Friday, July 1, 2016

PUBlication: Asheville (part 2)

Western North Carolina is beautiful for many reasons, topography and geology are among the highest ranking. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, the mountains, rivers and bears, oh my. Fortunately we were able to enjoy some of these magical outdoor settings. Paddling on Lake Lure was a definite highlight. We found our way to a private little sand bar along a small island; it became our de facto swimming hole. We also braved some strong wind into the main stretch of the Lake to take in one of the better views of Chimney Rock and the surrounding tree-covered mountains. What a great detour with two dear friends. 

After our time on the water we darted to a neighboring marina for a picnic. This delicious intermission was aided considerably by our host's foresight and the tasty luncheon prepared by The Rhu. We had started our morning with a slough of The Rhu's strong breakfast choices. A homemade breakfast biscuit with egg and cheese, sea salt cacao donut, a french inspired summer fruit pastry and good coffee were our fuels for the day. At lunch we crushed egg salad sandwiches on seeded rolls with an amazing fermented root salad. Some bottles of Wicked Weed Tropic Most were on hand as well. A day at the lake was just what I needed. 

A favorite local businesses of mine in West Asheville is Harvest Records. This record shop came to town while we were living there; it has been a vital community hub. I scored a mint Chess Records LP of Bobby Womack & The Valentinos, plus a decent pressing of The Platters, I Love You 1,000 Times. Not only did I get a vinyl fix, I was hooked up with a new T-shirt and some fresh stickers. Thanks Harvest Records, you're a great example of business done right. I love this shop. 

Burial Beer Co.
Another fantastic district of Asheville is the South Slope neighborhood (we used to live there). One of our other amazing friends took us to Burial Beer Co. Immediately Burial resinated with me. Some thoughts on their aesthetic; the tap handles were great (the skillet is my fave) and the carrier\rack to transport your tasting flight, was the easiest to handle while not spilling, or sacrificing cool. Also, having two zones with taps is a good idea. Now on to the beer.

The Americana Farmhouse had good body with lingering flavor. A lasting finish stayed with you. Blooming early in the nose was the Ceremonial session at 4%. Burial's Hay-saw Saison felt less traditional, in a good way. This particular saison had more of grainy feel to it, yet was also dry. Good work on the Hay-saw. My potential belt-holder on this beer journey was the Hibiscus Gose! At 4.5% you can knock these back all day. With or without sunlight, the see-through copper color of this libation beams. There are few beers that simply illicit awesome, but this is one of them. Slight nuances ring out first, the later stages punch with tartness—definitely a knockout. I also gave Surf Wax a try. This 7.2% IPA had recently undergone a change in its hop-bill. Centennial, Mosaic and Citrus hops create the profile now, as the beer-keep told of their intentions to begin canning. Surf Wax resembled a British IPA that was a bit more clean; not my idea of a left coast IPA. There was however a skunk-like aroma. Regardless of my tasting notes, Burial Beer was the best scene yet within the friendly confines of Asheville. 

If you missed Part 1 continue scrolling down or click here. Please check back for the final installment of PUBlication: Asheville. Reviews of a western mid-mega brewery who opened up shop in WNC, tasting Appalachian Cider, Hi-Wire Brewing and Foggy Mountain Pub are on deck. Cheers.  


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