It's good to be home. Thankfully my mother-in-law is doing well, and I am back in the land of good beer. All was not lost in Alabama though. I was able to have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with lunch, and a Samuel Adams at the bar my brother-in-law works at. I did encounter a beer crisis however, as I wanted to pick up a six pack in the evening, and I made the fateful mistake of pulling into a convenience store. I scanned the beer coolers, and there was not a craft brew in sight. We have it lucky here, as most convenience stores stock Highland, Sierra Nevada, and even Ommegang if you happen into the BP on Patton at the intersection of Haywood Road. But in Bynum, Alabama, I did not have that luxury. Instead I did something that I haven't done in years. I bought an Anheuser Busch product. At one time, Michelob was considered a premium beer, but those days are long gone. Or are they? Anheuser Busch has converted the Michelob recipe back to using all malts without any adjuncts, and this presented a unique opportunity for me to try it. While I certainly won't be reaching for it again in the foreseeable future, the beer was actually not that bad, a definite step up in flavor from its rice and corn laden cousins. Still, the flavors were muted compared to the more full bodied craft lagers that I am used to.
In local news, be sure to be on the lookout for French Broad Brewing Company's first bottled beer, the Wee-Heaviest. This special beer uses belgian yeast which should go well with a beer that is already rich in malt flavors, and should lend a bit of fruitiness to the taste. You can try it yourself at Bruisin Ale's tomorrow night (Thursday, Novemeber 15).
A little birdie (my wife) also informed me that Highland's Cold Mountain Ale has been tapped at Barley's and should be there for a month or so. Get some while you can.