Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bottle releases from Big Boss and Crank Arm breweries fill up weekend adventures

By Dathan Kazsuk  | December 13, 2016
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

It seems like every year we tell each other we need to have a peaceful Holiday season. And every year that seems to be thrown wayside as both of our calendars have less and less white space on them and get filled up with a variety of ink colored appointments.

Since the beginning of November we’ve had many things spring up. We joined two more wine clubs here in the state. I paid a visit to Hickory, North Carolina, for a beer run. We participated in a 5K run and a 1-mile fun run (where we came in second and third respectively). It saw both of us working overtime at our day jobs to finish reports and booklets. 

We spent time in Virginia drinking fine wine, craft beers and sampling some mead. {See our Williamsburg Tasting Trail blog here}. We met Carolina Hurricane’s goalie Cam Ward at a local wine tasting, and listened to iconic ‘80s musician Howard Jones in Carrboro.

So this past weekend, when we were able to stay in our hometown, the City of Oaks, and take a load off our feet and credit cards – it was much needed.

But even while relaxing at home we still find ourselves making the rounds through Raleigh for a handful of weekend events. The first of which took us to Raleigh’s Big Boss Brewing Company for the release of its 10th Anniversary bottle release and event party.

As soon as we made our way inside we immediately saw a guy with a strand of blue tickets wrapped around his arm and neck.  The man tore off two tickets, handed them to me and informed me of the cost ($15 each) and where to go to stand in line.  

We made our way to the line, which wasn’t long for a beer that was limited to only 120 bottles. I know Big Boss doesn’t have the notoriety of a place like Richmond’s Hardywood Park or Foothills out of Winston-Salem, but thought the line would have been a little longer. All the better for us, as only 8 people stood in line before us.

After we purchased our beer we made our way to the taproom to order a few beers before our next stop. Big Boss was selling 10-ounce pours of the Anniversary Ale, which I tried, while Jen went with the Daedalus Toasted Coconut Stout. 

From Big Boss we made our way downtown for the bottle release of Crank Arm's Oat Wheel Cookie. This was Crank Arm's third release in the "Oaked Spokes Series." Previously they have released the Barrel-Aged Motivator and Barrel-Aged Teeter Totter.

This beer is described as an oatmeal milk brown ale aged in rum barrels with raisins and cinnamon. Yes, it does sound delicious, but we unfortunately didn't buy a bottle to open at the taproom – so we'll have to try it sometime later – maybe with some homemade oatmeal cookies.

While at the brewery we took a seat and drank a beer before heading to our next stop for the afternoon. Jen enjoyed the Holy Spokes smoked porter with habanero peppers while I had the Crankaway, a Belgian Saison with cranberries.

For our next stop, we decided to check out the sneak peek of one of the newest bottle shops coming to Raleigh, Pourworks. This shop will be inside the Manor at Six Forks off the corner of Six Forks and Atlantic Avenue. Inside the shop, it was quick to see that there was still a lot of work to be done – as it was just the exterior walls, plastic coating the entire floor and a structure where the bar will be situated. 

But it was nice to see the place now, and I'm sure we'll be back in for the grand opening to see the final results. We wish we could have talked to Pourworks co-owner David Hartman to get some info on an actual opening date, but he was a busy man, talking shop with guest after guest. We did enjoy a glass of wine while perusing over the blueprints before we made our way to the final stop of the afternoon.


Our final destination of the day took us across town to BottleMixx - another bottle shop. The shop was featuring a tasting they titled "California Wine Trails: Part 1." This $5 tasting, which was done by our friend and wine "guru" Jack Hicks, featured a slew of nice California wines. Jen's favorite was the Broc Cellars Vine Starr Zinfandel 2015, which concluded the tasting. I decided to stick with beer and got a pint of Durty Bull's Brett IPA.