Sunday, March 30, 2014

White Street Brewing hosts first NC Brewers Collaborative

By Dathan Kazsuk | March 30, 2014
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

If you're reading this, then there's probably a good chance that you know the state of North Carolina has coined April as NC Beer Month. I could say it might be a little over-hyped – but since I'm an avid beer fan – I think it's just fine. And if you want to start the festivities a couple days early ... I'm fine with that as well. And that's exactly what White Street Brewing Company did on March 29 at its brewery in downtown Wake Forest. White Street hosted the first North Carolina Brewers Collaborative to its fans and brought in a few friends to share the fun.

The event, which started around noon was in conjunction with the release of White Street's first bottled beer, Koschei the Deathless. Koschei is an Imperial Bourbon-Aged Stout and named after Russian folklore – and I think I prefer the complex bourbon taste of the beer instead of a creature that has been known to kill with its touch.

Josh Brewer (Mother Earth), Ian VanGundy (White Street), Chris Davis (Fullsteam), 
T.L. Adkisson (Foothills) and Luke Dickinson (Wicked Weed) made up the first 
N.C. Brewers Collaborative hosted by White Street Brewing
Photo by: Jen Primrose

People attending the event were given a sample glass and allowed to enjoy beers from North Carolina breweries such as Asheville's Wicked Weed, Winston-Salem's Foothills Brewing, Durham's Fullsteam Brewery, Kinston's Mother Earth Brewing and of course White Street.

The beers were great examples of what brewers in our state have been up to. Wicked Weed impressed me with its Hopburgular IPA. Brewed with blood orange purée and grapefruit zest, this was my favorite IPA of the afternoon. Jade from Foothills and White Street's Domillo Double IPA also impressed. Fullsteam had two different styles of beer available. First was its bourbon barrel imperial stout creation, simply known as Igor. The second was the Sour Working Man's Lunch. 

After the tasting we made our way down the street to The Cotton Company for the business at hand. That business was the first annual North Carolina Brewers Collaborative. A panel of head brewers from all the breweries aforementioned came in to talk about the craft brewing business in North Carolina. T.L. Adkisson with Foothills Brewing; Chris Davis with Fullsteam Brewery; Luke Dickinson with Wicked Weed; Ian VanGundy with White Street; and Josh Brewer with Mother Earth Brewing. Facilitating the event was NC Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Margo Knight Metzger.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Falls River Wine & Beer Club explores South African wines with Uncorked

Jim Soffe with Fine Wine Trading Company pours wines from 
South African during the FRW&BC's March event.

By Jennifer Primrose | March 15, 2014
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

On Thursday, March 13, the Greenway Club at Falls River, offering a warm ambience, was abuzz with the Falls River Wine & Beer Club's monthly event. This month members of the club were given the pleasure of being introduced to one of the new owners of Uncorked Wine and Coffee Café located in the Falls River Shopping Center. Uncorked came under new ownership in February. Janine Bruinberg, one of the new owners, paid the club a visit to kick off the evening with a South African wine tasting by telling stories of her heritage in South Africa. She also shared her love of wine and all the new and exciting changes they have in store for Uncorked – one of which includes a new coffee bar featuring Benelux coffee. 

Janine was kind enough to add to an already great lineup from Jim Soffe with Fine Wine Trading Company, by sharing a couple bottles of Ken Forrester Vineyards wine out of Stellenbosh, South Africa – including a $70 bottle of 2012 FMC Chenin Blanc.

She also introduced the group to some South African biltong, similar in taste to our beef jerky, to pair with the wines. Jim continued the evening with a selection of three additional South African wines, each with its own tale, as around 20 club members asked questions as they enjoyed each sip. The evening surely did not disappoint as comments such as "He was so informative" and "It was a lot of fun," could be heard around the room following the tasting.

Jim was also kind enough to share information on Fine Wine Trading company's selection of Riedel glassware, including the bar and restaurant series of glasses. Could a Riedel tasting be in the works for the Falls River Wine & Beer Club? You'll need to join the club here to find out!