Thursday, November 4, 2010

Skull Coast Gallows Point at The CBG

I had the opportunity to attend the release of Gallows Point at the fairly new Cherry Bomb Grill in Raleigh. At the former site of a Raleigh establishment, I thought it would be a good chance to check out the new place as well as try a new brew. Pleasantly, both were a success. First, the CBG has retained a lot of the old feel of the restaurant before (down to the landmark, neon "Restaurant" sign outside), with some noticeable updates, including a new bar and flat screen TV's. The service was attentive, and the menu was a step up from your normal "pub grub". The craft beer selection was impressive as well, and will likely become a regular stop when downtown, up there with the Raleigh Times and Busy Bee Cafe.

As for the beer, it was a solid offering from the folks at Skull Coast. I had never had the opportunity to try one of their beers before, but if this is any indication, then it certainly will not be the last. Gallows Point is an imperial stout that smells of cocoa and malt. You can really taste the macadamia nuts used in the brewing process, and is also fairly malty. Even for an imperial porter, it was very drinkable, as me and my drinking buddy were not able to stop at one, and had to go for one more. This gave us the opportunity to try CBG's Hawaiian Tuna Wraps, which were tuna salad with toppings inside a lettuce wrap. Very tasty and light, and the spice held up well with the beer.

Cheers to the CBG and to Skull Point for a job well done, and here's to many more craft beer events in the future!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Beer for Panthers Games

Panther fans will have a few new beer selections this fall! I've had the Olde Mecklenburg offerings, I'd be happy to choose their Copper to watch the 49ers beat the Panthers. I have not had any of the brews from Skull Coast, but having a true IPA as a choice at a sporting event is always a good thing!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Women - Better Beer Tasters?

While this Wall Street Journal article focuses on very large, corporate taste testers, it certainly can apply across the whole beer industry. I will admit that I don't necessarily think that the statement "Women are better beer tasters than men" is valid. It is more about the individual's ability to detect nuances and very specific flavors. Maybe more women have the ability to do this though. I wonder what percentage of the GABF judges were women? Or if there is an effort in homebrew competitions to have a mix of judges? Certainly it is an interesting topic that I had not really given any thought to previously.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rare Keg Thursday at Raleigh Saucer

This week is a very special treat from the guys at Foothills Brewing. They are bringing a keg of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel aged People's Porter. Finally I will have a chance to try some of the much hyped and talked about barrel aged beers from Foothills!

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Homebrew in Primary

It's been a busy spring, with not enough time to write around here, though there has been plenty of beer drinking. I'll get around to reviewing some places we stopped at during travels soon. Until then you'll just have to settle for a recap of my brewday yesterday.

I wanted to do a Belgian style ale, lower gravity, some light hops. Sounds perfect for a Belgian Pale Ale right? Close, I found a DeKoninck clone recipe on The beer is basically a Belgian Amber, with the amber coming from 1/8th of a pound of chocolate malt and dry amber extract. My recipe was:

2.5 lbs of Belgian 2 row (pilsener) malt
1.0 lb of Vienna malt
0.125 lb of Chocolate malt
3 lbs of Amber dry extract
2 oz of 5.8% AA Saaz hops for 60 mins
Wyeast 1214 Belgian Ale
1 tsp Irish Moss for 15 mins

The partial mash was done for 90 mins at 152 degrees with 5.5 qts of water. Sparged at 165 with appx 2 gallons. Then the dry extract had to be added ahead of the 60 min boil with all of the hops.

Minus a little snafu and 'doh moment involving the grain bag and kettle the brew went smoothly. The yeast had not taken off this morning yet, but from research it seems like some of the Belgian strains can take a while to get going. I did hit the target O.G. of 1.046, and the beer came out a nice clear brownish amber. It should ferment out for about a week. I'll probably let it sit a bit in secondary before bottling this one. The recipe recommended 3-4 weeks, but I probably will not go that long.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Cuegrass '10

April 17, 2010 brought us the opportunity to enjoy the second annual North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival. Put on by The Pit and local bluegrass bands and brewers, the event is a great way to enjoy some nice spring weather. They set up a stage outside of the restaurant for the bands, and 2 tents, one for beer and one for barbeque. Sandwiches and beer were both $5, with some amount of the proceeds going to the Future Farmers of America. Beer and food could both also be ordered inside.

The beer tent selection was a downgrade from last year, with only four taps, Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit, Lone Rider Peacemaker Pale Ale, Big Boss Blanco Diablo, and Carolina Pale Ale. We tried the Peacemaker and Blanco before ordering other beers from the bar inside. The Big Boss and Lone Rider offerings both were great for the atmosphere, easy drinking, but not bland. If anything they went down a bit too quickly, which at $5 a pop can add up quickly.

Inside we tried out a Smuttynose Robust Porter and then finished up with a couple of Highland's Seven Sisters Dubbel. The Porter was light enough to drink out in the sun, but still had a nice roast flavor and not too much sweetness. The Dubbel was maybe a bit heavy for the afternoon sun, or maybe that was just because I was getting full of beer and barbeque! Regardless it was very tasty, with some nice spicy yeast flavors that complemented the malt base well.

Keep an eye out for this event next year, it's sure to only get bigger and better!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Oak Release Party

At Brixx Brier Creek yesterday, I found out about a new beer that is being brewed by Red Oak. It sounds like basically an Imperial Red Oak. The beer is described as a Vienna style lager brewed to the strength of a bock. I am curious to see what this tastes like, as I can't say I've ever tried a style like this. Although it will probably share some characteristics of regular bock beers, which is a pretty wide ranging style.

The release party is all day Tuesday, April 13 at Brixx Brier Creek. The party is also going on at The Flying Saucer Raleigh. Stop by either place to taste the newest beer from Red Oak!