Narragansett Brewing Company Fresh Catch

Narragansett Brewing Company Fresh Catch, 4.2% ABV is a golden ale dry-hopped with Citra hops in Pawtucket, Rhode Island which was founded way back in 1890 in Cranston Rhode Island. Narragansett is the best selling New England beer and has the ad slogan “Hi Neighbor, have a ‘Gasnett!” and in 2012 for Shark Week the had a slogan “Crush it like Quint” and “Honor the man, crush the can on social media. If you know Jaws then you know Robert Shaw as Captain Quint. Fresh Catch pours the slightest deep yellow with a bright two finger white head that fades really slow with thick lacing left in its wake that might hide a shark. You get a nice citrus fruit aroma with a nice dose of a bitter hop note and a faint lemony grapefruit. The aroma reminds me more of a light IPA. Take a swig and you’ll find yep citrus fruit with a little faint biscuit note with a lemony bitter hop note that comes to a bitter crisp Citra finish that flows into a nice bitter citrus fruit aftertaste with a light mouthfeel. Narragansett Brewing Company Fresh Catch is a refreshing beer that I give an A-. Now I don’t think that more than three Fresh Catches can be consumed, after the third the flavor begins to become slightly too much. Its others a good beer and one that would pair well with shellfish, and a seafood boil. I recommend Narragansett Brewing Company Fresh Catch. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Blood Orange Gose

I haven’t had a Gose style beer in a while until I came across Anderson Valley Brewing Company Blood Orange Gose, 4.2% ABV while shopping at Total Wine. Blood Orange Gose pours a yellow gold color with one-finger quick fading white head that gives off sour citrus blood orange aroma with a little salty note that has a faintest sweet scent to it. Flavor somewhat follows the aroma with a salted sour citrus fruit flavor of blood orange that has a nice sweet and sour finish with a mild salt note that comes to a sour citrus aftertaste with a light mouthfeel. I am a big blood orange fan and I find this to be one good beer that is easy to drink. I think Anderson Valley Brewing Company Blood Orange Gose is an A+. The flavor is refreshing and light with a good amount of salty sourness that you should try. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Foothills Brewing Company Craft Happiness Distance IPA

I have not had a Foothills Brewing Company Craft Happiness IPA in a long while. But recently I came across Foothills Brewing Company Craft Happiness Distance IPA, 6.1% ABV with an IBU (International Bittering Unit) of 62 and this IPA from Winston-Salem North Carolina is double-dry hopped with Simcoe, Mosaic, and Idaho 7 hops. This beer, which is part of a monthly series and the proceeds go to Benefit cyclists and runners. Distance IPA pours deep yellow color with a foamy three finger head that leaves behind beautiful thick fluffy lacing. The aroma is nice with a decent amount of citrus fruits with a bitter note hurt the nose that has a very faint pine quality to it that takes you into a citrus fruit flavor of nice orange and grapefruit with a little lemon note sneaking its way into your taste buds. There is a nice bitterness that has the faintest/lightest sweetness that finishes smooth with a nice citrus hop kick and an aftertaste of citrus hoppiness with a medium mouthfeel. Foothills Brewing Company Craft Happiness Distance IPA reminded me that Foothills brews really great awesome IPAs and Distance IPA is no different, well deserving of an A+, with nothing wrong at all with it, and please do yourself a favor and go try this awesome IPA! Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Throwback Thursday: Foothills Brewing IPA of the Month November (Maddie)

Originally posted on December 1st, 2015

Its time again for Foothills Brewing IPA of the Month here we have November (Maddie), 7.1% ABV and 78 IBU. There is only one more month in the IPA of the Month then it will be Hop of The Month where they will showcase a different hop each month instead of a different IPA. This month IPA is brewed with a blend of Amarillo, Horizon, Chinook and experimental hops. Maddie pours a deep copper color with a four-finger bubbly yet fluffy off white head that slowly dissipates into some medium lacing around the glass. The aroma is a little more malt forward than past months IPA. You get a nice faint orange peel and hints of grassy grapefruit that leans on the earthy side. Maddie has sharp taste upfront with nice earth bready flavor surrounded by grassy and earthy yet slightly bitter fruity notes. The flavor was as wow as I was expecting it to be, but still good no less. The mouthfeel is medium with a nice bitter finish and an after taste of malted grass with hints of bitter citrus fruits. I didn’t find this to be bad; I just think that this Months IPA isn’t as good as the last couple of months. So I say this, Foothills IPA of the Month November, Maddie is a B. The balance between the hops and malts was slightly off which took this IPA down a notch. The level of bitterness was great on this though which kept it from being any worse. This month IPA does not change the fact that I love the entire series the Foothills has brewed I would have this again and do recommend trying it. So by all means go and try Foothills Brewing IPA of the Month November (Maddie) or any of the coming or previous months. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

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

  • Wednesday, December 18th. Firestone Walker Tap Takeover. The Hobbyist. 6 pm-9 pm. Firestone Walker is coming to town and they are taking over our taps! Come on in for tastings after work Wednesday afternoon 6p-close!
    We will be opening fun bottles and will have some swag to give away too!

    Nitro Merlin
    Luponic Distortion 14
    23 (XXIII)- Anniversary Ale
    Mole Merkin


  • Thursday, December 19th. High Branch Tap Takeover! Pop the Top Craft Bottle Shop. 2 pm-11 pm. We are SUPER stoked to announce a tap takeover with one of our absolute favorite breweries in not only the Charlotte area but all of NC…… High Branch Brewing!! And to make the night even more special, Head of Sales Brandy Logan will be here from 6pm-8pm to share laughs, talk about the beers, and spread some holiday cheer.

    We’ll have 6 of their amazing beers on tap as well as a few of their cans to-go!

    Taplist (*subject to change based on the readiness of each beer*)
    > Mingo (Black Currant & Blueberry w/ Vanilla)
    > Highly Unstable Triple Hazy IPA
    > Pilsner (to be determined)
    > Rocky Road Stout
    > Sixth Sense (Barrel-Aged Sour on 2nd Use Cherries)
    > Hazy IPA (to be determined)

    > Mingo (Black Currant & Blueberry w/ Vanilla)
    > Highly Unstable Triple Hazy IPA

    Don’t sleep. These beers will not last long…


  • Thursday, December 19th. Rare Form Blonde Stout. Birdsong Brewing Co. 3 pm-10 pm. Just in time for the holidays, we’re bringing you a brand new limited release that we hope will satisfy your urge for a wintery, holiday brew! This beer was brewed as a small batch by our brewer Alex and quickly became a staff favorite! Imagine a smooth blonde stout with white chocolate and nutmeg and you’ll be imagining Rare Form! Rare Form is unique, seasonally fitting, and DELICIOUS!

    Cans and draft will release on 12/19/19 at 3p at the taproom and a limited amount will hit wholesale the following week!

    Rare Form is a delightful confection-like stout with notes of white chocolate and nutmeg for spicy aromatics and a pleasant creaminess on the palate. This smooth ale is rich and golden, and will have you doing double takes! 


  • Friday, December 20th. Small Batch Release: Bourbon Oaked Vanilla Nutmeg on NITRO. Red Clay Ciderworks. 3 pm-11 pm. t’s back for year two! Cousin Eddie’s Moose on the Loose, a bourbon oaked semi-sweet with nutmeg, vanilla on NITRO! 


  • Saturday, December 21st. Sticky Crystals IPA Can Release! Sycamore Brewing. 12 pm-11 pm. That real sticky icky, OOH WEE! Loaded with hop hotness, Sabor and pungent New Zealand varietals. Put it in the air.


  • Saturday, December 21st. Triple Release Saturday. Wooden Robot Brewery. 12 pm-12 am. PRE-SALE NOW AVAILABLE* hit the link to purchase – or download the app!

    Join us Saturday, December 21st at Noon at both The Brewery – South End & The Chamber – NoDa for a Triple Can Drop of three of our all-time favorite beers:
    Max Lux – Light Lager – 4.5%
    Unfiltered Lager
    100% Local Pilsner Malt
    $12 (+ tax)

    West By Southeast – WC Style IPA – 7.2%
    West Coast India Pale Ale
    100% Local Pilsner Malt
    Dry Hopped w/ Citra & El Dorado
    $16 (+ tax)

    Aww Fudge – Salted Caramel Fudge Stout – 12.0%
    Imperial Stout w/ Cacao Nibs & Salt
    100% Local Barley, Oat, and Roasted Malts
    Locally Roasted Cacao Nibs
    NC Outer Banks Sea Salt
    $20 (+ tax)

    ALL Sold in 4-packs (16oz) – No individual cans
    No purchase limit

    We will also have a limited amount of each beer on draft.
    These cans will be FRESH off the canning line! Come party!

    Facts & Figures Collaboration with Divine Barrel Brewing
    Red Wine Barrel-Aged Mixed Culture Saison w/ Lemonade Blueberries, Raspberries & Blackberries
    more info coming soon!



21st Amendment Brewery Monks Blood

21st Amendment Brewery Monks Blood, 8.3% ABV purchased from the local Total Wine is a Belgian-style dark ale brewed in San Leandro California with cinnamon, Vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs. It has been a long while since I’ve had a beer from 21st Amendment Brewery. Monks Blood pours a deep brown with somewhat red edges and a two-finger tan khaki head with sweet candy sugar like aromas with some cinnamon and very light fig notes. Taste is much like a Belgian-style dark ale with a nice bit of sweetness upfront with nice light cinnamon and vanilla with a gracious licorice flavor and there is a bit of a strong nature to Monks Blood with a semi-sweet finish and a licorice aftertaste with a medium mouthfeel. Not a bad Belgian-style dark ale, I would say that 21st Amendment Brewery Monks Blood is a B-, the overall flavor of this beer is not as full as a true Belgian dark ale. But it’s otherwise good and something worth trying. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

Throwback Thursday: Lammsbräu Organic Winter Spezial Premium Bavarian Lager

Originally posted on December 12th, 2013. Exactly six years ago today!

German beers brewers are pretty straightforward about the styles of beer that they brew. They tend not to stray far from the true version of a particular style of beer. This one Lammsbräu Organic Winter Spezial Premium Bavarian Lager, 5.1% ABV, is true to that statement. The style is known as a winter lager. Winter lagers are slightly more malty and rich than are normal lagers would be. Lammsbräu Organic Winter Spezial Premium Bavarian Lager pours an amber color with a three-finger white head that slowly dissipates into nice wispy lacing around the glass. I saw nice amounts of light coming through and nice carbonation bubbles as well. The aroma is a bit sweeter than a regular lager would tend to be, and there is a faint earthy tone as well. You do get a faint biscuit/breaded scent. The taste is a bit malty, but not overly malty and you do get a little sweetness that isn’t there too long, but just long enough to enjoy. The sweetness is reminiscent of light semi-sweet chocolate. The taste is also earthy with a grassy like the taste, but not in the way an IPA would be. It is more of a lager grain type of flavor than an earthy flavor. The mouthfeel is medium and the finish is nice smooth with a touch of malty sweetness. The aftertaste is slightly sweet with hints of earthy, grainy biscuit flavor. This Lammsbräu Organic Winter Spezial Premium Bavarian Lager goes well for a winter day like yesterday or today, not such an easy drinker, but close. Lammsbräu Organic Winter Spezial Premium Bavarian Lager is good, so it gets an A. German beers are always high up on my list, and even ones that I have not had before. Germans are masters and brewing beer and consistently brew great beer and this one was no exception, it was a good winter beer. So go out and pick up Lammsbräu Organic Winter Spezial Premium Bavarian Lager, and see what you think of it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

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

  • Wednesday, December 11th. Tap Take Over & Meet the Brewer with Protagonist. Pop the Top Craft Beer Shop. 6 pm-10 pm. Come out and meet one of the newest & tastiest breweries in Charlotte, Protagonist!

    We are doing a tap takeover with these amazing guys and as a special treat, the head brewers will be there to talk about their beers as well as all things craft beer. They will also bring some barley and hops so that we can smell and feel these special ingredients that make beer so tasty.

    Finalized Tap List Below

    > Magyver – NEIPA (5.6% ABV) – Pithy aromas of lemon & lime citrus with a soft texture. Notes of berry from the addition of Mosaic, Azacca, Mandarina Bavaria & Waiti hops with a slightly rounded sweetness leading into a noticeably hoppy bitter finish.

    > Mouth – NEIPA (7.0% ABV) – Dank aromas of tropical fruit and citrus featuring Idaho 7, Citra, Motueka, & Waiti hops. A soft and creamy texture due to the addition of Spelt, with a light bready malt character and some lingering bitterness.

    > Persephone – Pomegranate Stout (5.5% ABV) – Restrained roast, toast & caramel balance a bright impression of fresh pomegranate that adds a ruby hue to the edges and a gentle sweetness.


  • Wednesday, December 11th. Fashionably Late: Chai Jacked Can Release. Red Clay Ciderworks. 3 pm-10 pm. We may be late to the party, but we’re bringing the good stuff!

    A limited amount of our popular seasonal Chai Jacked will be available in cans!

    Cans will only be available in our taproom bottle shop!


  •  Thursday, December 12th. Buffalo Trace Barrel Aged Up All Night Breakfast Porter Release. Triple C Brewing Company. 4 pm-10 pm. We aged an entire batch of Up All Night in Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrels for this year’s release! 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.

    We will be selling single cans and 4 packs. There are 4 Golden Tickets under the caps of 4 random 4 packs to be sold in our taproom. Winners will get one of the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrels we aged the beer in!!


  • Thursday, December 12th. White Tea White Ale Release. Catawba Brewing Company. 3 pm-10 pm. It’s tea time here at Catawba! Brewed with 2 pounds of White Tea, 5 pounds of Juniper and 1 pound of Hibiscus, this herbal white ale will put you in the mood for a tea party!


  • Friday, December 13th. Monstro 2019 Bottle Release. NoDa Brewing Company. 2 pm-10 pm. *Bottles exclusively at our NE location*

    Neptune said to the sea there should be a terrible Monstro, born from its deepest depths. It should be stout with the strength of a whale. This is that beer… A Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial stout, fortified with molasses and accented with cocoa nibs. 🤤 Enjoy the deep.

    It’s finally that time. 👏🏻 Join us on Friday, December 13th, as we release our VERY limited run of this deliciously deep Russian Imperial Stout. See details below:

    – Doors open at 2 pm.
    – We’re releasing a limited quantity of bottles.
    – There’s no bottle purchase limit.

    500 bottles will be available.

    If you’re interested in tasting variations that are very limited, make sure you head over to OG You Drink We Donate – Safe Alliance, which will feature these Monstro variations:

    – Toasted coconut and vanilla.
    – Hazelnut and double cocoa nibs.
    – Coffee and vanilla.

    While Monstro will be released at both taprooms, this special flight ($15) will ONLY be available at the OG. Snifters of any flavor variation ($7) will also be available at the OG location.

    Thanks to The Jelly Roger, we’ll have a cookie pairing at the OG on 12/14 at 12 pm until sold out. Indulge in perfectly curated cookie flavors, which complement this deep Imperial Stout and our new variations.

    Cost: $2 per cookie
    Cookie flavors:
    – A Bourbon Pecan cookie for a standard variation
    – A Lemon Ginger cookie to go with the Toasted Coconut and Vanilla
    – A Mint Irish Cream cookie to go with the Coffee and Vanilla
    – and a Caramel Apple cookie to go with the Hazelnut Cocoa


  • Friday, December 13th. Dunkle Bock Release. Pilot Brewing. 11 am-10 pm. Our GABF 2019 Bronze Medal winner for the Bock Category will be back on tap starting Friday! Enjoy $3 goblets of the award-winning beer all day. 


  • Saturday, December 14th. Beer with Santa. Legion Brewing 12 pm-3 pm. Bring the kiddos (and even the big kids) to meet Santa from 12pm – 3pm! There will be a photographer on-site taking photos that will be emailed to you, plus you can take photos with your phone. Photos are free BUT we’re asking for donations to Operation Sidekick, an organization that trains rescued pit bulls as service pets for veterans. So you can decide which list you want to be on – naughty or nice?


  • Saturday, December 14th. New Anthem Tap Takeover. Carolina Beer Temple Ayrsley. 12 pm-11:30 pm. One of the Southeast’s hottest breweries is coming to the Temple! Wilmington’s New Anthem Beer Project has been turning out some of the best IPAs, Stouts, Sours, and more, with national acclaim following wherever they go. This is your chance to try some of their best offerings, all in one spot. Don’t miss out.

    Love Gone Bad Imperial Stout
    Velvet Lies IPA
    Throwing Shade IPA
    Little Star Kellerbier

Beer & Chips Pairing: Sun Chips French Onion & New South Brewing Waccamaw Red Ale

Beer & Chips Pairing: Sun Chips French Onion & New South Brewing Waccamaw Red Ale, 5.8% ABV, Sun Chips are a Frito-Lay brand. New South Brewing Red Ale I have previously reviewed and that can be seen here. Sun Chips French Onion are darker yellow color, have a wave shape to them and have tiny flecks of onion. They have a slight onion aroma to the with a light wafting of potato and the flavor is not pronounced with French onion as you would think. There is just enough to know that French Onion is there with some nice but light potato flavor and plenty of crunch to them. The beer counters the French Onion flavor with its bold hoppy flavor. The red ale and this French Onion chips do not pair well with one another. This pairing gets a D-, but the chips are not bad on their own so I give Sun Chips French Onion a B. The flavor of the beer overpower the flavors of these chips and that big beer flavor sticks. Don’t try these together, have a nice amber ale or a German Altbier with Sun Chips French Onion. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

GrowlerWerks UKEG (128 oz)

In Portland Oregon GrowlerWerks has taken the simple idea of a growler and taken it to a new level. A growler is a glass or stone vessel for transporting beer either with a corked, screw or swivel top. A traditional growler is either thirty-two or sixty-four ounces and keeps beer for a day once opened. That’s where the similarities end between a traditional growler and a GrowlerWerks UKEG end. GrowlerWerks UKEG uses a food grade C02 cartridge inside the cap where a pressure regulator is located above it. Once you fill a UKEG with your favorite beer from a growler filling location you turn the knob and set the C02 pressure to the correct psi according to the style of the beer. Different styles have different psi settings. The UKEG has a lockable tap handle with a site measure to see how much delicious beer is inside and a pressure gauge. It’s an awesome product because it keep the beer even fresher longer than a traditional growler would and it’s like having a draft beer. A GrowlerWerks UKEG can keep beer fresh for up to a week. This one I have here is a one hundred twenty-eight ounce UKEG which I filled with Suffolk Punch Raspberry Pool Party, 4.7% ABV is a Belgian style Wit with raspberry’s. UKEGs come in sixty-four and thirty-two ounces as well. Now a good tip for filling any growler is to fill it with a beer that you want have a lot of and one that isn’t in cans or bottles. I highly recommend this GrowlerWerks UKEG to anyone that enjoys beer, you’ll be a popular person at your next social gathering. Please enjoy responsibly! Cheers!