Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts

October 22, 2014

CiderFest Returns to WNC


Cider fans will soon gather in Asheville to celebrate one of the fastest growing segments of the craft beverage industry: hard cider. After a very successful 2013 event, CiderFest NC returns to Western North Carolina on November 2nd, 1pm-5pm. The cider festival will be held this year at the WNC Farmer's Market at 570 Brevard Rd.

In the US, the hard cider market has grown exponentially, tripling in production between 2011 and 2013. Locally, the cider industry is also growing rapidly. Noble Cider recently announced expansion plans, while newcomers Black Mountain Cider Works and Urban Orchard Cider have joined the party in the last year.

This year's CiderFest will host at least 16 different hard cider companies, including several local and regional cideries, plus a handful from as far away as Michigan, Vermont, and even Spain! The following cideries have been confirmed:
  • Naked Apple Hard Cider (NC)
  • St. Paul Vineyard (NC)
  • Black Mountain Ciderworks (NC)
  • Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill (SC)
  • Bull City Ciderworks (NC)
  • Fishing Creek Hard Cider (NC)
  • Urban Orchard Cider Co. (NC)
  • Noble Cider (NC)
  • Three Sisters Cidery (NC)
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider (VA)
  • Red Clay Ciderworks (NC)
  • Sourwood Brewing (NC)
  • Blake's Hard Cider (MI)
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider (VT)
  • McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks (NC)
  • Bereziartua (Spain)
In addition to hard cider, CiderFest attendees will have the opportunity to sample cheese and other artisanal foods. Non-alcoholic cider will also be available.

All proceeds from the event will support the WNC Green Building Council. Tickets can be purchased at CiderFestNC.com for $30. Kids and young adults 20 and under get in free.

It's apple season in the mountains! (image via WNCGBC)
Two happy cider fans (image via WNCGBC)

May 14, 2012

BeerCity USA 2012: It's a tie!

Voting is closed and the winners have been chosen: Asheville, NC, and Grand Rapids, MI, will share the title of BeerCity USA 2012!

This is Asheville's fourth year in a row winning this distinction; it's the first time for Grand Rapids.  Keep an eye out for some Local Beer Blog reporting from Asheville in mid-June.

Click here for the full report from Charlie Papazian.

To my readers in the US - have an incredible American Craft Beer Week!  Be sure to check to see how your local brewery is celebrating and give them some support!

Cheers!

May 7, 2012

Get your vote on: BeerCity USA 2012

The taps at organic Pisgah Brewing, a stone's throw
from Asheville, NC.
In case you haven't already done so, go ahead and get your vote in for the BeerCity USA 2012 poll.  Any beer fan can vote, with a limit of one vote per computer.

Asheville, NC, is the reigning champion and, at the time of writing, has a narrow lead over Grand Rapids, MI.

The fact that this past week's Craft Brewer's Conference and World Beer Cup were held in San Diego, CA, should be considered, though one might also want to check out Food Republic's Craft Beer Power Rankings, which include representation from ten breweries in six different states.

I just made it harder to choose, didn't I?

January 18, 2012

Chicago, IL - Beer School Day 3

OK folks, apologies for such a delay on the next post -- between the holidays and procrastination I've let the blog fall to the wayside.  But big things are a-brewing (puns are great) so bear with me as I get you up to speed.

Day 3 of my Start Your Own Brewery class through the Siebel Institute began with an introduction of John Mallett, Production Manager at Bell's Brewery of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  With over 20 years in the beer business, we knew this guy was an expert.  Over the next few hours, John spoke to us about the brewing process, the anatomy of a brewery, including brewing, fermentation, and packaging equipment, and also about utilities and waste management.

September 23, 2011

Holland, MI: New Holland's Farmhouse Hatter

What? The bottle says it's a Farmhouse IPA -- so is it a Saison or an India Pale Ale?

Well, it's both. On a recent trip up to Ann Arbor, Michigan, I stopped by Whole Foods to see what "the Wolverine State" had to offer. This 22 oz bottle from New Holland Brewing grabbed my attention -- the label is great, and the description was pretty intriguing:

"Fermentation character from Belgian-born yeast envelops bright hop character with a spicy, tart farmhouse funk. Pairings: seafood, fennel, mushrooms, pickled veggies."

Lacking any seafood, fennel, mushrooms, or pickled veggies, I had to try the Farmhouse Hatter straight up.

As you can see, the beer poured a huge head which continued bubbling up for several minutes. There was a big citrus and floral hop aroma -- Cascade, if I had to guess, but don't hold me to it. Also a caramel sweetness in the smell. My first reaction when I tasted the beer was that it was way out of sync with the smell -- a bit of a shock. The main taste was the tartness, the "farmhouse funk" that comes from the Belgian yeast they used.

As I went deeper into the bottle other characteristics started to come through. I found there to be more hop bitterness than hop flavor, but there was still some citrus action in there. Overall, I thought the beer was highly sessionable, despite all of the unusual flavors mixed together. Very similar to the Springhouse Ale I had a couple weeks ago, and for a beer with an identity crisis, it turned out to be very interesting and easy-drinking -- not an easy feat!

Cheers to New Holland for pushing the boundaries!

Here's a close-up of the character on the bottle:

Sorry Johnny Depp, this guy's way cooler.