Under the Tap

Craft Beer, Craft People, Craft Places

Month: May 2016

Doc Holliday Beer, Wine, and Art Festival

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Pearl Bottom Radio entertaining the crowd.

This weekend I was in my old hometown of Griffin, GA and had the pleasure of attending the Doc Holliday Beer, Wine, and Arts Festival.  First, I must say that I was happy to see that the town I left has some progressive thinkers and that festivals like these are happening. While it was small and humble, it lacked for nothing. There were great beers , fine IMG_4368wines, and even finer works of art. The stage hosted some very talented local IMG_4374musicians. Ice cold bottles of water were free for the taking and the same tent was offering free breathalyzers to make sure everyone was good to go.  The Grazing Here food truck was on site serving up a tasty lunch. The set-up was orderly and the people were friendly. Even the local law enforcement helping with gates and road closings seemed to be enjoying the crowd.

The ticket price was more reasonable than I expected. While early-bird and VIP passes are available, I paid the general admission price of $10 which got me through the gates with my own commemorative pint glass. I was then able to purchase tickets for beer tastings. They were $1 per 3 oz pour, which was cool. If you really liked a beer, you just cashed in IMG_4363four tickets and to get a full 12 oz pour.

I tried lots of GA beers,however there was craft brew from all over being poured. I tasted the Fixin’ To Session IPA from Jekyll Brewing, the Cadence Belgian Ale from Reformation Brewing, and the Cannon Dragger from Burnt Hickory Brewing. I also enjoyed sampling beers from Monday Night Brew, Jailhouse Brewing, Wild Heaven and Creature Comforts. Georgia has a lot to offer in the way of craft beer. The scene is growing. I am happy that my home state is producing some tasty brews.

Now for the coolest part? Doc Holliday Beer, Wine, & Art Festival is used as a way to raise money for various local charities. This year the proceeds went to Camp Southern Ground, a camp that allows children to “overcome academic, social and emotional difficulties so they may reach their full potential and provide the tools necessary to achieve excellence in all facets of their lives”. Sounds like a worthy cause to us.

IMG_4365 I am looking forward to attending this festival again next year. The beer and people were too good not to want more. Festivals aren’t easy. A lot of behind the scene stuff goes on before the fun begins and the work doesn’t stop when the gates close. Thanks to all of the dedicated people who made this happen. I was glad to be a part of it. Cheers!

 

Brewer Noah McIntee

Somewhere between his dedication to Lazy Hiker Brewing, time with his young family, and service to his communitylazy hiker and pets 008 brewer Noah McIntee found time to sit down with me earlier this year.

Noah came to the small town of Franklin, NC with an extensive work history in the craft beer industry and the personal dream of building a brewery from the ground up.  It all started with a team , an idea, a building, and some money. Noah came in with the brewing experience to make lazy hiker and pets 003it all a reality. Lazy Hiker Brewing came together in just six months and at a low cost due to the team’s dedicated vision.  Noah had his hand in every aspect of the brewery – even traveling to China to design the tanks used on the premises. So why all the attention to detail? Taste their beer and you’ll know. While Lazy Hiker is still a young brewery, celebrating one year on June 11th, you can taste the experience. They hit the ground running with quality brewing standards and the knowledge of how to “make beers that work”.

 

So what’s Naoh’s Favorite Lazy Hiker beer? He says it’s the Slackpack IPA. “I was nervous when I settled on this recipe. It’s not a west coast IPA, it’s not an English IPA. It uses American yeast and American hops that make it a little spicier and more floral. It has a flavor profile that I like.”lazy hiker and pets 010lazy hiker and pets 009

When I asked Noah what his favorite part of his job or this industry was he answered, “the connections with people and the sharing of ideas over a beer.” That’s my favorite part too, Noah. Thanks for taking the time, the people here really are great!

 

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Lazy Hiker Brewing is located at 188 W. Main Street in Franklin, NC. Visit their website for more info.

 

Derailed Bar & Lounge

beers and some 059In Bryson City, North Carolina, Anthony’s Pizza has always been a popular place for locals and tourists alike. I mean, who doesn’t love a New York style pizza? Plus, you can get a pie to-go and walk two doors down to enjoy it at Nantahala Brewing Company.

Now you don’t have to leave to get a good beverage. Last year, on top of an amazing makeover of the restaurant, they added a separate bar and lounge for the grown-ups. Dubbed Derailed, this lounge offers amazibeers and some 060ng cocktails, wine, and, of course craft beer.  Situated just across the street from the depot of The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, it’s in the hub of town making it a great place to people watch! Plus, the porch is kid and dog friendly and there’s live music on Saturday nights. However,  if you’re trying to escape the hustle and bustle, kids and dogs, then step inside and find yourself a cozy corner to hide-away. The lounge area is 21 and up. Seating ranges from bar stools and tables to velvet sofas and leather recliners.

I love this environment. A place where everyone can drink together regardless of their choice of beverage.  My last stop in found me at the bar enjoying a draft Green Man ESB and laughing with a stranger who was sipping a high dollar glass of wine. Her partner enjoyed a regular ol’ beer and a shot of whiskey.  Something for everyone.  I always scope out the craft beer bottle list, as their selection rotates. They also have a couple microbrews on tap. We’ve found beers from New Belgium, Green Man, Lazy Hiker, Sierra Nevada, Founders, Natty Greene’s , Brewery Ommegang , and more.

So, whether you’re looking to share a cold brew and a hot pizza with friends or enjoy a cocktail all by yourself, this is a great place to check out on your next visit to the mountains. This little town is full of surprises!

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Bhramari Brewhouse

In February, I was in Asheville alone on a random Tuesday afternoon. Instead of cruising around aimlessly, I decided to check out a new brewery.

I pulled up to Bhramari Brewhouse sometime in the very early afternoon.  In a town full of parallel spots with parking meters and paying to be in a parking garage a mile from where you need to be, I was happy to discover that they had their own parking lot! A rarity in downtown Asheville. They were just opening and I was greeted kindly by everyone I encountered.

I took a seat at the bar. The place was beautiful. I loved the industry meets nature feel, lots of cool metal sculptures placed among warm woods, rocks, and plants. The tables had little landscapes in the middle with rocks and succulents. They also had a wall of plants that made me feel like I was back in Portland. Everything about this place made my senses happy. Even the music selection fit.

They only had three of their own beers on tap, but their guest selection was great! Lots of Asheville beers: Hi-Wire, Green Man, Catawba, Asheville Brewing, and Twin Leaf. They even had something from Boojum and Raleigh Brewing. All great North Carolina beers. I started with Bhramari’s three, afterall that’s what I was there for. First the Carolina Common.  Not really my style of beer, but it was well executed so I decided to try it infused. They offer a different infusion every couple of days. That day they were forcing the brew through vanilla and coffee beans. The vanilla stood out more than the coffee, but I figured that later in the day the flavor would get stronger. It was still delicious. I ended with a half-pint of their sour, The Good Fight. Not too sweet, not too tart. Slightly malty, very refreshing.

I was just about to leave when a friend came in and joined me at the bar. Ian works for Country Malt Group and was there on business checking it all out. He ordered a flight of their beer as well as a flight of their sodas. I hadn’t even thought to try their house-made non-alcoholic drinks. With an offer to share, we sat and sampled together. Wow! I have to say, Bhramari makes a wonderful soda! I enjoyed the Charred Lemongrass Ginger Beer the most, or was it the Thai Coconut? I couldn’t decide. Each soda offered a new, complex surprise for the taste buds.

I had just dropped by so I didn’t take a tour,  ask a lot of questions, or get any pictures. I will have to make it a point to go back soon. Would love the chance to go back on a brew day and meet the rest of this wonderful crew. Thanks guys and gals! Can’t wait to get back.

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