Chris is a beer nerd who enjoyes learning and teaching about beer and homebrewing. He is a Certified Cicerone, a Recognized BJCP Beer Judge, and an award-winning homebrewer.
Chris runs the popular homebrewing blog NC Homebrewing, and is a contributing author at NC Beer Magazine. He also teaches beer sensory evaluation training and prep classes for those studying for the Cicerone or BJCP exams. Check out his upcoming off-flavor and style history classes!
Amen to the earlier comment about the Trader Joe's beer. You can get a 750mL of their Vintage Ale that comes out once a year and is brewed by Unibroue for $4.99. It ages fantastically, so pick some up for next year as well.
What about those of us with home BEER bars? I've got a home-built bar with 4 taps of homebrew beer flowing at all times. And don't worry, there is a liquor cabinet in the left side for those who like the hard stuff. Check it out!
Vinny - good to hear! I make a yeast starter for *almost* every batch I brew, even if I have a smack pack, just to make sure there is a good amount of healthy active yeast. That, plus adding some oxygen when you pitch the yeast really help to get your fermentation started quickly and effectively.
That is a really good point. Just because the beer has been bottle conditioned doesn't mean that you can create a perfect clone based on this yeast. In addition to using champagne yeast, some Belgian beers are bottled with brettanomyces, and while all-brett beers can be fun, it can also be a surprise if it's not what you expected. So do a little research first, most breweries have some information about their bottle conditioning somewhere on the internet, or are happy to answer a request from a homebrewer.
Agreed - Trophy Brewing rocks! That's why we gave them a bit of a shout-out at the end of the article. But I already had included one Raleigh brewery, and I didn't want to be too RDU-biased!
Absolutely! I'm excited about the emerging beer scene in Boone. And App State is doing a great job in the field of fermentation science, spawning Ivory Tower Brewing as well.
Thanks everyone for the comments. As you have pointed out, there are TONS of great breweries in NC. Our list is just of 5 across the state that have recently opened. But one could spend weeks in NC just trying to stop at all of the awesome breweries in the state - and there are plenty more that will be opening soon. And I apologize for the miscommunication about Hi Wire - thanks for the correction!