Beers I Have Known: Asheville Brewing Company Perfect Day IPA

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

perfect day

I probably haven’t given quite enough credit to Asheville for giving me back the pleasure of beer. Over fifteen years ago, I moved from Wisconsin — where beer is practically dropped into the bassinets of hospital maternity wards — to Florida. The Sunshine State had many welcome compensations, led by an escape from abusive blizzards. Good beer — merely palatable beer, even — was dreadfully difficult to come by, though.

I had all but given up on having a well-stocked fridge when I moved to the lovely mountain town on the western side of North Carolina. But when I asked my new fellow citizens about the must-visit places as I became acquainted with Asheville, the upstart craft breweries were mentioned over and over again. Having been to a brew pub or two, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I did not.

I had occasional to walk those highly sloped streets again in recent days, and the beer scene has only grown, itself a remarkable occurrence since it already seemed to have been closing in on the saturation point when I moved away just two not-so-short years ago. I wish I could have explored more, and a woozy tourist tour is undoubtedly in my future. Instead, I mostly stuck with mainstays, those beers I knew would make me happy, even as the took a meat tenderizer to my strained liver.

That glass of Perfect Day IPA, one of the gems of Asheville Brewing Company, was just as good as I expected it to be. Thanks again to my favorite cesspool of sin.

Beers I Have Known: Heater Allen Pils

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

helles

Dear Portland,

Back in the earliest years of the Beer City USA online voting competition, I saw you as a disliked rival to my modest little mountain town. I was living in Asheville, North Carolina, which regularly took the top spot in the competition, much to, as we were made to understand, the chagrin of residents of Oregon’s most populous city.  At the time, I took some puffed up local pride in our small-ish city dominance of the major metropolis a couple thousand miles to the northwest, no matter how resolutely funky that metropolis was.

Now that I’ve spent a few days in your happy burg, with not only fine establishments within the city limits but a bevy of craft brewers whose wares rumble into local purveyors of adult beverages, I fully understand your agitation.

I’m still proud of Asheville and long for the beers made there, but I sincerely apologize for my prideful brattiness. Your beers are fantastic, from the first I drank — the Heater Allen Pils pictured above — to the cool, refreshing beverage that sits before me as I type my way through my airport wait.

Sincerely,

A Fan

 

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.

Beers I Have Known: Founders Brewing Co. All Day IPA

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

all day

There’s no denying it. We’ve reached the point in the year when considerations around which beer to reach for are dictated by the weather as much as anything else. Sure, there are also certain embedded urges to indulge in different styles in accordance with other meteorological adjustments conveniently aligned with the calendar, but there’s nothing quite as compelling as the summer sun to tip the taste buds in a particular direction.

The other day, one of my favorite businesses in town afforded some counter space to a representative of Founders Brewing Co., pouring free samples from the Michigan brewery’s line. All were excellent, of course, but when it came time to make a purchase I reached for a mainstay, in no small part because I could readily imagine how perfect it would taste after I toiled in the yard later that afternoon. And the couple more I might indulge in after that reward beer. There’s a reason why they call it All Day IPA.

 

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.

Beers I Have Known: Burial Beer Co. Tin Cup Camp Stout

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

burial stout

Although it wasn’t necessarily all that great for either my waistline or my wallet, I greatly enjoyed my time as a beer drinker in Asheville, North Carolina. During the eight years or so that I lived there, the craft beer scene expanded from a boomlet to a full-on craze. I naturally had my favorites, and it was difficult to bid them farewell when I moved back to the frigid, friendly North. While I can watch the turmoil that occasional engulfs the Asheville beer scene from a distance, I don’t often get to down a geographically-appropriate beverage when I do so.

But sometimes people visit. And they come bearing gifts.

By the time we left, I think it was generally understood that Burial Beer Co. was making a serious claim on being the best brewery in town. It seems that reputation has only grown. Our recent visitors brought along a few cans of evidence.

The temptation is to squirrel these happy concoctions away, saving them like treasure. That, however, is not what they’re for. As I sat back this weekend, savoring a Tin Cup Camp Stout as reward for some minor feat, I was reminded of why there’s no real reason to wait. Instead, drink it if you got seems a fine credo. Patience isn’t always a virtue.

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.

Beers I Have Known: Bad Weather Brewing Company Windvane IPA

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

bad weather

Traveling can be miserable work, but there are fringe benefits. Ever since my return to my native state of Wisconsin, I’ve been pining for something special that exists like a glowing promise just across the border. No, I’m not referring to the embrace of progressive policies that — as per usual — have led to an economic boom, offering further exposure of the callous zealotry and raving ineptness of the governor who works a little closer to my current mailing address. Instead, I’m referring to the frothy wares of Big Weather Brewing Company. So while I recently sat in a Minnesota airport, enduring the purgatory between flights, I went on a quest, finally finding an outpost equipped with a liquor license and a can or two of the craft brewery’s Windvane Red IPA.

I would an unscrupulous reporter if I didn’t acknowledge the source of potable’s clarion call. It’s neither the rave reviews nor the riveting television appearances that quickened my pulse with anticipation. It wasn’t even the brewery’s acclaimed “Under 21” website redirect trick. I happen to know one of the two young fellas who started the brewery, having served as a supervisor and — just maybe — a mentor back when he was a mere upstart in the hospitality biz, attending a benevolent work college nestled in the Carolina hills. The glass pictured above was raised to him, with appreciation, admiration, and congratulations.

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.

Beers I Have Known: Wisconsin Brewing Company Betray Ale

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

wbc

I’ve already had a couple Wisconsin Brewing Company Betray Ales this evening (and, in the interest of full disclosure, maybe a couple other similar beverages), so I’ll defer to the description on the menu of the fine establishment that is thankfully (or problematically) within walking distance of my pending home: “One time only Maibock style Mandarina Bavarian and Hallertau hops, a perfectly bright and sweet addition to the malts.” I can confirm that it hit the proverbial spot.

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.