Craft Beer with a Southern Flair

Tasting the taps

I have recently rediscovered my love for beer.  In college, it was a love based on discount malted barley consumed in quantities large enough to float a small row boat.  This new found love is mature and honest.  It's based on taste and aesthetics and a joy of sliding up to a makeshift bar where the beer is born.

This new ardor was sparked on a craft beer tour of NoDa, formerly known for its art galleries but now making a name for its
elf as Beer City.  Nestled into the former mill buildings, these breweries have taken the place of boarded up windows and chain link fences.  This revitalization of the Arts District brings a new crowd to the trendy area.

We stopped into NoDa Brewing Company for a tour of the microbrewery and a few sips off the taps.  The brews run from the Coco Loco Porter, with chocolate notes and a hint of coconut, to Ramble on Red, made with rye malt and challenger hops.  Each brew is named with a NoDa flair and I wanted to taste each familiar flavor.

Just across the parking lot is Birdsong Brewing Co.  The spent grain sat in pails outside the brewery doors for us to breathe in as we walked up.  Inside, every barrel is tagged with the Birdsong logo.

After a taste test of the special brew Sweet Tea Wit and the Lazy Bird Brown Ale, I made a point to come back and buy a growler of the limited production Jalapeno Pale Ale.  The spicy smell and subtle taste made me crave cheesy, salty nachos!

I read about Fullsteam Brewery in Garden & Gun and had to come taste the basil beer.  Luckily we were in the area this past weekend, so we stopped in and sampled several beers!  Thanks to the great bartender for his beer knurd love of craft beers and the hispter chic scene with classic bar games to entertain the teacup humans.

I fell in love with the Summer Basil, but also enjoyed the Carver sweet potato lager.  The bartender let us sample the Beasley's Honey White with a black pepper finish and the Spring IPA, a hoppy beer with citrus and kumquats.  The dessert tasting, moonpie inspired Working Man's Lunch would be great with an actual southern moonpie - served on site!  If you're a bourbon fan, have a pint of the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Fullsteam - smells like bourbon and finishes like bourbon!  The aroma and flavor was delish!  

They also have food on hand - moonpies and the Reliable Cheese Plate.  Make an adventure out of it!

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