30 Aug 2011 @ 11:24 AM 

Announcing Pint/Counterpint Episode #3 – our “local” episode. In this episode we cover local issues, such as – what does it mean to be a local brewery? Is it using local ingredients, or just distributing locally? We also talk about local talent and that we’re looking for more of it (it’s not what you think!).

As a special guest star you’ll notice my very nervous dog Tessie who decided that the time to wander out of the office and look for comfort was the middle of our shoot. Isn’t she cute? Awww.

Special thanks again to Tres Bruce who continues to make us look and sound sharp.

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 30 Aug 2011 @ 11:24 AM

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 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:24 PM 

Think of it as a book club, but for beer.

What is it?

It’s a group that’s being put together for beer education. To help people who are new to craft beer to explore the flavors in their glass and to help people who already drink craft beer expand and explore their palates. It’s about learning how to taste your beer and building up your vocabulary about what you like – and what you don’t like – about beer and its ingredients.

This is not about getting trashed and pounding back a bunch of beer. If that’s your goal, please respect the purpose of this group and come by later to have a social beer with us when we’re done.

When is it?

The third Monday of each month. 6:30 PM. Expect to spend at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half, talking beer.

What are we drinking? How does this work?

The goal is 3 – 4 beers per month. We’ll try beers that are related to each other in some way. They’ll either be different examples of the same style, different styles that have a similar ingredients, or different beers from the same brewery. Each night, someone will speak a little bit about the over-arching theme of the evening, maybe a little bit of history, and a bit about what you can expect. Then, we’ll try each example separately and talk about what we taste.

How much will it cost?

Expect to spend $20 – $25. We’ll arrange a flight of samples (separated by time, so no cheating ahead), and a little bit of food to cleanse the palate.

I’m not much of a beer person, but I’m curious, can I come?

Absolutely. This is for you. Come learn. We welcome learning and growth.

I’m a huge beer geek, but I like trying beers like this because it helps me expand my palate, can I come?

Absolutely. We’d love to have your palate, your experience, and your vocabulary, but please respect and support people who are just beginning.

How do I get involved?

To help manage numbers, we’re using Meetup.com.

You can find our group at http://meetup.com/TasteYourBeer

If you plan on joining us, please take the time to RSVP on Meetup. While we’re getting this group off the ground, we’re capping participation at 20 people. We may expand in the coming months, if it seems manageable. In the meantime, we will only have prearranged samples for 20.

Important: If you RSVP yes and end up not being able to make it, please log in and change your response so that a person who is on the waiting list may be notified of an open spot.

The first meet up is this coming Monday, March 15 at 6:30 PM. See you there. Details about location are available once you RSVP.

And that’s all, if you have any questions e-mail me or post them below.

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 11 Mar 2010 @ 01:24 PM

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 08 Mar 2010 @ 9:30 PM 

What I needed, more than anything, was another project to work on.

My brain has delivered unto me another idea.

Back in February, a buddy and I went up to Winston-Salem for the Foothills Sexual Chocolate Release Party. There, we ran into the gents from Hop Cast. Nice guys. I mention them as gents, however, because of their participation in The Fellowship of Gentlemenly Gentlemen. It is a group of people who get together on a general basis with a plan for tasting beer, cigars, and liquors in a social setting. As it’s been described to me, it sounds like a good time, and in our brief conversation we said – maybe we should start something up. After all, “Southern Gentlemen” has quite a ring to it.

Then my brain started working on it, which is never healthy.

Sometimes, when I’m working on something but not moving on it, the idea kind of ferments in my head: starts off as one thing, I add beer, it kind of works around in there, I add more beer, and then three weeks later it emerges from its alcohol-soaked chrysalis as some sort of… insect, I guess.

Here’s what came out:

I want a tasting group.

Stuff that’s somewhat similar to my idea already exists in my local area. There’s TriBeer, but it seems to be about just showing up and socializing where there is beer. While that’s cool, it’s not what I’m looking for. There’s the classes put on by our local homebrew mecca American Brewmaster. They focus on styles, how to taste them, and how to make them. They’ve got one coming up on Belgian Ales. It’s definitely a good resource, but I’m not really looking for another homebrew event or how-to-brew information necessarily. And that tasting panel is really wide. “All Belgian beers”? Holy moly. That’s quite a target.

I want something like this:

A group of people show up at a bar. They know ahead of time that there’s a theme. Tonight, we’ll be drinking porters. Someone (who was prepped ahead of time) gets up and talks a little bit about the history of the style, what people generally expect when they drink porters, maybe a rundown of the BJCP style and the BA style. Then, you drink a porter. You talk about what you just had. What flavors did you taste? What components of what you just talked about did you notice in this porter? Then, you drink a different porter. How did it compare the previous porter? How as it different? How was it alike? How do either of these beers relate to the style overall? Then, you drink a third porter. Same questions. Talk, educate, taste, learn.

Basically, I guess what I want is a book club, but for beer. I want it to be educational, and I want it to be for people who are not necessarily beer geeks. I want to help people explore their palates, and learn new things. I want them to be able to talk about it and not be afraid of sounding stupid. I want people to learn what they like and what they don’t like. I want people to grow and help craft beer grow at the same time.

So I’m putting one together.

I’m putting the wheels in motion next Monday. I’m planning on doing it at Tyler’s Taproom in Durham. The first week will most likely focus on IPA, mainly because – after perusing their menu – that’s what they have three of. Until I can get permission to actually bring beer in somewhere and create a more customizable flight, that’ll be the easiest thing. I hope to be able to put a handful of people together and I hope to god that there will be somebody there that I don’t know. Bonus points if they also don’t know beer (or IPA) and are there to learn.

I don’t know. The whole thing could be a bust. It might just be me hanging out with friends drinking IPAs on a Monday night. That doesn’t sound so terribly bad, though. But I’d really like it to be the start of something great.

Next comes the huge question: What do you call it?

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 09 Mar 2010 @ 11:44 AM

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Categories: appreciation, RDU
 29 Jan 2010 @ 9:39 AM 

If you’re in North Carolina, especially the Central part, you should consider putting the evening of February 20th aside and heading over to Chapel Hill.

Why? To drink my beer, of course.

It’s part two of the “World Home Brew Fest“. Nah, I don’t know why it’s worldly, either, but I know that it’s as local as local beer gets. Last time there were roughly 15 homebrewers showing off their beers and this time there promises to be more. I’ll be pouring two beers – one on behalf of the burgeoning Chapel Hill/Carrboro Homebrew Club … which may be called Orange County Homebrewers or something like that now. I’m not sure – regardless! We made a Dry Irish Stout at my house with little incident, and I’ll be pouring that. In addition, I’ll be pouring an Abbey-style Dubbel which is currently being aged with oak, bourbon, and vanilla. That should taste like cookies, and you should come drink it.

So come on down! February 20. Drink my beer and the beer of many talented homebrewers, make a little donation to MS to make the event planners happy, come have a blast, and say hi.

Get your (free) tickets online.

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 29 Jan 2010 @ 09:39 AM

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