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2021 Double Double...

...Toil and trouble? Lot of work (toil) and buyouts / closings (trouble) will be coming our way this year. 2021 will be a year of many changes in the craft beer industry. From Covid / Pandemic issues to changing tastes we are in for an interesting ride this year. The big style will, once again, be IPA; this time the Double IPA. This trend has been building for a while. Now many breweries have one or two DIPAs on the menu. one of the largest craft brewers, Sierra Nevada, has 3 double IPA's in their lineup. Innovation Brewing, of Sylva, NC now has two on the menu. Great Lakes Brewing has an Imperial IPA series with 6 new DIPAs for 2021. In the last few years brewers all over have added DIPAs to their lineups. Most breweries I visited in 2020 had a DIPA. many more will in 2021. Over time, there is a style that craft brewers feel they must have on the menu. For several years is has been IPA and it's many derivatives. There were Brut IPAs, Hazy IPA's and the Juicy IPAs with many varieties of citrusy flavors in them. Now it's the Double IPA. Usually brewed with massive amounts of hops and malts the final product is a robust boldly flavored medium bodied brew. These have higher AVB and big aroma from the minute it is poured / opened. Craft beer is big business and has been for a while. However, the majority of the over 8000 breweries are small and serve a local market. If they make great beer and present a fun experience the brewery should prosper. Many folks want a genuine experience and will support locals when possible. I have seen breweries open in some totally unexpected places and they get a local following. Many small industrial areas have surrounding neighborhoods and these people become regulars because it is close and the there (usually) is nothing like it in the area. I know of a local brewery in Miami that opened in a warehouse district and now has two other locations; each has secured nearby locals that really like the beers and tap rooms. I see this most everywhere I go. In more rural areas the breweries can afford larger facilities and they offer plenty of room for expansion. The Covid pandemic has forced some changes; the biggest is where to put people safely. i have seen several that added huge outdoor areas which gives people space and they feel safe enough to come visit. Of course everyone has added to go beer and contact-less pick up and delivery. We have lost a few breweries but most seem to have figured out a way to keep going until the Covid is solved. We all need to support craft breweries whenever possible and I look forward to a better year in 2021. See you at a local brewery soon...

Cheers, Larry

Hops Artwork
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Past reviews 1999 - 2020 Click on each year. Enjoy, Larry
 
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Photos of Maxwell Bros Clothing Store Window Display and Pizza Oven.
Photos of Maxwell Bros Clothing Store: Taps and Mug Club South Party

 

Maxwell Bros Clothing Store & Beer - Miami, FL

Maxwell Bros is named for an old family store in Ohio. Visit their History page for more. From the outside it does look like a clothing store complete with a window display and mannequins, Once inside there is a long bar, pizza oven and brewing tanks. It's unassuming at first but soon you will discover some great beers and pizza to go along with them. The beer is part of the Lincolns Beard group which now has three locations. Many of Lincolns brews are here and there will be one off small batch beer in the future. I visited on one of the first nights open and recently for a friends birthday. On that first night I was able to sample most of the brews. It was some familiar beers and several made for the opening. As will happen at new brewery openings, beers will sell out. There was live music that first night; a guitar player near the front clothing display. On December 31st I met a friend for our last beers and pizza together for the year. My most recent visit was for the same friends birthday. He lives nearby and has become a regular at the store. As I have mentioned, opening a brewery near a neighborhood where there is nothing like it is a recipe for success. Having friendly staff also helps. I am in a Mug Club at another local brewery and sometimes the group goes to other local breweries. The 'Mug Club South' was born on this evening. Good beer, pizza and friends make for a great time. We had some birthday gifts (beer) that were enjoyed along with lots of pizza. My favorite pizza was the 'Wise Guy' which was excellent with capicola and banana peppers for toppings. The group will return for sure. There is Covid spacing and a new outside deck is almost finished. When things open up I could see this getting quite popular. Parking is already tight in the front lot. Website: MaxwellBros.Beer

Wet Dogs Brewing Photos of Flight / Tanks
Wet Dogs Brewing Taps / Mural Photos

Wet Dogs Brewing - Lake Placid - FL

After the Sebring races I was heading to SW Florida to try some of the new breweries there. Wet Dogs Brewing in Lake Placid was the first stop. Lake Placid is known as the Town of Murals and they are painted on many buildings there. Wet Dogs is located in an old building that formally was home to the local newspaper. It's mural depicts the print shop as it might have been. The front part now houses a restaurant and the rear is Wet Dogs. It was quiet inside when we arrived to try the beer; everyone was seated outside. The outdoor patio was great and the weather was perfect. My taster flight included Hop Life Zero Viz NEIPA. It was hoppy and cloudy and at 6.0% easy drinking. Next up was the 81 Bay Pretty BIRD Hazy DNEIP 8.0% ABV. These first two were from other Florida breweries and added different beers to the line up. WDB Pineapple Pooch IPA was good and pineapple tastes were slightly evident in this quaffable ale. The Cit Ranger IPA was the house IPA brewed using Citra hops. Another house brew, Irish Red Rover, was perfect for St Patrick's day. At 6.3 ABV it had a malty robust taste. My friends enjoy darker beers and there were several enjoyed here. WDB Spiced Beerhound Ale has a slight cinnamon after taste. Morning Walk Coffee Ale uses fresh ground coffee from a local coffee house. They order the coffee and wait until they are grinding it fresh so it is really fresh when brewed. Of note was 'Bacon Strips to get through College', candied bacon we had to order from the craft kitchen next door. We could have spent more time there but it was time to hit the road for the next brewery. Website: WetDogsBrewing.com

Photos of LaBelle Brewing beer Flight and Bar Area
Photos of LaBelle Brewery Front and Cypress art

LaBelle Brewing Co. - LaBelle - FL

When planning a 'brewery crawl' I usually check it out on line to see what might await me. With LaBelle Brewing my note said that the Beer Menu looked great and food was made on site not a food truck. This is usually a good thing and we weren't disappointed. That list of brews were all there and the food, provided by Buckingham Farms made for an excellent dinner. They still have Covid spacing with tables apart and ordering was done at a separate counter. So, there isn't table service per se. We found three spots at the bar and were able to enjoy our visit there. LBC has a varied selection and all the beers were correct style and taste wise. I got a flight of 4 to try before ordering a pint. Cowboy Way IPA is the go to IPA here. At 7.2% ABV it was dry with citrus notes throughout. Swamp Stomper is a NEIPA, hazy also with tropical notes. My favorite, being 2021, was the Capitan Hendry DIPA. With 8.5% ABV and double dry hopped it had good bitterness yet was easy drinking. LBC is keeping with the 2021 theme of 'double, double! Red Tide Red is a smooth malty Irish Red just in time for St Pats. Other brews tried were Peregrination an authentic Belgian Tripel. Jingle Belle is a Belgian Dark ale; it could be a holiday beer and left a good cinnamon aftertaste. Utterly Stout had good chocolaty tastes. Oak Grove also was brewed with Hazelnuts and also lad note of chocolate in the finish. The Redfish was my choice for dinner; served blackened with citrusy sauces and a chili sauce drizzle it made my visit. LBC has some of the best food in a brewery that I have found. It was a nice surprise to find this quality in a remote brewery that many miss. i recommend going out of your way for this one; You won't be disappointed. Website: LaBelleBrewingCo.com

Crazy Dingo Brewing Co Photos of Flight and Bar
Crazy Dingo Brewing Co Photos of Bar and Artwork

Crazy Dingo Brewing Co. - Fort Myers- FL

Located within Southern Fresh Farms, Crazy Dingo Brewing Company is SW Florida's only brewery to grow their own hops. The farm itself has pioneered growing methods that save space while increasing output from areas of the farm. This is Agra-toursim at it's best. The farm is open to the public and they can learn about the growing methods and also buy fresh produce, at the farmers market, to take home. When visiting the farm Crazy Dingo's brews ere also available. It's a cool experience; there is something for everyone. Families with children can take them to the petting area with goats and cows. There are also many other animals around the public areas.. A few years ago the brewers of Crazy Dingo were making home brew that friends and neighbors were enjoying. They needed a place to set up and let people enjoy their crafted beers. Meeting the farm owners it was decided that the addition of a nano brewery would enhance the guest experience at the farm. It all worked out and the brewery is now an integral part of the farm. This is a very local attraction; there were many there the day we visited. we tried several brews and found some good ones. Sin Nombre is a copper hued American ale. McSpud is an Irish Red Ale tasty with good malty tastes. Keel Hauled is a rum barrel Black Ale. At 9% ABV it has cherries and cocoa additions for a unique taste. Angry Scotsman is a spiced Scottish Ale that was easy drinking and the favorite on this early afternoon visit. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed the tasting area with both live and recorded music. A very cool place with easy atmosphere and crowd. The owners and workers are all friendly and around to answer any questions about the farm and its products. Website: CrazyDingoBrewing.com

Photos of Point Ybel Brewing - Menu and Taps / entire Bar
Photos for Point Ybel Brewing Sampler / Brewing Process

Point Ybel Brewing Company - Fort Myers - FL

When visiting breweries; I try to find out more by going to their website. Brewery website aren't always accurate especially for the current beer list. Many times it hasn't been updated so the 'current' beers might not be on anymore. Point Ybel's tap list showed over 20 beers. I was skeptical as that is a big number for any smaller brewery. Also, looking at the site it looks like they brew mainly German styles. They do brew those styles but the tap list has several IPA's and other ales listed first. My kind of place. 'High quality small batch brewery in Fort Myers' is a totally accurate statement. So, in this case the website was spot on. Point Ybel is located in Kelly Crossing mall, close to the bridge over to Sanibal Island. PYB is a taproom brewery with food available from a nearby restaurant. The focus here is all beer. That tap list shows a good selection of many different styles. Sanibal Red Island Ale is a malty, bready brew that is easy drinking with a smooth finish. At 6.2% ABV it has a robust taste not seen in traditional Irish Reds. Mega Hops Atlanticus Triple NE IIIPA was opaque and golden yellow. The 10% ABV isn't evident and, as the NE style tends to be, not too bitter. It has a nice hoppy finish and I got a crowler to go for my birthday celebration later in the week. These two are pictured to the left. Snake Bite IPA is the flagship IPA; brewed with with Citra and Mosaic hops and dry hopped. The combo gives a fruity taste and aroma to this 7.2% ABV ale. There are many other brews; darks and sours are featured. My friends really appreciated the five stouts, Barleywine style ale and even a Schwartzbier here. The taproom has a mellow friendly vibe and a strong local following. I was impressed with the number of beers and the quality. It looks like a candidate for Brewery of the Year and it's only March! I will return when in the area. Website: PointYbelBrew.com

photos of Bonehook Brewing Co Double Irish Red / Taps
Bonehook Brewing Co Photos Bar / Tanks

Bonehook Brewing Co - Naples - FL

A few years ago, Bonehook Brewing expanded their brewery adding a brewpub. The brewery and brewpub are both large and will accommodate a good sized group once they can seat fully. The scale is big and the beer selection is as well. There were over 25 regular and seasonal brews on, the evening I visited. That's a big number at any brewery. The brewpub has a house kitchen winch is another feature I like. The best food I get at most breweries is made in a real kitchen owned by the brewery. My visit was for dinner and I wasn't able to try too many beers as it had been a long day. As with the breweries reviewed above they had a red ale brewed for St Pat's day. Wee Bit is a 'double' Irish Red, malty with some dark fruit tastes. It was the perfect beer for me at the time so I had several with dinner. Looking at the beer menu for that day, there were many others I would like to try. I'll have to try them another time. Bonehook offers a full selection of to go brews and is in beer stores around south Florida. Liquid Laugh is an authentic Belgian Tripel. There were five IPA's available from classic American IPA, Hazy IPA, Double IPA, (For 2021!) and an 'experimental' IPA. My Chipotle rubbed Mahi was just what I needed and the rest of the party enjoyed the food. The menu has a wide variety of different foods; something for everyone. It was a quiet Sunday evening but I iimagine that this kitchen could put out some food when needed. My group would like to return when Bonehook is able to fully open. I think this one is a winner. When in Naples be sure to stop by. Website: BonehookBrewing.com

Bay 13 Brewery and Kitchen Photos of Beer Flight and Taps
Bay 13 Brewery Photos of Tanks / Dining Area

Bay 13 Brewery and Kitchen - Coral Gables - FL

Bay 13 opened in December 2020. This is fortuitous timing; to get going, work bugs out and be ready when the industry reopens from Covid restrictions. On my visit some rules were still in place but it looks like they will be able to fully open up soon. The restrictions probably didn't hurt too much as there is a large outdoor area with additional seating. I was at the outdoor bar on a perfect spring evening. They have Aussie influenced beers and food. The beer menu has a good selection and the food has some unique offerings. I sampled many beers and like the IPA group the most. Cross Step is a West Coast IPA brewed with several hops including Galaxy. The ABV is listed at 4.9% which I learned later is really 6.8%. The menu numbers got mixed up I was told on a subsequent visit. Whatever. Drop Bear is the Double IPA and quite tasty with citrusy notes throughout. it clocks in at 9.0 % ABV. A new batch sounds like it will be even stronger! (Perfect for 2021: "Go big or go home!) Arvo is a 'Pacific Ale' brewed using all hops from the southern hemisphere. Old Man is Bay 13's take on a Hefeweizen. Tasty; a nearby couple told me that it was the best beer they have had. Dogs Eye is a Foreign Extra Stout with notes of coffee and chocolate. Food wise, I like the house made sausage and the meat pie. The meat pie is in a pastry shell filled with a delicious stew of beef, onions, mushrooms and peas. Chicken skewers are also a tasty appetizer. The complete menu is HERE. Website: Bay13Brewery.com

Photos of Iron Hill Brewery - Buckhead
Photos of Iron hill Brewery - Buckhead

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant - Atlanta - GA

Iron Hill Brewery opened their first brewpub, in Delaware, in 1996. By their 20th anniversary they had locations around the mid Atlantic area and had won many awards at the Great American Beer Festival. It was decided to expand outside the original area and to have 20 locations by 2020. The Buckhead location is one of the newest. It is a big place with indoor and outdoor seating. There were still Covid protocols in place starting with a mask available at the door since I left mine in the car! The outdoor area probably helped get through the pandemic and relaxed rules have the inside open for service. I met a friend for a late lunch and we sat at the deserted bar. The beer menu is varied: light brews, IPAs, fruited beers and darks. I sampled the Dankonia and the Philly Phavorite IPAs. I liked the Dankonia; it is a NE IPA with tropical tastes and fresh, of course. The Philly (NE) has more of piny tastes along with the citrus and tropical fruit. The brewpub set up has all the brewing equipment totally in view almost part of the dining room. This ensures fresh beer and local tastes as well. A few examples: Munich Dunkel, not seen at many breweries, a Porter and Vienna Red Lager. On the lighter side a Czech Pilsner and a Light Lager are offered. The spiced and fruity selections included wheat, stout and saisons. Our lunch was very good; triple cheese and bacon sandwich (hard to go wrong with bacon!) with tomato basil soup. i enjoyed my lunch and would return anytime. Atlanta has many new breweries and lunch truned inot a 3 brewery tour! Website: IronHillBrewery.com

Photos of Monday Night Brewing Front and Bar
Monday Night Brewing Photos: Taps / Beer Garden Bar

Monday Night Brewing - Atlanta, GA

Monday Night Brewing Mid Town, home of the Hop Hut, which features all things IPA. My kind of place! At the end of a dead end street the building has several large outdoor tanks featuring some cool artwork. There is an large indoor area and an outdoor patio. It was a Tuesday afternoon and the outside was busy and inside was quiet. The Hop Hut itself wasn't in use but the IPAs were all available. I like the setup where the bar area is accessible form both sides. The indoor area could host a large crowd and has a beer to go area with a great selection. One area is covered with old ties "Tie One On". I don't know the story but they could be discards from office workers that have been set free. I could donate a few myself. There were still Covid precautions in place: Distance by staying a Tiki Monsters length apart. (6 feet) and masks required. Stepping up to the bar I was able to sample a few of the IPAs and found Ethereal Vibrations an excellent 8.5% Double IPA. This one isn't on tap much; it's usually sold in cans only. There are not only the IPAs but a wide selection of other styles. Since this was a quick visit I didn't have time to enjoy them. I will rerun one day soon. We enjoyed the patio on a perfect spring day. Nice and cool and the trees provided good shade form the sun. Most patrons were from the nearby collage and everyone was outside. I have known about MNB for several years and wasn't disappointed. I see a great place to hang and enjoy great beer. The to go brews offer a chance to bring fresh MNB brews home. MNB brews are all over Georgia and will be in SC soon. I look forward to that next visit. Website: MondayNightBrewing.com

Bold Monk Brewing Co Atlanta, GA Photos of Front Bar/ Taps
Bold Monk Brewing Photos of Front and beer garden

Bold Monk Brewing Company - Atlanta, GA

Bold Monk Brewing Company was a chance stop on my 3 brewery tour of Atlanta. We were driving to the third brewery when I saw a sign, on the side of the road, that said only "Bold Monk". Seeing the word 'Monk' made me think of Belgian beers as monks are involved in beer production there. We turned and saw the big metal building pictured just below. So, the third brewery was found. I had no idea that we were in for a visit to one of the coolest and top quality brewery and restaurants in Atlanta. From the outside it is hard to tell what will be found once inside. It's a big place with windows looking out on a big beer garden seating area. There is an upstairs area which includes a bookstore and another bar. The lower level has a great bar and tables all around. The only vestige of Covid was people wearing masks. (That too would soon be gone.) The Bold Beverages menu is stocked with many Belgian styles as well as a few of their ideas on American styles. The wine list is far more than most breweries have. Since this is a restaurant I can see why. The food menu has 'Belgian fare, Southern Comfort and Califirnia Fresh wholesome cusine'. Since we had just had lunch I didn't get to try any food; I would like to come back and fully enjoy it and more samples of beers. The beer list includes a Dubbel, Tripel and a Quad. There were many specialty Belgians, among them a Flanders Red and rum barrel aged versions of several of the house brews. There even was a Russian Imperial Stout. So much beer and too little time... In addition to the house brews there are some interesting local taps; with Barleywines, stout and ciders. There are many high gravity ales here so I would need a driver if I stayed for the evening. After a few samplers I had to get going but will definatly return for a full visit at anothe time. Website: BoldMonkBrewingCo.com

Whightsville Beach Brewery Photos of Beer Flight / Tanks
Wrightsville Beach Brewery Photos of Bar from front and back

Wrightsville Beach Brewing - Wilmington, NC

Wrightsville Beach Brewing was the first brewery on my brewery tour of Wilmington, NC. It was a good starting point as they have a full kitchen. (Usually a good thing at breweries.) Fresh catch tacos were tasty with blackened fish and a side. I had a flight of IPAs (Pictured to the left here.) All were good; my favorite was Citralia a tasty double IPA 8.3 ABV. The 'There goes your social life' triple IPA was also good; it was more bitter than the double and 9.0% ABV. The Rose Brut IPA had a strange flavor profile.Brut IPAs were all the rage several years ago but the style never really caught on; this was the first I had seen in a while. Rose is also a popular fad now; perhaps that and the lower ABV (5.4%) added to the different flavor profile. I liked the large facility that has a long bar and several different seating areas. They can handle a large crowd and I'll guess that weekend nights can be quite busy. Covid was still an issue as they had Plexiglas up all around the ordering station. We were still able to sit at the bar; I think the restrictions were coming to an end shortly after my visit. Our beer tender was friendly and helpful. We asked what breweries were favorites and got some good advice on where to go next. A friendly local, nearby, also mentioned some of the same places. This was something experienced at most of the Wilmington breweries; ask the locals where the best places are. Most of this friendly advice was spot on and our visit was enhanced by it. My companion, Maggie, hadn't been to many breweries but was warming up to them. Most are fun and the people there are the real deal. Great start and lunch for the day to follow. Wrightsville Brewing Website

Edward Teach Beer Photos of Taps / back of bar
Edward Teach Beer Photos of bar area

Edward Teach Beer Co. - Wilmington, NC

Edward Teach has a modern, new taproom. As with many breweries they are housed in an historic building. Originally a fire station, it has had different uses over the years. The design is meant to give the feel of being on a ship. It is a bright and airy space. The day of my visit it was mid afternoon and hot outside. There weren't many people there and the space was cool despite the open garage door. There were five beers on this day. Cutlass, a German Lager, Teaches Peaches a peach wheat ale and a fruited sour. There also were 2 IPAs; Scalawag session IPA (4.5% ABV) and Devil's Son and American IPA at 6.5%ABV. I decided to have the Devil's son IPA. This beer has a citrusy and tropical fruit tastes with a sweet malt backbone. It is double dry hopped and is slightly cloudy. It was a nice pour and picture. I could see that ETB gets busy as there is an upstairs mezzanine area as well as outdoor seating. Music is back with a complete schedule poster behind the bar. A cool feature is a big map where drinkers can place a push pin where they are from. Every state is represented with most from NC / Virginia. The middle Atlantic states are also well represented.

Website: EdwardTeachBrewery.com

Photos from Flytrap brewing Bar / Beer Menu
Flytrap Brewing Photos IPA Crowler / Brewing Area

Flytrap Brewing. - Wilmington, NC

Flytrap Brewing is located in the Wilmington downtown arts district. The brewery and taproom building were formally an office building. It's only a few blocks from Edward Teach Brewing. (Above) The taproom has a modern industrial look and feel. There is some cool art on display; several pieces reflect the brewery symbol of the Venus Flytrap plant. The coolest piece is an aquarium filled with 'flytrap' plants. (View here ) There is also an outside beer garden with space for live music and other events. The core beer menu is varied with flavorful American and Belgain ales. Among the American styles were Hoppy Pale with HBC 586 hops, Rehders Red, West Coast IPA and an Oatmeal Porter. Belgian Styles included a Belgian Blond and Hoppy Tripel. Tripels aren't usually hoppy so this one was unique. My favorite was the West Coast IPA. It was brewed with three types of hops with balanced bitterness. at 7.8 ABV the citrus and piney tastes come out well. I also got a crowler if this one to go. (Pictured here to the left.) It was good to have such a great beer at a later event. The seasonal menu had several more interesting brews. I was able to tour the brewing area and a brewer was working while I was there. The brewing area was clean and the tanks shiny. Flytrap opened in 2014; those fermenting tanks look almost new. The entire facility looks great and more importantly so is the beer. I look forward to another visit. Website: FlytrapBrewing.com

New Anthem Beer Project Photos: Out Front / Taps

New Anthem Beer Project - Wilmington, NC

The visit to the Dock street location was short. The buuilding was originally a livery stable. It is a modern looking taproom with the production brewery at the other location. They are making unique brews here. Through my Trees IPA is brewed with Pils, Rye and wheat fermented with a Belgian yeast. It was hazy and clocked in at 7.4% ABV. It was early in the afternoon and I was getting a slow start. They have many different styles; most of them are mixed fermentation and many are variations of Belgian styles. It was good to come inside to cool down with a cold brew. We cooled off and headed back to the historic downtown area which has many cool older buildings and businesses. Website: NewAmthemBeer.com

Waterline Brewing Photos Taps / Hsitoric Building

Waterline Brewing Company - Wilmington, NC

Located in an old warehouse building, under the Cape Fear bridge, WBC is brewing good traditional brews. It is at the eastern end of the downtown area so is a great place to start / end a downtown visit. We ended ours here. Our beer tender was friendly and we were able to sample most of the brews. Here's the Beer Menu for the week.The owner came over and visited with us as well. I sampled the Red, a Dopplebock and a good Wee Heavy. These were the best brews. The NE IPA was my favorite; most of the beers were true to style and tasty. Rosado was a strawberry Hefeweitzen that was an interesting take on that style. WBC has an outdoor stage with musical acts now coming back on. They distribute locally and are brewing on a state of the art syatem. Website: WaterlineBrewiing.com

Top of the Hill Brewery photos Brew Kettle / Bar

Top of the Hill Brewery (TOPO) - Chapel Hill, NC

Top of the Hill is just off the campus of UNC. Open since 1996, it is a full restaurant and brewery. There are six brews on at any time. The 'What's Brewing' board is a cool feature that lists upcoming beers. There is lots of wood here and the brewery is in full view. We were able to try each beer and I got a pint of the NE 'Hazy' IPA. Most of the beers are traditional English styles. It's nice to see these beers; I wonder if the young people are looking for different styles. The food sounds good; it was the mid afternoon lull so no one was ordering. TOPO is a big place and I imagine it gets very busy when classes are in session and the town is full. It was good, for us, as there was no crowd and service was good. Website: TopoftheHill.com

Photos from steel String brewery

Steel String Brewery - Carrboro, NC

It was after 9 and most of the Chapel Hill breweries were closed or closing. Fortunately, Carrboro is nearby and Steel String is open late every night. Steel String is in a one story older building with plenty of outdoor seating. No one was seated inside; perhaps a vestige of the recently revised Covid rules. The set up is: order at the bar, pick up the order and take it to your table. There were several groups outside which was almost full. There were eight brews on that night and I ordered Big Man American IPA. It was hazy; brewed with three hops. The artwork pictured here is a cool mural behind the bar. Pluck Farm is associated with SSB; this is new so there wasn't much info about it. Website: SteelStringBrewery.com

Photos from Burial Beer Co Taps / Out Front
Photof of Burial Brewing Co Beer Menu / Van Seating

Burial Beer Co. - Asheville, NC

Burial Beer was the first stop on my 'brewery crawl' in Asheville with a friend. It was a good starting place as they have many different beers and a full kitchen menu. It is located in the "South Slope" neighborhood where there are several breweries within a few blocks. Approaching the front, there is a tent for to go orders. Around the side is the taproom and beer garden area. It's a big space with several different seating areas. Inside, the bar still had no seats so everything is outside. Leftover Covid restrictions? The ordering area has a big beer list which included 17 beers that day. Eight were IPAs or some derivative of them. Unfortunately, they don't offer sampler flights at this time. (Covid?) They did allow half pours which let us try more brews. I ordered Spectral Embrace West Coast IPA and Seekers Aren't We All IPA. Each was brewed with several hop varities. Embrace had El Dorado, Citra, Columbus and Centennial hops. The Seekers had Mosaic, Idaho Gem and Mosaic Cyro hops. I liked Embrace more here. We ordered lunch which was good; the food was ready when a text came in. After, we tried the Triple IPA, A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore, which was the best brew so far. With all Mosaic hops and 10% ABV it had a big bold taste. The seating areas are different; the coolest was several old vans with sides removed for seating of groups. Burial has three taprooms around NC and the Forestry Camp which is where their production brewery is located. Indoor dining there offers a full chef inspired menu. Website: BurialBeer.com

Green Man Brewing Photos Green Mansion Bar / Mansion Outside
Green Man Brewing Photos Dirty Jack's Bar shots

Green Man Brewery. - Asheville, NC

A short walk from Burial is Green Man Brewery. The newer area is a three story building The Green Mansion. The mansion has the 'brewtique' on the first floor and a full indoor / outdoor tasting room on the third. This is all new and well maintained as it looks new. There were tourist buses out front and the Mansion can handle some big numbers. We had a round of brews here. I enjoyed The Rainmaker Imperial, Double IPA. At 8.2.% is had big flavor and the alcohol wasn't evident.. My friend had a few samples, ("No Samples" said the sign!), and had a Grateful Haze a 7.0% ABV dank citursy IPA. We sat at a nearby table and were enjoying the beer when a young guy came by and noticed my friends Grateful Dead shirt. He works there and was getting off soon. His girlfriend was a big 'Dead nut and thought they should meet. She approached and they said that we should come to the original tasting room, Dirty Jack's next door. Dirty Jack's is funky and old totally unlike the Mansion. Our kind of place! There were regulars there and our new friends knew most everyone. Trickster IPA was had and the two dead heads got together and compared experiences they had with the band. They both had seen the band many times. This was one of those impromptu moments that happen is craft breweries. Later, I walked around outside and found artwork and murals similar to the Wynwood arts area in Miami. green Man is a fun place to visit; be sure to hit Dirty Jack's when there! Website: GreenManBrewery.com More photos on the GBL FB Album Page

Photos from Twin Leaf Brewing Beers / Brewing area
Photos from Twin Leaf Brewery Beer Menu / Brewing Tanks

Twin Leaf Brewery Brewing. - Asheville, NC

A few blocks away from Green Man is Twin Leaf Brewing. Twin Leaf has been around for years; I just haven't made it there. The brewery building has some Twin Leaf artwork and the entrance is just down the street via an open garage door. Just inside there are aging barrels all around. The taproom is a large space with ordering at the bar and seating there or on a patio outside. it was quiet there today; the space looks like it can hold a large crowd. With the outside offering more space. This is probably the set up for Covid and has been left in place for now. With the resurgence of the virus it was a good decision. The selection is varied with traditional brews along with ciders and seltzers. The 144 IPA (Known as 'Juicy Fruit" to regulars.) is a citrusy west coast IPA. It was quite tasty with good hoppy bitterness and malt sweetness. I enjoyed this beer as much as any on my 'brewery crawl' that day. I also got a small glass of Luminosity Belgian Tripel. It had the authentic taste of Trappist yeast as expected of the style. The 9.0% ABV isn't evident; a few of these could add up! There is a coffee flavored version of this brew as well. We sat outside on the covered patio and it was later in the day and cool for an August evening. That's a nice thing about western NC; even in August; it cools off after the sun starts setting. This one would be good to visit again. Website: TwinLeafBrewing.com

The Eighth State Brewing Co Photos. Tin Sampler / Taps

The Eighth State Brewing Company- Greenville, SC

Eighth State offers a wide variety of different brews. IPAs, strong lagers, sours and seltzers. Looking at the current beer menu; they collaborate with many different breweries. Every beer is totally unique. Lager with 4 hops, many different flavors are used in the different brews. My flight was called 'Flight of Lou - eek'. Served on a muffin tin (Pictured here to the left) there were 4 brews, Phantom Tiptoe was a hazy DDH IPA. (Upper left here.) It was very hazy and thick. Pipe Dreams was a 6% ABV Hefeweitzen. Tropical Tapestry was a smoothie seltzer; it looks like orange juice and was like a shake. Proximal Presence was an Imperial Stout; it was brewed with coffee, chicory, vanilla and toasted almonds. The 13.5% ABV really packs a punch and the tastes did blend well. The taproom has the brewing equipment all around with barrels for aging also everywhere. Website: EighthStateBrewing.com

Think Tank Brew Lab Photos: Sampler / Full bar
Think Tank Brew Lab Photos: Beer Menu / Tanks

Think Tank Brew Lab - Greenville, SC

Think Tank is located in an industrial area near Greenville Downtown Airport. It was a bit hard to find as the actual building is not in view from the road. The tiny obscure sign, along the road, didn't help either. Whatever. Once found it is a huge facility serving great beers. Upon entering, you are looking at a huge warehouse type space with different areas to sit / play. The first is a big area with tables with a long bar behind. The brewing equipment is also visible behind the bar. There are several separate rooms along with a loft that looks over everything. There is also an outdoors area. The set up, another Covid leftover, is: order beer at the bar and take it to your table. There is also some food available. The day I was there there were seven beers available. I got a sample flight of four. Greenline Centennial Single Hops IPA was the best beer of my day. at 6.8% is was quaffable but not too strong. The Centennial hop was pleasantly hoppy with some malt sweetness detectable. Nice job. Big Broon was an 'India Brown Ale'. It was similar to a Red IPA with hoppy and malt tastes. The Porter was smooth with chocolaty and caramel tastes. The stout had coffee notes; toasty with toffee taste. When we came in is was fairly quiet but was filling up as time went by. Overall a good visit and I would recommend it for the great beer and well spaced setup. Website: ThinkTankBrewLab.com

Swamp Rabbit Brewery Photos Outside Rabbit / Sticker Wall
Swamp Rabbit Brewery Photos Taproom / Cool Stuff

Swamp Rabbit Brewery - Travelers Rest, SC

Leaving Greenville, we saw a sign for Travelers Rest. I remembered that Swamp Rabbit Brewery is there. Since we were so close, we decided to visit. I visited SRB years ago when they first opened. Since then, they have expanded outside in two different areas. The beer selection has been expanded and the place still retains much of it's original character. There were Covid rules still in place with Plexiglas panels along the bar and walk up service. There is lots of breweriana and memorabilia around the taproom. I especially liked the growler display. The wall of stickers now covers the entire back of the room! Outside there is a deck and a separate seating area across the parking lot. We sat at the bar and I had the house IPA. It was brewed with three hops; Centennial, Liberty and dry hopped with Willamette. It is 90 IBU giving it a good bitterness. The hops mix gave it some floral and earthy aromas. ABV is 7.5%. At the bar we met a guy who had bicycled the Swamp Rabbit Trail from around Greenville. He rode around 12 miles one way. Apparently many locals do this on a regular basis. Sometimes groups of bicycle riders get together and SRB is the destination and turnaround point. Perfect; ride, have a brew and ride back. The trail looks great and there are expansion plans to add more places. Website: TheSwampRabbitBrewery.com Good People. Good Beer.

Jocassee Valley Brewing Co. - Salem, SC.

It was getting late and we were driving along SC 11 toward home. The Upstate Ale Trail Field Guide listed Jocassee Valley Brewing Co so we were looking for it. I have driven right by this many times. There were a bunch of cars in front so we stopped to check it out. This was a 'drive by' visit as they were closing soon. Inside we were able to get beer; I had Jocassee Joose a NE IPA. They also offer wine. We stepped outside to the small stage area where a bluegrass band was on the last set. Most people were still there and the music was good. This is a very cool setting; outside with the evening coolness and final sunlight fading away. Jocassee Brewing is looking to expand and the city of Salem is bringing water in for better brewing. They offer a few house brews and local guests. Interesting find in the 'middle of nowhere'! We got one picture of the band and would like to return. Website: JocasseeValletyBrewing.com

Photof of Orpheus Brewing Flight / Taps
Photos from Orpheus Brewing To Go Brews / Brewing Area

Orpheus Brewing - Atlanta, GA

Orpheus Brewing is just off the east side of the Atlanta BeltLine. The upper 'deck' offers a view of the trail and park beyond. The front area has a large outside seating area and inside has additional seating. I chose inside as it was warm outside. The taproom has a view of the brewing area and cool artwork and masks are all around. Our beer tender was friendly and helpful. I got the flight shown to the left which was a good start to my brewery crawl. There were three IPAs and a Barleywine. Elusory is their Mosaic Hop IPA. It was 6.7% ABV, the least ABV of the sampler. Transmigration of Souls is their double IPA. The ABV of 10% wasn't evident and four hops are used brewing it. Quad Transmigration of Souls is a Quad IPA clocking in at 12% ABV. I have never had a quad IPA; I have seen triple IPAs but not quads. The quad was brewed with five different hops. It was a good brew very hoppy and bitter. My favorite was the double IPA. As it turns out, I had the double IPA in cans a few months ago. We tried several samplers of some other brews; there is a wide variety of different styles. They are barrel aging some and there are sours on the list as well. The to go department, pictured to the left, is over the top. They bottle / can most of the beers on the taproom list. Over 25 beers! This is quite a list and their beer is distributed all around Georgia. It was a good visit and I would like to return. Website: OrpheusBrewing.com

Dr Scofflaw Brewing Photos Bar / Taproom
Dr Scofflaw Brewing Photos: Brewing Tanks / Taps

Scofflaw Brewing Company - Atlanta, GA

Scofflaw Brewing has a history of expansions since it opened. The latest is Dr. Scofflaw's Laboratory and Beer garden at the Works. This will be a place to try and create new brews. The Works is a large area with a variety of food and drink options. The nearby food hall has everything imaginable and there are other vendors all around the facility. Axe throwing is one option. People can wonder from venue to venue freely. Dr. Scofflaw, for example, serves in plastic to go cups as people are allowed to walk around the different places with whatever drink they choose. Dr. Scofflaw's is a large facility with two sides offering their brews. The brewery is in full view of the back bar. My first visit was a weekday afternoon and it was fairly quiet. It is a brightly lit place with a modern look. I tried three of their IPAs. Scofflaw makes some great IPAs and I wasn't disappointed. Double Jeopardy is a 10% ABV double IPA. It was easy drinking and has a good maltiness along with the hoppiness Hoppy Birds Day was brewed with Two Birds taphouse for their 5th anniversary. It is a west coast double IPA brewed with 3 classic hops and great taste and aroma to go with it. Sucker Punch is an American IPA at 6.5 % ABV it was a 'regular' IPA and quite tasty. I returned on a busy evening where the place was full and the entire Works was hopping. It was NFL opening night with a big group outside for the game. I enjoyed the beers again and got a crowler of Double Jeopardy to go. Dr. Scofflaw's has some great brews and the Works adds to the fun. Website: ScofflawBeer.com

New Realm Brewing Co Photos Taster Flight / Taps
New Realm Brewing Co Photos: Growler Station / 'Lost' View

New Realm Brewing Company - Atlanta, GA

New Realm Brewing is located along the east side of the Atlanta BeltLine. It's several miles south of Orpheus Brewing. (Review above.) Finding it took some driving around as GPS got mixed up! Going in the first floor area has a great beer bar with tanks behind it. There is seating and a Growler Station with all to go beer. I like the facility here as well. It was tastefully decorated in a modern style. There were many small touches that make a simple space into something special. It was mid afternoon and the bar was sparsely populated. I was told about the brewmaster being a big IPA guy which certainly was good. I love the various IPAs and brewer Mitch's IPAs were really good. My six glass flight was all IPAs. I can't remember a brewery with six IPAs available at one time. Below Hazy was a session IPA. (Lower ABV) which was hazy and a light yellow. Hazy Like a Fox is NRBs first hazy IPA. It was double dry hopped with two different hops. Tyrannosaurus Flex is a hazy double IPA brewed with three hops from New Zealand. It has citrus and tropical fruit tastes and 8.5 ABV. Hoptropolis, brewed with Citra, Mosaic, Azacca and Loral Hops yielding pear and peachy tastes. Hoplandia is the first IPA brewed here and totally traditional, which I appreciated. Mas Macho has 'humongous' flavor and is the 'biggest, baddest most macho double IPA of them all'. The upstairs deck area has all the brews with good views of the city. Unfortunatly this view will soon be blocked by the building being built there. Still a fun place. I got several cans to go and look forward to another visit to try the food. Website: NewRealmBrewing.com

Hop City Craft Beer and Wine. - Atlanta, GA..

Just south of New Realm (above) is the Krog District. The Krog Market is a large food hall and market just off the Atlanta BeltLine. Hop City is within the market area. There are 60 different beers on tap. The selection is varied with beers form all over the country. Next door is a complete bottle shop with almost every beer available, in Atlanta, there. My visit was short so I had one beer; The Way a Tripel from Bold Monk a local Belgain brewery. The Krog District is open container which means you can have an open beer, wine or drink and walk all around the area. This is a great feature and Hop City is there "to help you indulge". The bar also has wine and spirits so name your poison! The bottle shop is loaded with hard to find beers and wines. It's a great way to shop for your favorie and collectable bottles. It is a unique experience and there are several locations. Her's a shot of the tap area. Website: HopCityBeer.com/krog

Altanta Brewing Co photos of beer menu and brewing area

Atlanta Brewing Company - Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Brewing has quite a history. Founded in 1993; there have been several iterations since. At one time it became Red Brick Brewing among other changes. 2018 was their 25th anniversary; new management decided to 'rebrand' back to the original name with new graphics. I remember some of this from visits years ago. ABC has some of the original brews and newer styles as well. There are 20 on tap at the taproom; Lagers, Pilsner, Amber Ale, several IPAs stouts and sours. Something for everyone. I tried several IPAs on my short visit. Hartsfield is a 'new' IPA with Citra, Mosaic and Wakatu (New Zealand) hops. Hoplanta is a classic IPA still good after all these years. The brewery has different events; this day is was "Yoga Class with Hops and Flow". Website: AtlantaBrewing.com

Steady Hand Beer Co Photos of 3 IPAs and Taproom Bar

Steady Hand Beer Company - Atlanta, GA

Steady Hand Beer Co is located in a repurposed warehouse on Atlanta's west side. it's a big place with a stage for musical events and an outside patio area. I was there on a Wednesday and there was musical entertainment. There is different cool artwork around the place and a 'bonus' wall of old musical posters. (In the restroom!) I tried the 3 IPAs available and enjoyed each. (Pictured to the left.) Cloudland Hazy IPA was a fruity easy drinking brew. Paradise Waits, also a hazy IPA was a citrus forward IPA with malt sweetness. Flower Business Double IPA was a 'juicy' with tropical fruit notes. It was my favorite. As the band continued, more people came in and were having a good Wednesday evening. Music is big here; see their events page for the latest acts. Steady Hand is 'Holding Steady' as the lighted sign says. Website: SteadyHandBeer.com

Firemaker Brewing Co photos of taps and taproom

Firemaker Brewing Company - Atlanta, GA

Firemaker Brewing Company is family owned and built. The family has been in construction for many years and when they decided to open a brewery those construction skills were good to have. We got in just as the skies opened up which made our visit longer. The facility looks great and there are several areas to enjoy the wide variety of beers. Perfect Match IPA is an American IPA with grapefruit and pine with big citrus tastes and aroma. At 6.5 % ABV it is 'normal' made for all. Hazed and Blazed is a NE 'hazy' IPA with lemon notes. The 7.2% ABV isn't evident; I will have this one again. The beer list is extensive; of note is Rauchbier a German style not seen here much. There is a good mix of German and English styles. They have a great passion for beer here and it shows. 14 on tap and many are available in cans to go. I like FBC and will return for more in the future. Website: FireMakerBeer.com

Round Trip Brewing Co Photos 'Round mtrip' flight and Bar and taps.

 

Round Trip Brewing Company - Atlanta, GA

Round Trip Brewing Company focuses on German styles and styles for American tastes. There were two Hefeweizens, a Dunkel and two Oktoberfest brews. (Marzen and Maibock) Brewer Craig has an extensive background with German styles and has his own interpretations of them. They were unique and tasty. There is a West Coast IPA, Vicarious IPA, that I enjoyed. Isar Hazy IPA is a Hefeweizen / Hazy IPA fusion. It was good and had no bitterness as expected of both styles. Oktoberfest is a Marzen with sweet malty tastes and low bitterness. Wingman Theory is a collaboration with Rahr and Sons Brewing, bringing some of the brewers background to the new brewery. Round Trip has been open since February 2021 and already has a good following. I can see that as a complete kitchen was set up while we were there. (Outside) A few people had already started to come in. I also like the design and decor of the modern taproom. Good use of tile and wood adds a nice touch to the warehouse based brewery. Website: RoundTripBrewing.com

Photos of Second Self Beer Company IPA / Taproom

Second Self Beer Company - Atlanta, GA

Second Self Beer co copy to come...

 
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