And with moving and taxes and now working taking a toll on my time, I'm a few ramblings behind, as they have been to NY, through Memphis and worked their way south already. I will try and catch up this week.
-The Food Monster
Last night I had a chance to make the 20 minute ride east to Black Mountain and check out the tap room at the Pisgah Brewing Co.’s brewery. Pisgah prides itself on brewing great, entirely organic beer (with primarily American-bought ingredients). I went with some friends, all of whom told me they had been meaning to get out there, but hadn’t. In fact, everyone I talk to about the place says that same thing. My advice to those people is lie to your husband/wife/girlfriend/probation officer, make any excuse you have to, and get yourself out there post haste.
Upon arriving, we turned into a large dirt parking lot with surrounded by looming warehouses. It felt a bit like an old detective film scene down by the docks. We eventually found the brewery by the fire burning out back. Inside it was a warehouse. I don’t mean it was an old warehouse that had been converted into a bar and designed to retain it’s cool ‘warehouse’ feel. I mean it was a working warehouse… with a bar along one wall. There were 20 or so people hanging out and drinking beer, a guy playing well selected soul numbers on a set of turn tables on a small stage and some art on the wall opposite the bar. There were a few folding tables, not nearly enough seats for everyone and the general atmosphere of a speak easy. In other words, it was rad.
The beers at the bar were (for the most part) very reasonably priced and you could sample all sorts of stuff that isn’t readily available anywhere else. I made the mistake of not realizing it was cash only, and so was forced to appeal to the generous nature of my friends Eruch and Isaac. I started with a porter and headed out to sit by the fire. The porter was good. Not amazing, but a good solid example of a porter. Outside there was a fire pit and some seats. People passed by us, heading to a little shack out back that houses a pool table and arcade games. This is clearly a company run by guys… young guys.
Dave Quinn (pictured left) is one of those young guys. He was tending the fire and happy to talk to anyone who would listen about his beer. He is quite passionate about it, and it shows in the beer. We chatted a bit and he kindly bought me a pint of Vortex II (an 11% imperial stout). It was great. Wonderful beer. It tasted of burnt caramel with maple on the finish. The Saison (a raspberry farmhouse ale) was excellent as well. It would hold it’s own with any number of more expensive Belgian farmhouse ales. In addition to the great beer and the friendly people, I liked that the place wasn’t overdone. There was a smattering of decorations, and a good pot of beef chili in the corner on a Bunsen burner for all to eat. It wasn’t any more organized than a good college party. I like that.
I hope that as this brewery expands (as they certainly will), they manage to hold onto that patchwork, salt of the earth feel that fits them so well. If you are in the area, get out there and check it out while it still has that wonderful, youthful, organic feel (no pun intended). Starting next week, they are expanding their hours to include Saturday, and adding tours of the brewing facility 2 days a week.
Check out their wesite at www.pisgahbrewing.com for directions and news about whats going on at the brewery.