Fonta Flora Brewery Hoppin’ John Lager

Fonta Flora Hoppin’ John Lager, 5.2% ABV brewed in Nebo North Carolina with Sea Island Red Peas, smoked wheat and Carolina Gold Rice in collaboration with Buxton Hall Barbecue. Hoppin’ John pours a cloudy, smokey golden yellow color with a two finger white head that fades into a nice little white cap, giving off a smokey biscuit aromas. You then get a taste of what I can only describe as what a Big Green Egg smells like, it taste just like that with some light biscuity meat notes and finishes with a smokey yet faint meaty quality with a smoked wooden charcoal aftertaste with a medium mouthfeel. This is certainly different from most lagers and slightly different from most smoked beers it has a bit of a bbq meal quality to it that I give a B grade to. Fonta Flora Hoppin’ John Lager in my opinion taste like it should be had during mid fall season. It does invoke a feeling of a camp fire on a cool crisp dusk fall evening. I however recommend Fonta Flora Hoppin’ John Lager. I am Definitely going back to this beer. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Throwback Thursday: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier

Originally posted January 15th, 2012

When you think of Germany and it’s the beer you think of Munich and Bavaria. But this a Rauchbier, which is a smoked beer style in the Bamberg area of Germany. Schlenkerla is the original smoke beer. This is a Weizen (wheat) variety of their smoked beer. This beer is 5.2% ABV and is dark amber with a thick foamy beige head. The color of this beer is a bbq like color, dark crispy slightly burnt edges of the meat. Schlenkerla has a smokey scent to it that really smells like fresh bbq being cooked. This is a very pleasant smell. Yes, there is a very faint wheat smells but it is overpowered by the smokey scent. This smokey brew here has a bbq taste that makes you think of ribs pulled pork and other good bbq staples. Yes, there is a wheat taste there but you really have search hard for it. This beer has a good smokey aftertaste that is very wonderful and tasty nothing like a heavy thick smoked porter. I really do think this would go great with a bbq brisket or a slab of ribs. This smokey guy is not heavy tasting nor does it stick to your stomach/ribs, no it’s semi-light drinkable and really good. Yes, they do brew three other types of smoked beer. You should try this one, it is surprisingly good. Cheers! Please drink responsibly!

The Beer News

Here are this week’s news and events happening in the Charlotte, North Carolina area!

  • Thursday, October 31st, Winter Blaze Winter Ale Release. Triple C Brewing Company. 4 pm-10 pm. Everybody’s favorite winter ale returns on draft and in cans on Halloween!White Blazes mark the entire 2200 miles of the Appalachian Trail leading weary hikers in the right direction. We brewed this Winter Ale with Ceylon Cinnamon and Vanilla Beans, in honor of the great App Trail that provides a respite from our chaotic city lives.

    6% ABV


  • Thursday, October 31st. Mexicali Stout Release. Birdsong Brewing Co. 3 pm-10 pm. You guys have been asking and here it is!
    Charlotte’s FAVORITE cold weather beer is back, FINALLY! Join us for the release of Mexicali Stout on Halloween! Cans and drafts will be available starting at 3p!
    Warm coffee and cinnamon complement a smooth chocolate flavor in our full-bodied stout. With just a hint of chile heat from fresh habaneros and the addition of cacao nibs and local coffee, MexiCali Stout captures everything you would expect from a traditional molé.

    Stay tuned for updates!


  • Thursday, October 31st. Burial Beer Co. Tap Takeover! Pop the Top Craft Beer Shop. 2 pm-10 pm. What better brewery to celebrate all things scary and cool on Halloween than Asheville’s own Burial Beer Co.! We’ve got a KILLER tap list that you don’t want to miss. Some of these beers are very exclusive and cannot be found anywhere else but the brewery itself.~~The Beers~~
    1. Impaled by Indoctrination IPA 7.2%abv – Fresh wet hops of Chinook & Cashmere, and dry-hopped w/ Citra & Idaho 7
    2. Fragmented Shards of Subconsciousness DIPA 8.5%abv – DDH w/ 2019 harvest crops of Strata, Vic Secret, Galaxy, & Motueka
    3. ICED Foudre Aged Lager 4.5%abv – Collab w/ Modern Times Beer
    4. The Tearing of Flesh From Bone DIPA 8.2%abv – DDH w/ Mosaic & El Dorado hops
    5. March Into Torture Pale Ale 4.8%abv – Dry hopped heavily w/ Huell Melon & Comet hops
    6. The Nothing They Need IPA 7.2%abv – DDH w/ Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, and Centennial Cryo
    7. Under a Tide of Eternal Conquest DIPA 8.8%abv – An East Coast take on Double Surf Wax. DDH w/ Citra, Mosaic, & Simcoe Cryo
    8. Ample Absurdity Doppelbock w/ Maple Syrup & Coffee 9%abv – Brewed with Funk Grove’s maple syrup and cold-brewed coffee from Counter Culture Coffee
    9. The Allegory of Immortality Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned Sour w/ Peaches and Orange Peel 9.6%abv – Dark Sour Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels, conditioned upon peaches for 5 months before adding orange zest
    10. The Perils of Living in Pretend Barrel-aged Mixed Culture Ale with Second use Cherries 9.4%abv – Fermented with classic Belgian yeast & aged in oak barrels for over 2 years with mixed cultures of Brettanomyces and lactobacillus
    11. For Now, We Are Laid to Rest Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cuvee 12.5%abv – 2019 Burnpile VIP exclusive beer, a blend of BBA Barleywine, BBA Imperial Brown Ale, & BBA Imperial Stout
    12. Of Strength And Solace Farmhouse Ale 8%abv – Fermented with mixed culture & aged in imported Port Barrels for 9 months before being racked on top of 1 ton of Sauvignon Blanc pomace provided by the folks at Pleb Urban Winery
    13. Skillet Donut Imperial Stout 8%abv – A healthy scoop of oats, molasses, milk sugars, and freshly roasted Counter Culture coffee beans


  • Friday, November 1st. Hungry Girl IPA Release. Birdsong Brewing Co. 7 pm-10 pm. Celebrate the release of Hungry Girl’s new album, “Rip Currents”. Hungry Girl IPA will be available in limited supply.Listening party/tunes by DJ Justin Aswell.

    No cover charge.


  • Friday, November 1st. Meinā Jūra. NoDa Brewing Company. 3 pm-10 pm. Join us on the first day of November, as we rock the boat with this unique Baltic Porter. Meina Jura means “black Sea” in Lithuanian. This brew, sitting at 8.2% ABV, is a smooth, rich, dark and strong porter that is further rounded in its sweet finish from Lager Fermentation. This Baltic Porter was brewed with traditional European hops to balance out the heavy malt bill with a slight accent of cocoa nibs. Come test the waters and try this new release!


  • Saturday, November 2nd. Founders Brewing CBS 2019 Release!Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse Rea Farms. 11 am-1 pm. Sadly, this will be the final batch of Founders CBS for a foreseeable future, so let’s celebrate and enjoy it while it’s here!Also on tap… 2018 CBS, 2018 KBS and Curmudgeon’s Better Half (flights available!). We’ll have 12 oz. bottles and a limited supply of 750ml bottles of 2019 CBS (available for takeout as well).

    Lots of brewery merchandise giveaways… till 1pm!


  • Saturday, November 2nd Sausagefest 2019. JJ’s Red Hots East Blvd. 3 pm-7 pm. Tickets @ We’re back in 2019 for one of Charlotte’s favorite events of the year!
    JJ’s Red Hots 8th Annual Sausagefest takes place on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 at JJ’s Red Hots in Dilworth. This is an intimate beer and sausage tasting event hosted in our parking lot and rooftop deck. Ticket holders will receive an 8oz tasting glass to fill throughout the event. Take these home as souvenirs… they’re included in your entry fee!
    Highlights (included in entry fee):
    • Over 30 beers from 10 different local Charlotte breweries (to be announced in the coming weeks)

    • A wide variety of sausages made EXCLUSIVELY for SausageFest (to be announced in the coming weeks)

    • Live Music from The Whisky Dollars and Toleman Randall
    Click here to view past Sausagefest Event Photos

    *Due to space, tickets are limited. We like to keep this a small-ish event so you can enjoy more food, beer and music and less standing in line.

    Questions/Comments? Email Melissa I WILL BE THERE! Please come and say hi!


  • Monday, November 4th. Dunkle Release. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.  11 am-10 pm. OMB’s Dark Lager returns Monday, November 4th!

    Enjoy this fresh Winter favorite by the fire and let it warm your spirit as it pleases your palate!

    This beer is SMOOTH, with caramel and roasted malt flavors courtesy of Dark Munich and Carafa malts. Winter’s wrath is no match for this tasty beer!

    Very sessionable at 4.9% ABV, Dunkel is perfect to enjoy through the holiday season, and into the new year!

    Water. Malt. Hops. Yeast. Nothing Else.

Ninkasi Brewing Company Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout

Ninkasi Brewing Company Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout, 7.0% ABV and 50 IBUs came a part of a Jet Gift Baskets, I will post a review of the basket or bouquet in its entirety soon. Vanilla Oatis is in Eugene Oregon with a blend of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Ninkasi uses whole vanilla beans which are added in the final stage of brewing much like dry-hopping a beer. Vanilla Oatis pours thick black with a three-finger tan head that never seems to dissipate leaving behind nice lacing, that gives off burnt sweet roasted notes with touches of chocolate and coffee with a bit of dryness. You get a nice sweet roasted vanilla flavor followed by ant oat flavor with a dry nuttiness that finishes with a semi-sweet roasted flavor and a sweet semi-dry oatmeal aftertaste with a thick full mouthfeel that coats the entirety of your mouth. This wasn’t as big a beer as I thought and was quite delicious getting an A-. Ninkasi Brewing Company Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout really is a solid example of an oatmeal stout, one I recommend you try. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout Deluxe Bouquet

Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout Deluxe Bouquet from Jet Gift Baskets in which they contacted me asking if I would review their one of their products and services, this bouquet  has six Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stouts Homegrown Popcorn, Beer Cheese & Bourbon, sea salt and olive oil crackers, dipping pretzels (sticks), Dijon mustard and Country Archer Turkey Jerky Hickory Smoked.

an eighty dollar value. I have just posted a review of Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout. The dipping pretzels were not nearly as salt as some pretzels but the Dijon mustard was good, it had a nice Dijon spice to it which sort of help the pretzels. Now the sea salt olive oil cracker had a little sweetness to them which was unexpected and the olive oil was on the faint side, so the crackers were average. Country Archer Turkey Jerky Hickory Smoked was excellent l, the jerky was tender flavorful with a nice street fair smoked quality and not overly smoked and dehydrated. The Beer Cheese and Bourbon popcorn were not bad both the cheese & Bourbon made for somewhat nice carbonation. This Jet gift basket was very nice and worthwhile for its price and would make for a nice gift for any beer lover, Jet Gift Baskets service was quick and easy as well as having friendly staff. So go and check out Jet Gift Baskets! Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Divine Barrel Brewing Ice Cream Paint Job

From Charlotte, North Carolina Divine Barrel Brewing Ice Cream Paint Job, 4.6% ABV is a Berliner Weiss brewed with blueberries, raspberries, sweet cherries, lactose, and vanilla. Ice Cream Paint Job pours a deep cherry red color with a two-finger pinkish-red color with sweet fruity aromas (sweet cherry and some raspberry) with hints of faint wheat with a nice waft of vanilla. I found a creamy cherry flavor upfront in my mouth with a raspberry coming in the middle with some tartness and vanilla sweetness tangoing with a very faint whiff of wheat notes that come to a sweet-tart vanilla sorbet finish and with a tart fruited aftertaste with a light mouthfeel. Divine Barrel Brewing Ice Cream Paint Job is good the vanilla really adds another layer to this Berliner Weiss and gives it a B+. I never really tasted any blueberries on this everything else I tasted, so that holds it back. But a fine Berliner Weiss beer and one I recommend trying. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Throwback Thursday: Bell’s Brewing Oarsman Ale

Originally posted on July 19th, 2013.

I have always heard good things about Bell’s Brewery in Michigan. But I have only had one of their beers thus far, Oberon, which I have reviewed a while back. But now I have Oarsman Ale, a Berliner Wiess, 4.0% ABV. This is a wheat beer style from the Berlin area of Germany. Bell’s uses traditional sour mash methods to brew this year-round. beer Oarsman Ale pours a hazy straw like color with a head that does fade quickly. I sound some small amounts of light trying to come trough the glass and lots of carbonation. The beer was very effervescent looking. The aroma is of tart citrus like fruit with a hint of wheat malts. Overall the aroma is more on the week side of the scale. The taste is at first fruity with nice effervescent feel. Then you get a light fruit sweetness, followed by a little fruit tartness towards the end. The mouthfeel is somewhat light with a tart but slightly tangy finish. The aftertaste is tart leaning slight towards sour. Overall not a bad beer, so I say this is a B- beer, it doesn’t bow my mind but does taste good. I found this to have a nice fruitiness about it. I would have this again, and would recommend this. I am not saying this is one of my new favorites or anything. But I did enjoy this just enough for B-. So please go and try this for yourself as see what you think of Bell’s Oarsman Ale. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

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

  • Thursday, October 24th. Up All Night Breakfast Porter Release. Triple C Brewing Company. 4 pn-10 pm. The best thing about New Years is the Christmas lights! Our 10% Breakfast Porter is back and in 16oz cans for the first time!! Brewed with flaked oats, honey, lactose, chocolate malts, and Magnolia Coffee Company coffee. There may be a couple surprise draft-only variants too…

    The Dumpling Lady food truck joins us for the release.


  • Thursday, October 24th. Dogfish Head Tap Takeover. 1st Ward Beverage Co. 5 pm-12 am. Another Tap Takeover! This time, it’s Dogfish Head coming in hot to takeover our taps! 3 Great beers will be featured as well as a complimentary Burgers and Hotdog bar for all paying patrons. Come enjoy good food and the best brews in town!


  • Friday, October 25th. FALL FUNK FEST. The Unknown Brewing Company. 6 pm-10:30 pm. Ticket free at On October 25th we will be hosting the biggest event of the season and tickets are completely FREE! What’s that mean for you?…

    🍁 Free Concert with performances from your Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, AKITA, Ajeva, and VonHunter!

    🍁The first look at the much anticipated Unknown Wood & Grain Project! We will be giving tours of the new facility along with a limited release of our very first project!

    🍁The first release of our new fall beer “Squash Those Pumpkin Beers”!

    🍁 Then of course…food trucks, pop up shops, pumpkin chucking contest, bobbing for apple’s contest, flannel contest and much more!

    Make sure you guys get your tickets and come venture into the Unknown on October 25th for the Fall Funk Fest!


  • Friday, October 25th. Velvet Elvis Chocolate Ry Stout Release. Triple C Brewing Company.  4 pm-9 pm. A rich chocolate stout that wraps your palate in a warm blanket of sweet milk chocolate and brownie batter flavors. Rye and Chocolate Rye malt contribute to this full-bodied beer with added complexity and subtle malty spiciness. This stout finishes with burnt coffee flavors from Roasted Barely, giving it a balance of sweetness and roastiness. A beer truly fit for The King!

    One keg only, so don’t miss it!

    7.5% ABV 


  • Saturday, October 26. Beer for Breakfast: A Beer and Donut Pairing. Pop the Top Craft Beer Shop. 10 am-3 pm. It’s that time of year again and we are excited to bring our 3rd iteration of Beer for Breakfast: A Beer & Donut pairing! We are switching it up this go-around and partnering with Pepperbox Doughnuts to pair with some fantastic beers! Mark those calendars!! You don’t want to miss this great event!

    Taplist and donut pairing have been finalized!! Check it out below!

    ~~ The Beers w/ Donut pairing~~
    > Hi-Wire Brewing Mexican HOT Chocolate 10W-40 Imperial Stout brewed w/ Chocolate, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Pasilla & Carolina Reaper peppers
    ~~Paired w/ Mexican Chocolate Donut w/ Dark chocolate icing infused with sea salt, cinnamon, & cayenne pepper. Topped with crunchy cacao nibs

    > Burial Beer Co. Skillet Donut Imperial Stout brewed w/ Oats, Molasses, Milk Sugars, and Counter Culture Coffee beans
    ~~Paired w/ Orange Honey Butter Donut covered with orange honey butter glaze then finished with crunchy, toasted doughnut crumbs

    > Wooden Robot Brewery Good Morning Vietnam Coffee Blonde Ale brewed w/ Madagascar Vanilla beans & Enderley Coffee
    ~~Paired w/ Brownie batter topped w/ rich chocolate buttercream, mini milk chocolate chips, & brownie bits

    > Foothills Brewing Pumpkin Ale brewed w/ real pumpkins and spices
    ~~Paired w/ Mini Apple Fritters classic apple fritter, bite-sized, filled with chunks of local apples & glazed w/ apple cider.  I will be there, so come say HI!


  • Saturday, October 26. Triple Can Release. Divine Barrel Brewing. 12 pm-11 pm. Join us for a triple can release this Saturday! We’ll be releasing our Imperial Stout collab with Your Mom’s Donuts, The Universe is a Donut, one of our favorite West Coast #bitterbois, Forty Dollar Bill, and bringing back the deliciously hazy Basement of my Brain.

    The Universe is a Donut: Imperial Stout, 10.5% ABV – This decadent imperial stout was brewed with over 50 pounds of glazed donuts from Your Mom’s Donuts here in Charlotte and lactose. It was then heavily dosed with Villain Coffee Company espresso beans, vanilla, and cocoa nibs during secondary fermentation. The result is a tantalizingly thick, jet-black beer with a sweet, battery tiramisu flavor explosion.

    Forty Dollar Bill: West Coast IPA, 7.1% ABV – Our dank West Coast IPA double dry-hopped with the classic Citra, Simcoe & Amarillo profile like the hop bombs of old. Perfumed with deep notes of vibrant ruby red grapefruit, Meyer lemon, tangelo, and sticky pine. A specially crafted lighter malt base allows for the aromatic hops to shine.

    The basement of my Brain: Hazy IPA, 6.5% ABV – A hazy IPA brewed and double dry-hopped with Mosaic, Cashmere & Sultana hops. Filled with dank and juicy hops, look for flavors of pine, mango, pineapple, and slight berry undertones. 


Ancillary Fermentation Flag Signals.

Ancillary Fermentation Flag Signals, 4% ABV brewed in Cary North Carolina with sea salt, mango, pineapple, and strawberry in stainless tanks. Flag Signals pours a hazy straw yellow color with a fuzzy one finger head with tropical fruit aromas, mango and pineapple with faint strawberry. The flavor follows the aroma with tropical fruit notes with a tart saltiness that finish with a strawberry tropical flavor that is a bit sour yet tart with a sour tropical fruit aftertaste. The salted aspect of Ancillary Fermentation Flag Signals kind of throw the beer off, an it come out to D+. I did finish the beer but it not something that might go back to. The sour aspect really did go as well with the salt. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Beer & Chips Pairing: Sugar Creek Brewing The Big O Blood Orange India Pale Ale & Miss Vickie’s Farmhouse White Cheddar

This is Beer & Chips Pairing: Sugar Creek Brewing The Big O Blood Orange India Pale Ale, 7% ABV & Miss Vickie’s Farmhouse White Cheddar. When you have a sharp cheese such as farmhouse white cheddar one good chose of beer is an IPA. I have previously reviewed Sugar Creek Brewing The Big O Blood Orange India Pale Ale. I might post a throwback Thursday post on it soon. Miss Vickie’s Farmhouse White Cheddar Chips are yellow smooth with very little burn edges and have a sharp cheddar cheesy aroma with some faint salty potato. The taste is strong with the farmhouse cheddar and light on the salt with a mild potato flavor. Big O does wash out a bit of the bold cheddar flavor, but as it washes over the back of your mouth the bold cheesy flavor comes right back with a nice mild blood orange flavor from the IPA. Sugar Creek Brewing The Big O Blood Orange India Pale Ale does in away pair nicely with Miss Vickie’s Farmhouse White Cheddar. I give is pairing a B-. The flavor is bold enough to make it through the big blood orange flavor of the beer and goes well with light salt and potato notes. I think that Miss Vickie’s Farmhouse White Cheddar are amazing and will definitely have them again. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!