A Beery Great Vacation

Back for Nawth Cakkalakka as of 0030 hours this morning, my dear friends, and I must begin by apologizing for my lack of foresight that led to my inability to update while on vacation. So… sorry.

Well, now that’s over, it’s time to move forward and not look back. So, I ask myself:

What is the best way to rejoin cyberspace after a week long absence? How can I endear myself to my loyal readers once again?

The answer is simple: BEER!

So, before I resume my postponed Hip Hop Week on Monday, I will share two beer reviews from my vacation, beginning with North Carolina’s own Blowing Rock Ale, a pale ale recommended to me by two beer enthusiasts employed at the Corolla location of Brew Thru. Below are my tasting notes and an interesting fact about contract brewing (you’ll find this tidbit in my overall rating portion).


A fine looking deep golden colored ale with good clarity. There was little head after I poured the beer into my pint (a beautiful Arrogant Bastard Ale glass that I dropped and shattered this afternoon, drat!). This pale ale appears moderately carbonated.


Basically all aroma was from the hops… a pleasant floral scent. There is no diacetyl and virtually no malty aroma to be found.


Bitter in all the right ways, albeit not strong IPA type bitterness. This bitterness is matched by some good malt presence, despite the lack of malty aroma. While I can’t seem to find anywhere exactly what type of hops are used, the specific quality seems very American to me. Like the aroma, the flavor has a floral quality that is very pleasant.


My favorite thing about the beer is the mouthfeel. It feels light and effervescent with each sip, but finished very crisp and strong. There is a dry, hoppy aftertaste… and while this is often a bad thing for me, it was great in this case. Virtually perfect palate for a warm weather selection.

Overall Rating:

The palate is the best element in this refreshing Spring/Summer style American Pale Ale. What I found most interesting as a Pennsylvanian, was what I found upon further inspection after I poured my pint. Where is this NC beer brewed? WILKES-BARRE, PA! Not surprising, actually as Lion Brewery (located in Wilkes-Barre) makes it’s living brewing recipes of others as a prominent contract brewer. Reading Premium resurfaced in my home area of Reading, PA in the past few years… I soon thereafter found that it was being brewed in Wilkes-Barre. Numerous beers are developed, reintroduced, etc. and then given to contract breweries to do the dirty work. After enjoying this “North Carolina” original, I chuckled to find it was made 2 hours up the road from my home rather that 8 hours South.

~ by thepaintedman on August 8, 2009.

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