Weekender turned mini beer vacay – take two
This is take two because it was all but done earlier. As I changed it from local draft to draft on my iPhone it got LOSTTT INNN SPAAAACCE! Oh the joy of rewriting something. However I don’t mind this one at this particular moment. Sarah is in the chair next to me as I sit next to the hearth with a fire going and enjoying a Southern Tier Brewing Company Oat.
So a few weekends ago we make a quick trip to North Carolina to see some friends. Short notice type thing. It went down like this. Hey we’re coming next weekend. Ok, that is fine with me. Oh crap, what will our wives say? Mine is fine with it. So is mine. See ya Friday! We get a late start on Friday afternoon. No worries, we ALWAYS get a late start. We arrive around nine that night. The next few minutes are like hey, glad you made it. Let’s grab some bags. How ya been? Ready to go eat? So we’re off to dinner. Now of course the boys had confided in each other that we were hitting up Foothills Brewing Company for dinner and beers. We finally arrive to find the brewery tucked away amongst tall buildings in downtown. There’s a nice crowd, but the only wait was to clean a table. If you read my last post you already know I had the sampler flight. I ofcourse opt for the half order of fish and chips. The sole purpose was to compare them with all other’s fish and chips. These do not even compare to Trappeze Pub’s offering. They were quite tasty though. If for nothing else, go to grab a pale ale, the IPA or DIPA.
Saturday morning the boys had to run out and do some errands for the ladies. After a quick stop in Starbucks for a couple of lattes and to grind some beans, we head to pick up some brews. My buddy takes me to his local favorite bottle shop. Oh my, what a bottle shop!
City Beverage of Winston-Salem is freaking amazing. The store is split in half, or actually seperated by the coolers. Two thirds of the entrance side has wines, a wall of coolers, and some new beers right up front. In the back corner I find a small homebrew shop. While I don’t have much time to look around I do notice hops, yeast and some other chilled ingredients. There are some other supplies, like equipment and stuff. They also have small bags of pre-weighed malt. On the other side is another medium size selection of great beers. There are also a table a couple of couches and some chairs along with a small bar. I find out they do tastings from kegs occasionally. When we first enter I get introduced to the younger of the owners, a father-son duo. Great people. He brags that they had a keg of Founders Nemesis 2010. Which is worth bragging about. The next day the guy at Bruisin’ Ales in Asheville is even bragging that City Bev had a keg of Nemesis 2010. I know I’m getting in trouble as I begin to stack beers on the counter. A six pack of Bear Republic Racer 5, a four pack of Natty Greens DIPA, a six pack of Big Boss Harvest Ale and a six pack of Great Lakes pale ale. None of these are available in Georgia. Unless I want to share, but all I have left is a single DIPA.
Just before the end of the Dawgs victory over Vandy, the ladies decide to make a run to a local winery. There are numerous wineries within ten minutes in any given direction. We opt for West Bend, since this would be a new visit for our hosting guests. Surely enough within ten minutes we were driving up on some very large vineyards on both sides of the road. We stroll down the short drive to a very nice couple of buildings, one with a large arbor out front. We are only a few minutes before their advertised closing time. We get greeted with a hello and help your way to our tasting bar. We’re handed a few laminated sheets with have all their wines. The nice lady informs us that all of their wines are estate wines. Meaning they make them all with their own grapes. Many smaller wineries have to buy grapes from others to produce what is demanded by the public. My palette doesn’t care much for dry whites or sweet wines, so I crowd my sheet with reds. Some are not available or have tobacco tastes, so I change to a white blend and an ice wine. Good thing, we ended up walking out with a bottle of the white blend, which was white/riesling blend. Also with the bottle of ice wine. Wow was it sweet. The sommelier recommended to drizzle it over cheese cake, which actually sounds really tasty. It’s a small bottle but so sweet there is no way we could finish it in a night. So it’s getting saved for after dinner drinks and desserts with friends sometime soon. Or she said it would keep for a week or two
chilled. Now who would do that? That’s like saying I’m going to open this bomber and finish it in a few days. Savor the flavor while you’re consuming it, not over the course of a few days.
So it’s Sunday and we’re headed back to good old Athens. We made a quick stop in Asheville for lunch and a stop at Bruisin’ Ales. As much as everyone says this place is great, I just didn’t see it. The variety is awesome, just no depth. I did grab a growler of Green Man Ales ESB. Not bad, and if nothing else, it’s nice to have another growler around the house.
I’m surprised this blog is done. I’ve lost it once and fell asleep in front of the fire twice. Let’s grab another Moo Hoo.