ZEBULON Artisan Ales in Weaverville NC by Mike Biggs
This past December I decided to make a quick beer run. Packed up the family (wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson.) Ended up in Asheville NC. So much for quick run, but what a trip. I have been to Asheville many times with Frank Ballero, Wayne Rodrigue, Joe Liggio and Mike, the brewmaster at McGuire’s, Pensacola. Great time. Now the family wanted to cash in. OK, I am easy. The following is just one location that we ended up on our beer run.
ZEBULON Artisan Ales:
I wanted to go there because I know the owner. Mike Karnowski lived in New Orleans until shortly after Katrina. He was a CCH member. A great brewer and had a home-brew shop on Magazine Street here in NOLA. Had home-brew on tap that was to die for. We lucked out. Went to brewery without checking when they were open. Only open on Fri and Sat. It is not a big place but was packed. Patrons bled over to the brewery section. I like Mike and may be biased. But, the beer is really good. Mike left NOLA for a brewery in Asheville. Was not happy but opened his own brewery and is happy. He was calm (despite the crowd) and seemed content at where he was at now. That should be our goal in life. Cannot say for sure, but think he made it now. All the beers I tried were great. The following is a description from their website:
“While we do tend to focus on Belgian and French farm-house styles, we also brew historical, forgotten and mythological beer styles. We don’t have any flagship beers, instead we like to brew something new every time. Much of our beer is aged in large oak puncheon barrels with wild yeasts for up to several years to develop complex flavors.”
“We package almost everything in large 750 ml bottles that are corked and caged. All of our beers are unfiltered and bottle conditioned. Some beers are hop forward and are best consumed fresh while others will continue to evolve for years.”
Now that is my kind of beer. I did pick up one to go.
DESCRIPTION: (from website)
“Biere de Noel (for Aretha Franklin) 12% ABV. We release our Christmas beer every year in December and we couldn’t be happier with this batch. A classic Belgian quad (dark strong ale) aged in oak barrels with our house Brett blend for a year then we refermented it on 3# of plums per gallon.” “The aroma is amazing with oak, fruit and funk almost like an old vines Zinfandel. Big plum/cherry fruit in the flavor with some tartness from the fruit but this isn’t a sour beer. This beer has aging potential for the next 10 years. “
The beer was awesome. I guess it was good timing, getting there just in time to pick up a bottle (in Dec). Will let it age a little. Hopefully I will get a chance to go back BEFORE it ages. Was limited on time so I couldn’t spend much time at Zebulon, but I am ready to go back.