You folks like Third Eye Blind? I love Third Eye Blind. And the lyrics from one of their songs, “Misfits”, always fill my heart with joy.
My people are the misfits
The ones that don’t fit in
With the smile I know it comes within
I can feel you in the corners laughing when the lighting’s low.
This song speaks of that feeling you get, that warmth that glows and grows inside of you when you’re surrounded by a community of people that, while unlike many, are so like you that it just fits.
That’s how I feel about Beer People, and that’s how I felt at Bruisin’ Ales in Asheville, NC this weekend.
In the Triangle, there’s Sam’s Quik Shop in Durham, Bottle Revolution and Tasty Beverage Co. in Raleigh, and TJ’s Beverage & Tobacco in Carrboro. But I wasn’t in the Triangle, I was in Asheville, and after a day of shopping in the Biltmore Village, I needed less artisanal soaps and more craft suds of the boozy nature. Bruisin’ Ales delivered on that, and so much more.
There’s was a special treat waiting behind the bar, though, as Sierra Nevada’s Head Brewer Terrence Sullivan and Harry Wannemacher, NC Brand Rep/Distributor Extraordinaire, were in town serving up some tasting action of Sierra Nevada’s beers as well as their newest collaboration Abbey Ales.
I even convinced my beer-hating mom to try Sierra Nevada’s flagship Pale Ale (though after that, she booked it for more shopping.)
After she left, though, that’s when the recognition of my fellow Beer People came into play. I love to be surrounded by folks who get as fired up over things like Collaboration Ales and Randalization as I do. Bruisin’ Ales was chock full of them. I watched one man fill up two baskets with different beers, dropping over $150 on craft beer. He mentioned he stopped by every time he drove through Asheville, and lived about 800 miles away! Other folks were scanning through the aisles, trying to find that elusive rare brew that they knew they could only find on one of Bruisin’ Ales’ numerous shelves.
I spent most of my time by the tasting, chatting up the fellows of Sierra Nevada. We swapped stories of our first sip of a sour ale, I explained the glory of Girls’ Pint Out to them, and they were more than impressed with the tale of Fullsteam’s Sean Wilson chugging a 4-year old Miller Chill (by “impressed”, I think I mean disgusted. To-may-toe, to-mah-toe.)
The beers were delicious (my favorite was probably the rich, dark Ovila Quad), but the company was even more delightful. I laughed with strangers, I toasted the possibility of Sierra Nevada setting up an East coast Headquarters in Asheville (YAY!! NC is Beer Country, baby!) and relished in my new-found Beer People buddies.
I love the vibe of Bruisin’ Ales. I love the fact that you can get a beer to drink while you shop the store, and I love their festive decorations.
If you’re in the Asheville area and you’re a fellow Beer Person, get yourself to Bruisin’ Ales.
And if you’re Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, get yourself to Asheville, NC.
And if you’re a jolly monk, get yourself to my apartment, because we complement each other quite nicely.
Who are your “beer people”?