Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Road-trippers Guide to the Beerlaxy - Part 1

A Momentous Name for a Momentus Vacation

I have arrived home from the most successful vacation I have taken to date. A vacation success is measured by the amount you remember, the amount you forget, and the amount of fun you have in between. Quantity is increased by retrieving copious amounts of plunder, and stuffing your body with tasty sustenance. The quality of success is enhanced with good company and a jovial demeanor. 

Day 1:

Type: Lunch
Location: Due South
         1465 Roanoke Street
         Christiansburg, VA 24073
         Half Rack of Pork Ribs
         Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich
         Hush Puppies
         Fried Green Tomatoes
         Mac n’Cheese

I found this place on trusty, dusty Chowhound. It is convenient to the highway, and the menu sounded delightful. When we opened the curtained front door, a lovely woman with a beautiful Southern drawl offered us a friendly greeting and a chance to look over the specials. We picked our poison and had a seat. 

The woman had promised fast service and that is what we got.

I ordered a half rack of ribs. 

The bones slipped neatly out of their porky coverings, and left beautiful slab-ettes for me to pop into my mouth. The fried green tomatoes were juicy, not greasy, and flavorful. They were served with a side of ranch dressing which was surprisingly complimentary. 

Due South makes 5 different sauces, hoping to please everyone. I liked them all som much, a had alternating sauces with each bite. 

Mac and cheese was the only thing I was unimpressed by, but it was comforting if simple.

We had a hard time eating it. There were a lot of leftovers.

We filled our guts and got back on the road. Right when we hit Tennessee I noticed that although I washed my hands, the porky goodness was lingering all over my fingers. Like an perfumed note is an aromatic reminder of a loved one, this scent was intoxicating with memories of that delicious pig.

Made it to Asheville in time for a tasting with the "Chief Executive Optimist" Sean Wilson, of Fullsteam Brewing, from Durham, NC.

Sean was pouring their Southern Apothecary Series, and was eager to hear feedback. Fullsteam is just getting on their feet and they are churning out some very creative brews. I also love their artwork.

Type: Beer Tasting
Location: Bruisin’ Ales 
         66 Broadway Street
         Asheville, NC 28801
         First Frost Winter Persimmon Ale
         Hogwash Hickory Smoked Porter
         Workingman’s Lunch Dark Ale
         Fullsteam Common 
         Carver Sweet Potato

My favorite was the Hogwash. I would love to try it with a big ole' chunk of Petit Sapin, a super creamy, brie like cheese wrapped in spruce bark. It has a really mild smokiness to it, just like the beer.

Type: Dinner
Location: http://www.barleystaproom.com/
         42 Biltmore Avenue
         Asheville, NC 28801
         Caribbean Pizza with Jerk Chicken, and Artichokes

As with most bars, the food sounds better than it really is. This wasn't bad by any means, but I would hope for more spice from jerk chicken. I wasn't here for the food anyway. GASP!

We got into town a day early so we would make it in time for the evening festivities at Barley's, Caskegeddon

Type: Beer Tasting
         Foothill’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Peoples Porter
         Duck Rabbit Milk Stout with Excazu Chocolate
         Fullsteam Red Beans and Rice Ale with Hickory Chips
         Big Boss Brewing Chinook Dry Hopped High Roller IPA
         Mother Earth Spiced Belgian Triple Overhead 

I enjoyed the subtleties of the Red Beans and Rice. It reminded me of the red bean topping you put on ice cream or the center of red bean mochi at a Korean restaurant.

I don't have a photo, but my favorite was the Mother Earth. It was almost like a chai beer. The triple style was gracefully complimented by hints of aromatic cardamom. 

I had never tried anything from this young brewery prior to this. I was lucky enough to get a little sample pack from Audra, the CFO. 

Surprise Items:         
         Sisters of the Moon IPA
         Dark Cloud Munich Dunkel
         Weeping Willow Wit

Thats it for Day 1. Went to the room,  and passed out, just like I am about to do now. 

Chow for now!

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