the entrance to the Highland Brewing taproom
phirx On the Road: Asheville, North Carolina
Highland Brewing Company celebrates their 20th anniversary this year, and it was a natural choice to stop by and check out their operation on our visit to Asheville. I’ve enjoyed Highland beers for more than 15 years (I’m not certain when I first tried one), and remember when they weren’t distributed outside of North Carolina and we would pick up a few six packs to take home if we were passing through. Now Highland is the third largest craft brewery in the Southeast, after Abita (Abita Springs, Louisiana) and Sweetwater (Atlanta).
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phirx On the Road: Carrboro, North Carolina
Steel String Brewery is a small boutique brewery and taproom located in a rustic warehouse in downtown Carrboro, right next to Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s largest university town. I am on a leisurely tour of the Tarheel state visiting family and friends, and my beer review itinerary has been spontaneous so far – we visited Steel String on my brother’s recommendation. I was glad we did! This is the kind of place I would expect to find in Nashville – I felt right at home.
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phirx On the Road: Durham, North Carolina
This brewery restaurant in downtown Durham describes themselves as “farm-to-fork” and “like fine dining in a burger joint”. Clearly inspired by the local food movement, BCBB grinds North Carolina pasture-raised beef in-house for their burgers, bakes their own buns, makes their own pickles, condiments, etc. and…brews their own beer.
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Black Abbey is a recently founded (opened in 2013) local brewery whose success is a unique Nashville success story. Their beers are available in over 100 venues throughout Nashville and the surrounding counties. Black Abbey’s “legend” – posted on each table in the taproom and on their website – describes how the brewery’s founders derive their inspiration from the travails of Martin Luther and his defrocked nun wife Katherine von Bora, who allegedly brewed “the best beer in Wittenberg”. The legend then makes the leap to their choice of brewing styles by stating that “Katherine crafted ales that were likely more similar to today’s Belgian-style ales than to the lagers for which Germany is famous.
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