North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out Takes Big Boss by Storm

There’s been oodles of fitness lately, and plenty of  food, but you might be wondering where the beer’s been.  Well, don’t worry, because Wednesday night, I’m pretty sure I drank all of it.

See, one of my goals that I wrote in my fitbook was to drink less during the week. Namely, limit myself to drinking one weekday.  And yet, when there’s a special occasion like this one: NC GPO Big Operator Tour and Belgian Beer Tasting, hosted at one of my favorite Triangle breweries, Big Boss.  My resident beer buddy, Melissa, and I headed to Raleigh after work and, after cashing in a coupon for a free pizza at Brixx, hit up Big Boss for our private tour, tasting, and some other shenanigans. For $10, each lady received a tour of the brewery, a tasting of three Belgian style beers, a box of Elemental Chocolates, and a gorgeous etched glass to take home.

Sweet glassware

Talk about the deal of the century! But, as with all GPO events, the company stole the show.

New friends!

Oh goodness, the company and the beer.

Big Operator Lovin' by Melissa!

Big Boss was releasing their divine Big Operator black ale.  The brewery describes the beer as so:

Big Operator Belgian Black Raspberry is a full-flavored black ale.  The beer is infused with locally roasted cacao from Elemental Chocolate Company of Raleigh with added raspberry overnighted to us from the Pacific North West. Coming in at 8% abv please enjoy responsibly in a chalice of your choosing.

It was a truly decadent brew. It smelled malty and rich, a little chocolatey.  I didn’t really get the raspberry on the nose, but when I tasted it, that’s when I got it.  It was a hint of fruity perfection. So smooth, and not as boozey as expected.  It drank dangerously easy, but no worries, I wasn’t driving.

Ah, the tongue came out. Classy.

And the chocolate…. wow! I don’t throw around fondness for chocolate lightly, and tend to be more of a vanilla girl.  Well, consider me a convert.  From Elemental:

Elemental Chocolate brings you dark chocolate with whole, shelled cocoa bean centers. They are picked by hand. Roasted by hand. Crafted by hand. Just for you.

The company sources direct from co-ops and purchases certified organic cocoa beans. We are committed to sustainable business practices that help conserve the rain forests and let farmers make more than a living wage. We do not use GMO ingredients to make chocolate.

Elemental Chocolate is based in Raleigh, NC.  Thank you for supporting independent specialty food artisans, like Elemental Chocolate, & spreading the love that was used to make our fine products!

Fair trade, gourmet, and oh so dark.

Dig in, ladies!

I could eat my way through the entire rainforest that they get the cocoa from, it was that tasty.

Chocolate and beer, a match made in heaven, right?

As always, I had a blast with my fellow ladies and it made me wish that I lived closer to the Raleigh-based brewery so I could bask in its glory more regularly.  Then again, with beer, chocolates, and food trucks all around, I can’t imagine my waistline would appreciate that proximity.

Huge thanks to Dave and Robin at Big Boss for being such wonderful hosts. Oh, and for being adorable and in love.

True true true

I know everyone had a blast.  And for the sake of all you voyeurs, here’s some more pictures!

Educating us on the ingredients in the Belgian style beers

Trying a little Abita Abbey Ale!

BEER SCIENCE!

Lovely ladies

Now my tummy is full of shrimp & grits, and all that Wednesday night partying makes for a sleepy Thursday night. Fingers crossed the white noise app knocks me out fast.

 

Big Boss Monkey Bizz-Ness: This SH** is Bananas!

Happy July, ladies and gents!!  First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm words and amazing response from my last post about my personal Wake-Up Call to change my lifestyle to a healthier, more active one.  It’s great to hear about other people’s wake up calls, or what gave them the drive to change their lives.  Inspiring, right?

Since we hit up a rather heady topic last night, let’s try something a little light-hearted, shall we?  And honestly, what could be more light-hearted and appropriate before the holiday weekend than…. BEER?!

Last night, Lauren and I hosted yet another amazing glass night for the Tri-Beer Meetup group (only THE group to be in if you live in the NC Triangle and enjoy hops, ales, pilsners, and people!) The beer of the evening: Big Boss Brewing Company’s Monkey Bizz-ness.  I’m no stranger to Big Boss Beers, and have toured the brewery before as well as attending a food-truck round-up once or twice.  I’m a HUGE fan of their Angry Angel, and many friends are hopelessly devoted to Bad Penny.  But that’s beside the point.

Monkey Bizz-Ness in a glass!

This beer poured a cloudy hazy gold color that was beautiful to look at on a sunshiney evening.  Only available on draft in June, this beer is described by the brewer:

Monkey Bizz-Ness is spiced to complement the fruit, yeast and malt notes present in this complex, rustic Belgian-style ale. Monkey Bizz-ness is aged for months to blend the bold flavors into a seamless presentation.  9% ABV.

In my opinion, while the smell was divine, it was a little too powerful in flavors for my liking.  It might’ve be the powerful alcohol percentage, but the fruity flavors had me feeling like I was inhaling a tropical mix of produce and flowers, and not in the best way.  I feel like there was  mix of citrus, maybe peach (though that could’ve been the peach I ate earlier tricking my mind), and floral tastes… it was just too much for me.  That being said, my co-host loved it, and it has a very loyal group of followers (who followed us right to the bar!), so clearly my tastes are not similar to everyone.  While I’m glad I tried this one, I think that I’ll stick to their Angry Angel Kolsch in the future as my go-to brew (though their Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale is something I look forward to all autumn!)

A beer, for little ol' me?!

Loyal Tri-Beer member, Will, surprised me by getting my first beer of the night, and it even included a free (BEAUTIFULLY ETCHED) Big Boss Glass which you can buy at their Merchandise Store. The glass normally runs for $3.50, and the beer AND glass cost a mere $2 (or free, if you have a dapper gentleman treat you!), further going to show that Rockfish Seafood Grill at Southpoint truly has the best deal on craft beers in the Triangle (at least that I’ve seen, I challenge you to find me a better one!)

After finishing my Bizz-Ness, I switched over to a beer I honestly didn’t expect to love…  but after one sip of Lauren’s, I knew I had to try it.  Lonerider Brewing Company’s Deadeye Jack, a seasonal porter, infused with… COFFEE! Holy moly.  If you’re someone who likes beer but thought to yourself, “This doesn’t have enough coffee in it!!” this is the brew for you.   It’s deep and rich and full flavored, dark brown in color, aromatic as any mug o’ joe, and easy to drink I would suggest that Starbucks grab a hold of the Lonerider PR person, and work with them on some sort of Brew-Ha-Ha event combining this beer and tasty coffee, and… I don’t know… stand up comedians?  I’m obviously not a PR whiz kid.  alas.

Speaking of alas, the only image I got of this brew was in the side, during an impromptu photo shoot for the Women of Craft Beer NC Calendar:

We'll be taking pre-orders next month...

That’s me on the left (the tall one, shock.), Lauren, and Johanna Kramer, aka the finest  food loving, brew sipping ladies of the Triangle food and drink scene.

After enjoying a delicious night of great talks, lots of laughs, and tasty appetizers (half off from 4-7), I went home to open up my package…  More on this later, but I’ll give you a hint.  This is what I looked like when I opened it.

Like a kid on Christmas morning!

Off to enjoy the tail end of the work-week before the long weekend!!