Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This post was supposed to have happened three times already, but finally i've got some time to post. I hit Charlotte last week and got relief from December's chilly (although you wouldn't know it the past two days) hold on Pennsylvania. Great drive down, but the second my wheels hit Charlotte it started raining and might not have even stopped yet for all i know.

When you're in Flying Saucer land you've got to stop by and that's where lunch happened. Chatted with the folks at the Saucer over fine food and some New Holland beers. I also got a sneak peek at Flying Saucer's holiday pint, all ready for inauguration:

With some good hard business before and after it was soon time to meet up with the Charlotte Beer Club. After chatting for a minute with the club's Founder Darrin Pikarsky it became clear that this thing is more of an army than a club. They have a few hundred members that can show up at any of their gatherings. Organized to the hilt and becoming moreso everyday, the Charlotte Beer Club has got the knack for keeping their beer talk completely relaxed and fun.

One member of the club you all may know is Beer Columnist Rick Lyke, who also came out for the tasting. Worth checking out if you are unfamiliar, in addition to Rick's drinks blog, is his awareness effort: Pints For Prostates A prostate cancer survivor himself, Rick has raised both awareness and funds to help further the message of the importance of prostate screening for men.

I met with the Beer Club at one of the absolute coolest places i have been to in a while, the Common Market on Commonwealth Ave. For Philly folks, its The Foodery meets the P.O.P.E. meets Spencer's Gifts. Folks can walk into Common Market and grab a sandwich, pull a beer out of the cooler, pay, then sit down with a book and hang out. A couple of craft beers on tap (including He'Brew Jewbulation on this trip) a little indoor/outdoor smoker's lounge, some old school toys and magic tricks on the racks and a ton of craft beer and wine round out the offerings. Oh and there was a DJ too.

We tasted through a handful of New Holland beers and chatted about the upcoming World Beer Fest in Columbia, SC. Some of the crew hung late, which i was more than happy to do as well and we tasted the night away. This is definitely a spot to hit if you're in the Charlotte area. Despite having to be on the road in the early AM the next morning i really didn't want to leave.

I didn't get deep into the heart of Charlotte or explore its beer community fully, but i definitely connected with some of its essential inhabitants. I love being able to go to a city i've never been to before and have a network of folks to tap into who share similar ideas about beer. I talked for hours with people who didn't know me from Lex Humphries and we had a blast. Beer club folks Chad, Chris, Kelly, John and the rest of the bunch made a great trip even greater.

For inspiration to start your own awesome beer club check out the Charlotte gang's current web activity at beer.meetup.com/196

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