Showing posts with label Organic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Organic. Show all posts

November 5, 2012

Asheville, NC: A Weekend of Craft Beer, Community, and Good Causes

One month into being an official Asheville resident, I've had the pleasure of attending a handful of craft beer events in the new town. It's fantastic to be in a place where craft beer is mainstream. More than that though, this is a town where the beer business is aggressively involved in the community. More often than not, these events are tied to good causes of one kind or another. What better reason to go out for a beer?

Here's a brief recap of a couple events from the weekend:

Wee Bit Louder Fest

The first annual Wee Bit Louder Fest was held this past Saturday afternoon at Highland Brewing Company. Highland took fan suggestions for naming the festival, the "plugged-in" counterpart to Highland's Appalachian Breakdown Festival held in the summer.

The event started outdoors, taking advantage of Highland's new outdoor stage and the warm fall afternoon.

We started out by going into the Highland tasting room to sample the famed Sierra Nevada Beer Camp brews. In anticipation of their new Asheville location, Sierra Nevada invited 14 Western North Carolina breweries out to Chico for Beer Camp. They divided to the breweries into groups and brewed two commemorative ales:

October 25, 2012

GABF Recap: Part 2

The remainder of the Great American Beer Festival and the long weekend in Denver was a blast. A little hazy, a little rough on the body, but packed with good food, good times, and great beer. (Read Part 1 here.)

Friday

The Kitchen's Portobello Sandwich with a
Denver Beer Co. Summer Ale.
After some much needed sleep and lots of water, Friday began with another trek up the Cherry Creek Trail towards downtown. I stopped in for lunch at the Kitchen, located on the corner of 16th and Wazee St. in LoDo.

Anticipating that some veggies might help soak up the beer ahead, I opted for the Portobello Sandwich. Locally-baked ciabatta with sautéed red onions, gouda cheese, house-made hummus, and greens -- the sandwich was fantastic! The mushrooms, onions, and greens were all regionally sourced and organic. The sandwich was accompanied by house fries (from organic Idaho potatoes) and homemade ketchup. (Homemade ketchup? Gotta try that!) Some Denver Beer Company Summer Ale washed it down. Awesome.

Heading to the festival a little early, I walked around the convention center for a bit sans crowd and snapped some photos.

August 21, 2012

How to Make Your Own Ginger Beer

Ginger Libation, a Panama hat, and an iron
bottle opener from BMW Ironworks.
At my family reunion this past June, my cousin Ben, a blacksmith, showed up with a couple bottles of Green River Ambrosia's Ginger Libation. It rocked my palate and sparked my curiosity. At a potent 8.5% ABV, the Libation will kick your ass if you're not careful.

I was intrigued by the list of ingredients: pineapple juice, lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, cane sugar. Hey, these are all easy to find in Panama. Why not give it a shot?

August 8, 2012

Craft Beer Research Needs Your Help!

Alejandro Lovera, an MBA candidate at the University of Westminster in the UK, has requested our help with his dissertation. He wants to know: are you influenced by social or ethical factors when buying beer? Are you more likely to purchase a product because it's locally-made, organic, or produced using sustainable practices?

The survey (available in English and Spanishtakes just a few minutes and is totally anonymous, plus it presents some interesting questions about buying behavior. 

Thanks for your help with this project! We'll post results at the end of the study.

What do you think the results will show?

June 11, 2012

Alpharetta, GA: 5 Seasons Restaurant & Brewery

I've been hitting the road pretty hard lately; now it's time to get caught up. This is post #100! Here goes!

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For my first brewpub adventure of this state-side road trip, I decided to check out 5 Seasons Restaurant and Brewery. There are three locations in the greater Atlanta area: Westside, Sandy Springs, and Alpharetta. My girlfriend and I went to the Alpharetta location for their weekly Cask Ale tapping (every Thursday at 5:55pm), but also because of the 5 Seasons philosophy that focuses on buying local ingredients and using what's in season:

"At the 5 Seasons we source much of our produce and meats from local and sustainable farms when they are in their peak of flavor.  That is what we call the '5th Season.'  From these wonderful ingredients we prepare a plethora of specials every day."

March 19, 2012

Grist: Taste-Testing Organic Beer

To follow up on last week's post, check out this synopsis of the organic beer market from Grist Magazine.

Several of the organic beers tested by the Grist staff received - at best - lukewarm reviews, and yes, New Belgium is phasing out its organic Mothership Wit.  Nonetheless, the organic beer trend is gaining momentum.  After all, the entirely organic Pisgah Brewing Company is the reigning top local brewery in the 2011 Best of WNC (Western North Carolina) poll.  A nice achievement considering their Asheville competition.  Peak Organic Brewing Company out of Portland, Maine, is also worth a mention.

For all you homebrewers, do you want to brew some organic beer of your own?  Many LHBS's (local home brew supply shops) carry organic malts and hops.  Alternatively, you may want to check out the California-based Seven Bridges Cooperative, which offers the most extensive catalog of organic ingredients I have found.

Any other respectable organic beers out there I should know about?  Please feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers!

March 15, 2012

Napa, CA: Napa Smith's Organic IPA

Today we have a guest post from Eugene Kolankowsky, one of the masterminds behind the blog A Tale of Two Brewers.  Bringing us a taste of the West Coast, this is a review of Napa Smith Brewery's Organic IPA.  Which raises an interesting question: Is organic beer any better than non-organic beer?  Well, I know organic is better for the environment (no pesticides, no herbicides, maintains healthy soil), but does it make for a better tasting beer?  In this case, it just might -- Napa Smith's Organic IPA won a Silver Medal for Traditional IPA at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.  But let's see what Eugene has to say about it...


I had a pleasant surprise the other day. I don't know how many of you know the world of engineering, or office life in general. If you aren't familiar consider yourself lucky. Carpeted walls appeal to two types of people, engineers and the mentally disturbed. I digress. But if you're familiar with that world you know that when lunchtime comes around, the offices empty, and the workers spread like vultures to pray on the local eateries.

Well I was out with some of my fellow vultures the other day. Coming out of the burger joint I noticed a sign saying "craft beer sale." Craft beer? Sale? I'm all over that like a chick on Coach. I walked into a little place called "Wine Styles." Truth be told I usually avoid wino's. They tend to fall into the same category as your standard Beer Snob. Well after I walked around clueless for a minute, I was able to chat it up with one of the winos, Lynzie (nope, that's spelled right). The selection of craft beer is small, but diverse. And Lynzie, unlike your typical wino, is extremely friendly and is just as willing to learn about things as she is to share information. In asking about the selection of craft beer she informed me that she's always ordering different stuff, so keep on checking in. I couldn't help but shamelessly promote my blog, and handed her a card. She was very excited about the card and told me how she couldn't wait to check it out. Lynzie, if you think complements will work on me, you are absolutely correct. Flattery gets you everywhere in this world.

Which brings me to my first beer review purchased from this store! Napa Smith Brewery: Organic IPA. From Napa, California (what a guess), this IPA weighs in at a hardy 7.1% ABV, which is hovering at the upper end of the style guidelines. It comes in a thick brown glass bottle, with label artwork much alike wino's artwork... conservative. Which is fine, but certainly doesn't make some of the crazy statements like Flying Dog does. And it's organic! Organic is always good. Let's rock.

The beer pours an almost opaque sandy brown color. If this beer is supposed to be filtered, someone better call the mechanic. A golden layer of head with great retention floats above the beer. A potent aroma of hops is present, which fills the nose and remains even while I finish writing this sentence. First sip smacks you in the mouth much like a good hoppy beer tends to. Probably a variety of good ol' American hops, but light on the Cascade. Honestly, Cascade is really the only one I'm good at recognizing, oh well. After a few consecutive sips and swirls, the IPA certainly has some subtle fruity backgrounds, mostly citrus (could be from hops or actual fruit). The mixture of hops and citrus is very long lasting, and may even last just as long as the buzz from the 7.1%. A good beer with some unique tastes to it. Definitely come back to this one.

Anyone out there have this? What do you think? Post a comment!