A Very Craft Beer Saturday
I slept like a baby on Saturday night. If babies were allowed to drink beer all day and fed only fried food and cheeses (if that’s how your baby sustains life, we’ll just keep that on the down low.)
See, sometimes, the craft beer stars align (actually, more often than sometimes in this beer-centric Triangle) and I’m presented with not one, not two, but three impossible-to-pass-up craft beer events. Who am I to mess with destiny?
Though I only stopped by briefly, the Lonerider Brew It Forward event was PACKED, I assume all day. This incredible event, benefiting Nourish International, invited home brewers to submit their beers to judges from Lonerider for a chance to “brew with the big boys.” While I only saw the third place announcements, I heard that there was a number of tasty selections and the live music drew a big crowd of beer enthusiasts and family folk, alike.
I stayed a little longer at the other events, though. Namely, the most arrogant bar in America.
After selling the most Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Company in a designated week’s time, the Raleigh Times Bar was given the prestigious title of the Most Arrogant Bar in America. The joint was jumping (though I couldn’t tell if this was the norm for Raleigh Times) but I think the main draw was also the main attraction.
Greg Koch, one of the co-founders of Stone and basically a rock star in the craft beer world.
Wait, let me put this better.
If all the giant, brewery-shirt wearing, proud, beardy men are teenage girls, Greg Koch is their Justin Bieber.
It was a total sausage-fest, which was not surprising considering Koch’s numerous fanboys. I’ll admit, I was initially a little surprised, and even thought to myself “what’s the hype? It’s good beer, but REALLY?” as the grown men went up to Koch, visibly shaking, to ask for his autograph. But real talk, let’s be honest, I think he’s got Bieber beat.
I couldn’t resist getting a photo with the man (the myth, the legend) as he offered me an autographed CD or DVD or something (I haven’t had enough time to even see what it was. First class, Jordan.) But I think he was really just playing the crowd well, as we sipped on Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans (decadent, smooth, and delicious, a great treat for a sweet tooth like myself), Arrogant Bastard Ale with Chipotle Peppers (whoah! spicy!!), and Dry Hopped Arrogant Bastard (which, in my opinion, was much tastier than the classic Arrogant Bastard due, primarily, to the added enjoyment from the olfactory experience of floral hoppiness). Thanks to Daniel, one of the nicest, most generous beer buddies I know, for that Dry Hopped delight! I never would’ve known the joy were it not for him.
As they say, though, there’s no rest for the wicked. Or the Arrogant, in my case, and I soon had to head back across the Triangle. We had a Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing to get to!
Another amazing event thrown by my favorite beer broads!!
Erik Lars Myers, Head Brewer and owner of Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough, NC invited us to come and taste four of Mystery’s signature beers. My favorite was the Six Impossible Things (a Chocolate Breakfast Stout), though we also enjoyed the Gentlemen’s Preference Blond Ale, Mousqueton, a Belgian-Style Tripel and Queen Anne’s Revenge, a Carolinian Dark (which I’d tried before). He paired each beer with a different cheese, all of which were provided by Weaver Street Market. All I could think about was how much I want to have a beer and cheese party of my own (add it to the Triangle bucket list?!)
Melissa invited a number of her buddies, who were fantastic new additions to the NCGPO crew, and I was so happy to have a new bunch of lager-loving-ladies to crack jokes and beers with!
We quickly realized that girls can’t survive on beer and cheese alone (hard as we may try) and decided to end arguably my LONGEST beer day/night in some time at Hillsborough’s Wooden Nickel Pub. If these fish and chips have anything to say about it, it was a brilliant idea.
This EPIC platter of fish and chips was split between three of us, and, even then, was still a hefty meal. The Wooden Nickel certainly knows how to feed folks!!
Once the music got too loud (and, after realizing I’d had something like 13 beers in the previous 24 hours (the UNC game had been on the night before, enjoyed at a bar), I asked Melissa if we could head home. She happily obliged my sleepy eyes, and I drifted off into a dreamless sleep. The kind of sleep only beers, cheese, friends, and fun can bring.
Epic day? Yes.
Do I want to repeat it any time soon? No.
Well… at least not until World Beer Festival.
Can you go-go-go all day, or do you like to save your festivities for either morning, day, or night?
I realized a little while ago that, if I’m going to be fun at night after enjoying beer events earlier in the day, I definitely need a nap. Otherwise, I’m a sleepy Sally (you know… like a Debbie Downer, but less depressing and more tired.)