Browsing articles tagged with " Home Brewers"
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(CNN) — After some pressure from the online home brewing community that included a petition on the White House website and a Freedom of Information Act request, the Obama administration gave in Saturday and released its homemade beer recipe.
In a post on the White House Blog, head chef Sam Kass posted the recipes for two beers brewed on the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House Honey Ale and Honey Porter. Both beers are made using honey harvested from the White House bee hive.
“Inspired by home brewers from across the country, last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen,” Kass writes. “After the few first drafts we landed on some great recipes that came from a local brew shop. We received some tips from a couple of home brewers who work in the White House who helped us amend it and make it our own.”
Kass admits that he was surprised at how good the White House brews turned out given that none of the staff had brewed beer before. He also includes a bit of a history lesson.
“As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds,” Kass writes. “George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine, but there’s no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House.
The post includes detailed recipes and an instructional video featuring Kass taking a sip of beer and telling viewers, “America, I wish everybody could taste this, but we don’t quite brew enough.”
By Adam Aigner-Treworgy – CNN White House Producer
™ © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
By David Wessel and Carol E. Lee
WASHINGTON—After a few weeks of fielding requests—and even a Freedom of Information Act plea—for the recipe of the White House Honey Brown Ale the Obama White House has been brewing, the White House on Saturday posted the recipe on its website.
“Inspired by home brewers from across the country, last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen. After the few first drafts we landed on some great recipes that came from a local brew shop. We received some tips from a couple of home brewers who work in the White House who helped us amend it and make it our own. To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before,” according to a post on the White House blog.
The White House said that, as far as it knows, this is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds. “George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there’s no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House. (Although we do know there was some drinking during Prohibition…),” it said.
The blog post includes a video showing the beer being made. The video says that Mr. Obama is paying for all the beer-brewing equipment and the ingredients, and the White House chefs are doing the brewing on their own time.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama has increasingly talked of quenching his thirst with a pint. In Iowa last month, he repeatedly noted, “I just had a beer.” When a voter asked to taste the White House brew, the president fetched a bottle from his campaign bus.
During campaign season, almost nothing is devoid of political significance, it seems. While Mr. Obama, eager to show that he’s an ordinary guy, talks up his appetite for a good beer, his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, does not drink alcohol.
It’s not every day that you get to compare the notes of a head brewer and a home brewer.
NewsWorks asked Paul Rutherford, head brewer at Iron Hill in Chestnut Hill, and Scott Wikander, home brewer and owner of Malt House, Ltd., a brewing supply store in Mt. Airy, about the craft of beer making.
Ramping up creativity
We’ve all seen our local watering holes change the taps before, but within the last several years, those drafts have become increasingly over-the-top and buzz-worthy.
Just consider Iron Hill’s “Pineapple Express,” a popular pineapple-flavored beer on tap at the brewery.
“Science is a part of the job,” explained Rutherford. “When we put a recipe together, we need to do research, especially with a novel ingredient like a pineapple.”
Wikander explains that time is what makes craft beers stand out against the Miller Lite’s of the beer world.
“The root of it is a commitment to quality, rather than mass-produced things,” said Wikander. “It’s taking the time to do it right.”
His interest in home brewing began at the age of 32 after learning from a friend.
“I was surprised when I learned how to home brew,” said Wikander, “I realized it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.”
Rutherford says he gained interest in home brewing at the age of 19. “That was a hobby for me then,” he admitted, “now, it’s a career.”
While working in the restaurant business in California, he decided he wanted to enroll at the Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy in Chicago. He graduated with a World Brewing Diploma and even spent a month studying in Munich at a pilot brewery.
“It’s like any other trade,” explained Rutherford. “The industry is growing. Now, it’s a viable career path.”
Hollywood names for hometown beers
Naming beer is essential to the craft. Wikander says one of his favorites is “Saison II: Tokyo Drift,” a spin on the movie of a similar name.
“Most home brewers come up with crazy names,” said Wikander, who currently has a “Maison Saison” on tap, meaning “house malt,” and an “East Coast Pale Ale.”
With names like “Cowabunga Porter,” “Chestnut Hill Cream Ale” and “Kryptonite Imperial IPA,” Iron Hill always has an array of unique beer names.
Breaking down the brewing process
During the NewsWorks visit, Wikander made a British Mild Ale that was brewed with pale and crystal malts, British hops called “Fuggles” and British ale yeast.
Rutherford brewed a Biere de Garde, a French farmhouse style ale that translates as “beer for keeping.” It was brewed with pilsner, aromatic and Munich malts, a lager yeast and cracked black pepper.
Wikander utilized a pot on his stovetop, while Rutherford used a mash tun, a brewing vessel that can hold up to 800 pounds.
Both brewers boiled water, with Wikander boiling 5 gallons and Rutherford boiling 2.5 barrels (about 82 gallons).
The processes were similar, including the hop addition. Both brewers explained that there are three fundamental hop additions that a brewer can add to their beer. The first addition adds bitterness, the second adds flavor and the third adds aroma.
While there were differences in the scale of the equipment being used, one stand-out item that the brewery did not have on hand was a “hop sock.” The sock or netted bag can hold a hop addition that is sunk into the brew.
“[It] is purely a home brewer item,” said Wikander. “It’s meant for small amounts of hops, commercial brewers use much larger quantities.”
Hazards of the trade
Both processes include a hazardous element because of Carbon dioxide (CO2) build up. The fermentation process itself converts sugars into alcohol and Carbon dioxide.
Rutherford says Carbon dioxide can cause a pressure build up that could essentially cause a small explosion.
“That’s why we have a blow-off tube that vents the CO2,” said Rutherford.
He surmised that home brewers could also have issues in a glass carboy. “They’d have a glass mess on their hands,” said Rutherford.
In a glass carboy that contains Wikander’s brew, an airlock releases Carbon dioxide and allows gas to escape the container, preventing a small eruption.
“For a home brewer, the stopper or lid would give-way before a fermentor actually exploded,” explained Wikander.
Losing money from botched batches
Wikander says if a batch of beer is bad or undrinkable, he loses about $40. “It depends on the ingredients,” he explained.
Rutherford agrees that ingredients are what determines the cost of a batch and says the brewery can lose thousands of dollars. “It depends on what the raw material costs.”.
Both brewers agreed that sanitation is a key part of making a good beer. Wikander even cleans the bottles and caps that he stores his beer in and Rutherford personally checks and shines the glassware at Iron Hill.
“Bad batches for home brewers are usually the result of improper sanitation that result in foreign or wild yeast entering the beer and adding off-flavors,” said Wikander.
“Eighty percent of the job is cleaning. It’s not that glamorous,” said Rutherford, “but mostly, it’s the best job in the world.”
Tuning in to the right timing
Both brewers watch a clock when brewing, with Rutherford using his cell phone and Wikander a wall clock. “Everything is time sensitive,” said Rutherford.
With 16 beers on tap at Iron Hill, Rutherford says a major part of his job is scheduling. He has six 10 barrel tanks and one 20 barrel tank filled with fresh beer ready-to-go at any one time. He described it as “a juggling act.”
“It’s better to have a second person to help on this level,” said Rutherford, who works alongside Derek Testerman, assistant brewer at Iron Hill, “usually we’re overlapping a lot of projects at once.”
Because he has a kegerator, a refrigerated container that dispenses beer, Wikander can keep four beers on tap at the same time. He typically has three to four batches ready to drink with “a few fermenting.”
A sense of camaraderie
Both brewers agree that brewing is something that has its own culture and community. They love that they’re able to share their craft with friends, family and beer lovers alike.
Wikander says he gives his beer as gifts. “I bring it to parties,” said Wikander.
Rutherford says he enjoys participating in the beer culture. “We plan events and have beer release parties,” he said, “we really try to keep people talking.”
In July, Iron Hill held a Wrestlemania-inspired event featuring two beers, “Ultimate Warrior IPA” and “Belgian Full Nelson.” They invited patrons to order one or the other until one was tapped out, making that beer the winner.
Much of the beer community starts at local home brew clubs like M*A*S*H (Mt. Airy Society of Homebrewers), the G.L.U.B. (General Lafayette Underground Brewers) Club in Chestnut Hill and the YTM (You The Man) Homebrew Club in Manayunk.
Whether they’re producing a few gallons or multiple barrels, both brewers agree that it’s creativity and community that keeps them loving the craft of beer making.
John Wolcott / For HBJ
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Entrepreneur Mike Scarsella recently opened Down Home Brew Supply in downtown Arlington to serve the growing home-brewing market. He built the 27-foot-long counter from local mill scraps.
Kurt Batdorf, Editor
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Brewers hobby becomes a business venture
By John Wolcott
HBJ Freelance Writer
ARLINGTON After two years of brewing his own beer at home, life-long Arlington resident, farmer and hay hauler Mike Scarsella was so fascinated with the variety of great tasting beers he could make that he decided to launch Down Home Brew Supply on June 1 to help others discover the same great experiences.
He and his wife, Amy, opened their entrepreneurial venture in Arlingtons Old Town, on Fifth Street.
Weve filled a real gap in the local home-brewing market here, Scarsella said. Our brewing supply store is the only one between Anacortes and south Everett. I got tired of making a 40-mile trip to Anacortes or south Everett for supplies and other people have had the same problem.
Already, his business is growing, primarily by word of mouth, he said.
Our sales have been doubling every month. Were already about six months ahead of what we expected, he said.
His market ranges from novices who have never tried brewing their own beer to hundreds of experienced home brewers who need a reliable local source of supplies, including local brewing clubs such as the Beer Renegades of Everett Washington (BREW), Boeing Employees Wine and Beer Makers Club, Greater Everett Brewers League, Northern Washington Homebrewers Guild and, locally, The Stilly Mashers.
Also, word his business has spread through www.wahomebrewers.org, the website of the Washington Homebrews Association.
We have starter kits for people whove never made home brews, plus all the carboys, grains and supplies they need, said Scarsella, who also offers plenty of free advice and brewing tips. Brewing beer at home isnt very complicated and you can get marvelous beer flavors that you cant buy anywhere. Basically, it involves boiling water, adding sugar, then yeast, letting it ferment and then bottling it.
Scarsella said he started home brewing as an adventure, then it became a hobby and then a passion and, finally, a business.
The entire wall behind his counter is filled with a variety of more than 50 grains, including heavy peat-smoked malt that makes beer that smells like a campfire, one with robust chocolate caramelized tones and another that tastes like butterscotch.
For beer brewing, he offers grains, hops, yeast, malt extracts, herbs and spices, beer recipe kits and equipment kits, plus instruction books, cleaners and sanitizers. For those who want to make wines, he has fruit wine kits, additives and equipment kits.
Scarsella has created a comfortable, clean, airy store environment that people enjoy visiting, including families and children. Theres an old floor-level grain scale from the late 1800s for a conversation piece; theres his 27-foot-long honey-oak colored counter finished with an epoxy resin, something worth stopping to see just for the novelty and craftsmanship, and theres Sadie, the friendly German shorthair bird dog who greets visitors as the stores mascot.
He participates in downtown Arlingtons 20 percent Super Saturday discounts on the first Saturday of each month and plans to soon offer his entire home-brewing merchandise, including grains and equipment, through his website.
For more information, visit Down Home Brew Supply at 116 E. Fifth St., go to www.downhomebrew.com or call 360-403-3259. Sign up for Scarsellas home-brewing email newsletter at email@example.com. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon business attorney Jeff Jacobson said he and his partner Mark Gongalski must have looked at every available commercial building in Muskegon County seeking a home for their “community brewery” business.
In the end, Jacobson said they found the perfect location in downtown Muskegon at the Russell Block Market, 360 W. Western. The retail incubator being developed by Gary Post is expected to be open by the Christmas holiday season.
The Unruly Brewing Co. will take up nearly half of the 5,000 square feet of space on the Russell Block Market’s first level. Operated by the nonprofit Muskegon Retail Incubator Inc., the Russell Block Market board is now looking for tenants to fill the remainder of the retail space, especially with food outlets that would complement the new microbrewery.
“We are about to create another exciting destination location for downtown Muskegon,” according to Terry MacAllister, president of the MRI board. “Unruly and the other food businesses we are lining up will offer customers and patrons something different – a place to come hang out, drink some microbrews, choose among different food offerings, browse related shops and enjoy an all-around fun experience.
“This will be one hopping place,” MacAllister said.
Unruly Brewing Co. was announced in February as the two home brewers and business partners began looking for a location and secure investors.
“We are extremely excited to be having this building after a six- or seven-month search,” Gongalski said. “We were looking for a location to provide us a beer garden atmosphere and at an economical rate. It was tough to find but this is awesome news. We are glad to be going downtown.”
Muskegon downtown promoters and economic developers said they are thrilled to have Muskegon County’s first microbrewery in the heart of the central business district. Muskegon is one of the untapped markets in West Michigan for the craft brewing boom that is going on around the region, said Andrew Haan, head of Downtown Muskegon Now – a downtown development and marketing organization.
“We are ecstatic to hear the news that we are bringing into our downtown a use into the mix that we have been seeking for years,” Haan said of craft beer and culinary tourism being the largest growth areas in the travel market. “We are an unserved community but West Michigan is a hot bed of microbrewing and the region is known throughout the national. Now we join that industry.”
As a “community brewery,” Unruly Brewing Co. will open with a four-barrel brewing system and a taproom for tasting, the owners said. Another business partner is Eric Hoffman, who will be Unruly’s head brewer, they said.
To create the “beer-garden” atmosphere, Unruly Brewing will have an outside seating area in the space between the Russell Block building and the Hines Building to the east, the owners said. The company hopes to have its liquor license good for the entire building and outdoor beer garden, the owners said.
The concept of a community-based beer-making business is to cater to the large home-brewing movement in the Muskegon-area, Gongalski said. Unruly will offer up to eight taps for different kinds of beers. Of those, three or four will be Unruly house brands that will always be available, while the brewing company will have specialty beers that rotate.
Also being offered will be beers created by home brewers on the Unruly equipment. Gongalski said that Unruly will announce the community aspects of its business as its opening date approaches.
“The sky’s the limit on what we are going to be able to offer from this location,” Gongalski said.
Jacobson said the business will be licensed as a microbrewery, which will allow production up to 30,000 barrels of beer a year. However, Unruly will begin at a much more modest level of production, he said.
The brewing company will sell its beers on site by the pint and in “growlers” – half gallon containers to go. The company hopes to bottle its most popular brews for sale in six-packs in the Muskegon area, Gongalski said.
Gongalski and Jacobson were both raised in Muskegon. Gongalski is a 1997 graduate of Whitehall High School and has a home remodeling business, MG Modern. Jacobson is a business attorney with the Parmenter O’Toole law firm and is a 1990 graduate of Mona Shores High School.
Post, who also has developed the next door Century Club Center of retail shops and the nearby Heritage Square Townhouses, now must complete the Russell Block Market construction and MRI fill the rest of the space. The incubator organizers said finding tenants wanting to join Unruly Brewing isn’t going to be a problem.
“Ideally, we would like to see specialty burgers, homemade sausages and brats, artisan breads and rolls, specialty coffees, desserts, herbs and spices, kitchen gear — anything that has to do with eating and preparing food,” said Eileen McCormick, MRI executive director.
Jacobson and Gongalski said talk of other brewing businesses in the Muskegon area is exciting.
“The more microbrewers we can have in Muskegon the better. That would be awesome,” Gongalski said. “The craft beer industry is a big community. It’s like a family.”
Facebook: Dave Alexander
Reuben’s delivers beer with a personal touch
Owners Adam and Grace Robbings opened Reuben’s Brews August 5, further adding to the brewing trend in Ballard people have been calling the “Red Hook District.”
Robbings, originally from London, moved to Seattle in 2004. After the birth of his son, Reuben, Robbings said he started home brewing because he felt he could enhance flavors in many of the beers he was drinking. Coincidently, his first brewing kit was a gift from his son.
In 2010, Robbings won his first competition as a homebrewer in the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s (PNA) Winter Beer Taste, taking peoples choice award for his Roasted Rye PA against well known breweries like Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi. Later, Robbings also won Best of Show at the Skagit County Fair.
After Robbing’s win in Skagit County, he was invited to brew his recipe at the Anacortes brewery. Since that batch was brewed at a commercial brewery, Robbings was allowed to enter in the 2011 PNA Beer Taste, which had banned home brewers from participating. That year he won the peoples choice again with his American Brown. Following local victories, Robbing’s brown won silver on a national scale at the 2012 National Home Brew Conference.
Marked by overwhelming popularity after success in competitions, Robbings and Grace decided to open Reuben’s, but not with the typical tap room or commercial brewery mentality. They want to limit their distribution to local vendors but be nationally recognized, so that when people want to drink Reuben’s Brews they come to Ballard.
“Our goal is to make the best beer out of the best local ingredients, not to sell as much as we can,” said Robbings.
What’s more is that when people come to Reuben’s they are in for an education. Adam and Grace, who is an economics instructor at Bellevue College, have made the tap room also a classroom, where they encourage people to think about the flavors and the process in the beers.
The menu is an example of the Robbings’ educational goal, where specifics like the International Bitterness Units (IBU), alcohol by volume (ABV), original specific gravity (OG) and flavor profiles are clearly listed.
From the start Robbings has kept ingredients and materials local and sustainable. He uses grains and malt from Washington State and has used a recycled wood and plastic waste material called NewWood (manufactured in Elma, WA) to build much of the space.
Robbings, said the space was empty and had no sewer or running water. With the help of his in-laws, Michael and Liz Pfeiffer, they have refurbished the space into a vibrant room that functions as both brewery and urban tap room.
“I wanted to keep people close to the brewing equipment so when they ask about the beers I can literally show them [the equipment] a few feet away,” said Robbings.
Pfeiffer, a carpenter by trade, moved from Illinois to help in the construction of the space and brewery operations. He works as brewery manager and has a hand in every step in the brewing process all the way up to pouring taps. “I’m here from morning to night and assist Adam with everything,” said Pfeiffer.
“If you ask me the pumpkin brew is what brought Mike out here. He was drinking only Bud light before he tried it. Now he drinks nothing but micro brews,” said Robbings.
The Imperial Pumpkin Rye, which will be available in October, is one of many beers that distinguish Reuben’s brews from other breweries.
“There is a science and there is an art in brewing. We experiment with different yeasts and ingredients like molasses and toasted pumpkin seeds like in the pumpkin rye to bring complexity to flavor,” said Robbings.
Robbings said out of seven taps there are five different yeasts used and in the American Brown there are 8 different grains, creating depth and complexity in the flavors.
Since opening with five beers on tap on their opening day, Aug. 5, Robbings has added two more brews. Currently, tap tasters can look for the Roggenbier, American Rye, American Brown, Robust Porter, Dry Stout, Imperial IPA and the Imperial Rye IPA. A California Lager and an India Red Ale are on the way.
On his first visit, Kris Harness of Lake Forrest Park said he comes through Ballard for business and happened to discover Reuban’s Brews. Finishing his glass of Imperial IPA, Harness said the beer is bitter at the finish, but very smooth getting there. “If you like IPA’s your going to love this place,” Harness said.
BREWER’S LIFE: Stu McKinlay considered a career in cuisine, but decided brewing was more fun.
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Craft beer fans should be grateful that Stu McKinlay doesn’t like the idea of working a chef’s hours. The Yeastie Boys brewer briefly considered a career in cuisine a few years ago, before settling on brewing instead.
“I thought about the horrendous hours you’d work while everyone else is out having fun so it seemed less appealing than brewing, which you can do any time of the day – you can brew in the morning, night, weekends, whenever you want.”
Taking those first steps into home-brewing can be a bit scary, but the amount of information available for someone starting out is incredible, Mr McKinlay says.
Compared with when he began, the difference is remarkable. “When I first started looking into things I just had this slow dialup modem and couldn’t find much on it at all.
“You had to find old books from the library or track down old magazines with brewing tips in them. But now, with the internet, the world is your oyster.”
For someone who is interested in trying their hand at brewing – or even just looking to learn more about beer – the best place to start is with a beer in hand.
“Just get in among it and try lots of beers. Think about what it is that you are drinking and the way you would describe the flavours. That’s the best way to learn, because you’ll start to develop a vocabulary for the flavours you are going for.”
Wellington’s beer community is a great place for those looking to try brewing, with tastings, regular brew events, and plenty of beer bars embracing craft beers.
“You can learn so much from talking with other brewers, tasting beers, and discovering how all of the vocabulary fits together.”
Learning how to brew a good beer is a lifelong project, with every new beer teaching you a new thing or two, he says.
“You get to a point where you can make some quite nice beer and you’re proud of the way your friends react to it, but we are all constantly learning and trying to push the boundaries in different ways. I’ll never, ever stop learning, and I’ll always be a bit nervous when we put a new beer out there.”
Yeastie Boys will be on tap at Beervana at Westpac Stadium on August 17 and 18. Beervana brings together craft beer brewers, local food, and beer seminars. Tickets from beervana.co.nz.
Contact Kerry McBride
Metro and Capital Day reporter
– © Fairfax NZ News
On Thursday and Friday, respectively, 3 Stars will officially launch its beers at Birch Barley/ChurchKey and the Big Hunt. Soon after, 20 or so more bars and restaurants will carry its products. The Big Hunt is an appropriate venue for the beer’s debut because McGarvey, the brewery’s 39-year-old chief executive and head brewer, and Coleman, its 35-year-old president, met there nearly a decade ago. (Both are longtime District residents, and Coleman left the Big Hunt in the spring, having served as beer director for the past six years.) McGarvey got into home-brewing, and about three years ago the friends laid the groundwork for their brewery and delved into serious recipe development.
The process they adopted, unusually scientific for home-brewers turning pro, speaks to the pair’s methodical pursuit of jaw-dropping beers, despite relying more on five-gallon pots than on state-of-the-art brewing equipment. For each test batch, McGarvey simultaneously brewed a basic recipe and four variations. One might use entirely different hop varieties, another a different yeast strain. Assigning ratings to each iteration, McGarvey and Coleman identified their favorite, then repeated the process until they made something they considered truly special. Most 3 Stars beers have gone through three to five rounds, some even more. The first to emerge was Pandemic, which Coleman jokingly calls “the beer that changed the world.”
“It was the first beer and recipe that we developed on our own that we felt really is a differentiated product,” McGarvey says. “The beer industry is incredibly competitive, and I think if you’re going to go into it, you have to be serious about what you’re going to produce and what experience you’re creating that’s going to differentiate you.”
The other two releases 3 Stars is introducing this week are flavorful and offbeat as well. Instead of starting with more common beers, such as American pale ales and German styles, McGarvey and Coleman offer Urban Farmhouse saison, a Belgian-influenced ale brewed with white and green peppercorns and citrusy American hops, and the Southern Belle, a malty imperial brown ale finished with toasted pecans.
The Tied House brews, the Brown Bottle serves, Jane sells and the citizens of Mountain View drink. But should ‘Viewers be content with just drinking? After all, they could make their own by brewing beer at home.
Today it is cheaper than ever to brew beer at home; Whole Foods sells the supplies and equipment as does More Beer! just up El Camino. They also sell books on all the how-to’s of brewing, and of course the internet has free recipes for every beer made under the sun. Beer can even be made in an apartment’s bedroom closet.
While the initial equipment can be pricy ($30-$200), the ingredients for a 5 gal. batch of beer cost as little as $20. The materials are easy to find, the ingredients are cheap, the labor is marginal and the skill required can be as little as with making a good soup. It’s not even illegal as long as it isn’t sold (cheers to the dinner parties!).
So, does Mountain View Brew?
Tell us if you do, and share a secret or two.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Erik Lars Myers, 36, has built quite a career out of beer. Since the Maine native came to North Carolina a decade ago, his home-brewing hobby turned into a business – Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough – and Nash Street Homebrew, also in Hillsborough, which last year began selling ingredients and equipment to aspiring home brewers./pp This year he topped off his portfolio with “North Carolina Craft Beer Breweries” ($16.95, John F. Blair), a guide to 45 microbreweries from Kill Devil Hills to Bryson City./pp There are omissions, of course: Myers excluded chain operations such as Rock Bottom and Hops; he didn’t mention his own craft brewery (www.mysterybrewing.com). Plus, since he finished writing his book, the number of independent craft brewers has continued to grow./pp Myers recently discussed breweries and brewpubs worth checking out on your North Carolina travels./pp -Most noteworthy, overall/pp “There are many types of beer made across the state, and craft breweries do different things quite well…./pp “Olde Mecklenburg, in Charlotte, focuses almost exclusively on German-style lagers … their Captain James Jack Pilsner really stands out./pp “In Asheville, Wedge Brewing Company’s Iron Rail IPA is unbelievable, with a really good malt body – the hallmark of a good India pale ale: It’s good, bitter and hoppy, with sweet elements. It’s well put-together, one of the best IPAs in the state./pp “I like a lot of the innovation Fullsteam is bringing to Durham. They’re working with a fair amount of Southern ingredients – like local corn grits – or their sweet potato lager./pp “Liberty Steakhouse Brewery in High Point has some of the most well-made beers around. You can’t get it in bottles and they don’t distribute – you can only get it there (or their Myrtle Beach location) – but they have, beer for beer, across the menu, some of the best. All are well-balanced and clean. Their brewmaster is wonderful./pp “Natty Greene’s, with three locations in Greensboro and Raleigh, has a lot of very classic styles on tap. You can get a golden, an IPA, a porter. … They hit all the types and provide classic representations of beer styles./pp “If you like hoppy beers, you can’t go wrong at Foothills, in Winston-Salem. The last time I was there they had six different IPAs on tap, all wonderful.”/pp -Best brewery areas/pp “Charlotte has an up-and-coming scene, and Raleigh-Durham is the next bright shining star. Check out new ones in the Triangle, like my Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough. Asheville has been a great beer city, especially with bigger ones now coming in./pp “If there’s a ‘beer trail’ to drive, it’s almost entirely along Interstate 40. Aside from those in Charlotte and Fayetteville, you can hit almost every brewery.”/pp -Top visiting experience/pp “From a visitor perspective, Fullsteam is a wonderful place to hang out with the local beer-loving community. These breweries do that generally, but Fullsteam does that very well./pp “Huske Hardware House in Fayetteville also is a slice of the community. It’s near Fort Bragg, so it’s very much a supporter of the military community. It’s also a great bar and brewpub with great beer./pp “In Black Mountain, Pisgah brewery is in something like an old warehouse. But it has a cool atmosphere and is also a big music hall, which allows them to sell most of their beer on-site./pp “The same goes for Catawba Valley, in Morganton: They’re also into music, and put a lot of care into making it a good performance venue. It’s in the middle of Morganton and is a nice place for people to congregate./pp “One of the more outstanding, visually, is Wedge. It’s in the basement of an old Asheville warehouse. The building was converted to artist studios, so Wedge has a tasting room filled with cool art. It’s a crazy little space, but awesome.”/pp -To sip something unusual/pp “At the top of the list would be Craggie, in Asheville, which makes its Antebellum Ale with molasses, ginger and spruce tips along with barley and wheat. It’s crazy – it tastes like molasses and pine trees – and it’s delicious. It’s also a good idea of what beer would’ve been like in North Carolina maybe 100 years ago./pp “Fullsteam’s basil beer is very challenging – that herb has such a strong flavor – but their sweet potato lager is more challenging because it doesn’t taste like sweet potatoes. It’s actually a really dry, beautiful and delicious lager./pp “Quite a few craft breweries use chocolate cocoa nibs, which aren’t as sweet and give beer an earthy flavor. One that’s in season right now and which is delicious is Wonka Wash, at Bull City Burger Brewery in Durham.”/pp “There’s not a lot of Berlin-style weissbier. Catawba Valley has a rhubarb-strawberry Berliner and Fullsteam is working on one./pp “There are a couple smoked beers around. Bull City has a smoked rye beer. Fullsteam has a smoked beer, too.”/pp -Great food plus great beer/pp “Lexington Avenue, in Asheville, has one of the best restaurants attached to a brewery. They have a charcuterie plate with great local cheeses./pp “Bull City is worth noting because they make all their food in-house or buy locally, with the exception of ketchup. They use local beef, buns, pickles … and have some of the best hamburgers around. They have something called ‘bull nuts’ – locally roasted peanuts mixed with their house-cured bacon./pp “Outer Banks Brewing Station is a must-stop. It’s almost like a cathedral to beer: a big, beautiful open space with a restaurant and a sweeping bar. It has upscale pub grub. The pastry chef is really good at what she does.”/pp -The best deal/pp “The Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs, does a brewery tour every Saturday, and there’s free beer before and after the tour./pp “In Durham, Triangle Brewing has a similar setup.”/pp BEER TOURING IN NORTH CAROLINA/pp -Olde Mecklenburg, 215 Southside Drive, Charlotte. www.oldmeckbrew.com/pp -Wedge Brewing Co., 125-B Roberts St., Asheville. www.wedgebrewing.com/pp -Fullsteam, 725 Rigsbee Ave., Durham. www.fullsteam.ag/pp -Liberty Steakhouse Brewery, 914 Mall Loop Road, High Point. www.libertyAsteakhouseandbrewery.com/pp -Natty Greene’s Pub Brewing Co., 345 S. Elm St. and 1918 W. Lee St., Greensboro; 505 W. Jones St., Raleigh. www.nattygreenes.com/pp -Foothills Brewing, 638 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem. www.foothillsbrewing.com/pp -Huske Hardware House Restaurant Brewery, 405 Hay St., Fayetteville/pp -Pisgah Brewing Co., 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain. www.pisgahbrewing.com/pp -Catawba Valley Brewing Co., 212 S. Green St., Morganton. www.catawbavalleyAbrewingcompany.com/pp -Craggie Brewing Co., 197 Hilliard Ave. Asheville. www.craggiebrewingco.com/pp -Bull City Burger Brewery, 107 E. Parrish St., Durham. www.bullcityburgerandAbrewery.com/pp -Lexington Avenue Brewery, 39 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. www.lexavebrew.com/pp -Outer Banks Brewing Station, 600 S. Croatan Highway., Kill Devil Hills. www.obbrewing.com/pp -Carolina Brewing Co., 140 Thomas Mill Road, Holly Springs. www.carolinabrew.com