Sunday, September 28, 2014

Triangle Heart Walk draws record crowds


By Jen | Sep 28, 2014

Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

On Sunday, Sept. 28, the Triangle turned red in the fight against heart disease at the American Heart Association’s Triangle division Heart Walk, held at PNC arena. The walk route consisted of either 1- or 3-miles beginning and ending at PNC Arena and Carter Finley Stadium. We were fortunate to attend the walk on what became an absolutely beautiful sunny day which brought out the largest numbers to date for this annual event.

The walk raises awareness and much needed funds in the fight against heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 killer of all Americans.  Sponsors and vendors lined the parking lot of PNC Arena with booths and educational materials in the likes of Duke Medicine offering lessons in CPR onsite, the Tribute and Survivor tents and Selfie station. Other sponsors included Subway, Quintiles, Belk, BASF and Crabtree Valley Mall to name a few.

At the time of this blog, AHA has raised a grand total $1,001,740 with a goal of $1,000,000. If you would like to help in the fight against heart disease, consider a donation and help save a life!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Argentine wines shine at Wine 101-Wake Forest

By Dathan Kazsuk | Sep 27, 2014
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

It was an evening of Argentine-style wines in what ended up being a very intimate setting at Wine 101-Wake Forest on Thursday, Sept. 25.

The class of 11 attendees were greeted by both Jay Holland (wine manager at the Wine 101-Raleigh location) and Sara House Doom (new wine manager at Wine 101-Wake Forest). The two told us a little about the wine regions and soils of Argentina before launching into generous pours of some special wines.

First up was the 2013 Catena Chardonnay from the Zapata Family Vineyards. Not being a fan of most oak-barrel Chards, I thought this would be a wine I wouldn’t like … but that was not the case. It still had that “buttery” taste that I steer clear of in Chards, but it was a smooth, crisp wine that ended up something I could handle. And at a discount price of $17.99, it would be a steal for all the Chardonnay fans out there.

Next was the 2013 Zolo Signature Red Blend from the Mendoza area of Argentina. This supple, yet smooth wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Merlot and Malbec. An inexpensive wine at $10.79 – so it’s one of those wines you don’t mind opening after a long day at work.

Wine 101-Wake Forest's wine manager 
Sara Doom has some fun with the guests.

Following the Zolo was my favorite of the night – the 2011 Luca Malbec Valle de Uco Mendoza. Rated 92-points from The Wine Advocate, this wine left a berry taste on the palate, and lingering notes of espresso on the back end. My friend and I both agreed that this would be an amazing wine to add to some wood chips and add to an upcoming home brew. But take in mind, this wine isn’t cheap. At a regular price of $28.99, and a sale price of $25.99, it’s a wine to open for a special occasion.

Our final wine, in comparison with the Malbec was no slouch. The 2011 Bodega Gratia Cabernet was one I’ve had before, and it didn’t disappoint then, and it didn’t now. This Cabernet had hints of dark cherries and chocolate, and at a discount of $18.89 that evening I had to pick up another bottle for our cellar.

Wine classes at Wine 101 have always been informative, and like I mentioned earlier, always give you generous pours with each wine. Saying it’s a “class” might not be the right name for these tastings, but always well worth the admission to try some worth while wines.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Raleigh's Lafayette Village celebrates Oktoberfest


By Dathan Kazsuk | Sep 20, 2014
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

If I lived in Germany, it would be time to put on the Lederhosen, dust off the porcelain beer stein, head to Munich and consume as much German Oktoberfest beer as possible.

But since I’m here in Raleigh and down the road from Lafayette Village, Jen and I took time out of our busy schedule to check out our first Oktoberfest of the year – which also featured wiener dog races!

It was Lafayette Village’s Oktoberfest, and many of its merchants took part in the festivities, with a majority of the fun taking place in the quad around the shops. Crafty Beer Shop was outside serving up pints of Southern Tier’s Pumking and Worlock as well as a few others. In my opinion, $6.99 a glass was a little steep for beer, but it did beat having to stand in line to purchase tickets to buy my beer elsewhere.

Many people came out to view the wiener dog races 
at Lafayette Village.
I mentioned tickets. Yes, tickets. From what I saw, people were standing in line to purchase tickets to buy beer outside of the Village Grill – which featured beers courtesy of Aviator Brewing and Triangle Brewing Co. There also appeared to be a place to purchase brats and kraut as well. Driftwood Southern Kitchen, which we love, had a table set up outside selling Moonshine Lemonade for anyone looking for something a tad stronger than beer. Thinking back on that day, I should have tried one of those!

Other shops had samples available, such as Savory Spice, which had a spicy mustard available to taste. We also stopped in Novel Tea and tried a couple samples of tea – two of which infused hard apple cider and a pumpkin beer. Nice! I also found some loose leaf tea which might go well in an upcoming beer recipe I’m working on next.

Crafty Beer was in the spirt, serving up several 
pumpkin-style beers.
Wiener dogs! Yes! I forgot about them. So, one of the main reasons for coming to Oktoberfest, in Jen’s opinion, was for the races. We only stuck around for a couple races, but it was pretty entertaining watching these hot-dogs with legs race against one another. Some had no idea what they were doing, while others like Tar Heel, ran straight down the course and actually was the winner of that wiener dog division. Way to go Tar Heel.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wine 101 raises money for Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation


By Dathan Kazsuk | Sep 17, 2014
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

It appears that Wine 101's two locations in Raleigh and Wake Forest made a considerable amount of funds going towards the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation on Sept. 11.

The two stores combined for $621 that day on select glasses of wine and pints of beer, while raising a total of $1,485 for the foundation. Wine 101 owner Joe O'Keefe mentioned that a generous donor will also match the funds. With that being said, it looks like close to $3,000 will go to the foundation, which honors Siller, who put his life on the line to save others on 9/11.

Falls River Wine & Beer Club members were on hand at both locations, enjoying wine and beer while helping raise money for this patriotic organization. Bravo to the club members who came out that evening to support the club, the foundation and Wine 101.

Be sure to check out the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m. at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Wine 101's O'Keefe and James Wood will be taking part in the run, as well as Jennifer and myself.

To learn more about this organization and how you can get involved by checking out the links below.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Magnificent Mile Race takes over Raleigh


By Jennifer Primrose and Dathan Kazsuk | Sep 14, 2014

Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

On Friday, Aug 22, 2014, I was presented with the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. I politely declined the challenge but pledged to donate to organizations and participate in fundraising events to support causes near and dear to my heart through the end of the year. My first was to participate in the Magnificent Mile on Sunday, Sept. 14.  Unfortunately, due to a sick feline family member, I had to miss the race to care for my 18-year old cat at home. However, Dathan did participate in the race and here is his blog:

We try to help out as many charities as we can each year. It’s a small little motto we live by. From helping the animals at the SPCA to staying up all night for the American Cancer Society. From beads of sweat dripping from our brow after a 5K run on Thanksgiving, to getting dressed to the 9’s for a night out with celebrities. It’s something that makes Jen and I feel good about ourselves.

This year alone we’ve gone to events to help raise money or awareness for the Stephen Siller Foundation, Frankie Lemmon School, Watauga Humane Society, SPCA of Wake County, the American Cancer Society and several events which raised money for the Jim “Catfish” Hunter chapter of the ALS Association. The latter of which is on Sept. 14 when I took part in the Magnificent Mile Race in downtown Raleigh.

Related : Wine 101 raises money for the Stephen Siller Foundation

The Magnificent Mile Race was inspired by Sarah Witt (right).
Finding a cure for motor neuron disease is the main goal behind this race, and the beneficiary of 2014 was the local ALS Association. Recently I took part in the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge, when my friend Cameron called me out. Hailing from California, I decided I wasn’t going to use water since my home state is going through a major draught … so I used a case of Milwaukee’s Best beer.

But for this race, all I had to do was jog a mile. That beats dumping bad, cold beer on my head! There with several friends from the Umstead Park United Church of Christ, we enjoyed the day leading up to our Recreational Mile Run/Walk.

During the competitive men’s race, someone completed the mile in 4:12. Wow! How can that be? Seriously? How do people run a mile that fast? For me, I finished in 10:11, and I thought I could have done it in 9:30 … but such is life. I crossed the finish line.

Members of the Umstead Park United Chruch of Christ pose for a photo.

It was also nice to hear that since 2006, the organization has raised more than $450,000 before this year’s run, and had some big name Triangle sponsors such as Quintiles, Lenovo, CASL and The Q Shack. I also have to hand it to the Umstead Park United Church of Christ which had close to 100 members either running or volunteering at the event.

This will be another event to add to next year’s calendar of charitable giving. And if you’re looking for a nice family friendly outing, you should look into it as well.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raleigh Beer Week Comes to a Triumphant End

By Dathan Kazsuk | Sep 1, 2014
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

This past week, in case you missed the memo, was the Raleigh Beer Week celebration. From Sunday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 31, participating breweries, restaurants and bottle stores featured a slew of beer-related events that brought beer connoisseurs out in droves. 

With 37 events spread throughout the week, it would be impossible to make all of them – and I’m not too keen on blowing out my liver in a week of binge drinking! So we selected a few of these events to check out.

Sunday, Jen and I along with our friends Gary, Gina, David and Rachel had our own event in our backyard. Jen and I recently got back from a trip through Ohio and Michigan, so we brought back a majority of beer that you can’t pick up in any bottle shop here in North Carolina. With an assortment of food in the likes of chili verde burritos, chips and salsa and several different cuts of salami we sampled everything below:
  • SummerBright Ale - Breckenridge Brewery, Denver, Co.
  • Traverse City Cherry Wheat - Atwater Brewery, Detroit, Mi.
  • Soft Parade - Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire, Mi.
  • Bean Flicker Blonde - Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven, Mi.
  • Chomolungma Honey Nut Brown - Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, Athens, Oh.
  • Trainwreck Ale - Mountain Town Brewing Co., Mt. Pleasant, Mi.
  • Cane and Ebel - Two Brothers Brewing Co., Warrenville, Il.
  • White Rajah - The Brew Kettle, Strongsville, Oh.
  • Huma Lupa Licious - Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire, Mi.
  • Foray - Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Or.
  • Bodhi DIPA - Columbus Brewing Co., Columbus, Oh.
  • CEO Stout - Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City, Mi.
  • Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale - Atwater Brewery, Detroit, Mi.
  • Tres Blueberry Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall, Mi.
  • El Chavo (Habanero, Margo Hard Cider) - Blake’s Hard Cider Co., Armada, Mi.

It looks like a lot of beer, but between 6 people it was only a little over 3 pints.
Some of the most popular that night were Short’s Soft Parade high-gravity fruit beer, Dark Horse’s Tres Blueberry Stout, Deschutes’ Foray, Blake’s El Chavo cider and by far the favorite … Columbus Brewing Company’s Bodhi DIPA.

So that leads us into Monday and Casks for a Cure at Big Boss Brewing Company. Jen and I like our beer and wine, but its even better when our drinking goes towards a good cause. This year, proceeds from our $10 cash donation went to benefit the ALS Association - Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter

Around 10 experienced home brewers shared some of their beer with 300 people and raised $6,000 for ALS.  The event also featured a handful of people taking the ice bucket challenge later in the evening. 

NC Beer Guys Glenn and Dave were a hit with the Hot Pistol beer at Big Boss.
On Tuesday, we took part in “The Magnificent Michigan” invasion at Tasty Beverage. This featured several beers by three great Michigan breweries. Founders, was featuring its KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) along with Backwards Bastard Scotch Ale. New Holland featured the Dragon’s Milk reserve with toasted chilies, and its barley wine, Pilgrim’s Dole. And Bells featured the Wedding Ale and Baron Von Nordwestlich.

But I must say I wasn’t happy with the outcome. We arrived right at 5 p.m., when the event was suppose to start, only to see the line was already out the door. We waited in line for 30 minutes just to order our drink – and then I see we were actually in 1 of 3 lines which slowly snaked its way to the bar. The bar, already cluttered with guests sitting at stools, made it even more difficult to order your beverage, and at the 30 minute mark, I heard the words none of us should have heard within the first 60 minutes … “KBS has kicked!” 
Really? I know KBS is a decent stout, but 30 minutes entire keg kicked? I might have to call FOUL on that one! 

After a pretty chaotic ordeal just to get less than a pint of Dragon’s Milk and Backwards Bastard we walked over to Crank Arm Brewery, where we enjoyed the peace and quiet of sitting at a table and ordering up a couple pints of beer which were readily available.

With long lines inside and a crowd forming outside, Tasty Beverage 
was popular place on Tuesday.
We laid low on Wednesday and didn’t hit up any events. And on Thursday we went to BottleMixx to sample the True Myth Cabernet from Paso Robles. We love our beer, but we also love California Cabs as well! 

Saturday, we made our way to BottleMixx, but this time for the “All Over the NC Map.” There we met up with some friends and Jen and I sampled 10 of the beers on draft by sharing 2 flights! Listed below was our line-up for the afternoon.
  • Wicked Weed Brewing Co. - Freak of Nature Double IPA
  • Ponysaurus Brewing Co. - Fig Saison
  • Steel String Craft Brewery - Zupfen Gose
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Mills River) - Raincheck Spiced Stout
  • Deep River Brewing Co. - Rhubarb Berliner Weiss
  • Fullsteam Brewery - Paw Paw Belgian Style Strong Ale
  • Sub Noir Brewing Co. - Flanders Red, Citra Dry Hopped & BBA 
  • Mother Earth Brewing Co. - Silent Night BBA Imperial Stout 2013
  • Highland Brewing Co. - 20th Anniversary Saison
  • Big Boss Brewing Co. - Zombie Belgian Style Ale
Our favorites were Mother Earth’s Silent Night, Deep River’s Berliner Weiss and Fullsteam’s Paw Paw Belgian. Next on our agenda was to head downtown to Trophy Brewing to grab a couple bottles of Flanders Red, but we saw photos on Facebook, which showed a line already forming out the front door and down the sidewalk. Guess we’ll miss out on that one. Wait! Nope! That’s not the case! We arrived around 5:30 for dinner and some drinks, and asked one of the bartenders if they had any left, and sure enough six bottles were sitting in a box behind the bar. That made it easy … two for me, two for David and two for Gary. We sure lucked out, and didn’t have to wait in any line!

BottleMixx is one of our favorite beer shops in Raleigh, and they didn't disappoint in 
"All Over the NC Map."
On the final day of beer week, we decided to end our week-long excursion by going to Lonerider for it’s Seven Shades of Betty. I’m not a huge fan of Shotgun Betty, but a lemon-zest, sour, watermelon, raspberry and habanero versions of the hefeweizen all sounded rather intriguing. 

The event was scheduled from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., but by the time we arrived at 4:30 p.m. all 7 versions of Shotgun Betty were ran dry. Really? I was highly disappointed that a brewery the caliber of Lonerider wouldn’t have enough to go through most of its 5-hour event. A friend of mine told me he overheard a Lonerider employee say they were only expecting 50 people! We ended up ordering a couple other beers, and decided to end our week at Trophy Brewing Co. We’ve never been left hanging at Trophy … plus we needed dinner.

As soon as we took a seat at Trophy we knew what we wanted. Jen and I shared a pint of all three of the special release beers for the day: Maker’s Mark Barrel-Aged Best in Show, the 2013 Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and the 2013 Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. We were not left upset by a single one of them. Throw in a Best-Dressed Pizza and I ended Raleigh Beer Week on a high-note.

Now it’s time to let my liver recover … at least for a couple days!