December 31, 2012

The Most Influential Beer Bloggers of 2012 (Part 1)

With the new year less than a day away, I want to take a moment to recognize six beer bloggers who have influenced me and my writing over the past year. Whether you are a beer blogger, industrial professional, or casual beer drinker, these are people worth paying attention to in 2013.

Each person on the list has a uniquely interesting background, but these writers have a lot in common as well. All are self-starters and completely dedicated to sharing their passion for craft beer. And each person on the list has taken their beer blogging success to a higher level, either by writing for a major publication, working with a professional brewery, or launching their own entrepreneurial endeavor.

This list will be broken up into two parts, the second of which will be released tomorrow. Without further delay and in no order of preference, these are the Local Beer Blog's Most Influential Beer Bloggers of 2012:


December 22, 2012

Asheville, NC: Wicked Weed Brewing Preview


Wicked Weed in Asheville, NC
Photo: Wicked Weed Brewing
"Community" was the word of the day when I visited Wicked Weed Brewing last week. Scheduled to open December 28th at 5pm, Wicked Weed is expected to make a big splash in Asheville with a number of adventurous beer styles, including a range of Belgian ales, sour beers, saisons, West Coast-style IPAs, and barrel-aged beers, all to be complemented with "enlightened pub fare." Having won the People’s Choice award at this summer’s Brewgrass festival, the Asheville community is sure to give Wicked Weed an enthusiastic welcome on opening day.

The brewing team at Wicked Weed includes brothers Walt and Luke Dickinson and their good friend Eric Leypoldt. Both Luke and Eric bring experience from Dogfish Head, but all three got their start in homebrewing. Walt began homebrewing in California in 2000, and his brother Luke caught the bug soon afterwards. Like many others in their profession, what started as a hobby turned into a dream, and now they're neck deep in it.

December 18, 2012

Southern Appalachian Brewery & Dupont State Forest

Triple Falls, Dupont State Forest
Despite rainy weather for most of the weekend, my girlfriend and I managed to avoid it on Saturday as we explored a bit of Western North Carolina with our new four-legged companion. We ventured first to Dupont State Forest, about 50 minutes south of Asheville and 15-20 from Brevard. The plan: do some hiking, see some waterfalls, then check out Southern Appalachian Brewery in nearby Hendersonville.

Dupont State Forest

After a nice drive through rural North Carolina, passing farms and horses and sheep along the way, we entered Dupont State Forest and parked at the Hooker Falls parking area.

I'm no Bill Bryson, but I do enjoy a walk in the woods from time to time. Even though this was mid-December and only the evergreen foliage remained, the beauty of the area was stunning. On a 2-3 hour hike along well-maintained trails, we saw multiple waterfalls, including Triple Falls and High Falls.

December 16, 2012

Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher: Now an Interactive eBook

Tasting Beer, the comprehensive beer guide by Randy Mosher, is now available as an interactive eBook for iPad, iPhone, and reading on the web.

Redesigned by San Francisco start-up Inking, this new version includes sharp, interactive graphics, instant access to glossary definitions, and the ability to interact with friends on social media. The Inkling platform makes it easy to navigate the chapters and to take notes on the content.

Today only, you can purchase the entire book for just $1.99 through the Apple iTunes Store. After that, it goes up to the regular price of $12.99, which is still pretty reasonable. You will also be able to purchase individual chapters for $1.99, however Chapter 4 is free for you to try out.

December 12, 2012

Brevard, NC: Oskar Blues Opens in North Carolina

Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, NC
Photo credit: Beertography.com
The first of the "Big Three" breweries coming to Western North Carolina is officially open. Based in Longmont, Colorado, Oskar Blues' second brewery is located in Brevard, NC, just about 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. Famous for their canned craft beers like Dale's Pale Ale, Mama's Little Yella Pils, and Old Chub Scotch Ale, Oskar Blues decided to expand to the area for the water, the outdoor living, and Western North Carolina's borderline-obsessive beer culture.

December 8, 2012

Burlington, VT: Magic Hat's Winterland Variety Pack


"A performance in every bottle."
Christmas came early for this beer writer. Arrived on my doorstep a week or so ago was a sampler of three beers from Magic Hat Brewing Company's Winterland Variety Pack. It may not be "local" for many readers (unless you live in Vermont), but the company widely known for their #9 "Not Quite Pale Ale" has some new seasonals out that might be worth a try. Plus, readers from Costa Rica may be interested in what the new Florida Ice and Farm/CervecerĂ­a Costa Rica subsidiary has to offer.