North Carolina has become quite the brewing hot bed, with more than 70 breweries and brew pubs located in the Tar Heel State. The craft beer industry has noticed- west coast brewing heavy weight Oskar Blues (Colorado) has set up shop in North Carolina in an attempt to facilitate better distribution on the flush with cash (and perpetually thirsty) East Coast, and their Colorado neighbors at New Belgium have begun work on their own North Carolina brewery in Asheville, scheduled to start brewing in 2015.
In short- it's a good time to be a beer lover in North Carolina!
My mother in law was in NC recently visiting family, and as I understand it, my cousin-in-law sent a few local brews back with her for my enjoyment. As I also understand it, her husband may or may not have been aware of these beers being "liberated" from his collection, so Adam- I thank you, and I owe you some beers!
Golden Lager- 4.2%ABV
Asheville Brewing, Asheville, NC
This golden lager- from North Carolina local's Asheville Brewing - pours a deep, clear golden, with a low wispy white head. Smell is of fresh bread, with undertones of lager yeast and malt.
Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with perfect carbonation. Taste follows the smell, mildly yeasty but clean and crisp, with a touch of citrusy to brighten it up. Finish is clean and crisp.
This is a rock solid, extremely well balanced lager. No gimmicks, no BS- just really good beer.
Imperial Red IPA- 8.7% ABV, 60 IBU's
Oskar Blues, Brevard, NC
G'night pours a deep dark-but translucent- reddish brown with a thick, creamy head.
The smell is amazing- G'night is a dry hopped super hop bomb- sweet and hoppy. Lots of pungent tropical fruit sweetness and resinous piney hop aroma waft from the glass.
Mouthfeel is moderate, with surprising carbonation. Its kinda fizzy.
Taste is wicked bitter up front. Lots of sweet piney hops with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Flavors are strong but not distinct, sort of muddled. A robust malt bill tries to balance out the assault of hops... but fails. Less sweetness in the taste compared to the nose, but there is just enough to notice. Finish is very warm and bitter.
Loved this beer- massively aromatic, super sticky hoppy, with a great finish. I highly recommend this beer, but be warned, it's not for the faint of heart.
Have you experienced the North Carolina craft beer scene? Share your experience and leave a comment.
Bill AKA ManDrinksBeer