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Lonerider Brewing Company (Raleigh, NC) is releasing their Peacemaker Pale Ale around town this week.  It was kicked off last night with a release party at The Pit and will continue with another release party tonight at Ruckus Pizza or Cary, NC.  I have tried this beer and find it rather tasty (think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale cranked up a couple notches in just about every department).  Not only does it taste great, it has a logo and name that I LOVE!  Peace is a Dangerous Thing.  I love it!

As summer turns to fall and the leaves fall on the lawn, two type of beer styles start to hit the shelves:  pumpkin ales and Octoberfests.  The former of the two are typically brewed by small craft brewers; however, some of the larger brewers also try their hand at the style.  For the Raleigh area, the best pumpkin ale you can get is Big Boss’s Harvest Time Spiced Pumpkin Ale.  Although some brewer’s only use pumpkin spice in their pumpkin ale, Big Boss uses real pumpkin as well as a blend of spices.  Though they do not reveal their blend of spices, it is likely something with some form of cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.

Look for an amber medium to full bodied ale with plenty of sweet maltiness along with pumpkin flavors matched well with spice and just enough bittering.

As far as packaging goes, Big Boss has some of the best.  The grim reaper theme goes well with pumpkins and the month of October and Halloween.

Six packs will be available in area stores soon.  You can also get it on draft at the tasting room.

Along with a 1% increase in sales tax, alcohol will also be taxed extra.  The excise tax will not hit the consumer directly, but you can expect distributors and retailers to pass the increase onto the consumers.   I haven’t made my way out the door yet today, but I will certainly make a stop to see if the many $8.99 sixers are now selling for $9.50-9.99.

I have finally seen Beer Wars and here are my thoughts:

  1. Sam Caliogne loves good beer and Dogfish Head brewing is a good representation of the spirit of craft beer.
  2. Rhonda Kallman and Moonshot beer represents pseudo craft beer trying to make a buck in the spirit of capitalism.
  3. Beer Wars was informative if you were the average beer drinker.
  4. Most people who watched this movie learned nothing, yet walked away frustrated due to the focus on Rhonda Kallman to the detriment of many great craft beer entrepreneurs who care about what is in the bottle while also caring about putting food on the table for their family.
  5. I am glad I didn’t go out of my way to watch this movie.

I haven’t posted in a while about the up and coming breweries in the area, but there is alot going on so I figured I would share some information.

First up, everyone should check out Fullsteam’s new endeavors with brewing beer with Kudzu.  Sean Wilson is researching the first beer brewed with Kudzu–an authentic NC beer–which to my knowledge will be the only truly authentic and original NC beer.  His research has even included helping to load a 504 bails of the dried plant.  You can check out the progress at the website http://www.fullsteam.ag/

Lonerider Beer has nixed their porter as a second year round and is researching a second year round offering for the area.  I sampled their brown ale as a possible second year round beer and was given a growler.   I will give it a formal review in a future post.  From the sample, I can say that it is a solid English style brown ale with enough East Kent Goldings to pair perfectly with the Marris Otter malt and lightly sweet chocolate flavors.  They didn’t skimp out on the malt which always makes for a great English Brown.  Though it is tasty, it would seem odd to try and put that on the market against Big Boss’  Bad Penny which already has such a foothold in the area.  They have plans to take open a tasting room at their brewery in the future.

Big Boss Brewing has already released their seasonal Harvest Time Pumpkin which can be sampled at the tasting room, bought in six packs (first time for a BB seasonal), or found in bars in the area.  I would expect Raleigh Times to have it as they usually keep a tap devoted to  BBC seasonals.   According to a forum posting, Brixx Pizza in Chapel Hill will also have this on tap through the fall.

Boylan Bridge Brewpub has started offering cask conditioned version of their beers from time to time.  They also have a summer seasonal and Scottish Ale as of late.

Natty Greene’s, the Greensboro Brewpub, will be opening a Raleigh Brewpub later this year.  Mike Morris, who is currently brewing at Big Boss will be the head brewer.  I have enjoyed every beer brewed by Mike at Big Boss and look forward to this great new addition to Raleigh.   The year round offerings will be sent from the Greensboro Brewpub while Morris will brew 5 seasonal offerings.

A new brewery distributed in the area–to those beer geeks that are aware–is the Scottish based brewer Brewdog.   You can now find their bottles of Punk IPA, Dogma (an herb spiced beer), Hardcore Double IPA, and Riptide Imperial Stout in single bombers.

On a final note, the 2009 Durham World Beer Festival will be held on October 3rd in the Historic Durham Athletic Park.  I look forward to a great event, helping with a NC distributor, and getting to see the many faces of craft beer in the area.  Cheers!

There a neat little article at CNN.com which highlights great states and cities with great breweries.   Although the article does make it seem like Foothills Brewing is in Asheville (it is in Winston Salem), I find the closing quote a good summation of my own thoughts about great beer and why it is so interesting and worth the time and travel to seek out.

“Beer is a social drink, and beer people love to talk about the beer,” he said. “You can find a local or savvy visitor who can tell you about something you’ve never heard of, and that makes it a phenomenal experience.”

Busy Beer of Raleigh is beginning a series of spotlights on local homebrewers.  First up, a great little interview with Les Stewart.