by Tim Power
Traveling up to see the grandkids we made a side trip through Huntsville, Alabama to visit Straight to Ale Brewing, too bad they did not open early enough for us to eat lunch. So instead we went to Yellowhammer Brewing, very friendly and knowledgeable staff. They have 18 beers on tap with a variety of IPAs, Belgians, Quads, Strong’s and Dark Strong’s. The Frankenhammer, a seasonal 10.5% Belgian strong with a slight sweet malty taste. The Bride of Frankenhammer 10.5%, tart version of the Frankenhammer, the barrel aged Darkhammer 10%, a Belgian quad and a light stout 9%.
Leaving there we went next door to Straight to Ale, 12 + beers on tap. The first time we went to this brewery they were at an old warehouse that looked like it was in the middle of a darkened field. They are now in a larger building with the vats visible through the glass behind the bar. The staff will let you sample any of the beers on tap and work with you to decide what style or taste you are looking for. This is a brewery we first went to for what we later found out was a seasonal beer, Unobtainum, a 10% Old Ale that is malty along with a little bourbon flavor since it is aged in bourbon barrels. Their IPA, Monkeynaut is a malty citrus IPA that asked the question why not have another.
Unfortunately we went to a Green Bus Brewing, the staff was unfriendly, and we ordered a flight to sample the goods. They had wine mead, eggnog ale and a few others that aren’t even worth mentioning, this was the low point of our beer excursions.
We then moved on to find Salty Nut Brewery, could not find it so we went to Inner Space
Brewing, this is most likely what a brew pub would look like if it was on a space ship. The place had 2 people at the bar and the bartender, they all 3 offered recommendations. We thought by now after 3 breweries now #4 we would try a flight. The IC3PA was dry-hop and a little to bitter for my taste buds along with the Key Lime Gose, I guess I am not a sour guy. The Blueberry Mikeshake was my first IPA Mikeshake and was surprised by the sweet flavor for an IPA. Oh, we did ask about Salty Nut Brewery and found we parked in front of it and walked to the left. If we had walked right, the door was about 15 feet away, again 3 breweries in.
Walked into Salty Nut Brewery and the bartender was the only person in the place, OH YEAH forgot this was a weekday travel adventure, we sampled an assortment of brews on another flight and by this time had burnt out taste buds and forgot to take notes, sorry.
Traveling back from our visit we decided to stop in Asheville to visit a few breweries. We got there a little early so thought we would get some lunch, we thought BBQ, so we pulled up 12 Bones Smokehouse and found out they are also a micro brewery. They are located in an artsy area of Asheville with a very mixed up parking lot. We ended up walking through the reclaimed railroad terminal with multiple businesses to get to 12 Bones. 12 bones had 4-5 beers on tap, we split 2 beers, the Amber and the fruit tart beer, (More Jam, Less Band). They say the amber is smoky and malty but to us it was a good pairing for the BBQ pork with the side of collard greens, the More Jam Less Band was advertised as a fruit tart beer which worked well with the Jalapeno cheese grits.
When we left 12 Bones we headed back to the car which was parked by Wedge Brewing. Being full of BBQ, we split a flight with only 2 beers standing out to us, the Wishbones, the dark Lager that had a taste of a rich roasted malt flavor, the other was a strong Belgian ale, The Golem, 8+% wheat with a hint of fruit.
We left there and went to our #1 brewery of the day, New Belgium, they have a great taproom and wide selection of beers, some only at the taproom but you can purchase to take home. The one that stood out to us was a limited edition Oakspire 9%; a bourbon barrel aged beer that of course we had to bring a 6 pack home. Unfortunately only 4
made it to the beer fridge, 2 fell out of the 6 pack holder and broke, and tears flowed.
On to the next brewery after checking into our hotel, Wicked Weed Brewery & Brewpub, was the next restaurant with ample taps to sample a variety of beers, we got a flight. Freak of Nature IPA, Napoleon Complex Pale ale, and Black Angel, a cherry tart sour beer, that didn’t really have the sour taste, also very good food.
Then last but not least since we are in the neighborhood may as well try Bhramari Brewing, we got our usual mixed bag flight IPA, STOUT, Brown Ale. At this point I can’t remember the beers, and we did get great service and a very good appetizer, grilled season cauliflower.
This is a quick version of what happens when you travel and try to hit as many breweries as possible in a limited amount of time.