Knoxville Brew Fest live photo post

June 23, 2012

Welcome to the Knoxville Brew Fest! I know I am going to be very busy serving my beer & sampling others. I will be live tweeting all day. What I plan on doing is updating this all day with photos from the Fest. So keep checking back until my iPhone battery dies. If I take your picture, or you are checking out my website for the 1st time, please leave a comment below.

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Holy crap! Look at that line! About to get slammed!

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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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What a great festival! It’s the first time I’ve been at a beer fest & not even come close to getting a buzz. That’s alright because I had so much fun meeting people & talking about my beer. After the crowds left, I was able to get a few growlers filled from the leftovers. A big thank you goes out to the organizers, the brewers (pro & home alike) & all the craft beer lovers who made this a roaring success. I can’t wait for next year!

One last thing, I’d like to invite y’all to come out to Suttree’s on Wednesday night. We are going to be infusing one of the last kegs of SweetWater’s Happy Ending with hops, cocoa nibs & shredded coconut. I hope you see you all there.

Cheers,
Ratchet


Mark your calendar for these upcoming #KnoxBeer events

June 15, 2012

Hey y’all. Life has been pretty hectic for me since I got back from Asheville Beer Week. Between my day job, beertending at Suttree’s, and chores I am just now getting caught up. Figured it was time to write another quick update.

There are  Knoxville beer events coming up that I hope everyone already knows about. Just in case, I’ll tell you about them. Everyone knows that I beertend part time at Suttree’s. On Wednesday, June 20th at 7 pm we will be having a beer trivia night sponsored by Sweetwater Brewing Company. Brush up on your beer facts, do a lil’ research about SweetWater and thier beers and come on down to Suttree’s to win some great swag courtesy of SweetWater.

Then on Saturday June 23rd, is the Knoxville Brew Fest going on at the Southern Railway Terminal on the edge of downtown. I did this event last year, and it was great. The early admission VIP tickets are well worth the price. I will be set up there pouring samples of my beer, so make sure to come say hi. I will have about 25 gallons, and I’m sure it will go fast.

The Brewer’s Summit is coming up on Friday July 13th. This event is a fund raiser for the TN Craft Brewer’s Guild. Brewers from around the state will talk about the laws and tax issues affecting your craft beer choices in Tennessee. Beers will be paired with cheese, and more food provided by Nama and Pizza Kitchen. I will be serving a tasty mulberry stout on nitrogen. There are less then 50 tickets still available for this event, and we anticipate it selling out soon. You can buy them, and find out more about this event at the Brewers Summit Website.

I know it’s still awhile away, but I have October on my mind. Brewer’s Jam tickets are already on sale at the Casual Pint. This year I am going to be skipping one of my favorite beer festivals, the Asheville Oktoberfest. I am skipping it because I AM FLYING OUT TO DENVER FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL!!! WOOO-HOOO! I’ve been talking about this for a year now with Knox Beer Crew founder, Matt Crowell. He has a friend, Kevin LA, who has graciously invited Matt to bring along a few other members of the crew to stay at his place in Denver. I am stoked! The GABF is the biggest and best of all the beer festivals in America. I’ve heard countless stories over the years and have been dying to go. Thanks to Kevin I can afford it because I’m not paying an arm and a leg for a hotel room. I bought my plane ticket yesterday, and the AHA member tickets to the event go on sale on July 31. General public tickets go on sale August 2nd. According to Matt, Kevin is going to take us brewery hopping in Fort Collins and around Denver. We are flying out the morning of Thursday October 11th and returning on Sunday evening. I am attending 2 of the festival’s tasting sessions, one of them being an AHA members only session. I can not wait!

On another note I finally got the 30 gallons of beer I had fermenting into kegs. Now I have empty carboys, so it’s time to brew again. I really want to have a stout on tap at home. The 10 gallons I have is going to be given away at the Knox Brew Fest and at the Brewer’s Summit. Therefor, this Sunday I plan on brewing it again. I think after this batch, I’ll brew some more Rauchbier.

One last note to end this post. I want to give a big shout out to all the craft beer drinkers in Knoxville that have been showing Suttree’s some love. On the limited days I beertend, I’ve gotten to know some regulars. I have met some great people who share my love and enthusiasm for craft beer. I am also always surprised when someone I haven’t met tells me that they read my blog. Thank you! That means a lot to me, and if you come in while I’m working, please introduce yourself.

Cheers,

Ratchet


My last day of #AvlBeerWeek and Sunday @LaZoom ride w/ @FeralChihuahuas

June 4, 2012

Well here it is, Monday morning afternoon. My beercation ended, I’m back at work. I arrived back in Knoxville yesterday evening. After filling up all my beer fridges with the spoils of my Bruisin’ Ales purchases, I settled in for a long 8 1/2 hours of solid “back in my own bed” slumber.

I truly had a great time in Asheville. According to my Untappd check ins, I had 68 unique beers during the 5 days I was there. That’s not counting beers that I drank, but had previously logged into. I also posted to this website every day of my beercation. Here is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s post. I want to thank the Asheville Beer Week Committee for doing a superb job of organizing events and promotion for beer week. I want to give a big shout out to everyone I met this week, and all the new friends I made. Thanks for the retweets, the invites, the converstations and the toast. Beer isn’t what makes Asheville great. It’s the people behind the beer.

That being said, I want to recap the last day of my Asheville Beer Week beercation. It started with me going to the lobby of the Hotel Indigo and buying a cup of coffee. I got the website updated, went back upstairs and started packing. I had to figure out how to get everything in the car, and still have access to put things in the cooler. After the car was packed, I headed to Asheville Brewing Company at Coxe Avenue. I had brought a few bottles of my homebrewed Rauchbier for Mike. When I saw him at Beer City Fest, I asked how I could get them to him. He said that if I dropped it off in the walk in cooler with a note that he’d get it and share it with Doug. So I did that and I headed to Bruisin’ Ales for a little more shopping and to say goodbye to Julie, Jason and the crew. I made my last minute purchase, including a cool bottle to drink on the bus tour. I put everything in the my remaining cooler space in the car. I then realized that I had less then 10 minutes to get all the way down the block on foot for the LaZoom Sunday Beer Run.

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Bruisin Ales, or as I like to call it “Heaven”.

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More of the selection at Bruisin Ales

Let me stop right here and tell you about the LaZoom Comedy bus tour. Everyone loves them. They do a regular comedy tour of Asheville that is highly rated. Mary and my son, Orion went on the tour on Saturday while I was at Beer City Fest and they had a great time. If you ever go to Asheville, this is a must do. For Asheville Beer Week they teamed up with a local comedy group, the Feral Chihuahuas to do 2 special Sunday Beer Run tours. One on Sunday May 27th and one on Sunday June 3rd.

Knowing that I was leaving on Sunday, I thought this would be the perfect end to my beer week experience. I was not disappointed! I jogged all the way (with beer in hand) from Bruisin’ Ales to the bus pick up point at French Broad Co-op. I got there and as soon as I got on the bus I saw Mike and Allison from Asheville Brewing Company. I sat right next to them on the other side of the isle. I told them about the beer I just dropped off for them. They were grateful. I forgot to bring a bottle opener for my beer, but knowing that it was a bus full of drinkers, all I had to do was ask. Mike gave me his Asheville Brewing Company credit card sized bottle opener that I could keep in my wallet so I wouldn’t find myself without one again. Well the tour started and it was laughs from start to finish. There were skits all the way through. Since it was a beer-centric ride, they had a cooler full of complimentary cans of beer from Asheville Brewing Company and Catawba. Below are pictures from the tour.

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My first beer of the LaZoom Sunday Beer Run

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John Barley Corn on the LaZoom bus

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The self proclaimed “Mayor of Beer City”

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Asheville’s beer poet laurete, Hopcorn Sutton

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The Reading of the will on the LaZoom Bus. Drink everythime you hear the word “boner.”

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The dead guy left everything to his douchey frat bros (in the background)

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“The Procastinator”, he’s from the future. We did drunken ab-libs with him.

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This guy stood motionless like this for a good 2 city blocks.

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A prop comic that used really bad beer label puns.

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second stop of the LaZoom Sunday beer run, at Green Man Brewery’s tap room aka “Dirty Jack’s”

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Green Man’s limited edition Summer Wheat Beer “The Traveler”

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10 minutes until we get back on the bus!

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Fermentors at Green Man

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Another shot of the bar at Green Man aka Dirty Jack’s

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Yay!

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The Beerstie Boys

We rode around Asheville while they did skits while stopping and picking up different characters. Both the jokes and the beer were flowing. We had our 1st 20 minute stop at Wedge Brewery, just long enough to have a beer, take a much need restroom break and hop back on the bus. We then drove around while a character with a bad accent called “The Procastinator” told us about the future where he was from. He got words from the riders and we did a drunken version of Ad-libs. We then stopped at Green Man Brewery where I found out that their tap room is also called Dirty Jack’s. I had yet another beer and some pretzels. They did one last skit before ending the tour. The told us at the beginning that we could take pictures, but no video recording. Well for the last skit they said we could record it as they presented “The Beerstie Boys”. Here it is from the video I took on my iPhone.

The tour ended and my face hurt from smiling and my sides were sore from laughing. It was time to head home. Mary and Orion picked me up, but Orion wanted to go to the toy store over on Wall Street. Great! That gave me time for one last beer at The Thirsty Monk before leaving town. I went and had a half pour of my last official beer of Asheville Beer Week on the front patio. A few minutes later my ride pulled up to the curb. It was really, finally, time to go. I took one last picture as we left downtown and headed towards the interstate.

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Asheville is such a tourist friendly town. They even printed guides to beer Week.

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Me on the front patio of The Thirsty Monk, looking in. My last beer of Asheville Beer Week.

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The outside of the Thirsty Monk, where I did a lot of my Asheville Beer Week drinking.

I’ll miss Asheville, but I take great comfort in knowing that it’s only 2 hours away and that I’ll return again soon. For now it’s back to work to build back up my decimated savings account so I can come back for my next beercation in Beer City USA.

Hope you enjoyed reading these post full of mistakes and typos over that last couple of days. I know I had fun writing them. I’d like to hear from people I met, so let me know your thoughts or just say hi in the comment section below.

Cheers,

Ratchet


Last day of #AvlBeerWeek and recap of @BeerCityFest

June 3, 2012

Well last night was the earliest I’ve been to bed since I came to Asheville for Beer Week. Every night I’ve been out drinking and enjoying the food, libations and culture that Beer City USA offers. Last night, I wanted to stay out late, but my body wouldn’t let me. C’mon liver, just one more day. You can do it! Anyway Let me recap what I can remember of yesterday and what I have planned for the last day of my beercation.

The day started out as the previous ones, with me waking up and heading downstairs for breakfast and the all important coffee. Using a combo of my wordpress app and my laptop, I was able to get yesterday’s post up quickly. I then packed up everything to go check into Hotel Indigo for the last night of my stay. I arrived at this hotel and walked in, kind of overwhelmed on how posh it is. Thanks again Mom Linda for getting me this room for my birthday. Once I was situated, it was time to walk down to Roger McGuire Green to wait in line for the festival. Once in line I met some Knoxvillians, and their Asheville friends. I am so sorry I forgot y’alls names. I am horrible with names and have to hear them repeatedly before they stick. It’s a serious flaw of mine and it’s something I struggle to overcome every day.

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Roger McGuire Green downtown where the festival was held

The festival was sold out, but when I looked on my Craigslist app, I saw that many people still had them listed for sale. I gave the number of one seller to a person in line without a ticket. I saw him later in the festival. Once I got in, I made a quick round just to see what there was before I actually even got a beer. My first one was Brown Shugga by Laqunitas. There’s no way I would have remembered that on my own, thank goodness I logged every one of them into untappd.

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This was my favorite beer of the festival

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Once again, Todd (& his epic beard) from Catawba brewed my favorite beer fo the festival

I saw many people I know from the beer scene at festival. One of my favorite people in the regional beer scene is the brewer from Catawba Brewing Company, Todd. Him and his buddies (sorry the whole names escape me thing) are really cool and down to earth. Todd makes absolutely amazing “special edition” or “one offs” beer. The last beer festival I was in Asheville for (see my Winter Warmer post) my favorite beer was his Pumpernickle Rye. We spoke for awhile and I had his Belgian Blonde brewed with cantalope and cayenne. The combo was unbelievable and set the back of my throat tingling. Someone please let the owners of Catawba know that they need to let Todd bottle some of these rare beers so we can take them with us!

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The best swag of the festival was Holy City’s squirt guns filled from a keg full of water

I walked aroung the festival collecting stickers, coasters and other swag for my beer cave, and to share with friends. New Belgium had cool stuff such as bike tube patches, lip balm and ranger patches. The coolest swag at the fest went to Holy City Brewing out of Charleston, SC. They had squirt guns! Someone was filling them up with water and handing them out. I got one, but it was apparent that carrying it in my pocket was not a good idea since it was leaking. I used it to rinse my glass between rounds. Someone suggested filling it with beer, but I took a pass on that idea.

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Crowd at Beer City Fest

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Myself with Doug, the head brewer from Asheville Brewing Company

I walked around enjoying beer and talking with brewers and other people I knew from the beer scene. I went to the Asheville Brewing Company booth where I saw Mike Rangle. Always a pleasure to speak with him. He introduced me to the brewer, Doug. I had seen him before, but this is the first time we had actually met. I told him how much I enjoyed his beer and that Ninja is my all time favorite porter. After seeing him, I ran into Dieter from Heinzelmannchen. It’s always a pleasure to speak with the friendly Dieter. My only regret is that I don’t have time to visit his brewery this trip. I’ve have to make a point of next time taking a quick trip to Sylva, NC.

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Me with Dieter from Heinzelmannchen

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The Heinzelmannchen booth

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One of the many beers I enjoyed at Beer City Fest

Near the end of the festival I waited in a super long line for Thirsty Monk’s Coconorm porter that they released at 3pm. I liked it very much, but it still wasn’t as good as Tennessee Valley Homebrewers Club member Jay Schrade’s toasted Coconut Porter, but it was a close second. Next I spent some time hanging out talking beer with Greg and the crew from Nantahala Brewing Company. They had their newest Trail Magic release, an imperial IPA with lemon grass. They are having a bottle release at their brewery on June 8th. Bryson City is not that far of a drive, and it’s a beautiful one. If you haven’t been to Nantahala Brewing Company, you should go. You are seriously missing out if you don’t.

Beer City Festival ended at 6 pm, but I made plans to leave early to go take a power nap at the hotel. While I was at the Festival, many of my Knox Beer Crew Friends were out in Asheville bar hopping. I planned on hanging out with them in the evening, but I knew if I was going to do more drinking, I would need to recharge. So around 4:30 I grabbed a couple of slices of Barley’s pizza and headed back to the hotel. I drank some tea, took a vitamin and set my alarm for an hour long nap. Waking up feeling refreshed, I hopped in the shower, got dressed and walked over to Thirsty Monk where I met up with Nick, Jeff, Matt and his wife Chrissy and her friend. I could tell the guys were feeling a little on the drunk side. I had half a pour of Evil Twin’s Imperial Biscotti Break. While hanging out there I saw someone posted on twitter that Tom Selleck was at Craggie Brewing company, just a few blocks away. I casually mentioned this to the guys. In their inebriated state, they thought it would be hilarious if we had our drunken pictures taken with him. The next thing I know we are on our way. We get there, and Tom Selleck WAS there. Just in Velvet painting form, behind the bar. We had been punked! Well played twitter, well played. We had a round anyway and Matt and I posed for the below picture.

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We saw on Twitter that Tom Selleck was at Craggie Brewing, so my Knox Beer Crew friends thought it would be funny to go get our picture taken with him. It was funny!

After 1 drink at Craggie I convinced the crew that walking a mile away to Wedge Brewing company wasn’t going to kill them, so off we went. Wedge is one of the most popular places for craft beer lovers in Asheville to hang out, so sometimes they run out of some styles of their beeer. I had a half pour of a hoppy Hellesbock. After sitting around, talking and eating peanuts and Nick nommming down on tamales from the food truck, we decided to head back. As we walked I got a text to meet with Mary and Orion for dinner. I said goodnight to the crew, and when to meet them on Wall street downtown. We walked around trying to figure out what we were in the mood for. We ended the night at the Noodle Shop. I was pretty much done at that point, and my stomach hurt. I could only eat a few bites. As much as I wanted to go back to Thirsty Monk, I knew there was just no way. As we walked back to the hotel we heard a women yell out “He stole my purse!” On the other side of the road a guy was running down the sidewalk. A couple of people tried to stop him. He pushed one guy down. There was a crowd chasing him. I hope they caught him, the women got back her purse and no one (but the thief) got hurt.

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On our walk to Wedge, Matt found time for one of his favorites. Hurricane HIGH GRAVITY!

This is my last day, and the official last day of Asheville Beer Week. I have so much beer and beer swag, I am worried I don’t have enough room in the car for it all. I still need to stop by Bruisin’ Ales and pick up a few more things for myself and for friends back in Knoxville. I get to end my beercation by going on the LaZoom Beer Run tour today. I heard it’s hilarious and I’m really looking forward to it. I will post about it tomorrow. If we met this week, or you’ve been reading my blog, I’d really like to hear from you. Please leave me a comment.

Cheers,

Ratchet


Day 4 of my #beercation to #AvlBeerWeek @BeerCityFest !

June 2, 2012

Ok today recap of yesterdays adventures at Asheville Beer Week will be short. I don’t have time to sit around all day and wait for my hotel’s slow internet to upload. I have to pack up the enormous amount of brewery swag and glasses, and all the beer I bought. I am checking out of Downtown Inn and Suites and Into The Hotel Indigo, a fancy hotel stay I was given as a birthday present (thanks Mom Linda!)

So yesterday started out as the previous. I made my own coffee I brought and ate in the hotel’s dining area. I lounged around afterwards and wrestled with getting the website updated. I was able to clean myself up and head down to an ESB brewing workshop at Fifth Season Garden Supply. I already know how to brew an ESB, but I didn’t have anything else planned and figured it would be good to hang out with people interested in homebrewing. The garden shop also doubles as a homebrew supply store and is right behind Green Man’s brewery. Honestly, that was my main reason for going, because the workshop promised a tour of Green Man afterwards. Since I love Green Man’s ESB, I figured maybe the workshop was using their recipe and I would get to know how to replicate it. Well, they did a more basic recipe, but I did get to meet and hang out with some pretty cool people, a few who are already extract brewers. The workshop was very basic. When it ended, we did go to Green Man for a quick tour. I did get a run down of the hop, grain and yeast bill of Green Man’s ESB, but not amounts. I am touring them again tomorrow, so maybe I can get more specifics.

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A basic homebrewing workshop at Fifth Season Garden Company

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Sign up at the Green Man tasting room

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Fermentation Tanks at Green Man

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A few looking out from the Brewing area of Green Man

Well after a pint of Green Man’s Session fest Scottish Stout, I headed for the next event. On the way I stopped and got a tofu Spring wrap from on of Asheville’s Many food trucks. It was amazing. If you see this truck on the streets of Asheville, get food from them, you won’t be disappointed.

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The next Beer Week event I went to was the Mystery Brewing release party at Bruisin’ Ales. Eric Lars Myers is a writer a former homebrewer and the current head brewer, owner and CEO of Mystery Brewing Company of Hillsborough, NC. He brought along copies of his book, North Carolina Craft Beer and Breweries. He also brought along for of his brews to sample. I spoke with him about brewing, got him to sign a copy of his book for me and had a great time at Bruisin’ Ales. I hung out for awhile before heading to the next event.

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One of Mystery Brewing’s selections.

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The 1st Mystery Brewing beer I sampled. Very light and refreshing. Eric brews good beer.

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For another angle of this picture, see Bruisin’ Ales’ twitter feed @bruisinales

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Mystery Brewing has great descriptions and unique beer names

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Eric of Mystery Brewing, Myself and Julie from Bruisin’ Ales. Probably my favorite picture taken of me at Asheville Beer Week so far.

   Well, I went off to the next event. Barley’s was having what they called “Sexual Lychee Night” which consisted of them tapping a keg or New Belgium’s Tart Lychee and Foothills Brewing Company’s Sexual Chocolate. I already have had Tart Lychee several times, seeing how we have it on tap at Suttree’s. I have only had Sexual Chocolate once, from a bottle. I had never had it before on Draft. I got there and spoke with the bar tender and he advised me that they were waiting on the brewery reps to get there before they tapped the keg. I had another beer while I waited. By that time a twitter/ untappd friend of mine, Jeff Haws arrived in town. He met me at Barley’s. I was able to get a pour of the ultra rare Foothills beer and replenished my tank with a slice of Pizza, before heading back to Thirsty Monk.

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Foothills Brewing Company’s ultra rare and highly sought after beer, Sexual Chocolate.

I had to stop back and drop off my book and a few things at the hotel first. When I got to the Thirsty Monk, they were at capacity and couldn’t let anyone else in. Downtown Asheville was packed and I could see from all the untappd check ins that many people arrived into town for Asheville Beer Week &  Beer City Festival. They did allow me on the front porch and I sent Jeff in to get me a beer. I was eventually able to go in, but at that point I already had a comfy bench seat out front where I spent the rest of the night slowly sipping my beers. Jeff eventually headed back to his hotel. As I set that, I met the brewer for Mother Earth Brewing company while he waited for them to let more people in. We talked for a minute and then Aaron from Brewer’s Summitt arrived to hang out and drop off some promotional material. We headed downstairs, where I ran into Greg from Nantahala Brewing Company. It seems like every brewer in town for today’s Beer City Fest made their way to the Monk at some point yesterday. It was getting late so Aaron gave me a ride back to the hotel. I have a ton of Brewer’s Summit posters and other promotional material I need to distribute, so if anyone would be willing to give me a hand, it would be very much appreciated. 

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@JeffHaws at The Thirsty Monk.

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Super Rare Sierra Nevada Beer that was brewed for Brian Grossman’s wedding. “Love at First Bike”.

Well I am going to now start getting ready for today’s Beer City festival. I need to pack this hotel room, and get some food. I should also hit up a grocery store to stock up on provisions like sun block, water and snacks to help me make it through. Once again, if you read this and use twitter, I’m on there as @RatchetBrews . I also wanted to give a big shout out to whoever is doing the @AvlBeerWeek twitter feed for all the retweets. See y’all at the festival. #AvlBeerWeek continues…


Some of my tips for surviving (my 3rd day) #AvlBeerweek aka “note to self”

June 1, 2012

Well here it is Friday, day 3 of my Asheville Beer Week experience. I’ve had a really good time so far. I’ll go ahead and skip the set up and go directly into my recap of yesterday.

Started the day by lounging around in the hotel room, trying to get yesterday’s post to load.  At noon, I went and saw Men In Back 3 at Carolina Cinemas. It was the best of the 3, really well done and I recommend seeing it. What was really cool about the theater is that they have an amazing draft and bottle selection. I didn’t want to get started drink too early, so while I admired the list, I actually skipped the imbiding.

When the movie ended, I went next door to Wally-World to stock up on Multivitamins and spring water. While I was in the movie, My friend Booze Traveler aka Trader Scott came into town. I drove to Bruisin’ Ales where I met up with him. We sipped a few samples of beer that they had on tap and picked out bottles. I got some pretty good scores that I’ll post a picture of later. I dropped the big ol’ box of purchased beer off at my hotel room and contemplated my next move. I really wanted to go to Hops & Vines in West Asheville for thr homebrewers night, but that would have meant driving. That is one thing I do not do is drink and drive. That’s a set in stone rule as far as I’m concerned. So I elected to stick to events within walking distance. This of course meant the Thirsty Monk where they had a Colorado tap takeover. Breweries such as Oskar Blues, Ska Brewing, Great Divide and Breckenridge Brewery had brewers and reps on hand. I scored plenty of bottle openers, sticker and coasters. I met Arlo from Ska Brewing and talked about their beer and the fact that they had thier super limited release of Skaworks Orange on draft at the event.

Me with Arlo from Ska Brewing

We left the Monk and headed over to Barley’s where we sampled a couple of secret drafts from Lost Abbey. If you went to the upstairs bar and mentioned Untappd, they hooked you up with some free samples. Both beers were incredibly good and incredibly strong. Thank god for sample glasses, because if I would have drank a pint of either of those I would have had to call it a night. I only stayed for the samples so I could head to the new brewery announcement at Wedge.

A sample of Lost Abbey’s Saison at Barley’s

About The Lost Abbey beers I sampled

When I go to Wedge, the place was packed. There was a line going out the door for beer. All the Ashevillians I meet really love this place, and I can see why. Very cool, laid back vibe and amazing beers. I had a glass of their Oatmeal Stout that I will go out on a limb and proclaim one of the best I’ve ever had of that style. I stayed only long enough to enjoy that one beer, talk a little bit with Cleat from Thirsty Monk, and meet and speak with the owners of the newest brewery, the Wicked Weed.

About the New brewery, opening next to the Orange Peel, December 2012

The Wicked Weed brewery will be a 15 barrel system located right next to the Orange Peel. The owners I spoke with said they paln to open sometime in December. I think I just planned a future trip.

Mock up of the Wicked Weed

I wanted to stay longer at Wedge, but I was getting really hungry.

I hadn’t ate anything substantial since breakfast. I knew from checking the Asheville Beer Week website that there was a $5 buffet at Lexington Avenue Brewery. I went there for it, and I can only describe it as bizzare. The Buffet was in the back room where the bands play. I asked the doorman if I could check it out before I committed. He said to go ahead, and I walked into one of the most surreal scenes ever. The room was pitch black except for some muted blue lights illuminating a way too loud jazz fusion band. Lounging around is various states of disinterested hipness were honest to goodness beret and turtleneck wearing jazz beatnicks. The “buffet” consisted of 2 pans of unidentifiable stuff that you could only tell was there from the over powering curry smell and the lights from the stage reflected off the metal. The whole scene was weird, uncomfortable and awkward. I turned around and walked out.

After that fiasco, I met up with Scott at Jack Of The Woods. By then I was tired from all the walking, and worn out from not eating right. I ordered a half pour of Catawba’s Strawberry Rhubarb Berliner Weiss and a half order of nachos. The combination of spicy and sour was more then my empty stomach could handle. I took a few bites, a few sips, and I was done. I boxed up my food, paid my tab and went back and took a long powernap at the hotel.

After an hour or so, I was refreshed, so I rallied and met Scott in the hotel lobby where we headed back to, you guessed it, The Thirsty Monk. The place was at capacity, but the doorman was really cool and let us in anyway. We headed downstairs. I had a half pour of Ommegang’s Art of Darkness and Scott bought a bottle of Brooklyn’s Black Ops. We sat and conversed for awhile. Last call was made, so we paid our tabs and on the way out I introduced Scott to Brian from Sierra Nevada.

All and all it was another great day of my beercation. Which brings me to my survival guide. I am going to make sure to do ALL of this today. 1. Wear sunblock. Though today it’s overcast and calls for rain. So I guess #1 would be Check the weather online and plan accordingly. I plan on getting an umbrella. Number 2, Half pours are your friend. If you are going to be drinking for hours and hours, pace yourself. Number 3, eat something! You need a solid foundation for that beer to rest on, multivitamins help, but they are not food. Calories are good if you walk everywhere. Number 4, drink water between rounds, avoid the hangover. Number 5, carry cash. Bars like Thirsty Monk get packed it’s a lot easier to pay for your drinks without having to wait (or make someone else wait) while you pay by card. Number 6, TIP WELL! The bartenders around here are some of the nicest beer loving people in the world. With all the extra people in town for beer week, they are working their asses off. Make sure to let them know that you appreciate them.

Alright well this is all for now. I have an ESB brewing workshop at a gardening place to attend, I still have to shave, shower, change and hoof it there. I need to get off the computer, but I will try to upload more pictures as I check back in. This hotel’s interwebs run a little on the slow side.

See you around town. I’m looking to meet some of my tweeps and website readers, so if you see me, say hi!

-Cheers,

Ratchet

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The tap list at Wedge

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Scott aka Booze Traveler with Brian Grossman of Sierra Nevada

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That Wacky Booze Traveler with the beer that doesn’t exist

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Wedge’s awards

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Outside of Wedge

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Raffle for the new brewery