Have some spare time on a weekday? Then help out at Thomas Creek Brewery! I can speak from experiencing bottling there that it’s hard work, but worth it, and everyone on staff I met was extremely nice.
I’m probably the last person to have tried these seasonals, but here’s my take on some of the latest new beers to grace Upstate SC taps.
After being teased by test batches months ago, I was exited to try the official 864 Weizen at WheatFest in May. This Bavarian-style hefeweizen hits all the right notes, with banana and clove flavors and a refreshing effervescence.
With a darkness nearing purple, this Belgian Quad offers fig and raisin flavors with a lighter mouthfeel and minimal carbonation. It’s no Yeoman’s, but it’s pretty darn good
I’ve heard from a lot of folks who love this one, but it’s my least favorite of the summer options. The initial aroma is heavy on the jalapeno scent, but there’s only a small amount of heat on the finish. The major flavor is an earthiness that didn’t settle with my tastebuds.
Unlike the Tolba offering with nigh-impossible to detect blueberries, the Strawberry Wit encapsulates the summer fruit in both a sweet aroma and a light flavoring. This is the perfect summer beer.
Raspberry White Ale
I’m not a big raspberry fan, so I didn’t have high expectations for this. Much of the fruit comes early on, with raspberry tartness fading to a wheat finish. It was a good beer, but not my favorite of this batch.
Crashed websites make my day job hard to complete, so I stopped by Twitter for some entertainment and distraction. Are you following Daniel Hartis, author of Beer Lover’s The Carolinas? You should be! He’s a wellspring of Carolina beer knowledge, news and entertainment, such as this latest attempt to make #beerbooks happen:
I love when two worlds—my literary background and my beer love—collide, so come join us on Twitter and add your favorite beer-themed book titles. You’ll find me @SCBeerChick.
You can never have too much learnin’. I recently participated in the Greenville Growler Station‘s Beer 101 semester: three weekly, one-hour classes. Offered throughout the year alongside other educational series, such as style-centric classes or pairing courses, Beer 101 covers the history of beer, the various styles of beer and the basics of beer and food pairings.
When I arrived to my first class on a Wednesday evening, I was welcomed by manager Pierre Goulette and Jon Richards as the first student—and perhaps the only one. While the class usually enjoys a dozen or more eager participants, I somehow managed to be the only student for the first two sessions. The one-on-one approach was a bit odd (courtesy of me, the anxious, awkward one in the pair), but Jon was a champ!
Jon and I settled into the sunset-lit seating area for the first lesson and first beer. Yes, one of the joys of Beer 101 is that you both learn about beer AND drink it! Each class features at least five samples to go along with the lesson.
My Cicerone-certified teacher was eager to teach, not intimidate, was entertaining and was kind to answer my questions about both the topics at hand the store in general.
Always intrigued by history and having recently watched How Beer Saved the World, I thoroughly enjoyed the first class. The second class on styles was perhaps my favorite because it’s a topic I’m eager to expand my knowledge of. And the final class on pairings, which was blessed with three friends of mine and four new faces, offered many gems that have inspired summertime party plans.
I highly recommend this casual, educational and tasty set of classes. You can sign up for the semester of three courses ($25) or pay for each class individually ($10). Follow Greenville Growler Station on Facebook or Twitter for news of the next Beer 101 sessions.