What's a FABTS?

The FABTS is a club of homebrewers, beer aficionados, and anyone with an appreciation for the quality and diversity of great beer! As such, we are dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of beer as a alcohol containing quality food product, made to be shared with other people and other foods. The club was founded in 1996 by Lyle C. Brown, National Beer Judge.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BMWs and Craft Brewing

Every labor day BMW hosts a homecoming for the Z3 and Z4 cars that were built in their plant in Greenville / Spartanburg, SC. The 2007 BMW Homecoming was BMW's 11th year of doing this and the first year Angela and I went. There were over 600 Z3's and Z4's at the reunion. On Saturday morning they take a panoramic picture of all of them in from of the very plant where they were created. It was an awesome experience.

During the weekend we had a chance to visit the local brewpub, The Blue Ridge Brewing Company. Prior to 1995, in South Carolina you could not legally open a brew pub. Then, Bob Hiller lobbied the state and won. In 1995, the Blue Ridge Brewing Company officially opened its doors for business. All of their beers are brewed on site by brewmaster Jay Simpson.

The Blue Ridge Brewing company is located in Downtown Greenville. We found downtown Greenville to be very nice, very clean, and appealing. Tree-lined streets and a river running through downtown with a waterfall. The Blue Ridge Brewing Company fits in very well; a nice atmosphere inside with outside sidewalk seating in summer.

Angela and I enjoyed the outside weather and settled in to sample a few beers. I started with their Colonel Paris Pale Ale and Angela had their Kurli Blonde Ale. You got to love a Pale Ale with a great Cascade nose. As this was a warm day, the Pale Ale went down too fast. The Kurli Blonde was an American-style wheat beer. Another one that was easily drinkable on a warm day.
For a snack Angela and I had the Southwestern Quesadilla. It was loaded with Smoked Chicken, Black Beans, Roasted Peppers, Cilantro, Onions, Artichoke Hearts, and Cheese. To wash it down I had their Double Ball and Chain High Gravity IPA. From their menu it states that this beer is overflowing with Chinook, Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial hops. At 110 IBU and 10% abv, it was a perfect match to the spicy quesadilla.
After we finished the quesadilla I had room for one more. I decided to try their Rye Patch Pale Ale. There was definite rye character in the nose, but a different mixture of hops were used as compared to the Colonel Paris Pale Ale. This beer finished a little more dry than that 0ne as well. This was their new seasonal that they had just tapped less than a week earlier. We just missed out on their Hurricane Hefe Weizen.
The other beers they had on tap were the Rainbow Trout ESB and their Total Eclipse Stout. I wasn't expecting much but was pleaseantly surprised with the quality of the beers at Blue Ridge Brewing Company. They also offer us these rules to live by.

- James

Rules to Live By:

  • In all things, practice moderation. Except with regard to beer, ale, and whiskey.
  • Be kind to animals, children, the elderly, and anyone or anything else that can fetch you a pint.
  • If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Better yet, trade the damn lemons for some barley and yeast and brew yourself some ale.
  • Silence is golden, but ale is goldener.
  • Patience is a virtue. Remember this when letting the pint settle.
  • The truth shall set you free. This does not apply when the question is "How many pints have you had?"
  • Never use profanity. Except when the^%$#@&! damn pub has closed.
  • Never leave a pint undrained; It gives the glass low self-esteem.
  • Always choose your words carefully, especially if you're slurring.

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