Starr Hill Brewery Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale

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Fall is here. Well, I guess that’s true but it sure feels like summer in most places. But here is a fall beer from the Starr Hill Brewery in Charlottesville Virgina, Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale, 6.1% ABV brewed with real Virgina Maple Suryp. Last Leaf pours a dark amber brown color with ruby brown edges and with a one finger thin beige head that quickly dissipates that gives off sweet maple vanilla notes with a syrupy sweetness and has a taste that is thick with vanilla, maple syrup with a slightly bitter note on toward the back of the mouth to it that sort of brings Last Leaf down a bit. Last Leaf finishes with maple vanilla notes and gives a very bitter yet sweet aftertaste that lings for just a bit before fading into a thickness with a fuller mouthfeel. I went into this beer thinking this should be good, but I was underwhelmed, this beer was not as good, I give Starr Hill Brewery Last Leaf a C-. Some of the flavors were somewhat good but not good enough. I would have like to have a creamier vanilla and maple flavor to this Last Leaf and not any bitter notes to it. That would really help make this beer something good. But it wasn’t what I like in a brown ale. Don’t go for Starr Hill Brewery Last Leaf, please. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!  

Throwback Thursday: Unibroue Raftman

This post is from August 29th, 2014

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Some beers are harder to find than others and that could be due to where that beer brewery is located or that they just do not distribute beer out of their local area and/or state. That could be cost or other reasons. Some beers might just be a seasonal release and some seasons are shorter than others, like fall. Well, I came across a seasonal brew from The Unibroue brewery in Canada, Raftman, 5.5% ABV, a Belgian Pale ale brewed with Peat smoked Whisky malt and also brewed with spices. Unibroue Raftman is brewed in memory of those bygone masters of the forest who were always amenable to settling their differences over ale and a shot of whiskey. I always enjoy Unibroue’s labels, they are always very interesting and they look like they tell some sort of story. Raftman pours a copper brownish slightly murky color with a big three and a half rocky white head that sticks around for a good while and fades into some nice white lacing. I found minimal light coming through the glass with little carbonation due to the murky like coloring. The aroma has the slightest smoky malt scent with a little yeast. The taste on Raftman is smoky like the aroma but just enough to let you know that there are smoked whiskey malts. I also get a little bit of a pepper spice on the middle of the mouth that really goes well with the smoked whiskey malts, and really lifts it taste up. On the back of the mouth, I get some nice slightly sweet vanilla flavors. The mouthfeel is full bodied with some richness to it, but not a lot. Raftman has a nice smoky finish that lingers into a nice slightly spiced and smoked aftertaste. This is a really an interesting take on a Belgian Pale Ale, I give Unibroue Raftman A+. I really like the smoked whiskey malts on this beer. They really did it well, it isn’t overdone or strong and it’s easy to drink. I highly recommend trying Unibroue Raftman, so go out and get some of it and try it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

Here are this week happenings in and around the Charlotte, NC area.

  • September 28th Thursday 4 pm- 8:30 pm NoDa Brewing Company. Pink Pint Night kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month Thursday, Sept. 28 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at NoDa Brewing Company in North End (2921 N. Tryon St.). This collaboration between NoDa Brewing Company and Charlotte Radiology is free, open to the public and reservations are not required. The kickoff event will feature live music, food trucks, and a special pink brew.
    100% of the proceeds will benefit Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund, a Levine Cancer Institute initiative that increases access to life-saving mammography screenings and follow-up care for uninsured women.
    Raise $150 and become a VIP! VIPs get reserved seating, a food voucher, Pink Pint Night glass, 2 free beer tickets and VIP bar access!
    Click here to become a VIP: http://bit.ly/PinkPintNightVIP Ticket information http://www.charlotteradiology.com
  • September 28th Thursday 3 pm-10 pm Birdsong Brewing Co. Bottle Release Weasels On Woodpeckers! It’s not every day that we release a bottle of barrel-aged yumminess from what we like to call our “Take Flight Series!” Join us on 9/28 for the release of Weasels on Woodpeckers, as this might be our best one yet! Back in 2015 when a photo of a weasel on a woodpecker went viral, we received tweets and emails galore suggesting that we use that to name a beer in our Take Flight Series! It kind of fits the theme… Turtles on Pterodactyls, Squirrels on Geese and Mongeese on Monkeys… you get the idea. We’ve been working on this beer idea for quite some time and we’re finally ready to unveil! Weasels on Woodpeckers is our Belgian Saison aged in white wine barrels with fresh peaches added. The Belgian yeast is complimented with upfront aromas of Chardonnay oakiness and finishes with a slightly tart, slightly sweet peach finish! Kind of tastes like a peach bellini. Who doesn’t like those? We packaged a limited amount of bottles and draft and will release at 3pm on Thursday, 9/28! 22 oz bottles will be first come, first serve and $10 each. Hope you can join!
  • September 29th Friday 12 pm-10 pm Noda Brewing Company. Bottle Release Sticky When Wet IPA. The beer that so many of you have been asking for since it’s 2016 debut is finally back! Join us for the release of our wet hopped brew: Sticky When Wet.We brewed this beer just ONE day after the hops were harvested… it’s as fresh and sticky as it can possibly get! This wet-hopped beer has an assertive bitterness balanced with bright aromas and flavors of Peach and Grapefruit derive from heavy additions of Citra and Mosaic hops. Sitting at 6.31%, this brew is one you don’t want to miss. TIN Kitchen will join us to serve up delicious grub starting at 5 pm!
  • September 30th Saturday 11 am- 1 pm Wooden Robot Brewery Bottle Release Réserve Series. The exclusive bottle release of our Barrel-Aged Réserve Series: Réserve Dorée & Réserve de Cerises
    Saturday, 9.30.17 @ 11am Réserve Dorée: Sour Golden Ale Aged In Chardonnay Barrels One of the first beers we ever brewed at Wooden Robot. This sour golden ale was lovingly aged in a French Oak Chardonnay barrel for over 20 months. We selected our favorite barrel and bottled it unblended for a pure expression of fruity yeast, soft oak, and bright wine notes.
    Alc/Vol: 5.8% Réserve de Cerises: Sour Red Ale with Cherries Aged in Red Wine Barrels This sour red ale was aged in red wine barrels for nearly two years, then refermented on over a pound per gallon of tart cherries. Balanced notes of raisin, cherry and red wine fade to a dry, funky finish. Drink fresh to highlight the bright fruit character or age to allow the wild yeast to come to the forefront. Alc/Vol: 6.0% Sales will commence at 11am on the east side of the brewhouse. $20 (+tax) per 500mL bottle Limit 4 bottles of Réserve de Cerises per person Limit 2 bottles of Réserve Dorée per person In addition to bottle sales, we will be pouring a few special releases. The infamous Strawberry Vanilla Sour and Godless Killing Machine Imperial Stout! H
    ang out in our taproom after and grab one of these exclusive releases! 
  • October 5th Thursday 5 pm-7 pm BirdSong Brewing. Solar Event. Red Group is hosting an event at Birdsong Brewery on Thursday, October 5th from 5pm -7:30pm. Come learn how solar can benefit your home or business. Team REDgroup will be on hand for personal discussions as well as a brief presentation regarding solar in NC. Our goals are to provide you with useful information that will help you make an educated decision regarding solar and to enjoy a tasty Birdsong Beer. Please RSVP so we can give Birdsong an idea of how many delicious brews to have ready for us. Contact us with any questions solar@redgroupnc.com OR 877-520-SOLAR. More info: http://bit.ly/2xamvvc

Parkway Brewing Company Get Bent Mountian IPA

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This beer, Parkway Brewing Co., Get Bent Mountian IPA, 7.2% ABV and 67 IBUs from Saleem Virgina which I received from a Brewpublik delivery. This beer uses lots of citrusy hops according to its label.  Get Bent Mountian IPA pours an orange color with an almost two finger white head that fades rather quickly with nothing left behind it, and gives off a grapefruit and orange aroma with plenty of earthy earth, and hoppy notes. Taste is big on the bitter grapefruit with a big bitter hop note with some earthiness and piney notes and has a bitter finish with touches of bitter orange and a lingering of a bitterness with some pine and earthy notes and a somewhat of a full mouthfeel. This beer was more on the bitter side and that was a bit much for me so I give Parkway Brewing Co., Get Bent Mountian IPA a D+. It was a beer that I could finish but not one that I like nor would go back to it again. Too much bitterness and not enough citrus flavors. I think Parkway Brewing Co. needs to turn down the bitterness on this beer for it to be somewhat good. But I don’t think you should try this IPA. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly! 

The Beer News

Here are this week’s news and happening in and around the Charlotte, NC area!  

  • September 16th Saturday 21 pm-8 pm Blue Blaze Brewing is having Oktoberfest. The brewery will have traditional German-Style beers and JJ’s Red Hots will be crafting a limited edition brat using Alpine Weisse Oktoberfest Ale. This brat will then be sold at their restaurants between September 16th through October 3rd. More information On Blue Blaze Brewing’s Facebook page.
  • September 16th Saturday 12 pm-10 PM NoDa Brewing Company Oktoberfest. Celebrating Germany’s Oktoberfest with the release of our very own fall brew! Our Oktoberfest is brewed with Epiphany Malting’s Oktoberfest and Munich Malts, making a clean, crisp, and (you guessed it) malty brew that you’ll love! Not only will you be able to sip on this draft brew in the tap room, but you’ll also be able to purchase a custom stein to take home, worthy of all your Oktoberfest celebrations! Plus, TIN Kitchen will be serving up a special Bratwurst (and all of their regular tasty dishes). This is one celebration you don’t want to miss.
  • September 16th Saturday 12 pm-10 pm Sycamore Brewing Pumpkin Fest 2017 Join us September 16th for a Celebration of Fall & Pumpkin Beers! Featuring an amazing tap list of Seasonal Fall Beers including – ‘Gourd Have Mercy!’ Awesome Giveaways for the first 100 guests!!!
    Live Music on 2 Stages, Outdoor Pouring Stations, 4 Food Trucks, Very Good Times!!
    Bands:
    Of Good Nature
    PMA Positive Mental Attitude
    Late Night Special
    Colby Deitz Band
    Below the Belt
    And more!
  • September 22nd-24th Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Mecktoberfest Mecktoberfest, OMB’s fall “Über-seasonal” brew, releases Monday, August 28th at OMB. More info about that event is here:https://www.facebook.com/events/119537582012904
    This event is for our Mecktoberfest celebration…It’s beer-drinking season at OMB! Seasonal favorite Mecktoberfest will be on tap along with your year-round essentials: Copper, Capt Jack, Southside & Hornet’s Nest. Mecktoberfest is one of our largest events of the year and full of the sounds of Bavaria! The German bands are high-energy with audience dancing and sing-along participation encouraged. Friday:
    3-6pm – Mountain Top Polka (German band)
    7-10pm – Holzhackern Tyrolean Band (German band)
    Saturday:
    11a-6p – Local acts
    7-10pm – Holzhackern Tyrolean Band (German band)
    Sunday:
    11a-2p – Mountain Top Polka (German band)
    3-6pm – Holzhackern Tyrolean Band (German band)
    More food menu details are on the way. Expect classics like Schnitzel, Spätzle, & Knockwurst.
    You don’t want to miss this authentic Oktoberfest experience. Prost!
    This is a free event. Under 21 welcome. Dogs welcome outside.
  • September 23rd Saturday Sugar Creek Brewing Company 11 am Fall Fest 2017. Fall is finally here, and we’re celebrating with an all-day party at Sugar Creek Brewing’s Fall Fest 2017! This event itself is FREE and will offer fun for the whole family (dogs included). The event kicks off with “Fall Into Desserts,” a dessert festival hosted by Love Desserts CLT in our Sugar Creek warehouse from 12-6 PM. Experience 20 local bakeries and dessert shops under one roof! Admission to the desert festival is $10 which includes entry into the event, complimentary non-alcoholic drink (Apple Pie Punch or Cranberry Harvest Punch), and candy. Tickets can be purchased here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-desserts-fall-into-dessert-tickets-37427224837 While that’s going on, we’ll also have live music, a pig roast, games for kids, and plenty of local vendors to shop from, including:
    Glory Days Apparel
    Johnny Fly
    Southern Fragrances Candle Co
    WildlyUrban
    Charlotte Mobile Makery
    CLT Find
    Purple Girl Designs by Amber
    Pet Wants Charlotte: The Urban Feed Store
    Tabletop Campfires
    Pink Daisy Co.
    Thank You Mother Earth
    Bajari
    And more!
  • September 28th Thursday 4 pm- 8:30 pm NoDa Brewing Company. Pink Pint Night kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month Thursday, Sept. 28 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at NoDa Brewing Company in North End (2921 N. Tryon St.). This collaboration between NoDa Brewing Company and Charlotte Radiology is free, open to the public and reservations are not required. The kickoff event will feature live music, food trucks, and a special pink brew.
    100% of the proceeds will benefit Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund, a Levine Cancer Institute initiative that increases access to life-saving mammography screenings and follow-up care for uninsured women.
    Raise $150 and become a VIP! VIPs get reserved seating, a food voucher, Pink Pint Night glass, 2 free beer tickets and VIP bar access!
    Click here to become a VIP: http://bit.ly/PinkPintNightVIP Ticket information http://www.charlotteradiology.com

Wicked Weed Brewing Old Fashioned Barrel_Age Ale

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This Old Fashioned Barrel-Aged Ale 10.0% ABV from Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville North Carolina is their take on the classic cocktail The Old Fashioned. This beer is brewed with oranges and cherries and is aged in bourbon barrels with Montmorency and black cherries and finished off with orange zest. What is Montmorency, well that is a type of cherry from Canada, France, and United States.  Old Fashioned Barrel-Aged Ale pours a thick black color with a one finger beige head that gives off slight cherry, lots of alcoholic notes with faint orange. There are a few vanilla notes on the nose but it slightly is hidden behind the big alcoholic boozy aroma, it all smells strong which leads into the taste with big boozy flavors up front with a bit of cherry and slight orange in the middle with more alcohol on the end and touches of toffee. Old Fashioned Barrel-Aged Ale tastes more like a strong Quad than an Old Fashioned cocktail, and not a good one at that. The finish is too strong with alcohol and not enough of the cherry and/or orange and has a boozy aftertaste with some alcohol burn that lingers just for a bit with a full mouthfeel. Wicked Weed Brewing Old Fashioned Barrel-Aged Ale is not for me and I give it a D-. Too strong and too harsh and it wasn’t like the cocktail it is named after. I don’t recommend this at all and I will not drink this again, Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!   

Throwback Thursday: Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. Death Wish Nightmare India Pale Ale

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This throwback Thursday post is from November 16, 2016

I like coffee and I like beer, so naturally, I would like coffee beer, and yes that would be correct cause I do. Most coffee beers are dark beers like stouts, porters, or brown ales. But this beer from Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. in Saratoga Springs New York brews Death Wish Nightmare India Pale Ale, 6.8% ABV. Death Wish Nightmare uses Death Wish coffee. If you haven’t had Death Wish Coffee then you are really missing out, and Death Wish Coffee is from Round Lake, New York nearby. It is good strong coffee, the strong kind of stuff you grandpa would say it’ll be hair on chest boy! This is an IPA brewed with whole Death Wish coffee beans. Death Wish Nightmare pours a light copper color with a five-finger fluffy slightly off-white head that stays for days. The aroma is like your smelling strong rich coffee being brewed on the other side of the kitchen. There is a slight earthy note there are well with a bit of an ash-like scent. Taste is roasted coffee upfront with a little ashy flavor in the middle with a bitter citrus pine on the back. The mouthfeel is medium with a nice ashy coffee finish that has a good bitter IPA and bitter coffee aftertaste. This is one balanced beer between the malts of the IPA and the coffee flavors. I say that Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. Death Wish Nightmare India Pale Ale is an A. I have never had a Coffee IPA before, and most coffee beer that I’ve had have been dark stout or porter. This was really good. I recommend that you try this beer and Death Wish Coffee! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly! 

The Beer News

Here are this week’s news and happening in and around the Charlotte, NC area!  

  • September 21st Salud Beer Shop Deconstructed Bomb! 6 pm-10 pm 
    Join us as we tap Bomb and variants including Coffee Bomb! Vanilla Bomb! Chocolate Bomb! and Chilli Bomb! Feel free to blend the variants to create your own version of Bomb!
  • September 22nd-24rd Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Mecktoberfest Mecktoberfest, OMB’s fall “Über-seasonal” brew, releases Monday, August 28th at OMB. More info about that event is here:https://www.facebook.com/events/119537582012904
    This event is for our Mecktoberfest celebration…It’s beer-drinking season at OMB! Seasonal favorite Mecktoberfest will be on tap along with your year-round essentials: Copper, Capt Jack, Southside & Hornet’s Nest. Mecktoberfest is one of our largest events of the year and full of the sounds of Bavaria! The German bands are high-energy with audience dancing and sing-along participation encouraged. Friday:
    3-6pm – Mountain Top Polka (German band)
    7-10pm – Holzhackern Tyrolean Band (German band)
    Saturday:
    11a-6p – Local acts
    7-10pm – Holzhackern Tyrolean Band (German band)
    Sunday:
    11a-2p – Mountain Top Polka (German band)
    3-6pm – Holzhackern Tyrolean Band (German band)
    More food menu details are on the way. Expect classics like Schnitzel, Spätzle, & Knockwurst.
    You don’t want to miss this authentic Oktoberfest experience. Prost!
    This is a free event. Under 21 welcome. Dogs welcome outside.
  • September 23rd Saturday Sugar Creek Brewing Company 11 am Fall Fest 2017. Fall is finally here, and we’re celebrating with an all-day party at Sugar Creek Brewing’s Fall Fest 2017! This event itself is FREE and will offer fun for the whole family (dogs included). The event kicks off with “Fall Into Desserts,” a dessert festival hosted by Love Desserts CLT in our Sugar Creek warehouse from 12-6 PM. Experience 20 local bakeries and dessert shops under one roof! Admission to the desert festival is $10 which includes entry into the event, complimentary non-alcoholic drink (Apple Pie Punch or Cranberry Harvest Punch), and candy. Tickets can be purchased here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-desserts-fall-into-dessert-tickets-37427224837 While that’s going on, we’ll also have live music, a pig roast, games for kids, and plenty of local vendors to shop from, including:
    Glory Days Apparel
    Johnny Fly
    Southern Fragrances Candle Co
    WildlyUrban
    Charlotte Mobile Makery
    CLT Find
    Purple Girl Designs by Amber
    Pet Wants Charlotte: The Urban Feed Store
    Tabletop Campfires
    Pink Daisy Co.
    Thank You Mother Earth
    Bajari
    And more!
  • September 28th Thursday 4 pm-8:30 pm Noda Brewing Company Pink Pint Night. Pink Pint Night kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month Thursday, Sept. 28 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at NoDa Brewing Company in North End (2921 N. Tryon St.). This collaboration between NoDa Brewing Company and Charlotte Radiology is free, open to the public and reservations are not required. The kickoff event will feature live music, food trucks, and a special pink brew.
    100% of the proceeds will benefit Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund, a Levine Cancer Institute initiative that increases access to life-saving mammography screenings and follow-up care for uninsured women.
    Raise $150 and become a VIP! VIPs get reserved seating, a food voucher, Pink Pint Night glass, 2 free beer tickets and VIP bar access!
    Click here to become a VIP: http://bit.ly/PinkPintNightVIP Tickets information here http://www.charlotteradiology.com
  • September 28th Thursday 3 pm-10 pm Birdsong Brewing Bottle Release Weasels on Woodpeckers! it’s not every day that we release a bottle of barrel-aged yumminess from what we like to call our “Take Flight Series!” Join us on 9/28 for the release of Weasels on Woodpeckers, as this might be our best one yet! Back in 2015 when a photo of a weasel on a woodpecker went viral, we received tweets and emails galore suggesting that we use that to name a beer in our Take Flight Series! It kind of fits the theme… Turtles on Pterodactyls, Squirrels on Geese and Mongeese on Monkeys… you get the idea. We’ve been working on this beer idea for quite some time and we’re finally ready to unveil! Weasels on Woodpeckers is our Belgian Saison aged in white wine barrels with fresh peaches added. The Belgian yeast is complimented with upfront aromas of Chardonnay oakiness and finishes with a slightly tart, slightly sweet peach finish! Kind of tastes like a peach bellini. Who doesn’t like those? We packaged a limited amount of bottles and draft and will release at 3pm on Thursday, 9/28! 22 oz bottles will be first come, first serve and $10 each. Hope you can join!
  • September 29th Friday 12 pm-10 pm NoDa Brewing Company Sticky When Wet IPA Release. The beer that so many of you have been asking for since it’s 2016 debut is finally back! Join us for the release of our wet hopped brew: Sticky When Wet.We brewed this beer just ONE day after the hops were harvested… it’s as fresh and sticky as it can possibly get! This wet-hopped beer has an assertive bitterness balanced with bright aromas and flavors of Peach and Grapefruit derive from heavy additions of Citra and Mosaic hops. Sitting at 6.31%, this brew is one you don’t want to miss. TIN Kitchen will join us to serve up delicious grub starting at 5 pm! 

Saranac F.X. Matt Haus Lager

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Saranac F.X. Matt’s Haus Lager, 4.9% ABV I acquired form Brewpublik recently. This is the beer that the founder of the Saranac/Matt brewery brewed for the employees to enjoy after work. This Haus Lager was first brewed in 1878. Haus lager pours a golden yellow color with a two and a half finger white fluffy head with great retention that leaves behind great white lacing throughout the pint glass. There is a fine aroma of cracker, sweetness with some watery grain notes that all come together in a flavor or cracker sweetness with touches of some grains and has a smooth sweet finish with a semi-cracker aftertaste all with a fuller mouthfeel. This is a great take on a lager beer, I say it is an A- and comes close to my favorite lager Samuel Smiths Organic Lager. Lager beers a look upon has bad and something craft beer drinkers/geeks should not try. Well no I don’t believe that at all. I actually enjoy a nice well-brewed lager and if a brewer/brewery can brew a great lager then that shows me that they are a great brewery/brewer, nothing to hide mistakes behind in a lager. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!      

Foothills Brewing Craft Happiness IPA Project Bookworm IPA

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Another Foothills Brewing Craft Happiness Project IPA is upon us and this is Bookworm IPA, 6.3% ABV and 70 IBU (International Bittering Units). This Winston-Salem North Carolina IPA is helping out with literacy get people to read more. Bookworm pours a deep golden color with a three finger head and has a somewhat dry fruity aroma of pineapple, mango, grapefruit and slight blueberry with a slight dryness and an herbal note from the use of Eureka hops. Then the aroma leads into the taste of pineapple (from the Denali dry hopping) and some nice  grapefruit notes and very faint blueberry and a dryness on the back of the tongue. Bookworm finish slight dry and fruity with a nice dry grapefruit and pineapple aftertaste all with a medium mouthfeel. This Foothills Brewing Craft Happiness Project IPA taste slightly similar to a few of the others in this series but with a faint blueberry note, and with that being said, this Bookworm IPA is a an A-. A good beer something that I would have a again and one that I recommend to anyone that likes IPAs. Foothills Brewing does an amazing job with this series of IPAs and is a series of beer that is well with a try. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!