Saturday, July 29, 2006

Two to try at Jack of the Wood

While you are spending some time downtown this weekend for Bele Chere, I recommend stopping by Jack of the Wood to investigate two of the new Green Man brews that they have on-tap:

Summer Brunette
Cherry Wheat

Both brews have a similar copper color. While I only had a small sample of the Summer Brunette, I can vouch for the Cherry Wheat.

I am not a fan of fruit flavored beers, but I am a fan of wheat beers (so of course I can get into the lemon flavor when it's appropriate), and I have to say, the Cherry Wheat is not much of a wheat beer, nor is it much of a fruit flavored beer. It is very tasty though, and seems more of a take on the classic Green Man ESB, combined with a very subtle cherry flavor. The cherry is muted, but gives a very nice aftertaste and sweetness.

I wasn't able to get much information about these two new beers, but if you have a chance to stop by, give one or both of them a taste and let us know what you think. I plan on giving them both a try during this festival weekend.

Jack of the Wood
95 Patton Ave.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why not local breweries?

As first reported by Tony Kiss in the Citizen-Times on Wednesday, the organizers of the Belle Chere festival do not have any local breweries lined up to sell their fine beers this weekend. Instead, it appears that Aneuser-Busch will have a monopoly on beer sales. I think this sucks. I would encourage all local beer drinkers to write to the festival organizers and complain. Also, if you attend the festival be sure to patronize the local bars when in need of refreshment. They will have their usual fine products available including beers from local breweries.

In past years A-B has been the most visible presence among the beer vendors at Belle Chere, but if you looked around you could find Highlands, usually in a single tent. But not this year. There certainly is the appearance, at least, of a large corporation contributing big bucks in sponsorship in order to stifle local competition. Let's make our voices heard and get this monopoly broken for next years festival.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Greetings Asheville! I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Ted Muncy and I am the current President of MALT, The Mountain Ale and Lager Tasters, Asheville's own Homebrewing Club and Community. I feel priviledged to have the chance to share some of my thoughts and opinions on Beer and Brewing with you. I'd like to share a little about MALT with you in case you aren't familiar with us. We are a group of people who share a love of beer, brewing, wine making, cider making and mead making. We usually meet once a month but frequently have loose social gatherings and field trips as well. Our goals are to:
-Educate novice and experienced members to further their brewing knowledge.
- Support the American Homebrewers Association and Beer Judge Certification Program.
- Organize and sponsor the "Blue Ridge Brew Off" and keep it fun for all participants.
- Hold regular meetings where members share tastes of beers and meads they've brewed.
- Tour local and regional breweries and host responsible tasting events.
- Support CBoY, CMBoY and CMMoY and the sponsoring clubs in North & South Carolina.
- Host "Brew Ins" where club members brew together.
MALT welcomes all homebrew enthusiasts or those interested in learning how to brew to join our club. I look froward to seeing you at one of our functions!
We are very fortunate to have an abundance of high quality, hand crafted beer brewed right here in Asheville and I urge all of you to stop by a local taproom or pub that serves locally brewed beer and support Asheville's brewing community by lifting a pint or two! Look for my ongoing blog entries in the days to come!
Be Safe and Take Care,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Downtown After Five has classy beer

The wife and I attended Downtown after Five last evening. I was very surprised to find Ommegang Hennepin Saisions on draft at the event, and it was only $4.00 for a full-size plastic cup. I expected this brew to be served in a smaller container since it is normally served in limited amounts in bars. It was priced the same as the Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams which made it a real bargain. Nice to see that DAF has some class when it comes to beer.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Root Bar Number One

I visited the Root Bar yesterday evening for the monthly MALT (Mountain Ale and Lager Tasters) "pint night" gathering. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I hadn't been here before, especially now that I've seen the great selection of beers available. In addition to draft offerings from local breweries Pisgah and French Broad River there's an impressive list of British beers available in bottles along with several Belgians and other surprises. There's also live music many nights.

After the MALT crew disbanded I hung out at the bar for awhile, where I was pleasantly surprised to see some familar Asheville bloggers. Blogging and good beer seem to blend like chocolate and raspberries, or something along those lines.

The Root Bar is right off I-40 exit 55 in Swanannoa. Check it out soon if you haven't visited.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pisgah Brewing

Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain is fast gaining a reputation as one of the finest small breweries in North Carolina. The organic beers from this brewery have all been distinctive representatives of their styles and uniformly excellent in quality. The Pale Ale and the Porter have become staples of the Asheville bar scene, while a variety of seasonal brews have also received wide attention. The Solstice, a tripel which was Pisgah's first Belgian-style brew, took home the gold medal and was voted 2nd best in Show at the 2006 Carolina Beer Championship.

In the works is a seasonal Belgian named Baptista which will be released for Christmas. I'm eagerly looking forward to it, but for now I'll be satisfied with the other fine products available on draft. For a list of area bars offering Pisgah beers see their web site.

Keep up the good work guys! Hopefully I can get out for a tour soon.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Beer wallpaper

I've discovered an excellent collection of beer wallpaper for your Windoze desktop. Some of these are pretty neat, although Asheville breweries are markedly absent.

Click on the link above to download your choice.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another bar coming to town!

Today's Citizen-Times carried a piece about a new bar coming to town which will be in the space formerly occupied by the Asheville Music Zone. (Actually Ash scooped the C-T by two days but better late than never.) The Whiskey Tavern is being touted by its owners as an "upscale tavern" that will offer ten draft beers, including five from local breweries. As befits its name, a large selection of whiskeys will be offered as well. The menu will be varied from pub food to upscale entrees. The venue will seat up to 350 people in 6000 square feet of space and offer accoustic music in the evenings.

I'm looking forward to the opening of this restaurant and bar. Best of luck to the new owners.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Westville Pub Gets Prettied Up

Upon entering, one may not immediately notice, but Westville Pub has changed. After reopening from several days of closure, this W. Asheville gathering point is sporting a fresh face, at least on the inside. No longer satisfied with the "where's my linoleum, dude" flooring, Westville Pub now presents customers with a fresh paint job on their concrete floors, and needed touchups on the walls. Even the bathrooms have been refreshed (I can only speak on the men's room here).

But, most importantly, Westville Pub has deep cleaned and polished all their taps and installed spanking new tap lines on all their draught beers. They've kept their variety of pub brews, including (my favorite) Wee Heavy-er, from French Broad Brewing Co., and their classic PBR tap, as well as the local standard Highland Gaelic Ale, plus a slew of selections from breweries local, regional and beyond.

However, brand new on tap is the Sweetwater Hummer. This is a Belgian white (witbier), best enjoyed with a lemon slice and perfect for summer time enjoyment on Westville Pub's outdoor patio. This summer Hummer has a subtle citrus flavor (even without the lemon wedge) with a hint of further spiciness. Very quaffable! Definitely worth checking out if you're into a summer-time brew, and especially so if you are starting your evening early while the sun has yet to set.


Westville Pub
777 Haywood Rd.

Sweetwater Brewing Company
Atlanta, GA

Also mentioned:

French Broad Brewing Co.

Highland Brewing Company

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ode to Rolling Rock

Say it ain't so, Joe. The Latrobe Brewing Company, makers of Rolling Rock lager, has been purchased by Anheuser Busch. When I think back to my college years I still remember the words painted on every green bottle, "from the glass lined tanks of old Latrobe we tender this premium beer for your enjoyment as a tribute to your good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to you. '33'" My friends and I certainly did our part toward keeping Latrobe in business back in the '80's.

The mysterious "33" painted on every bottle has created a certain mystique around Rolling Rock that is absent from other American macros. The reason for printing these twin digits on each bottle has never been explained. 1933 was the year Prohibition was repealed, and there is also a beer made in Vietnam called 33. Beyond these two indisputable facts no one really has a clue. Could it be the symbol of some Satanic beer cult? Maybe one comprised of drunken college students who sold their souls to the devil in exchange for good grades or success with girls? Who really knows. The brewery isn't talking.

What is known is that the brewery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania is up for sale with production of Rolling Rock moving to an A-B brewery in New Jersey. I haven't had a Rock in probably fifteen years but I still think this is a loss to American brewing. While the bottles may look the same, just knowing that the beer is being brewed in "Joisey" by the makers of other bland American macros turns me off. We're losing another piece of Americana in the name of corporate greed.

Tuesday is Independence Day, a day we traditionally spend at Lake Greenwood, SC with members of my wife's family. We'll have brats, BBQ, and burgers on the grill. We'll cruise the lake by pontoon boat and swim off the dock. We'll have fun with in-laws, sons, daughters, and grandkids. And along with it all, I will be toasting the Fourth with cold, green bottles of genuine Rolling Rock for one last time, thinking of friendships, parties, and youthful days gone by.