20 Sep

Delicious Dark Beer

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I know for a fact I’m not alone in my love of fall and the epically delightful beers that come with it. Whether you’re a lover of the pumpkin flavors or the Oktoberfest styles, fall holds a special place in many beer-lovers hearts.

In preparation for the shift away from the hefeweizens and witbiers, the NC Girls are hosting a dark beer appreciation night. We’ll be at Bub O’Malley’s in Chapel Hill next Wednesday, September 26th from 7-10pm. Chris Creech, the man behind NCHomebrewing.com, a certified beer server and a seasoned homebrewer will be leading us in a tasting of three distinct dark beers. We’ll also have some food on hand to further entice the palate and help you pair your beer with your snacks. And Chris will give us a little history lesson on each of our three styles–

  • porter: with a tasting of Fuller’s London Porter,
  • brown: demonstrated by Sweet Josie brown ale from Raleigh’s own Lonerider Brewery, and
  • stout: with a sample of the Highland Oatmeal Stout delivered from Asheville, NC.

Let’s here it for two NC breweries!

Each tasting will include a 6-8oz pour of the beer plus a small food sample provided by NCGPO. Enjoy the flavors, the education and the company!

This event will be $10 for NCGPO members and $14 for non-members. Wanna learn more? Got questions? Check out the Facebook post for details and to RSVP (we wanna know how much food to bring!) http://www.facebook.com/events/442010822507652/.

Hope to see you there, and in the meantime enjoy the flavors of fall!

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20 Aug

NC Girls to visit World of Beer!

World of Beer - North Hills

The lucky ladies of NC have a big event coming up this Thursday, 7pm at World of Beer in Raleigh! We’re delighted to be hosting an exclusive NoDa Brewery tasting event and we’ll be raising money for Voices Together!

World of Beer - North Hills

Located in the North Hills area World of Beer of one of nearly 30 WOB locations that focus on offering a diversity of the freshest beers in an upbeat setting. Our Raleigh-area WOB opened less than a year ago but has already become a hot spot for tastings and for musical acts. Stick around after the tasting on Thursday to hear live music from Marcus & Tommy!

NoDa Brewing is also new to NC, having opened less than a year ago in the North Davidson area of Charlotte. NoDa has quickly made a name for themselves in hoppy beer and we will be sampling several of their more “hop-forward” selections, along with a contrastingly malty chocolate beer. Yum! We’ll also have staff on hand to tell us about each of the beers we’re tasting and what’s in the flavors.The tasting will include:

10 Blocks South™ ~ Xtra Pale Ale
Tired of the standard American Pale Ale? Not feeling the hop bite and higher ABV of an IPA? We have something in-between. What you get is a hop-centric but easy drinking beer with tons of citrus and floral hop character brought on by Centennial, Cascade, Columbus and Chinook hops and backed with a solid malt bill.
ABV 5.5% SRM 15 IBU 56

Woody & Wilcox ~ IPA
An American IPA with an assertive hop character and balancing malty backbone. The hops used give it a piney, citrus laced aroma and a bright, earthy bittering finish. It uses Columbus, Magnum, Cascade and Santiam hops throughout the brew to achieve this hop character and utilizes four different malts to give it the golden amber colored body and the flavor of caramel along with some toasty bread notes.
ABV 6% SRM 9.7 IBU 60

Ghost Hop™ ~ White IPA
Ready for a warm weather, easy drinking beer but not ready to give up your Hops? Well now you don’t have to. Ghost Hop has the grain bill of an IPA, minus the color, and the hops of a true Northwestern IPA, all delicately fermented with Belgian Wit yeast. It is an American IPA-Belgian love child! It has the light body and drinkability of a Belgian Wit with the Citrus & Pine flavors from the Amarillo and Centennial hops.
ABV 5.9% SRM 3.7 IBU 70

Coco Loco™ ~ Porter
Chocolate and Brown malts contribute a stunningly deep rich color with ruby highlights in this Robust Porter. The slight bitterness from American chocolate is balanced with the sweet roastiness of toasted organic coconut. A great beer before, during, or after a meal!
ABV 6.2% SRM 32 IBU 40

Finally, NC GirlsPint Out and World of Beer really wanted to raise money for a good cause with this event and therefore will be collecting donations for Voices Together. Voices Together is a Chapel Hill-based, non-profit organization that benefits individuals with developmental disabilities through music therapy. A portion of your event fee will be donated to Voices Together; additional donations are encouraged with gratitude!

In other NCGPO news, our tasting glasses are here, and they are cool! If you were a NCGPO member last year we have your glass and we’ll be happy to give it to you on Thursday, or at a future event.

This event is $12 for NCGPO members and $15 for non-members and covers the tasting, snacks and includes your donation to Voices Together. Please bring cash! The party starts at 7pm; tasting begins at 7:30pm. Hope to see you there!

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29 Jun

It’s a Smokey (Hot) Independence Day Celebration!

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Smokey Independence Day event at Bottle Revolution!The ladies of the greater Raleigh area are thrilled to be heading to Bottle Revolution this Saturday for an Independence Day event to benefit the SPCA of Wake County!

Bottle Revolution, located off Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh, will be hosting Haw River Farmhouse Ales and Deep River Brewing for a beer-tasting bash. And you can round out those beer samples with a little BBQ, compliments of Redneck Scientific. The Cupcake Brewery will also be in attendance with several delectable dessert options. And of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t chip in so the ladies of Girls Pint Out will have a few baked goodies for sale as well– all our proceeds go to the SPCA of Wake County!

The event runs all afternoon, 12pm until 5pm and the ladies of NCGPO will be there to answer questions about the group, giveaway GPO-related swag, and share in the general good times. We’re really excited about the fund-raising aspect of this event: a $5 donation gets you beer and BBQ samples so you’re enjoying great beer while helping the animals!

As if there isn’t enough going on there will also be a watermelon carving contest! Winner gets a $50 gift certificate to Bottle Revolution so if you’ve been secretly carving decorative melons, now is the time to go public. Get there by 1pm to show off your designs; winner is announced at 4pm!

More information is available on the Facebook event page. Check out the details and invite your friends! And we know it’ll be hot so dress smart and be careful drinking, please. Hope to see you there!

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14 Mar

NC Ladies Get Cheesy at Mystery Brewing

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Good news, girls! We’ve got another food and beer pairing event for you! As you’ll recall Big Boss recently had us out for a delightful beer and chocolate pairing. This time it’s beer and cheese – another winner! Unless we do beer and bacon I don’t know how we’re going to top ourselves…

Anyway, hop in the car for a scenic trip to lovely Hillsborough, NC on Saturday, March 24th! Erik Lars Myers, the wise and intrepid owner of Mystery Brewing will be walking us through a series of diverse beer flavors including Gentlemen’s Preference: Blond Ale, Mousqueton: Belgian-Style Tripel, Queen Anne’s Revenge: Carolinian Dark, Six Impossible Things: Chocolate Breakfast Stout, and a special St. Patty’s Day Dry Irish Stout. Along with our beers we’ll be tasting cheeses provided by Weaver Street and we’ll have some bread on hand to help absorb all our alcohol. Rumor has it Erik may even make some of his legendary spent-grain bread!

All this fine alcohol and yummy protein can be yours for a low, low price! This event is open to men and women, so ladies, drag yer feller along for this one! The women of Girls Pint Out pay only $5 at the door; men and non-members pay $10. Remember to tip your local brewer and consider buying some lovely Mystery Brewing swag, including bumper stickers, shirts and glasses. There will also be some goodies raffled off so be sure to sign up for that! And, as always, NC GPO memberships and shirts will be available at sign-in.

The good times start at 6pm, tasting starts at 7pm. If you want to get comfortable BYOC (bring your own chair) as Mystery has limited seating. And for those of you who already have this date on your calendar, we know there are other beer events around the area that Saturday: Raleigh Times has a Stone Brewing Co. tasting and Lonerider’s Brew It Forward are both taking place in downtown Raleigh that day. If you’d like to coordinate a carpool, post to the comments of the All About Beer event page to make arrangements.

More details and updates will be – as always – on our Facebook event page so keep checking there. In the meantime, go tell your friends! Everyone is welcome to this event and it’s a wonderful opportunity to try some delightful recently-released beers while learning a little something about food and beer pairings. Hope to see you there!

 

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07 Mar

NC Girls Welcome Narragansett Brewery

Triangle ladies, listen up! It’s short notice but Narragansett Beer is coming to town and we’re invited to enjoy some! Come out to the Flying Saucer in downtown Raleigh tonight for a couple samples of this classic New England brew.

 Narragansett Brewing Company is one of the oldest breweries in the United States, having been around since 1890. They’ve recently made the move to the Triangle and are soon to be available in local grocery stores and at our very own Durham Bulls ballpark. They’re celebrating their foray into the area with a special tasting at Flying Saucer TONIGHT. Guests who show up starting at 7pm will be able to nab a custom 20oz glass (with the purchase of a Narragansett Lager on draft) and can also sample their Bock in cans. The brewery will also have a rep available to answer questions about the storied history of this brew (it was featured in “Jaws”!) and to hand out giveaways including some ‘Gansett shirts and hats!

So come on out tonight – you know any plans you have aren’t better than this! – to the Flying Saucer starting at 7pm! You can get more details on our Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

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20 Feb

I’m a Certified Beer Server!!

Cicerone logo

I’m sure I’m not the first person on this site to take the Cicerone Certified Beer Server test – not by a long-shot. But I have just taken and passed the test and I’m also currently in the middle of a serious beer class to prepare for the Certified Cicerone test in a few months, hence all the exclamation points. So let me give you some background in case you’re curious…

Cicerone logoFirst, let’s back up. What is a cicerone? A cicerone, by classical definitions, is a guide. As it pertains to beer, a cicerone is a beer guide – knowledgeable in all aspects of beer including the making and serving of beer and the 120+ (current) styles of beer. A cicerone must past a series of tests, starting with the Certified Beer Server test, to affirm that they know what they’re talking about and will not lead their poor followers astray. The tests are administered through http://www.cicerone.org, though the second and third-level certifications require that the test be administered in person in order to complete the tasting portions.

Currently I’m in the middle of fairly intensive beer classes with Erik Lars Myers of the newly-opened Mystery Brewing. Once the class is over we hope to have a group take the next level of the exam to become Certified Cicerones. This level is, of course, much more difficult, with detailed beer style questions, tastings for off-flavors and specific styles, beer and food pairing concepts, and knowledge of the entire brewing process. Why yes, yes I am nervous.

If you want to know if you’ve got what it takes, you can start by taking the cicerone.org sample exam. Now keep in mind that this has sample questions from all levels of certification, so it’s harder than the Certified Beer Server test will be. That being said it’s a good way to gauge your comfort-level with what’s included in the program. » Sample Exam (registration required).
You can also start by reading the Certified Beer Server syllabus here » CBS syllabus.

And lest you think the “Master Cicerone” level is just way too out there I’m pleased to report that as of January 5th, 2012 Nicole Erny of California became the first female Master Cicerone – and the youngest so far! There are only three previous Master Cicerones (Erny makes four) so it is certainly an accomplishment.

If you’re interested in the program or have more questions not covered here or on the cicerone.org website, please let me know! You can leave a comment or drop me a note at jriehle@girlspintout.com. Now go start that beer studying!

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15 Feb

Great Lakes is coming to Raleigh-Durham!

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Once upon a time a very nice, rapidly-expanding brewery arrived in North Carolina, specifically in the Charlotte and Greensboro regions, to begin sharing its exceptional family of beers. While this was an exciting event and one we, as NC beer fans applauded, it was also notably not in the central NC region of Raleigh and Durham. Sadly, due to their impressive growth and capcity constraints, our protagonist, the Great Lakes Brewing Company, could not make their way down I-40 to the RDU area for a further two+ years. But this story has a happy ending, fair reader: they’re making up for lost time with a seriously impressive list of events to celebrate their long-overdue impression on the Raleigh-Durham beer market!

A little background on Great Lakes Brewing Company… Based out of Cleveland, OH, Great Lakes is the 22nd-largest brewery in the US, having brewed 120,000 barrels last year. Great Lakes is about to hit the quarter-century mark next year and have been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Their “family” of five year-round styles and an additional nine+ seasonal styles keep the beer fans facinated and coming back for more!

A complete list of Great Lakes events in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area is available below but as a member of Girls Pint Out NC I would be remiss in skipping the opportunity to cheer about our own Great Lakes beer event! Hosted at the always-tasty Tyler’s Taproom in Durham, Great Lakes will be making a big splash by celebrating with the ladies! Join us from 5:30pm until 10pm (oh, who are we kidding- it’ll end when we go home!) and sample all the styles Great Lakes has to offer. There will also be a free photo booth; Great Lakes encourages you to dress up and have a blast!

As you can see, they’ll be keeping very busy for the next couple weeks. Any NC native should make sure they hit at least one or two of these events. Of special note are the Brunch event at Busy Bee in downtown Raleigh (beer and brunch? GENIUS.) and the event at Sam’s in Durham on February 24th which will feature a Great Lakes Pub exclusive, the Winter Porter with fresh raspberries!

February 20, 2012 Tyler’s Taproom Tasting
February 21, 2012 Tyler’s Durham Launch with North Carolina Girls Pint Out!
February 22, 2012 Raleigh Times Tapping!
February 23, 2012 Flying Saucer Sampling
February 24, 2012 Sam’s Quik Shop Sampling
February 24, 2012 Whole Foods Sampling
February 25, 2012 Tasty Beverage Tasting
February 25, 2012 Weaver Street Sampling
February 25, 2012 Weaver Street Sampling
February 26, 2012 Weaver Street Sampling
February 26, 2012 Busy Bee Beer Brunch
February 27, 2012 Rockfish Pint Night
February 28, 2012 World of Beers Sampling & give-a-way
February 29, 2012 Dos Perros Beer Dinner
March 1, 2012 Tasting at Bottle Revolution
March 2, 2012 Triangle Wine Tasting
March 6, 2012 Draft Raleigh
March 8, 2012 Tasting at Carrboro Beverage Co & Bottle Shop
March 10, 2012 Tasting at TJ’s Beverage
March 14, 2012 Porter’s Beer Dinner
March 15, 2012 Spanky’s Pint Night
March 21, 2012 Pint Night Flying Saucer
March 23, 2012 Spanky’s Burger & Beer Pairing & Caricature Contest!!

Hope to see you there! And by “there” I mean at a bunch of these!

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06 Feb

Extreme Beer Fest 2012

I’m a North Carolina beer girl but I got the opportunity to skip town for a few days this weekend and head to Boston, MA for Extreme Beer Fest 2012. EBF sold out in a staggering 2 hours this year – a new record! – so I counted myself one of the lucky ones as I stood in 20 degree Boston temperatures waiting to be let into The Cyclorama (still don’t know what that is…) at Boston’s Center for the Arts.

Now, in case you’re wondering, Extreme Beer Fest is put on by our buddies at Beer Advocate. It’s two days of events that bring in more than 30 breweries and 140+ beers for sampling. Friday night starts the fun with the Night of the Barrels, 60+ barel-aged brews, plus free snacks. I also attend Saturday evening’s session with another 125 beers.

So how was it? Well, it was a beer festival so there were the token drunk people stumbling around. But at ~$65 a pop these tickets did not come cheap so most of the people who were there really wanted to be there to enjoy their beer sensibly. Since we’re talking price I might add that for $65 I’d expect a real glass and some better signage on Night of the Barrels, but all in all the delicious beer options made it difficult to complain too much.

And the beer options were delicious! Friday night had a few memorable moments. I’m not a sour fan but the Boston Beer Co. Gueuze was good. I also enjoyed Cigar City’s Cedar-Aged Imperial Stout. Firestone Brewery had a couple nice offerings, my favorite being their English Barleywine Sucaba. Founders Brewing and Short’s Brewing also had some tasty choices and Lagunita’s Imperial Stout was also a stand-out.
Saturday was even better. Winner of the evening, for me, had to be The Funky Buddha, who served up Apple Pie Brown Ale and No Crusts (PB&J) Brown Ale, each tasting just like their namesakes. Also worth the time were the Allagash offerings- even their sours! – and Dogfish Head was wonderful as usual with a really yummy Witbeer, Positive Contact, and a very minty Imperial Minted Stout, the Black & Red. Hill Farmstead and Jackie O’s Brewing were both new finds for me but I liked everything they did and will certainly be on the look out for them in the future.

My trip to Boston actually got extra exciting when we got a tour of Boston Beer Company by none other than Jim Koch, founder and face of Sam Adams! If you’re interested that story is on my personal blog… http://www.jenreally.com/a-day-with-jim.

So all in all, totally worth the money and the trek to good ‘ole Mass. I’d certainly consider going again next year, if I can get tickets before they’re sold out. Meantime I think NC should start thinking about it’s own serious beer festival — what’d ya say, Raleigh?

 

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22 Jan

Chocolate and beer, ladies. Need I say more?

The women of North Carolina have a big treat on their hands this week when Raleigh brewery Big Boss invites the NCGPO chapter for a tour and tasting of Big Operator, their Belgium Black Raspberry and Chocolate Ale! Join us this Wednesday, January 25th; the cover for this event is $10 and includes two beer tickets, a free pint glass AND a box of Elemental Chocolates! How can you say “no” to that?

The ladies of GPO won’t be the only ones out that night: Big Boss will also be celebrating the release of Big Operator with the rest of the community. They’ll be food trucks, beer-flavored cupcakes provided by the always-yummy Cupcake Brewery, not to mention the rest of the Big Boss standards including their High Roller IPA and always-classic Bad Penny Brown Ale. But the star of the evening is definitely Big Operator. Brewed for a limited time only – it’s on tap until late-February – Big Operator is a full-flavored black ale that, at 8% abv, will make your head spin!

If you haven’t already, make sure you RSVP on the Facebook site since this will be a busy event. Doors open at the brewery at 5pm but our meet-up officially starts at 7pm. The GPO girls have been promised brew tours for 50 ladies – make sure you’re one! Even if you don’t get on the list stop by and enjoy the festivities, chat with the other girls and sample some food truck fare.

Don’t forget – there’s no heat at the brewery and Wednesday’s low is down around 40 degrees so bundle up! Make sure you find the check-in table and say “hi” to me (Jen) and the other NC Girls. Hope to see you there!

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