheville! (Part 1)

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014

Since I was already in Charlotte (discussed last week), I decided to make a weekend of it and continue west to Asheville.  Friday morning, my good friend Wayne (@919beerwayne), his wife Kelly (@holtkholt), and my wife Brigid (@Brigideshbaugh) braved the weather, picked me up, and we headed west.  What occurred over the course of the next 36 hours was by no means any kind of record, but it certainly did make for some good memories!  Below is a recap of Day One… First Stop: Oskar Blues! Since this was my second visit to Oskar Blues, the first being in September for Brewgrass, we opted to skip the tour and just relax a little at the Tasty Weasel.  If you’ve never been to Oskar Blues in Brevard, I definitely recommend taking the tour.  It’s an impressive operation, and it’s pretty “fuh-can” cool to see what a large-scale regional brewing operation looks like.  Plus, the Weasel has an eclectic mix of awesome beers, crazy can art, and other randomness that make this place a must for any trip to WNC. We ordered a flight as soon as we arrived, since this was my wife’s first time to OB, and she hadn’t tasted everything they’ve got.     This meant she got to taste everything and decide on what she’d like to get, while I got to drink the rest of them all while enjoying my full pint of Dale’s Pale Ale. After tasting all seven, Brigid went with the Old Chub, Kelly had the Mama’s, and Wayne and I both enjoyed our trusted Dale’s.  Call me boring if you want, but I think drinking Dale’s from the source is far from an ordinary Friday afternoon.  Plus, I wasn’t in a sprint to get to the drunken finish line.  This was going to be a busy weekend of tasting as much as possible, and I didn’t want to crush a Ten Fidy while it wasn’t even 4 pm yet (though it wouldn’t be the first time…). What I tasted: All of it!  Mama’s, Dale’s, Gordon, ahem, G’Knight, Deviant Dales, Gubna, Chub, and Ten Fidy. My Favorite: Dale’s Pale Ale is one of my top go-to beers.  It’s intensely hopped, full of flavor, and packs a nice punch at 6.5%.  Please don’t make me pick a second favorite.  I really love everything I’ve ever had from Oskar Blues, and I’d be happy drinking anything someone...

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Five Breweries, One Day

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014

Five Breweries, One Day, Mission Accepted In my real life, I have a pretty standard sales job, with one benefit being that once each year, we have to head to Charlotte for our company’s national sales conference. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s broken down over the course of two days, and the first day is pretty free, once you’ve gone through the trade show.  Instead of making this my soul item on the checklist, I colluded with two other 919 Beer Crew members with whom I work to create an agenda more conducive to an NC beer lover’s taste: we hit five NC breweries in one day! Here are the highlights: Lunch at Foothills Brewing Company As always, this place was fantastic! Caleb (@cflint81), the bar manager, is someone who is a master at his craft. Of course, he has extensive knowledge about the brews he serves, as they’re what everyone knows Foothills for. However, his understanding of liquors and mixology is downright mind-blowing. If you’re ever in the Winston-Salem area, do yourself a favor and go to Foothills, order something off of the mouth-watering menu, and have a chat with Caleb. You’ll be glad you did! What I drank: Hoppyum (Alas! They were out of Jade!)     First Charlotte stop: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery The outside of the brewery is rather unassuming, but walking in to the Brauhaus is a pretty cool experience. Tall ceilings, exposed brick on the walls lined with bench seating, and a floor filled with long tables create an open communal atmosphere.  All of their beers are brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot Purity Law. What I drank: Flight of Dunkel, Bauern Bock, Fruh Bock, and Captain James Jack Pilsner. Favorite: Dunkel   Second Charlotte Stop: Triple C Brewing Company Again, this place was nothing fancy on the outside, but it was very cool inside! Lots of exposed brick, very nice pine tables and bar tap, and a rugged, but polished concrete floor made reminded me a little bit of Steel String Craft Brewery in Carrboro. A few of the outstanding non-beer items at this place were the foosball table, pretzel dispenser, and a really tiny 8 week old puppy running around. What I drank: Flight of Road to Nowhere Porter, Cajun Stout, Greenway IPA, and 3C IPA. Favorite: 3C IPA—very drinkable; citrusy with a decent bitterness   Charlotte Stop Number 3: Birdsong Brewing Company OK, I’m finished mentioning the underwhelming...

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HOT ROD bREaD: Cooking with 919 Beer

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014

HOT ROD bREaD: Cooking with 919 Beer

Here’s a very simple recipe for delicious beer bread. I decided to use Hot Rod Red from Aviator Brewing Company, but feel free to substitute another local favorite. This is seriously easy. And seriously fantastic!

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Join Us!

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014

If you’re reading this, you probably have an interest in good beer.  Chances are, if you follow us on Twitter, you’re probably a fan of some, or all, of the great selections we have in here in the Triangle.  If so, we want you to join us! On the second Wednesday of each month, we meet at a different local brewery or bottle shop to taste some of their beers, take a tour, and learn all there is to know about said establishment.  All you need is $10, which gets you a pint, the tour/ talk, tastes of everything, and often a glass to take home.  We meet around 6 pm, and tours begin at 6:30. It’s a great opportunity to get together with other local beer lovers for some good conversation and great local beers.  Check out our events page for the schedule and come join us!   Cheers! The 919 Beer Team...

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