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Epidsode 12 – Carolina Brewery

Carolina Brewery

iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Garden

Hey folks, we’re back! I’ve been sitting on a few episodes for awhile and finally have gotten the chance to sit down and do some editing!!  Here’s a cool episode for you to check out.  I left some fairly hilarious things in the podcast, like me yelling at Mike for smacking his lips all the time and us struggling to nail the closing down.  It all made me laugh out loud while editing, so I hope you find it just as funny.

Mike and I went and visited Carolina Brewery in downtown Chapel Hill a few months back to enjoy some of Mike’s home town brews.  We had a great time and enjoyed the beer.  This was the first brewery we went to that one of us had a decent amount of experience with basically all the beers.  I had tried a few of the brews, but Mike has spent a lot of time over at the brewery from living in town.  Either way it was nice to sit down and enjoy some cold beer in the Thrill.  I highly suggest stopping by the brewery if you’re around down town CH because the food, service and beer are all great.  I can’t say enough about how well the people over there have been kind and friendly to us.

Give the podcast a listen and remember to rate us 5 stars and leave a review if you’re listening to us through iTunes.  Follow us on Facebook by searching for On Tap with Fitz and Mike, Instagram, Twitter and Untappd all @ThisIsOnTap.  For an easy way to find all of our links, head on over to our “About Me” to be a click away from us.

Thanks again for stopping by and always remember if you’re going out to drink make sure you call a cab, pick a designated driver and always, always drink responsibly.  Sláinte!

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Fitz’ Picks 6-24: The Cans Edition

Hello all!  It’s been a minute since the last post, but hey, I’ve been busy.  Coming at you this week with an all canned edition of Fitz’ Picks.  I know it’s that time of year where everyone wants to bring beer to the pool or beach where there is no glass allowed.  I’ve get asked on almost a daily basis what canned beers I recommend, so I figured I’d post a little blog for all of you out there to check out and get your hands on some of this stuff if you can!  See what I did there?  You’re welcome.  Let’s get to it!

Sierra NevadaSummerfest          ABV:  5%

Very enjoyable and sessionable beer here.  They call it a summer lager, it’s also listed as a Czech Pils, it doesn’t matter to me what style of beer it is, it’s just good.  Light and refreshing, with a subtle sweet malty finish this beer reminds me of a less bitter version of the Pale Ale, which happens to be my go to beer these days and has replaced the Bud Light of my early 20s.  I could pretty much always go for one of these to just have in my hand when it’s hot and I want a cold, cold beer.

Nebraska Brewing Company India Pale Ale          ABV:  6.5%

Hands down one of the best IPA’s I’ve had in awhile.  Citrus and floral nose, citrus is the first thing that hits your palate followed by a nice caramel maltiness and finishes with a nice piney hop resiny bitterness.  Also has a slightly thicker, more syrup like mouth feel leaning it to seem more like a DIPA.  Dangerously good and seemingly easy to drink for a 6.5% beer, this one could get you in trouble, but it’s worth it!

Anderson Valley Brewing CompanyThe Kimmie, the Yink & the Holy Gose          ABV:  4.2%

Let me just start off by saying, this is on of the best beers I’ve had in awhile.  Period.  Regardless of style.  It’s that good.  It’s even better on draft too.  Has a slightly citrus yet funky nose to it that isn’t over powering.  It has a nice dry citrus flavor to it with the perfect tart finish.  It makes your mouth water just enough that you want to drink more.  Very thin body and very lightly carbonated.  It really is the perfect session beer.

There you have it beer fans, 3 great canned beers to enjoy responsibly in glass free zones or to have anywhere for that matter!  Always remember to enjoy your favorite brews responsibly, call a taxi, pick a designated driver, just never get behind the wheel of a car.  I’ll be back soon with more Fitz’ Picks but until then, sláinte!

 

Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Instagram and me on Untappd all @ThisIsOnTap and Like us on Facebook at On Tap with Fitz and Mike! Just click the links to be brought to our pages!

Fitz’ Picks 4/3 – The Sour Edition

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything or gotten a podcast out, I know, but I have been very busy with working two jobs and trying to maintain something of a social life.  So here is a Fitz’ Picks for all you sour fans out there because that’s what I’ve been enjoying the most as of lately.

 

New Belgium Lips of FaithLe Terroir          ABV:  7.5%

One of the most complex beers I’ve had in a very long time.  Drank it out of a 10 oz snifter, so every sip I took my nose was hit by mellow funkiness which changed as the beer warmed up a little into having an underlying piney hop scent.  Subtle sweetness and caramel malts rush over your palate and finishes with a crisp, dry tartness that really leaves you feeling refreshed.  I wish I could have had this beer after being outside on a hot and sunny summer day.  If you can still find this beer, get your hands on it and take time to enjoy it!

Thirsty DogCerasus Dog          ABV:  5%

Got to try this for the Thirsty Dog tap takeover at Bottle Mixx and couldn’t get enough of it.  Aged for 2 years so it really mellows out.  There isn’t much sweetness but more tartness coming off this one from the 70 lbs of cherries added to the barrel (which you don’t get much flavor from).  Not nearly as complex as the Le Terroir but in the same wheel house.  This beer was excellent, especially for someone new to the genre.  Light funky nose, lots of body, not over powering flavor and a dry tartness that lingers on your palate.  Cool brew, try it out.

Petrus Oud Bruin          ABV:  5.5%

Delicious, mouth watering, FUNKY! Those are words that come to mind when I think of this brew.  But this isn’t for the faint of heart, nor would I suggest to someone who has never had a sour beer to start with this one.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it is really funky.  Like one step down from smelling like old gym socks funky.  Aged in oak barrels, that you can taste in the middle of your palate, this one pulls no punches and is sour forward as opposed to being tart like the others.  This is definitely something you’ve got to try yourself to realize the complexity of flavors!

Happy drinking to all and to all drink responsibly!  Sláinte!

Fitz’ Picks 2-26

We have a bunch of  cool stuff coming up and will be updating you on the regular.  First off, due to 400 combined likes we’ll be shooting a short video hopefully within the upcoming few weeks and will be posted on here most likely through a YouTube episode.  That being said thanks for all the likes and follows on the social media accounts.  If you haven’t yet please do! 

 

Wicked Weed Brewing – Black Angel Cherry Sour          ABV:  6.6%

Brewed with over a pound of tart cherries per barrel.  It has a mildly funky nose and a lip smacking, eye opening tartness.  You can really taste the cherries, a little vanilla and has a slight boozy flavor.  It is jet black and has no head.  I’m really getting into the sours and this is a must try if you’re going to the brewery down in Asheville.  It’ll change your life!

Victory Brewing Company – Hop Ranch          ABV:  9%

One of the best imperial IPAs I’ve had as of now.  Has a very tropical citrus nose and is full of citrus flavors.  Not overly syrupy like a lot of imperials but thicker than a normal IPA.  More sweet than bitter.  Dangerously delicious and too easy of a drinker for 9%.  A must have before the winter season is over and you can’t get it until next year!

Crank Arm Brewing – Derailleur          ABV: 10.8%

Excellent barley wine style ale.  Head down to Crank Arm and try this!  It’s not overly sweet and has a great balance of malty and sweet flavors.  I promise you it’s worth the trip to downtown Raleigh and check out the brewery.  I’ve had all their beers that are currently on tap and if you’re headed out and would like my recommendations, send us an email, hit me up on twitter or facebook.

 

Thanks for checking in for this weeks Fitz’ Picks!  I’ll be back next week with 3 more brews for you to try!  If you’re headed out to get your drink on always remember to call a cab, pick a designated driver, drink responsibly and CHEERS!

Episode 11 – Trophy Brewing

Trophy Brewing

iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Garden

For all of you listeners out there in North Carolina, I wanted to get this episode up before Winter Storm Pax knocked out all of our power.  If you have the chance go over to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast to download the newest episode from Trophy Brewing in Raleigh and be sure to upload it to your iPod so you have something to listen to if you end up losing power!  Please remember to rate us and leave a review while you are there.  For all of you who aren’t iTunes users, we are now on Stitcher Radio.  So clicking the link at the top of the page will bring you to our Stitcher page and you can also download the Stitcher app on your Android or iOS device to stream the podcast from your phone!

For episode 11 of On Tap, Mike and I headed over to Trophy Brewing located right outside of the heart of Downtown Raleigh.  They are exclusively known from making great pizza as well as great beer.  On our trip we didn’t get the chance to have any food, but I know I’d love to head back out at first chance to see how it holds up.  Trophy is a very small location and if you don’t have your GPS out or are very familiar with the area, chances are you will pass it!  Inside there is a relatively long wrap around bar, some family style seating in the main area as well as in the secondary “porch” that is in its own room outside of the main area inclosed by just windows.  There are also a few benches and a two seat wooden table outside the location, this is where Mike and I sat to record this episode.  Other than being well hidden and small, this is an excellent location for an intimate setting with a few close friends or loved ones to really enjoy some great beer and food.  For the record, neither of us were familiar with the style of Cascadian Dark at the time of recording so our guess was completely wrong in the recording and it is a Black IPA.  So give this one a listen and hear Mike take shots at Conway (without him hearing the Heist podcast Conway and I did), use discuss 4 Trophy brews, we talk about Mike being a savant or possibly having Asperger syndrome, as well as our normal random tangents and ridiculousness.

Also, let it be known we hit over 400 combined FaceBook and Twitter followers this week so hopefully sometime soon we will be recording a short video episode for all of your viewing pleasure.  Mike is still being stupid about it and trying to back out of it, so please feel free to tweet at us or post on our FaceBook about how much you want to see us do a video!  Follow me on Twitter @ThisIsOnTap, on Instagram @ThisIsOnTap, Facebook at On Tap with Fitz and Mike, and UnTappd at ThisIsOnTap to keep up with all On Tap news, up to the minute thoughts and beers being held in my hand!  And a big thanks to all of you out there who are following us, like the posts, pictures and everything else that is put up and help gain us a bigger following by sharing our information on with friends.  One last thing for this week, head on over to Best of the Triangle 2014 – Indy Week and vote for us for Best Local Blog/Twitter Account/Instagram Account!  This would be really cool to win one or all and really help gain some exposure.  Thanks again for listening and reading, but always remember if you’re going out to drink make sure you call a cab, pick a designated driver and always, always drink responsibly.  Sláinte!  I’m off tap

trophy_drafts trophy_boardtrophy_flights

 

Fitz’ Picks 2-5

With the weird weather last week, I was thrown off on my days and by Thursday afternoon I realized I hadn’t done a Fitz’ Picks for the week and decided to just wait.  Glad to be back, now lets talk about beer.

Stillwater Artisanal Ales – Cellar Door          ABV:  6.6 %

Wow, that’s all I’ve got.  And if this wasn’t a blog, that’s all I’d say.  This is hands down the best Farmhouse Ale I’ve ever had and my new favorite Belgian Style beer.  It has a very earthy nose mixed with the citrus scents of lemons and orange zest.  As soon as it hits your tongue you then are taken on a ride somewhere completely different and taste the spicy saison yeast that makes a Belgian Style unique and it finishes dry leaving a slight lingering flavor of herbs and spices in your mouth.  Very interesting and complex, extremely delicious.  I can’t wait for warmer weather because I could sit out in the sun and drink this all day!

NoDa Brewing Company – Hop Drop ‘n Roll          ABV:  7.2 %     IBU:  80

I’ve been waiting for months to try anything from NoDa because I’ve heard so much about them.  The problem is they don’t distribute to the Triangle.  Good news is, they’ll totally sell you beer if you go pick it up and I happen to work for some people that were very willing to do that, so I finally got to drink 16 oz of deliciousness while watching the Super Bowl this past Sunday.  This is one of the few beers that I have given 5 stars on Untappd and it deserves it.  Perfect balance between a citrus aroma and piney hop flavor.  Goes down smooth has minimal lingering bitterness.  I think NC has just been put on notice for best IPA in the state and everyone else should just try to perfect a different style, you lost already, stop the fight!  But in all seriousness, an excellent made beer that you must seek out and try.

Sneaky Penguin Sr – Homebrewed Milk Stout

Yeah, that just happened.  One of the best beers I’ve gotten to try over the last few weeks was my good friend Chris’ dad’s homebrew.  He made an excellent Milk Stout, not too sweet, a little boozy, went down smooth, and had a silky full mouthfeel.  I’m going to skip a lot of description here because you more than likely will never be able to try this beer, unless Chris poured you a taste out of his growler or until Chris opens Sneak Penguin Brewing Company and steals his dad’s recipe.  Instead what I want to put out there is the idea of homebrewing.  If you’re as passionate as I am about beer or the people I surround myself with for that matter, go buy some equipment and try brewing your own beer!  If you know someone who brews, ask them to try it! And when you make your own share it with every person you see.  That’s the best part of craft beer.  So quit reading and start brewing!

 

As a reminder always call a cab, pick a designated driver, drink responsibly and don’t forget to CHEERS!

Fitz’ Picks 1-23-14

This week I got to try a few really good beers and it was hard to narrow it down and just write about three. I think I’ve come up with the best/most interesting to try. Here we go!

Smuttynose – Durty Mud Season Hoppy Brown Ale          ABV: 8.4%     IBU: 55

This is classified as a brown IPA and is a very interesting beer.  It’s hops forward and it’s big and earthy.  It follows by going down very smooth and nutty with a hint of cocoa.  The balance is perfect and they both mellow fairly quickly.  There is a biscuity mouth feel to this one.

Starpoint Brewing – DUH!          ABV: 8%     IBU: 88

This is a wheat and rye double IPA.  It poured with an orange tint to it and had a huge white foamy head, it reminded me of sea foam at the ocean.  You can taste the rye first and foremost, followed by a tropical fruit citrus flavor and finishes with a sugary sweetness.  DUH! is fruity and earthy, very drinkable with a slight warming effect.

Parallel 49 – Salty Scot          ABV: 7.5%     IBU: 17

Hands down one of the most interesting Scotch ales I’ve had and would buy this one again.  It’s packaged as a sea salted caramel Scotch ale and that’s exactly what it smells like.  As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell it and when it poured, it just took your nose by storm with a mouth watering scent of salty homemade caramel.  The taste was a lot more mellow but still sweet and malty.  Goes down easy and smooth, goes down really easy.

There you have it people.  Fitz’ Picks for the last week.  So many beers, so little time.  Make sure you always drink responsibly, call a cab, pick a designated driver and CHEERS!

Fitz’ Picks 1-15-14

Sorry for posting this a day late, but with my computer in route to the chop shop I am only able to do stuff at work for now.  I don’t like the interface of the WordPress app on the iOS, especially for writing new articles.  Anyway, it’s been a rough week for trying new beer.  Aside from finally catching the bug that’s been going around, I just haven’t been wowed by much of the beer I had over the last week.  However, the three I’ve chosen are all excellent and would gladly drink any and all of them again at any given point.  Honestly these 3 made it easy for me to decide what to write about. Without further ado, Fitz’ Picks of the week….

Hi-Wire – Strongman Coffee Milk Stout          ABV: 5.3%

This guy gets his name for a reason.  Pours dark black with a thin tan head.  You immediately smell black coffee, as if you just brewed a fresh batch.  If you aren’t a fan of coffee, you might not dig this brew.  It tastes like drinking an iced coffee with no sugar.  The coffee is added after fermentation so any sweetness that was there gets wiped out.  A really delicious blend of two of my favorite things.

Left Coast Brewing Company – Hop Juice          ABV: 9.7%     IBU: 82

A great double IPA with the right balance of citrus and piney flavors.  It has an almost syrupy mouthfeel that comes along with a lot of these imperials.  This definitely sets the bar for what a 2IPA should taste like.  The hops really start to coat your tongue by the time you’re taking your last sip, so don’t be shocked if it starts to get prickly feeling or your tongue goes a little numb.  Also at almost 10% you can definitely feel the alcohol warmth as you continue taking sips.

Heavy Seas Beer – Yule Tide          ABV: 9%

An imperial red ale aged in Jamaican rum barrels for 6 weeks….just let that soak in for a second.  This is really unlike any other beer I’ve had, yet it tastes very familiar to something I’m sure we all drank a lot of back in our early days of boozing.  It has a strong hoppy nose that is immediately dispelled after you take your first sip.  After a short discussion with a coworker, it was settled, this tastes like drinking a Vanilla Coke and spiced rum drink.  Nothing else added, that says it all.  It’s pretty delicious and if you can find it you have to try it!

 

Well folks, that’s Fitz’ Picks for the week.  Stay tuned for our Trophy Brewing podcast coming out soon.  Also Mike and I are going to be recording an “episode zero” sometime soon where we’ll sit down with a few beers and not really talk about them, but talk about us.  We’re going to bring you guys the back story of our friendship and how we got in to the craft beer scene.  As for now, make sure you always designate a driver, call a cab, drink responsibly and CHEERS!

Episode 10 – Heist Brewery

Heist Brewery

iTunes linkPodcast Garden link

 

Finally, the blog to go along with the podcast that is up and streaming!  Before getting into the meat of this blog I’d like to point your attention to the new section on the page entitles Fitz’ Picks.  Here I’ll be posting once every week, on Wednesdays, and giving a short blerg on the three best beers I’ve had in the week prior.  I also hope to get some guest spots in this section from people you may have heard from before, but we’ll see!  In other news, if you haven’t seen we are now on Instagram so follow us, at ThisIsOnTap, for pictures of what I am drinking, reading, eating or just whatever I feel like taking a picture of at the moment.  If you are downloading the podcast from iTunes, please click the subscribe button and take two seconds to rate the podcast as well as leave a review for us.  Head on over to Podcastland.com and vote for us so we can have a shot at winning podcast of the month, yes I’m going to ask you to do it every month until we win!  Plus it only takes two seconds.  And lastly, head on over to our friends at Cork & Oak to check out the article I wrote on our favorite breweries in the triangle! (Top 3 Favorite Breweries link) Shoutout to Michelle for being my editor on everything, too!

This story starts out at the end of sophomore year in college where Mike and I went to a party and Mike introduced me to this guy named John (it was weird and that’s why everyone still calls me Fitz).  But that entire story will be saved for another time and another blog.  The point is, he has been begging me to come to Charlotte and visit since he moved back to the area after college and especially since Mike and I started doing the podcast because he wanted to be a part of it.  Over Veteran’s Day weekend I finally had a chance to do so, but Mike couldn’t come “because of his job” aka something he easily could have cancelled and came with.  (Hence why we bash Mike so frequently in the podcast, plus it’s always funny to pick on Mike regardless what for and for that we love him.)  I digress, John wanted to take me to his favorite brewery in Charlotte to do a recording and naturally I obliged.  He likes good beer, but has a similar palate to Mike so I really had no idea what to expect out of the place and just figured it would be good!

Heist has a pretty awesome location in the NoDa area of Charlotte.  They for sure had the biggest space I’ve been to since doing the podcast.  It’s a huge brick building that looks like a warehouse with an awesome wooden fence that lines the side and has, only what I can guess to be, the Queen City skyline painted along it.  The wrap around bar was modest in size compared to the projector screen TV on the wall or the amount of seating available at the high top tables.  There was even more seating on the other side of the wall that creates a natural seperation between the bar and the “restaurant” which is facing the open kitchen area.  They even have an upstairs area that has more seating and games and such as well as an outdoor patio on the back side of the building.  The bartender was helpful and I wasn’t timid with B lining straight for him when we walked in the door to order our flights.  He let us know that a few of their beers were not available because on Monday’s they rotate their kegs with new product, so whatever kicks over the weekend stays gone on a Sunday night.  Which I understand and wasn’t bothered by because I was still going to be able to try some new beer from a place I’d never been, I was only a little bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to try this Raspberry Porter (I think) that was apparently pretty damn good (said John’s lady friend, I don’t know how trust worthy she is because she hates everything or that just means it was that freakin awesome and I missed out). 

The main storyline here is that Heist makes session style beers.  If you’re looking for something crazy, something with off the wall ingredients, something with layers and depths of flavors that you argue with your tastebuds about because you can’t place them…then you should probably go somewhere else.  They are making good beer, by the books.  There are pulled punches, it’s just straight forward which in this day and age of craft beer I appreciate the hell out of it!  I’ve been to some places to order what I think is going to be what it says it is and my palate is getting tongue punched by something I was not expecting and did not want!  All of the beers we tried tasted how they should, tasted what you expect them to taste like and I loved it.  You keep doing you Heist and let the other places fail in making crack pot ideas of brews.  I’ll take a perfectly brewed hefeweizen over a chocolate pretzel raspberry doughnut stout any day of the week and twice on Sunday, even though I love stouts more than any other style of beer.  Also, the food at Heist is on point and from the people I know in Charlotte you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t heading out there on Sunday to get brunch.  But it is important to a place that is trying to make a name for itself in the food and craft beverage side of things at the same time to have food and beer that go well together.  They know what their doing at Heist, bottom line, so go check them out!

Make sure when you do go out to enjoy your adult beverages in moderation and always drink responsibly, call a cab, pick a designated driver and CHEERS!

 

 

For more info on Heist Brewery, just click their name at the top of the page which will take you straight to their website which has links to all of their social media sites as well.

1st Picks 1-8-14

I’m still riding this porter/stout season pretty hard! I looked in my beer drawer last night and only saw dark beer.  My Session Fest by Full Sail was the only beer that wasn’t a porter or stout.  Yeah, that’s how I roll.  I digress…on to the reason you’re here…

Fitz’ Picks for the week

Asheville Brewing Company – Ninja Porter          ABV: 5.25%

This deadly assassin packs a wicked punch! Nice chocolaty aroma, thick creamy head, smooth malty flavor, hints of smoke as it warms up.  It tastes like a porter but drinks like a stout with an excellent thick mouthfeel. 

Left Hand Brewing Company – Milk Stout NITRO          ABV: 6%

You have to get the NITRO version.  In my opinion it’s better than the regular and it’s also best if you can find it on tap.  However, bottles will do and that’s how I drank it.  If you’ve never had a milk stout you should start year, this one is basically the gold standard.  You get nice coffee and chocolate notes with a easy finish that leaves a vanilla sweetness lingering on your palate.  (An explanation of nitro beers will be in the Need To Know section of the website and yes this isn’t just part of the name of this one beer, it’s a process in which any beer can be poured)

Green Man Brewery – Forester          ABV: 6%

Can’t go wrong with any Green Man flagships, this was my first seasonal release I’ve had and I wasn’t disappointed.  You really get a sense of drinking a dark roast coffee from this one with an added smokiness.  There is more of a silky mouthfeel to this stout where I generally enjoy something with more body, like the thickest milkshake you’ve ever drank, but I did really enjoy it.  If you’re seaking out this brew be sure to pick up Green Man’s ESB and IPA while you’re at it, if you haven’t had them already.  You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t!

And there you have it folks, my top 3 favorite beers I’ve had over the last week!  So go drop by your local craft beer and bottle shop and pick up a sixer of something good.  Always drink responsibly and always check out what’s on tap! Cheers!

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