Monday, May 24, 2010

My ACBW/ Asheville trip

I was gone last week, if you followed the twitter feed, you probably figured that out. I tried to start a trending topic on twitter with VGRIDAVL, but apparently was the only person to use it. I wanted it to be as popular as when the Obama's went to Asheville, but apparently #avlpotus got more people to use it than #vgridavl. Oh well.

Kridz and I left on Monday morning for the 600 mile drive. It was uneventful, so that was nice. It takes us right around 9 hours for the trip, more or less depending on if you stop to eat, or just grab a gas station sammich.

We got there on Monday and went to the fiddlin pig. They have some local beers on tap, so, of course, I had local beer. I believe I had something from French Broad. I finished up with a Carolina Blonde. It's from Carolina, but not necessarily local. I had the Beef Brisket Platter, with fried okra and greens. It was ok. There's live bluegrass playing, which was nice. Kridz thought I hated bluegrass, but I can appreciate it. I reminded her that we listened to the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack on the way back from Dark Lord Day, but she thought I only put it in to be funny or mock, when I asked her why I could sing along, she didn't really have an answer.

I had some thoughts about songs that I'd like to hear in a bluegrass style. Mostly, I thought Famous Blue Raincoat would make an awesome bluegrass song. I also wondered how I could turn Baby Got Back into a bluegrass song.

That was about it for Monday. Tuesday, we didn't really have any plans, except our hosts had to take their two month old to the doctor for shots, so we couldn't really plan to do much on Tuesday. So, I went to the store and got stuff for a dinner. We had a cheese plate with brie and drunken goat and a baby greens salad, served with New Belgium IPA. Second course was pan fried beef tenderloin steaks with asparagus in a balsamic reduction, served over parmesan risotto; served with Ommegang Abbey Ale. We were all pretty full at this point, so we let our dinner settle and later had a Sara Lee vanilla bean cake, served with the Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken's Stout. All in all, it was a decent meal, and I think it was received well. Neither Kridz nor Dana are very experimental with their food. They had their salads with ranch dressing, instead of balsamic. Dana, normally puts ranch on her steak, but said that this was good enough that it didn't need anything on it, so that made me happy. Neither really like the asparagus. The risotto (to me) didn't turn out the way I wanted.

Wednesday, we went downtown and had lunch at Lexington Avenue Brewery. I had the American Pale Ale, Kridz had the India Pale Ale. I ate the portobello sandwich, Kridz had the beer cheese soup. Both were good enough.

We left there and walked down to the Mellow Mushroom. MM in Asheville has an awesome beer selection, for being a pizza place. They have a large amount of taps, and have a lot of local beer on tap. I can't remember what anyone had, but I know we enjoyed them. Evening meal was spaghetti.

Thursday for lunch, went to Asheville Brewing Company. I had the buffet, Kridz had some sort of chicken alfredo looking thing. I don't remember what beer I had, but it was something I've had before. It was serviceable. Neither outstandingly great, nor horrifically bad.

We left there and made our way back to downtown and walked to Bruisin' Ales. I gave Jason and Julie two bottles of Dark Lord, and Jay gave me a bottle of Le Baladin (can't remember what) but it had a sticker price of $50. I think we'll be opening it on Monday. Also picked up some other things that I've never heard of, and haven't seen, so that'll be nice.

After spending about $120, we left and went down to the Woolworths (odd how there's another Oh Brother reference). The woolworth in Asheville has a soda fountain, and is an art gallery. When I go there, I get ideas of things to do. I don't really do them, but I get ideas.

Thursday night we ate beef strogonoff, nothing too spectacular.

Friday, Frank arrived, after having worked in Knoxville for the week. Lunch was at BW, which has asome local beers on tap, so I had the French Broad Wee Heavy-er, followed up by Highland Black Mocha. Later that afternoon, we went down to Craggie. Had a sip of the antebellum ale, which is heavy on the ginger. I drank the Battery Hill, which is an english-style rye. Kridz and Frank both had the Toubab, zwickel beer.

We left there and went to the Green Man Brewing and Tasting Room (also known as Dirty Jacks for some reason). I had the porter, Kridz had the stout, Frank had the Imperial stout. I bought a new trucker hat. We left there planning on going to the Yacht Club, but instead went to the Green Man sister restaurant Jack of the Wood. Frank had a Founders Double Trouble, I had a Stone Ruination. I ate the Salmon Fish and Chips, which was pretty good.

We then went across the street to the Thirsty Monk. They were having a Terrapin event. They had the newest side project on cask, Boom Shaka Lager. Which was pretty darn good. Frank got one as well. Kridz got a Wake-n-Bake. We got to talk to Spike Buckowski, of the brewery, and I begged him to come to Champaign. I also asked that he distribute solely to Radio Maria in Illinois, but he didn't really seem interested in that, but I tried.

We then headed back to Frank and Dana's as the baby was getting cranky. Frank and I shared a couple of beers, but I really don't remember what all we had.

Saturday was Frank's birthday, there was a cookout, there was beer. There was fuzzy memories. I know we had the previous Terrapin Side Project, Capt'n Krunkles which was a really good black IPA; there was plenty of other stuff too, but, I don't remember. After everyone left, Frank and I split a Widmer Brothers' Reserve Prickly Pear Braggot. It seemed to have more of the honey flavor than of the prickly pear. It also had quite an alcohol kick towards the end. It was good, but I'd have hoped for more of the fruit juice in the flavor. We finished his birthday with a Foothills Brewery Sexual Chocolate. This is one of those beers, that you consider yourself blessed to try. It wasn't a bitter chocolate, but it wasn't a milk shake either. It was a darn fine beer. (It's listed as #97 on Beer Advocate's top 100 list; I don't care about rankings, but some people do).

Sunday, we drove back, on my twitter feed, you can see how fast we were traveling and how far we got each hour. Made it back in time for Blackhawks puck drop. Then I went in to Radio Maria to count beer.

It was a good trip. Lots of beer. Time with friends. And yes, I held the baby, but only because on Saturday night, Dana put the baby on me, as I was sitting in a chair. When the baby was removed, I germ-x'ed myself thoroughly. Babies make me sick. Why, I don't know. But touching babies seems to give me the flu.

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