Philly Girls’ Pint Out Takes Flight at City Tap House

When people ask me what I miss most about North Carolina, sometimes I think about the stunning UNC campus. Other times, I think about the hip, welcoming town of Durham, complete with giant bull statue and delicious eats and my favorite minor league baseball team. And there’s always Cheerwine, Bojangles, and all the beauty of Honeysuckle Sorbet… But then I remember what I REALLY miss most of all.


It’s my NC Beer Family, of course! This amazing group of men and women were some of my best friends, and they always welcomed me with open arms and open bottles!! They gave me a community, a place to be myself and geek out over my favorite things in the world (craft beer…. cheese…. chocolate…. friends.)  And, though it’s still in the early phases, I think I’m finding that community in Philly.

You know what helped?

Well, that logo looks familiar!!

Philly’s very own Girls’ Pint Out!!

Though this was my second event with the ladies of PAGPO, it was definitely the first where I really got to meet and know some of the women. And they’re fantastic!

We all got together on Monday night at City Tap House for a DIY Flight-Night personalized for each gal. For $10, we each got 4-5 oz pours of different beers. And, since… tis the season and all, I just WENT FOR IT!

Fueled by Luna!! All pumpkin, all the time!

As you can see on the bottom there, I claimed the name “Pumqueen” for the night since every beer I was enjoying featured a Pumpkin spin. Lavery’s Stingy Jack, Old Forge Smashing Pumpkin, Long Trail’s Imperial Pumpkin, and Fegley’s Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin!!

So much pumpkin on one paddle.

Unfortunately, there was some confusion at City Tap House which beer was which on the paddle. However, through careful deduction and detective-like skills (and some discussion with other ladies) I figured out my beers and their order (maybe). Either way, I’m PRETTY sure that my favorite was Long Trail’s Imperial Pumpkin. Smashing Pumpkin was a little low on carbonation, and the Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin had a little sharpness to it that I didn’t love, and not enough pumpkin.

Unfortunately, one of the beers had a little extra something and, while I was chatting with my new lady friends over how we all got into craft beer (Brothers! Working at a brewery! boyfriends! Buddies! so many routes to the inevitable destination of beer love!) Into my mouth went….



I told one of the servers and, don’t worry, no one got hurt (no one = my mouth). They comped my paddle and, though I’m not sure if it was because he felt bad OR because this had been planned long before, Andy decided to treat all my new lady beer buddies to some special bottles!!

Andy, you the m-ANDY!

Sorry about my lousy iPhone shots, but I didn’t even consider bringing my fancy camera.


My favorite was HANDS DOWN the Russian River Consecration Ale. Sour dark ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels with CURRANTS!


Glory, thy name is Consecration and I’d like to drink you ALWAYS.

Despite the glass-y shard, the night was fantastic and had me smiling the whole time.

Happiest camper.

And the best thing of all?


Do you think the pink tint was to go with the GPO colors??

No one could replace my NCBeer family, but I’m SO STOKED to be starting a new bunch of beer loving pals!

Thanks to City Tap House for handling a problem with grace and courtesy, thanks to Andy for spoiling us (and introducing me to Consecration, my new love), AND thanks to my new buddies for sharing your Monday night craft beer loving with me!!

I wonder what tasty beer event is next on the horizon….




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!


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.


Six Pack Sunday: The Science of Beer

Happy Sunday, ladies and gentlemen!

It’s been an absolutely fantastic weekend, though not long enough (honestly, when are they ever?)  I got to visit the beau in Manayunk for some significant other loving. We made candy corn pancakes, we watched football, we dominated in beer pong survived playing beer pong (read: thank goodness for Ry’s years in a fraternity that played BP compulsively, because I maybe made 2 cups the entire night), and we cuddled during Cake Boss.  Pretty much straight quality.

Before the glory of the weekend, though, there was the Science of Beer.  On Thursday night, The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science  held one of their ever-popular “Museum After Hours” events called the Science of Beer. Though I am in the process of writing a more complete description of the event for a later release, I figured I’d share a few of the sillier, more personal bits and pieces with you all.

1. Like a Kid on Christmas Eve

I was stoked for this event. Seriously antsy. I’m every marketer’s dream consumer.  All you have to do is tell me an event is sold out, or a product is limited release, and I jump at the opportunity. So yes, we may have gotten there a half hour early and waited at the door like parents outside of Target on Black Friday.  And most of the time, I was peering anxiously through the door.

Not unlike this

But we were the proud owners of the designation “First Ladies in the Doors.”  Suck on that, little kids who were also waiting to get in (for the Science of Root Beer). Teach you to challenge me.


The first station we went to (of course, after filling our tasting cups?)


If you guessed mine was the obnoxious pink one with my initials on it…. you clearly know me too well.

Melissa and I showing off our stuff

On the other side, I had a Moon sticker and made it say “I’m over the moon [sticker] for craft beer!”

I’m a class act.

3. Gender Beer Bias?

Maybe I’ve been thinking too much about chick beer but when I walked up to the “lab” and saw the sign below, I was like,


Wishful thinking?


Sadly, as I looked closer, I was disappointed to find out a) it was GENETIC beer bias and b) my genetics determined I was totally insensitive to the “bitter factor” of beer.

Couldn't even taste it.

Oh well, so I couldn’t taste bitter paper (or beer). NBD. All the more beer for me to enjoy.

4. The Most Educational Game of Beer Pong Ever

The absolute most awesome part of The Science Beer?

Beer Pong Physics?! SIGN ME UP!

Even though this weekend with the beau, we quickly realized that real beer pong might not be my forte, apparently, when it comes to the physics of the game, I’ve got it down pat.

Check out that bend in the knee.

They tracked our throws with a video and noted all the spots our ball hit to track the trajectory. SCIENCE AT IT’S FINEST!


Scientifically, I'm on point.

So there’s no real reason why I shouldn’t sink every cup.  That’s just a scientific fact, right there.  Both Melissa and I sunk our cups, allowing us the honor of putting our names on the Wall of Fame.


5. Why Aren’t Beer Cans What They Used to Be?

Beer cans through the ages!

The folks at the Rusty Bunch brought an intimidating amount of beer cans to show the evolution over time.  I definitely found a favorite:

PBR can the size of my skull? Sure.

I’m currently working with the folks at PBR to bring this one back.

I’ll let you know if I make any progress.

6. Food Truck FIESTA!!

This was for the two of us.

The Rasta from Will and Pop’s (jerk chicken, pepper jack, and mango chutney grilled sandwich), Porkedamame Dumplings from Chirba Chirba (spell-check may be needed for that last one) and, the coup de gras, from Valentino’s , pale ale battered jalapeno poppers stuffed with mozzarella and NORTH CAROLINA BBQ!! Jalapeno poppers might be the fried food of my dreams. I imagine, in Heaven, all foods will be served like appetizers. And jalapeno poppers will be used as a palate cleanser.

Every bite of this meal, split between Melissa and me, was divine. I promise, it wasn’t just the beer talking. It was the most indulgent meal I’ve had in recent history but worth every messy, drippy, fried bite.

Note the Rapture of my face? That's popper induced rapture.

It was, in a word, BEERTASTIC!

And, in a less made-up word: paradise.

For a craft beer lover, for a food truck lover, and a fan of all things Triangle, it was just paradise.

How was your weekend?

Have you ever been to an after hours event at a local museum?  

I get the feeling that I’ll be signing myself right up for the Science of Wine in February…


Foothills Brewing + City Beverage: Winston Salem Beer Scene

Friiiiiiiiiiiiday, Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday, hate to wear pants on Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday!

Just wanted to let everyone know, in case you weren’t aware, that it is, in fact, Friday.  And though I’m no Rebecca Black, I’ve got big plans for this freakin’ weekend!   On the agenda:

  • Going out with one of my best friends and fellow Floretine study (a)broads, Kinsley!

    Margaritas in the Hard Rock? When in Rome.... (literally. we were in Rome.)

    Haven’t seen her in WAY too long, and I expect a night of joy and joyness. In fact, a whole weekend of it.


    I LOVED reading that Nicole of Sugar-Coated Sisters is fired up for her first game as a USC Trojan! I, on the other coast, can hardly see straight with my excitement for Tar Heel football starting tomorrow!!

  • Shopping.
    I’m going to try to control myself. Gotta watch this one. But I AM picking up my new TV!!

Clearly, some good ish…. even though it’s no long weekend beach trip.  Or my standard fare of a trip to Oxford, MS. Times, they are a-changing.

As I mentioned in my post on Old Salem Tavern, there was more fun to be had in Winston Salem.  Fun in the form of my favorite sudsy beverage.

Come to mama!

After prepping for the next day of training for work I looked at my clock, not feeling tired at all, and realized it was only a little after nine.  Well, I consulted the glory of the internet, after tweeting a call to arms about fun to be had in Winston Salem, and realized that Foothills Brewing Brewpub was within walking distance of my hotel. Say WHAT?!

I wasted no time in hitting the ground running (walking. carefully) over to the pub. Thanks to advice from one of my fellow Girls’ Pint Out buddies, Anna, I reviewed the menu and despite the fact that it was $3 pint night, I went for something a little different.

Much better than that delayed Southwest Flight

6 full size samples, 3 of their seasonal samples in a smaller form, all for $7.99?!?! I DIE!

This is the very best way of visiting a new brewery/brewpub. I was able to enjoy a little bit of everything without getting drunk, and could focus on the flavors without clearing out my wallet.  I was able to meet some friendly locals who hooked me up with a little information on their favorites. Some highlights? (If you follow me on untappd, feel free to gloss over this part)

  • Barrel Aged People’s Porter-Fantastic porter, creamy rich and delicious, I could taste the almost chocolatey bourbon in the aftertaste.
  • Hoppyum IPA-This hoppy beer is never not good. A pretty classic IPA, it’s got some tasty citrus notes too!
  • Seeing Double IPA-Wow. You’d never expect the ABV content by tasting this beer (it’s 9.5%). It’s smooth, delicious, and the mouthfeel is actually enjoyable.

I loved being able to just relax and (very slowly) enjoy all that Foothills had to offer. Even with tip, I left without spending more than $11 and enjoyed every second.  The bartender was nice, knowledgeable, and friendly, especially without being too pushy. He let me make my own choices and even talked a little beer with me. I know it was slow, it was a Monday, but it meant a lot.

Thanks for the hospitality, new friends! Can't wait to go back!!

On my way out of WS, I stopped by City Beverage to pick up something new that I’ve never tried before (seriously, that was my only condition. other than that, I was open to everything.)

Oldies are the goodies.

The glassware put my own collection to shame, and they had an adorable tasting room but, like a fool in love, I was so enamored with looking at all the pretty bottles that I skipped taking a picture of that. Trust me, though, it’s adorable, it’s wooden, and it smells of rich mahogany (real talk.)

Want em all.

View from the bottom

The selection was amazing, and I was totally overwhelmed, but finally managed to waltz out of there with some tasty bevvies….

You’ll just have to wait and see what they were, though.

Have you ever tried a flight of beers? How about a beer tasting?

What’s a hidden gem in your town? Beer related if you’d like, but really, I’ll accept any/everything!

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll visit!



North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out: We’re Busy Bees

Hey there friends and neighbors! Hope you’re all surviving Irene, that clap-having jezebel who seems to be ruining everyone’s plans. I was supposed to be in Ocean City, NJ prepping for my cousin’s bridal shower. Instead, the whole island was put under a mandatory evacuation, and I spent some time gathering the essentials in the Wilmington, Delaware Total Wine.  Which. Is. Epic.

3 bottles of wine, a handle of rum, pick six, pretzel crisps, AND 40 lbs of ice. We're ready for anything.

And I have a hot date tonight with this little scene:

As I said before, Happy hour is my happy hour.

But even though my spirit of choice is rum and coke with my mom and dad tonight, it wasn’t too long ago that I joined the fine ladies of North Carolina Girls’ Pint Out at Busy Bee Cafe in downtown Raleigh.  Not too long at all…….

(cue hazy cloudy mist that brings us back to August 18th, 2011. Or maybe just imagine Wayne and Garth waving their hands for a flashback….)

Party on Wayne, party on Garth.

After another successful glass night at Rockfish with the folks representing Palm Brewery (a new tasty beer from Belgium!) I bid everyone a fond farewell.

Thanks, for repping it hard, fellers.

I only enjoyed a single brew, but knew that there were some tasty ones in store at Busy Bee.

The Hive gets a little crazy with their beer list!

The options seemed endless.  The two beers I personally featured in my writeup were:

Dogfish Head Namaste, often translated as “The spirit in me respects the spirit in you”, is Dogfish Head’s way to respect your thirst for beer in the hot summertime. This Belgian White is made with dried organic orange slices, fresh cut lemongrass and a bit of coriander, and is perfect to pair with spicy fare, so try to get some kick from Busy Bee’s Pork Burger, featuring sriracha and Bok Choy slaw.


St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition: (alas, this beer ran out faster than we had the chance to feature it!) Interested in stepping up your beer game? Step outside the bottle and try this sour, traditional Geuze style beer. A tart beer with lemony fruitiness, you can enjoy the crisp, clean mouthfeel that puckers the lips and makes you crave the creaminess of cheeses, such as Busy Bee’s Baked Mac and Cheese.

Here's me screaming my face off as I talk about beer. (photo credit to Ben Woodward, click to hit up the facebook source)

There were some amazing little treats (for free) provided by the glorious host, Busy Bee!!

Tots are ALWAYS part of my happy hour.

Although this was only our second event, we had over 30 craft beer lovin’ ladies (and some especially brave gentlemen!)

Wow. We're popular.

We upped our profession game:

Sign in sheets! You want a shirt? SIGN OUR SHEET!

We also met some local folks who are keeping it real in the craft beer scene!

Ted from Bottle Revolution!

Ted from Bottle Revolution came and handed out some camo koozies (in case we have to drink while undercover… in the forest).  His store’s going to be opening soon with awesome features like A Year of Beer Club and pre-packaged craft beer coolers (LIKE IF YOU NEED THEM FOR FOOTBALL TAILGATING!!)

I may have even met my soulmate in Somer, a fellow blogger in the Triangle who’s interested in reproductive health and advocacy, UNC, craft beer, and my brother! (well, maybe not my brother yet…. but one day.)

True True and we didn't even know it!

I’m so proud of my fellow planners and coordinators, and I hope that they’re all proud of what we put together!!

Just a few of the founding gals. Again, photo credit to Ben Woodward, click for source!

If you’re a lady, and you like craft beer, and you live in/around the Triangle (or LOVE to travel wicked far), and/or you want to be my friend (duh.), follow NCGirlsPintOut on Twitter or check us out on facebook!

Word on the street is we have another excellent event coming in Mid-September…. Stay tuned!

What’s your favorite appetizer to pair with beer?

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!!