An Ale Sharpton apology, kickin’ it at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC and 10,000 reasons why beer is the sh*t!
Well it’s been a minute and I apologize for that, but after the theft of my awesome laptop, it has been a pain in the ass to travel, juggle everything and still find the time to post a blog that rocks over the past week. To add, God bless this notebook I am temporarily using, but it just is no comparison to in terms of speed, memory, monitor size, etc. It’s been a pain in the ass, but I have finally caught my wind. Again, my bad on the wait.
Anyways, after that tearful apology, I just got back from Asheville, NC, the awesome city that may be small in size but huge on beer! Just ask the thousands who voted Asheville as the 2010 BeerCity USA. Although it’s assumed that I was all over the beer scene here, hopping in and out of anything ale-related, my alter-ego was covering a story on the awesome Land Rover Experience Driving School at the famous home of the Vanderbilts—the Biltmore Estate—and was "confined" to their ridiculously lavish property for two days. (It’s definitely a spot to bring your honey to—especially during the winter and spring time.) I had so much fun learning how to drive these plush SUVs up and down hills laced with snow, and across iced-over streams (see the pic). Two things were accomplished: I am more confident to take on any road condition and second, the Range Rover is officially my dream truck. I strongly recommend you experience the "Experience"; here's the link: Land Rover Driving Experience
In Ale Sharpton mode, it was an almost unbearable tease that so much brewing goodness was available just beyond the gates of the 800+-acre property, but I did try some of Biltmore’s own that are contractually brewed by the Highland Brewing Company not too far away. Named after the Vanderbilt family’s beloved St. Bernard, there was the Cedric English Pale Ale (5.5% abv) which was bready, slightly sweet up front with a mellow hop finish, and the Cedric Brown Ale (also 5.5%) that was a nice mahogany-colored session brew that was nutty with subtle notes of toffee. They did a decent job with both, but I was really craving a serious dose of hops or something “imperial.” I was told I had to head in town for a place called Bruisin’ Ales to buy one of their 900+ brews on the shelves, sip a pint at Barley’s, or visit any one of the nine breweries in town including French Broad, Craggie, Lexington Avenue or the aforementioned Highland. Since a trip was impossible with the itinerary I was given, I enjoyed the Estate and made it a prerogative to drive back up with a few of my beer-loving homies as soon as possible in 2011.
10,000 reasons to love beer.
After feeling subjected to brewing pimpdom, I took the “L”, grabbed a four-pack of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout for .50 cents less than one Bell's Commemorative, a $2.79 bottle of Innis & Gunn for my business partner, and headed to the counter. It turned out that the dude was wrong: the Bell’s 12-0z was only $2.99 a bottle! The beer gods have rewarded me for my dedication (and stupidity) to be willing to pay that much initially, and it turned out to be a great evening.