It’s my turn to talk beer. Almost two weeks in North Carolina and we have been on four brewery tours, hit two tap rooms, and hung out at more than a few beer pubs that serve grub. The beauty of pub grub is, most are dog friendly, and, if you do your homework, you will find glorious outdoor opportunities with food that is conscientious and wholesome. Yes, North Carolina is tapping in to its resources and coming up with some fun tasting opportunities.
Outer Banks Brewing
This brewery experience contradicted every brew tour I’ve had to date. This brewery is a chopper of a shop.15 years in business, one of the first in NC, and it appears their market goals have been met. Therein lies the first difference – most brewers share objectives of growth and experimentation.
What struck me as unbelievable is the water element of their beer equation. I thought water is the divine ingredient to beer, and consistency means everything. But, I guess being on the Outer Banks, water can be tricky due to saline flux. So, they’ve embraced the changing water, and refer to the differential in beer taste, as being a seasonal thing. Their beer flows with the seasons. Not only that, but they stir their mash by hand, thereby “keeping the hand” in handcraft brewing.
Make that, Sierra Nevada. Holy smokes, this is a rags to riches story if I’ve ever heard one. And this particular brewery is clearly on the “riches” side of the story.
Built with precision and experience, they actually tweak North Carolina’s glorious water to match Chico’s (the original birthplace of Sierra Nevada.)
Taste consistency being a hallmark, they have weekly shipments from both facilities undergo taste tests. I think I just figured out what my next job will be. . .
One More to Share
Then there’s Highlands Brewery, just a fun story of a nuclear engineer gone rogue.
Oscar Wong, a Chinese American, born in Jamaica, creating a Scottish Brewery. Don’t you love it? Their tag line, “Just a wee bit different.”