Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beering in Charlotte: Hit the Brixx, then Squeal on me

And here we go with the local beering. Big Money Rich Lyke recommended I check out Brixx. One of my homegirls from college said she would meet me at the Uptown location. Sounded cool until she told me she was bringing her boyfriend along, dammit man.

I had just come from meeting up with my old high school friends at the school. NOBODY was thinking about going to the football game that was going on that night as it was raining, and our school has the best program in the State, if not the country. Add to that we were playing an 0-8 team, so no one was worried about the game. After marvelling over how many people's names I forgot, I caught up with ol' girl and her man at Brixx. You have to love the fact that Charlotte is small enough to zip right Uptown from the suburbs in 15 minutes. I would have to pack a lunch to do the same in Houston.

I got there earlier than they did, so I belly up to the bar, beer notepad in hand an peruse the local beer on the menu. You got to love the fact that there are different distributors in Charlotte, and they get some of the different beers we don't get, like Bells and Magic Hat.

Beer Log: October 24, 2008
State: Chillin and anxious for the local beering.

Brixx had plenty of local brew, but there was one that seemed to be a staple craft beer. Go to start out with ye olde

Carolina Blonde
Got it on draft in a sampler glass. Clear gold, low head, with little to no smell I could detect. Taste is a nice light malt with medium hops (maybe Saaz). Follow that up with a light bitter bread thing going on in the finish. The hops is NICE, but more than most blondes I've had. I can see why this one is popular in Carolina. Solid 3 Star beer.

I'm not a big fan of samplers, but that's what I got for these Carolina Beers. I think Samplers are cool, but I think they lose too much of the head, which means a lack of smell. Lastly, you have the issue of not tasting the beer from being cold to warming up. Each beer has it's sweet spot in temperature, and most bars keep all beers at the same temp, very cold. So it is just another dynamic of beering that you can find that sweet spot.

Red Oak
Another local one, repping Greensboro. White head but can't get the scent as the head is gone. Amber color, kinda like that amber they found the mosquito in Jurassic Park. It's sour and bready. A little heavy on the biscuit with a low hop character. I'm still not there for these sour beers. And I was not expecting that biscuit. Not much flavor to be honest. I guess sour beers is an acquired taste on top of the acquired taste for beer in general. 2 star. Too bad b/c its purity law beer.

Highland Gaelic Ale
Big ups to Asheville, NC, the mecca of microbrews apparently. Excellent crimson color, kinda like that True Blood drink in the show. I'm getting alight malt on the nose but head is not there again. Taste is a nice low malt, but slight butter, followed by roast. Low noticeable hops, maybe Centennial or Cascade. As I keep sipping it, I'm getting more sourness as it warms up a touch. Low 3 Star.

Terrapin India Brown
Athens, GA baby. Brown color yet red in the light. Light tan head with a buttery smell. It has a buttery taste to go along with that. Low hops at the back of the palette. But WTF is going on with all this butter. It's not as malty or hoppy as the description would suggest, (a brown ale with IPA hops). I'm starting to see a pattern here, so I refrained from rating this one.

I gets the feeling there is something up with the lines or something in this place. Everything is tasting like butter. I ordered the BBQ Chicken pizza, and it was awesome (did not taste like butter).

While eating the pizza and talking about beer with my friends (when they finally showed up), I decided to try my first Bells beer.

Bells Porter
Figured it would go well with the beer. Got a full glass in a pint glass. Light-medium body, with a slight smoke and malt taste. Nothing to get fired up about. I think there was more butter in this one too. No rating.

All in all, the food and the decor was awesome. Kind of a snazzy slightly upscale restaurant with about 30 taps of craft beer. I don't know the deal with that butterness going on. I imagine it's the lines or something, but whatever. I'm sure I'll try these beers again some time down the road. And I'll be back at the Brixx.

After some sobering up, I caught back up with the old high school crew at the Stool Pigeons back in the 'burbs. This is a cool beer bar as well, just not as much selection. A few daps and people being all surprised that I curse these days and am more flirty, but whatever. Up to the bar to order a Carolina Blonde, and what do they have, a Carolina Blonde BLUEBERRY.

To my knowledge, this is my first blueberry beer. It basically tasted like the Carolina Blonde, but with some slight blueberry. Cool stuff.

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