Category: He Said/She Said

He Said/She Said: To Market We Go!

BG was one of those lucky folks who got Good Friday off of work. Unfortunately for me, healthcare does not adhere to all national holidays. While enjoying his day off, BG treated himself to a haircut and apparently got into a nice beer discussion with his stylist. She – aghast that as a fellow beer lover didn’t know about this place – tipped him off to a local beer gem, The Common Market. While I was slaving away in the speech therapy world, I got a text from BG at precisely 12:55 pm saying “Going to check out a new beer store in Plaza Midwood.”

Somebody’s enjoying his day off…

Four hours later I got a follow-up text “Beer tasting next Wed at 6:30 – Common Market.” Ok, sounds fun. Have you been there all this time? I returned home to find three new beers in my fridge

and a giddy, smiling husband in my kitchen.

Wednesday finally rolled around and off to The Market we went!

Upon entering, there is a distinct “convenience store” vibe.  You know, candy aisle, sodas, etc.  But as you keep walking towards the back a whole new world appears.  There’s an entire wall of beer – GOOD, CRAFT BEER – not just your typical garden-variety convenience store beer collection.  Then there are crates and crates of wine tagged with ratings and tasting notes.

These are capped off with a mini Wine Bar/Tap “Room” just before heading out the back door and onto the patio…where you can eat your fresh gourmet deli sandwiches.

To our surprise, the Charlotte Beer Club, which we didn’t know existed (Sign us up?  Yes, please!) was there for the tasting.  “On tap” for the tasting were 4 beers from the Southern Tier Brewing Co.

First up was the Southern Tier Hop Sun –

He Said: Pours a clear, pale straw color with minimal head. Wheat taste, with a dry finish.
Even though they gave out free pint glasses, for some reason we started with the plastic cups — so perhaps the “Dixie Cup Ambiance” reduced the head a little.

She Said: I’d drink this in the summer…although it is a smidge dry and hoppy for my taste.  Nice crisp finish.  And do I detect a bit of citrus?  Lemon maybe?

As with all tastings, the pours were small. 🙂

Next up was the Southern Tier IPA

He Said: Pours clear, golden with little head. Crisp and floral, but I’m having trouble smelling the beers today. Perhaps it’s the Dixie cups, perhaps it’s the North Carolina allergies.

She Said: I can smell ’em!  Nice floral nose.  And after the first sip…WHOOO-that’s hoppy!   Another crisp and light finish.  I know enough to know this is a nice representative of the varietal but…

WineGirl clarified, “I’m generally not a fan of IPA’s”.
BeerGuy countered, “I’m generally not a fan of Dixie cups”, as he picked up the free glass for the next round.

Round three – Southern Tier IBA.  That is, the Iniquity Imperial Black Ale.

He Said: Yum! I got this in a snifter when we first walked in. To give away my secrets, the BeerGuy tends to head straight for the bar upon entering a drinking establishment, and then beer in hand, turns to take in the environment.

My one note was “Get a Bottle!” It’s too big and black to shortchange, so we’ll write up a separate review.

She Said: By this point in the game I was too busy being sociable to make tasting notes or take pics.  Luckily a bottle of this came home with us, so, as BG promised, a more detailed review will come later.  I may not have made a lot of notes, but I do remember that I liked it and was intrigued by the uniqueness of the black ale.  Third time’s the charm, right?

And finally, the Southern Tier Jah-Va…an Imperial Coffee Stout.

He Said: When I first visited, Thomas (manager?, owner?, enthusiastic beer-dude!) recommended this so highly that I took one home for the WineGirl. We haven’t popped it yet, and I had trouble smelling the sample at the tasting, so we’ll write this up separately. High hopes, though, that we’ve found a new breakfast beer.  🙂

She Said:  Ah…a beer after my own heart!  Again, no formal notes from the tasting, but there’s a bottle in the fridge!!

Some may say that the star of the tasting show tonight was the Southern Tier Brewing Co., but I say it was the camaraderie.  You see, this was one of the most unorganized laid back tastings I’ve ever been to.  Don’t get me wrong. The laid back vibe totally fit the atmosphere. I’m just saying that usually at a tasting, the pouring is very organized, the beers are brought out on a schedule and the brew master or beer company rep really wants to talk to you about the beer and describe the taste, process, philosophy of the brew.  Here, the tasters just mingled and socialized and the hosts seemed to randomly decide to open up the next brew, giving a pour to whomever held their glass out the fastest.

While that put my little OCD heart on edge, the mingling allowed us to get to know some of our fellow beer enthusiasts.

We chatted with 1) the head of the Charlotte Beer Club, 2) a naturopathic physician who just happens to brew a little on the side, and 3) the Brew Master of the new NoDa Brewing Co. (scheduled to open in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood this fall).  These people are true beer lovers who want not just to enjoy the beer for themselves, but to share it with others as well.  To that end as the NoDa Brew Master was describing to us a particular beer he loved, he stopped mid-sentence, grabbed a bottle of it out of the cooler, opened it up, and shared it with us.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet TINY.

Brought a bottle of this home too…and it gets a post all to itself.

Believe it or not, TINY, wasn’t the only privately purchased bottle someone shared with us out of good-beer will.  Another fine young lad simply smiled and handed over a bottle of this from his 6-pack after the naturopathic physician complimented him on his beer choice.

We split it three ways.  Once again, BG has deemed this one good enough for its own post.  So…stay tuned!

All in all, this evening included three of my favorite things – good beer, good conversation, and good atmosphere.  Not bad for being out on a school night!  And, P.S., guess who does wine tastings every Tuesday night?  You got it, The Common Market.  After this evening’s success, it is safe to say we’ll definitely be checking that out very soon!

Cheers, y’all!

Wine Girl

Beer Guy

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Mr. & Mrs. Beer Snob

BG and I couldn’t decide who could best tell you guys about our time at the Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City, so we are BOTH going to tell you about it.  This will be the inaugural post for a (hopefully) regular segment called, appropriately, “He Said/She Said” in which we give you both his perspective and mine on a particular event, place, food or beverage.  It’s not that complicated an idea so, we trust no further explanation is needed. 🙂

After wandering around Main Street Park City for a few hours we grew thirsty.  Since BG is never one to pass up a local brew we, of course, wandered right on into the Wasatch Brew Pub to do a little tasting and quench our thirsts.

We were excited.  After all, we had tasted the Wasatch Devatstator at No Name Saloon and really enjoyed it.  At first glance, there was lots Wasatch goodness to try.

She Said: I’m sorry to say, that’s pretty much where the excitement ended and the disappointment began.  Disappointment #1 – The brewery didn’t sell a flight or sampler.  What brewery doesn’t sell a sampler… You know, so you can sample everything, then order more of the ones you really like.  Hmm, I think I just answered my own question…

Disappointment #2 – The beer on the draft pulls didn’t match all the beer listed on the tasting menu.

We’re foodies.  We like tasting notes.

Round 1: Him – Wasatch Hoptoberfest, Her – Nitro Cream Ale

He Said: Meh … Not hoppy. I’m sure there’s more to say, but when one advertises one’s brew as a “Hoptoberfest” … well, one best be bringing the hops.

She Said: I wanted the Nitro Bobsled Brown Ale listed on the tasting menu.  Not available.  So, I got the Nitro Cream Ale.

Blah!  Not much going on there except a lot o’foamy head.   Loved the Devastator from earlier today, so I’m optimistic about my next round.

Round 2: Him – Wasatch White Label (bottled), Her – Apricot Hefeweizen

He Said: A Belgian ale. (She Interrupts: ‘Cause my man loves him a Belgian!) It’s cloudy, with a pale straw color. There’s honey and spice on the nose with good flavor and a nutmeg finish, but the carbonation is overpowering.

I’ll give it 3 of 5 kegs.

She Said: BG had me take this pic to prove that “no fruit was injured in the drinking of my beer.”

He Said: What?!? Drink it like the brewer made it! Beer for me, hold the fruit.

She Said: Um…but we’re actually at the brewery and that’s how they served it… Whatevs! On to my apricot hef… Wonder if the Brew Master intended for there to be a lot of apricot in there? 🙂

Well, that’s apricotty…and flat. Smells like shampoo, though!  (He Interrupts: “Let me taste that.”)

He Said: Once again, a cloudy straw color. Strong apricot smell. Strong apricot taste…strong apricot everything. Everything, but not enough carbonation. I’ll give it 3 out of 5 kegs, but I won’t drink two at a sitting.

She Said: Smells like shampoo, kinda tastes like it too.

Round 3: Snack Time – Macaroni and Aged White Cheddar Cheese

We got a little peckish admist all our tasting.  So we decided to split some Mac and Cheese.  After seeing this on the menu, how could be pass it up?

As good as it looked on the menu, it looked even better when it arrived.

He said: nothing. He was too busy shovelling the hot delicious goodness into his beer hole.

She said: Oooohh…dig that cheesy goodness!  If there’s macaroni in there, it’s filler.  That’s the best thing we’ve had since we got here.  Maybe they’ve missed their calling.  Maybe they should change focus from a brewery to a mac-n-cheesery!

Round 4: Him – Jalapeno Cream Ale, Her – Winterfest Seasonal

He said: And now, gentle reader, it’s time to explain the title for this post. WineGirl and I were sitting at the bar, next to a pair of other couples. The fairer of the couple to our left cried out as she tasted her Jalapeno Cream Ale. She said it was like a spicy Bud Light, and recommended it to WineGirl. “Hmm,” sniffed WG dismissively, “I’m kind of a beer snob.” I suspect that WineGirl would have been more pleased with the Bud Light.

Upon visual inspection, this hot little beer was clear and golden with a 1/4″ head.

Jalapeño scent on the nose and with the first tast of foam. Whoa! Tastes of jalapeño. And the aftertaste … you guessed it – jalapeño! This would be a kick ass beer for Tex-Mex food, but on the whole feels a bit like a gimmick beer.

I look into the future, and decide that this is my first brew that actually requires Prilosec!

She said: I’m not a jalapeño fan, but he’s ranting and raving enough that I have to at least try a sip…

Man, who thought THAT was a good idea?  Bad!! Very, very bad!! Why would you ever drink anything that tastes remotely like jalapeño?  And I totally disagree.  It would NOT be a “kick ass beer for Tex Mex food.”   The Rogue Chipotle Ale was perfect for that.  That was a nice amber ale with a slight smokey, chipotle finish.  This was like somebody put a jalapeño in a juicer and added some carbonated water.  There’s been so little flavor in pretty much everything else we’ve tasted today.  Why did they decide to blow their wad on the jalapeño? So very, very, VERY bad…

I need to go brush my teeth and eat a Tums.  Oh, but I guess I should tell you about the Winterfest Seasonal.

Frankly, I can’t tell you what it tastes like because my tastebuds were sacrificed in the tasting of the Jalapeño Cream Ale.  Looks pretty in the glass, although it’s a little light and yellow for my taste.  I’m more of an amber kind of girl.  Here’s what the marketing fliers had to say about it:

Greatest beer on Earth?  That’s over egging the pudding a bit, don’t you think?

Wasatch Overall

He said: The beer here smells good but it lacks the advertised taste. Not bad, but it gets you excited and then leaves you a bit disappointed.

In like kind, every time a truly epic song would come on the radio in the bar, the staff would change it to some less daring channel, in one instance changing from Enter Sandman to a forgettable tune by Steely Dan. (A note to the reader, BeerGuy prefers the older Metallica catalog, but the black album is good, too)

Silver lining — very good service from Susan, and the macaroni and cheese was so good that they should name the place “Wasatch Mac’n’Cheese”

She said: Generally nice and friendly atmosphere in a great location.  I’ve got to agree with BG, though.  The beer generally smells really good (except for the Jalapeno Cream Ale – yuck!), but doesn’t really follow through with the same flavor.  They should narrow their focus and stick with what works – The Devastator and Mac-n-Cheese.

Even if I didn’t love the beer, this was certainly much more fun than my near-death experience on the slopes!

Cheers, y’all!

Wine Girl

Beer Guy

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