Governor Purdue Signed the bill to allow Beer tastings in stores.  Now we just wait for the stores to apply for permits.

Check out http://www.permitbeer.com for all the details on what is happening.

Upcoming Events

Next week will be the NC rollout for Duvel Green with it landing in Raleigh at Flying Saucer on the evening of Tuesday, July 7th.

This Tuesday June 30th will be a Belgian Beer vs. Belgian style beer (North American brews) matchup at the Flying Saucer.  Cost is $15 and it looks to be a fun event.

Lonerider Brewing is hosting a homebrew competition they are calling “Brew It Forward.”  I think I may enter this as my first competition just for fun.  Registration has begun and information can be found on their website http://www.loneriderbeer.com  The awards ceremony and event itself will take place Saturday, Aug. 1st.

If you live in NC, now would be a great time to write a letter to the Guvnah  Bev Purdue, your NC House Rep, and your NC State Senator about next years budget.  I wrote an email to each of the three and if you care about keeping the fledgling NC brewing industry alive and striving you should too.  Or, if you realize imposing taxes to influence choices over what a governor or legislator might call a “sin” is completely wrong then go ahead and make your voice heard. 

Daniel Bradford of All About Beer has summed things up in 5 points:

  1. Beer and wine lovers are not “sinners,” nor we did not cause the recession, and we should not be singled out as a solution.
  2. Many of the 100 North Carolina micro breweries and wineries could be put out of business with a tax increase.
  3. North Carolina has 6th highest beer tax in the country and the 16th highest on wine.
  4. North Carolina beer and wine taxes currently contributes close to $3 billion.
  5. North Carolina already generates more beverage tax than more populous New York state!

We currently pay more taxes for beer than almost all other states in our nation.  Please join the fight and make your voice heard doing three things:

1. Post a comment to Bev Purdue on the Governor’s website at: www.governor.state.nc.us  Just click on the contact us link and enter a comment with your thoughts on why the budget should not include a tax increase on beer.

2. Go to www.ncleg.net and find your local representatives through the search engine on the right column.  If you don’t know your full 8 digit zip, then look it up on the link below the search bar.  Then, write your representatives a letter.

3.  Finally, if you are lazy you can to go www.stopthencbeertax.com, fill in your info, and an automatic email will be sent on your behalf.

The NC House and Senate meet on Monday so this is prime time to let your thoughts be known.

I had the privilege of attending a beer & cheese tasting at The Flying Saucer in Raleigh with Brooklyn Brewing Company beers paired with different cheeses.  Here is the lineup and what I thought of each course:

Brooklyn Summer Ale & Chevre from Celebrity Dairy, Siler City, NC – This was probably the best pairing of the evening as the smooth, soft, and salty goat cheese paired perfectly with the slightly buttery quality to the English style pale ale of the Summer Ale.  The higher carbonation cleansed the saltiness and the creaminess of the cheese asked for another sip of the ale.

Brooklyn Lager & Manchego from Barcelona, Spain – This was not the greatest pairing, but it worked.  A slight nuttiness from the cheese and the slight amount of caramel malt in the Vienna style lager worked well together.

Brooklyn Local 1 & Brillat-Savarin from Bourgogne, France – This was the worst pairing of the evening.  The cheese was a very rich butter like cheese with little taste to stand up to the bold flavors of the Belgian yeast qualities in the Local 1.  The beer was a great Belgian Strong Pale c0mpletely fermented in the bottle.  I enjoyed the beer so much I do not remember much of what I thought of the cheese!

Brooklyn Local 2 & Petit Agour from Paris, France – The cheese was similar to the Manchego as it was a drier, funkier cheese than the others.  It did pair well with the sweet, spicy, and earthiness of the Belgian Strong Dark Ale of the Local 2. 

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout & Blue Stilton from Leicestershire, England – I would never imagine a Russian Imperial Stout would pair with a cheese.  Apparently Garrett Oliver thinks Stilton pairs well with BBCS.  I think if any cheese comes close to pairing, this might be it.  The boldness of the Stout with a good roast and chocolate quality and decent amount of bitterness did work with the funkiness of the moldy Stilton.  It wasn’t the best pairing, but it worked.

Thanks goes out to Josh from Flying Saucer and Jason Gavin from Brooklyn Brewery.

Be on the lookout in the weeks to come for Duvel Green to hit tap handles in the Triangle area.

Duvel Green is similiar to Duvel, which is a  Belgian Strong Pale Ale; however, rather than allowing for a secondary bottle fermentation the beer is kegged and is therefore a younger beer with a lower abv (6.8 rather than 8.5).   Both beers have the same yeast and same hops, but Duvel Green is filtered unlike regular Duvel.

Expect a dry and crisp beer with fine soft carbonation and subtle citrus notes from Saaz and Styrian Goldings. 

You can check out Lew Bryson’s thoughts on his blog.

Fullsteam Ahead

Fullsteam brewery has announcedtheir location and looks to open in the later part of the year.    They will be located at 729 726 Rigsbee St. in the Central Park warehouse district of Durham, NC.   The website has a posting about their intentions to operate a brewery and a tavern which serves “pints and pies” (think savory meat pies).  Tomorrow they will be having an official press release as well.  They also intend to focus on local ingredients in their “plow-to-pint mentality” of  “southern ag” brewing.  I wonder if they will serve a NC barbecue pie along with Hogwash, their hickory smoked porter.  And by barbecue I mean Eastern NC style–the kind I grew up with–not that stuff they call barbecue in the other part of the state.

Summer School classes, work, and plenty of other distractions have kept me from posting in a while.  Either way, here are is my most recent update on the whole beer scene in Raleigh, NC.

Last Friday I had dinner at Busy Bee with the wife.  The service was great and the waitress was very knowledgeable and took plenty of time to explain the beer list and describe their rare beers.  I had Aviator’s Berliner Weiss which Busy Bee had Busy Bee had them brew specifically for their restaurant.  They offer it with a blueberry syrup made from local fresh organic blueberries as well as a pomegranate syrup.  I had the pomegranate andenjoyed the beer both with and without the syrup.  The tart and sour quality was not quite as strong as I would have liked for the style, but it was good nonetheless.  I also got the turkey sandwich with a side salad.  The salad was small but flavorful and the sandwich was substantial with plenty of turkey, avocado, tomato, bacon, and red onion.   The Brooklyn Brewing Brewmaster series has now switched to cuvee de cardoz, a Belgian-inspired wheat beer brewed in collaboration with three-star chef Floyd Cardox of Tabisha restaurant.   Cuvee de Cardoz is a flavorful Belgian with five different spices. 

Last night, I made it out to the release of Stone Brewing’s  Levitatioin Ale at Flying Saucer in Raleigh, NC.  Flying Saucer is a great beer bar in Raleigh and they are continually improving with special tap and cask nights.  Not only did they release Levitation, a really good sessionable amber ale, but they had a keg of Stone’s double dry hopped IPA. 

A great new place in Raleigh for folks to check out is Brickhouse across from Meredith College on Hillsborough St.  It used to be Playmaker’s, but has recently re-opened as Brickhouse.  It is still a sports bar, but 1/3 of their taps (I would guess around 30-40) were devoted to NC beers.  This is one of the few places with French Broad on tap in Raleigh.  They had Rye Hopper when I went by to check it out.   The beer list on their site is not up to date.

Finally, we can celebrate with Fullsteam Brewing and look forward to their beer in the future as they are one step closer to selling beer.  Today they signed a lease and hopefully will be selling their authentic NC beer soon.  Expect 16 oz. cans.