Look, people change. In college, my idea of the perfect afternoon snack consisted of beef jerky and Diet Mountain Dew. Obvs I still love beef jerky, but the neon green soda thing, not so much. At that time, I felt super lucky to drink Natural Ice and talk to a boy at a keg party. I was also very likely to do a shot of spiced rum chased by Diet Dr. Pepper at some point in the evening. But like khaki cargo pants and Taco Bell meximelts for dinner, I thankfully left those tastes behind in Bloomington.
Today Vic Pop has a real excuse to celebrate a farewell to the poor booze choices I made during college. May 16th marks the beginning of American Craft Beer Week.
Craft beer. You know it when you drink it, or or maybe I should say you know when you’re not drinking it. If your favorite beer company buys ad space during national sporting events, let me whisper softly in your ear, That’s not craft beer. If your favorite beer features how many calories it contains prominently in its name or on its label, That’s not craft beer, and if you drink anything that has its caloric content in its name we may not be able to be friends anymore. According to the Brewers’ Association, the Colorado-based nonprofit behind craftbeer.com, an American Craft brewer can pretty much be summed up in three adjectives: small, independent, and traditional.
2011 will be the first year in American Craft Beer Week’s six year history when all 50 states host officially recognized events. Craft beer-vangelists at Fullsteam in Durham kick the week off today with “CRAFT BEER IS…an affordable luxury”, and the good news is that all pints at Fullsteam are $3 all day Monday, May 16th.
Plenty of locations around Chapel Hill and Carrboro will unofficially celebrate excellence in the craft beer being served and brewed all over the Triangle. A little inspiration can be found at the following locations:
- Brixx Pizza, Meadowmont, Chapel Hill - I’ve come to the surprising conclusion that this regional pizza chain also has one of the best selections of craft beer on tap in Chapel Hill. On top of that, almost all draught beers at Brixx are $1.95 on Mondays. Every Monday! Currently at least two dozen are available on draught, call (919) 929-1942 to hear the lineup. Be prepared to enjoy favorites like Rogue, Heavy Seas, and SweetWater. They almost always have at least one beer from Winston-Salem’s Foothills and Durham’s Triangle beer on tap as well.
- Carolina Brewery and Triangle Brewing Company team up for a joint beer dinner at Carolina Brewery’s West Franklin Street location on Tuesday, May 17th. Each of the four courses will be paired with a beer from these breweries, and the fun starts at 6:30 with a brewer’s reception. Call (919) 942-1800 for reservations (required). $35 per person plus tax and gratuity. Click here to read the info from their web site.
- TJ’s Beverage and Tobacco in Carrboro (across from the snuggly Belgian beer bar Milltown) might look like a nondescript mini-mall stop for smokes, but this is one of the best places in Orange County to purchase some very hard to find North Carolina-brewed craft beer. Case in point: They are one of two places in the Triangle where beer heads can buy growlers of Pisgah (Black Mountain, NC), and they are the only place in the Triangle where you can purchase a sample from Morganton’s Catawba Valley Brewing Company portfolio that includes Hyper Monkey Coffee Stout, Berliner Weisse, and of course an IPA, Firewater Indian Pale Ale.