Brewery Reviews, Craft Beer Travel

March Craft Beer Report – Four Saints Brewing, Left Nut Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Basic City Beer

Whether a brewery sends me a courtesy sample, I visit a brewery on a press trip, or I just stop in a brewery because beer, I drink a lot of beer. Each month, I summarize my favorites in a monthly craft beer report.

March was a tough month for beer. I was sick for most of the month. The little beer I did drink, I really couldn’t taste. Thankfully, I was healthy for my trip to Asheville for the Beer Marketing and Tourism Conference at the end of the month. While the conference was mostly business – I presented on how to work with bloggers – I did manage to sample a beer or two in between (and during) breakout sessions.

 

As a beer writer, each month I try a lot of craft beer. Here are my favorites from March summarized in my March Craft Beer Report.

 

Four Saints Brewing Saint Luke Honey Ginger Pale Ale (Draught, 9.1% ABV, 62 IBU)

Where: Beer Marketing and Tourism Conference “Trade Show” (It was really just a mini beer festival)

With: More beers than I can remember.

Notes: I didn’t realize just how big Four Saints Brewing’s Saint Luke Honey Ginger Pale Ale was at the time I sampled it as it drinks very smooth. The honey was big on the nose, yet mellowed on the palate with a pleasant white wine / mead feel. The hops and ginger added a needed spice and bitterness to complete the beer.

 

As a beer writer, each month I try a lot of craft beer. Here are my favorites from March summarized in my March Craft Beer Report.

 

Left Nut Brewing Company Shade Tail Nutty Pecan Ale (Draught, 5.5% ABV, 25 IBU)

Where: Beer Marketing and Tourism Conference “Trade Show” (It was really just a mini beer festival)

With: More beers than I can remember.

Notes: I tend to avoid any form of nut ales as they are normally too high on the nut factor for me. I prefer my nuts salted and as a snack with my beer. Left Nut Brewing Company’s Shade Tail Nutty Pecan Ale was an exception to the rule. Through Left Nut’s proprietary process of roasting and adding the pecans, the beer delivered subtle hints of pecan on the nose and palate – almost like a perfume – over a dancing dry finish.

 

As a beer writer, each month I try a lot of craft beer. Here are my favorites from March summarized in my March Craft Beer Report.

 

Sierra Nevada Tropical Torpedo (Draught, 6.7% ABV, 55 IBU)

Where: Sierra Nevada in Mills River, North Carolina

With: Hummus, spinach,  and roasted red pepper on focaccia

Notes: Does anyone else feel embarrassed drinking this beer? Sierra Nevada’s dark green Torpedo Extra IPA bottles look rugged – like a real man’s beer. The Tropical Torpedo bottles on the other hand? Not so much. Alas, it’s what’s in the bottle that counts most. While the fine print promises aromas of mango, papaya, and passion fruit, I didn’t find this beer to be overly juicy, but more fragrant, with a decent malt structure to carry the tropical notes. It’s a good spring beer, regardless of the bottle.

 

As a beer writer, each month I try a lot of craft beer. Here are my favorites from March summarized in my March Craft Beer Report.

 

Basic City Beer The 6th Lord IPA (Draught, 5.8% ABV)

Where: During a breakout session at the Beer Tourism and Marketing Conference

With: A notepad and pen.

Notes: I drank several Basic City Beer’s beers during the conference from the trade show to bottle shares during meals and presentations. Each was better than the one before. Basic City Beer is a brewery to take note of. The 6th Lord IPA was truly a beautiful and noteworthy ale. It was delicate. The citrus was there, but not overpowering. It was sweet, juicy, and fragrant all at once. I look forward to visiting the Shenandoah Valley brewery some day to see what surprises await me in the taproom.

 

What have you been drinking lately?

 

As a beer writer, each month I try a lot of craft beer. Here are my favorites from March summarized in my March Craft Beer Report.