The Finale: NC Brewery Tour

The way in which we began this journey, is the way we never end because once you have traveled, the voyage holds no bound.

As we draw to the end of this journey, I’ve realized I’m actually far from the end. North Carolina housed an intimate love for brewing which was not captured through beer, but through the people; the conversation, the buildings and the landscape. As I continue to reflect on the last 3 days, I realized that it is not solely beer that makes beer important, but it is truly the people. I have been amazed at the process of making beer, the commitment to making beer and the inspiration for making beer; what an intense ride I’ve had so far.

Sierra Nevada Brewery

This leads me to the top tier of all of my visits. Remember, up until this point, I have toured 14 breweries and I’ve been very impressed by them all.

But here we are in River Mills, NC, at the god of all breweries, Sierra Nevada.

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I drive in on a fairly long road; over s bridge and creek that ultimately led me to a roundabout, bringing me to the focal point of this tour, Sierra Nevada.

I stood in amazement because I am literally flabbergasted at the sheer size of this brewery, which looked more like a resort than a place were wort, yeast and wasted hops are stored and spilled onto the floor.  It was majestic.

I want to share the same video we started with on the tour. This video really tugged on some heart strings and made me appreciate the inspiration; that is Sierra.

One of the surprising and most beautiful aspects of this brewery was its overwhelming presence of copper. It was gorgeous. Sierra also had a complete science laboratory where they test and took samples of the brews that they made. Testing it for consistency and impurities; their commitment to great beer was impressive.

So I want you to close your eyes and walk with me to the fresh hop cooler of Sierra Nevada. My goodness!! It was heaven. The aromas of el dorada, citra and my favorite hop, mosaic were peaceful and relaxing. The room was cool in temperature and the fragrance was heavenly.

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We then walk down long hallways and up stairs, through perfectly lit tunnels and key pad restricted doors to tasting a variety of  beers. After this, I eat. Now, if I made their beer sound delectable, just wait until you hear about the food!!! This place is 5-Star for sure. Joyce Farm Chicken Wings with a Torpedo hot sauce, Harissa Rubbed Lamb Ribs, Duck Fat Fries and Stout Mustard Aoili Burger!!! The service was impeccable and the food was gourmet!!

Beer Check:

  • Attack from Mahrs
  • Peach IPA
  • Tropicuzu –  American Pale Ale
  • Single Hop –  IPA
  • Grisette d’Orge
  • Session Rye
  • Audition Session IPA
  • Audition Belgian Golden w/ Lemon

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This was phenomenal. Please, if you plan on going to Sierra Nevada Brewery, invite me! I’l drive the 3 hours to meet you there and we will have a great time!! Cheers!!

 

Thomas Creek Brewery

So on my way home to Georgia, I amused myself and type in brewery on my maps and to my surprise, Thomas Creek was only 10 miles from my current location. So did I stop? Hell yea I did.

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This was a nice little quaint spot and because I happened to stop in on a Monday, a pint was only $3. Damn! Too bad I had to drive, because I really would’ve had more than 2 beers!

Beer Check:

  • Castaway Chocolate Orange IPA
  • The Coco Nutty Professor – American Stout
  • Dockside Pilsner
  • Class Five IPA

What an experience. I don’t need to say much more than that. But I do have one question, where should this journey take me next? I’m ready for another tour!!

-Eric

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