JMC loves everything about beer. He homebrews, reads about it all the time, tries as many different kinds as he can, and has even started a blog about it (BrewNC.blogspot.com). He and his oldest brother (he has 3 older brothers) have sort of fueled each other in their dream to start their own brewery. So naturally, through his obsession, I have become somewhat beer-obsessed as well. Which means I'm totally okay with being a part of this "opening a brewery" idea so I can drink delicious beer for the rest of my life (with the only downside really being the extra calories).
I'm not talking about plain old Bud Light or anything; it had even gotten to a point before we graduated that we brought our own good beer to parties. Sure, some might consider us "beer snobs," but I'm okay with that. It used to be that when someone asked me what my favorite beer was, I would say "Blue Moon." Don't get me wrong, Blue Moon is delicious, but it was just the gateway beer to the ridiculous amounts of amazing craft beers there are surging through America right now.
Whereas for a long time America was scoffed at for our choice of beer, we are emerging with a craft brewing industry with a creativity that, I think, blows many of the European beers out of the water. JMC and I have the privilege of living in North Carolina, where brewing laws are pretty lenient and craft brewing is booming. Asheville has been named "Beer City USA" for three years in a row now, beating out the usual contenders like Denver and Portland. The Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area has some great craft breweries as well, including Carolina Brewery, Fullsteam, Roth, and Aviator.
Last weekend, we toured Roth Brewery in Raleigh and it was awesome. The people there were so nice and willing to talk to us about anything we were interested in. They even told JMC that he could come brew with them sometime! We got to taste all of their beers, and my favorite was definitely the Raleigh Red. It was very drinkable, but unique with great flavors.
Besides Roth, we have been to a number of other breweries in NC as well, including Top of the Hill and Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte, Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, and Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville. If you want more info about our experiences at any of these places, JMC has written posts about most of them on his blog (linked above).
What I'm most looking forward to right now is the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ festival in Cary this weekend that we bought a Groupon for. The Groupon was for a $35 VIP ticket that includes all the beer, bourbon, and BBQ that you could want. Considering JMC and I basically LIVE for beer and barbeque, this event should prove to be right up our alley. I will definitely give the deets after going on Friday!