Saturday, October 11, 2008

And the medal goes to.....

For 27 years, brewers and beer lovers have invaded Colorado to attend the Great American Beer Festival, which is part competition and part festival. This year, there was only one winner from North Carolina, and it just so happens to come from a brewery in Asheville. Highland brewing took the silver medal in the American Stout category, for their wonderful Black Mocha Stout. To my knowledge, this is the first medal for Highland Brewing, and also the first medal for an Asheville brewed beer at the event. The Black Mocha Stout was previously awarded a silver medal at the World Beer Cup in 2006. Congratulations to Highland Brewing, and you can celebrate with them by picking up a six pack yourself, or by picking up an Imperial Black Mocha Stout from the brewery or from Bruisin' Ales.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Kids on the Block

I finally got a chance to meet the folks behind Asheville's latest brewery, Craggie Brewing Company last night at the Michael Jackson toast at the Thirsty Monk. They were nice enough to bring along some of their Belgian Nut Brown for folks to sample. Their philosophy on beer is refreshing, as they are brewing flavorful beers with a lower alcohol content. They hit the mark with the Belgian Nut Brown, which clocked in at around 4.5 percent. These session beers are meant to be drunk socially over the course of an evening, with the lower alcohol content allowing you to extend your night with friends, or to drive home if you only have a couple. Craggie is out to prove that lower alcohol does not have to mean less flavor.

Speaking of flavors, the menu of beers that Craggie is making reminds one of a trip to the farmers market. A strawberry porter, a maple blueberry porter, an India pumpkin ale (made with pumpkin, not spices), a civil war era recipe beer with molasses and pine needles. Quite a varied list, and they do brew some 'normal' beers as well, such as an English style golden ale. Craggie just received their brewery permits, so they are one step closer to officially opening, which probably won't be until early spring of next year. But if you want a chance to try them out before then, feel free to stop by for a tasting on October 14th from 5:30-11:30, which gives you plenty of time to check out Asheville's newest brewery. The new brewery is located at 197 Hilliard Street in downtown, between Asheland and Coxe avenues.