This has been a busy semester already! Right out of the gate, I had a group from UNCA’s College for Seniors ask to tour our facilities at AB Tech. (Hi Meredith!) The Brewmaster, Jeffery Irvin, the Department Head, Chef Scott Adams, and I talked about the program, why it’s so unique, and did a walk-through of the brewing facility. That was only six weeks ago, but it feels like it’s been much longer! Since then we have begun analyzing yeast cells under microscopes, crushed grapes for wine with our bare feet, made Kvass (a traditional drink from Russia that is made by fermenting bread), and got in our new 10 hectoliter brew system. The first thing people ask me is how much is a hectoliter? One hectoliter (100 liters) is about 26.5 gallons. This is a huge leap from the 15 gallon Sabco system we have been using until this point!
Here at the shop, we began our weekly beer tastings on Fridays from 5-6:30. It’s been so much fun picking out the beers for these and sharing them with our customers! Mike Merriman, winemaker extraordinaire from Merriman Wines in Oregon was in the shop this week to share his wines with our customers and sign some bottles. I found out that he used to brew beer before catching the wine bug. When he told me he loves saisons, I had to share a beer with him! I think Mike loved being here as much as we loved having him. His words were, “Drinking beer and doing a tasting at the same time? Priceless!” Just goes to show that you don’t have to choose between wine and beer! You can have it all! Come by this coming Friday, February 27th for a dark beer tasting from our local craft selection! It's the porters vs. the stouts!
We also started a Craft Beer Case Club! Customers can choose to receive a monthly case with either (24) 12 oz bottles or (12) 22oz/750ml bottles. Words can’t express how much I love picking out the beers for these cases! With the selection that our local breweries and our distributors offer, shopping for the case club is like going through the Sears Wishbook during the holidays when I was a kid! If you didn’t have this experience, I’m sorry. Your childhood was wasted! I got to tour a couple of our distributors' warehouses lately. The amount of beers at my finger tips is daunting! You can sign up for the case club of your choice at https://www.metrowinesasheville.com/club
If that wasn’t enough, we also added the Beer Blind Tasting League! Just like our Wine Blind Tasting League events, we are given four beverages that are not labeled. We use only the visual, aromatic, and flavor clues to determine what the malts or other grains are, which hops and yeasts were used, and what the style might be. This is the drinking game you’ve been waiting for! We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and there is a lot of partial credit awarded! If you want to give it a shot, we hold these events on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm. The next event will be on March 18th. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in the shop or on line at https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/product/blind-tasting-league-tickets-1/