Barley's Blog

  • A Craft Beer List for St. Patty's Day

    Theresa and Scott here, stealing Barley's blog for a very special St. Patrick's Day post.

    St. Patty's Day during our college years typically meant Red Solo cup after Red Solo cup of terrible tasting green colored beer over the ENTIRE day. However, thanks to wisdom, age and the inability to handle the morning after, we now have a new way of celebrating this Irish holiday.

    This new way includes responsibly savoring delicious craft beers. While it might sound far less exciting, it's much tastier (and easier on the body). So we figured we'd highlight some of our favorite craft beers to help you with your shopping list for tonight and future celebrations.

    Beer Geek Disclaimer: We are geeks in so many ways, but we're not genuine beer geeks in that we can't provide you deep, meaningful insights on the beers we drink. We just really love beer and want to give you some recommendations. If you have any additions or thoughts on our choices, to the comments you go! Also, if you want hard core beer reviews, try Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.

     

    Fullsteam's Working Man's Lunch (Durham, N.C.) *Theresa & Scott's choice
    We both love dark beers, and Fullsteam's Working Man's Lunch perfectly fits the bill. When we first moved to NC, everyone told us we needed to head to Fullsteam Brewery in downtown Durham because you can bring your dog right up to the bar and hang out. We did, and the first beer we ordered was a Working Man's Lunch. It's rich, it's chocolatey, it's delicious. And the fact that Barley was sitting right next to us made the experience that much more enjoyable. 5.5% ABV

     

     The Bruery's Tart of Darkness (Placentia, C.A.) *Scott's choice
    This is a love it or hate it. While Theresa loves anything burn-your-face-off spicy and can take it like a champ, I'm equally that way with anything sour. Tart of Darkness is a great example of a Wild Ale with lots of fruit flavors offset by assertive sourness. I’ve come to enjoy sour beers as a change of pace from the hop-forward trend that’s occurring in craft brews today. ABV varies from vintage to vintage.

     

    Southern Tier Brewing Company's Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout (Lakewood, N.Y.) *Theresa's choice
    I love dessert. It should just be officially added as a fourth meal of the day. Southern Tier somehow figured out how to take one of my favorite desserts and turn it into liquid form in their Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout. Let me tell you.  It.is.glorious. Do yourself a favor, and make an adult float with some ice cream and this beer. Someone get me a straw... 9.5% ABV  

     

    The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery's Milk Stout (Farmville, N.C.) *Scott's choice
    Like we said earlier, I’m a fan of the darker beers like porters and stouts. Duck Rabbit’s take on the milk stout provides chocolate and coffee aromas, and a rich mouth feel with just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness of the style. 5.7% ABV

     

    Mother Earth's Weeping Willow Wit (Kinston, N.C.) *Theresa's choice
    I'm normally not a wheat fan. I can't put my finger on it, but I just never found one that I'd be willing to drink regularly...until I had a Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit. The first time I had it was during our annual family Thanksgiving beer tasting (more on that in a future post), and I've been hooked ever since. This beer is incredibly light, crisp and drinkable, especially in the summer. 5% ABV

     

    Three Floyds Brewing Company's Robert the Bruce (Munster, I.N.) *Scott's choice
    Did you know you can bike from downtown Chicago to Three Floyds Brewery in Munster, Indiana? It's about 55 miles round trip on the Lakefront trail. I did it once with a group of buddies and nearly made it all the way home, but Theresa and Barley had to come pick me up about 10 miles away on the ride home when my legs gave out on me. However, the pain was worth it. Robert the Bruce is another beer for folks who want a change from hop-forward IPAs. This Scottish ale is very malty, with little hop bitterness present. 6.5% ABV

     

    Yuengling Traditional Lager (Pottsville, P.A.) *Theresa's choice
    I bounced around a lot as a kid because of my dad's job, but I still consider myself a Pennsylvanian because that's where I spent the first 12 years of my life. Even though I was born in Latrobe, home of Rolling Rock beer and Arnie Palmer, there's a special place in my heart for Yuengling Traditional Lager. Scott says it's a "session beer," meaning you can drink it for hours on end due to its low alcohol content and balanced flavors. I say this is true, but ultimately, it's all about the fact that it reminds me of home. Sure, it's technically not a craft beer, but I couldn't make a list of my faves without this one. My sister and brother-in-law usually have it on tap in the kegerator in their garage, which I think helped Scott know that he was being taken into a good family during his first visit. 4.4% ABV

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