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Last seen at Liz's Blues Cave on 01 Sep 2015 23:02 UTC
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Changes at the Castle’s Kettle & Pub – What does it mean to the beer selection?

Changes at the Castle’s Kettle & Pub – What does it mean to the beer selection?

There are some changes going on at the Castle’ s Kettle & Pub. I’ll let them announce most of the changes, but would like to inform folks about what’s going on with the beer. They have gone from 24 taps to 12 – 11 when I was there the other night. This is temporary according to management. They are going to make the 12th tap a mug club tap selected by the members of the mug club. They also plan to have different taps for the various styles of beer such as hefeweizen, stout, IPA, pale ale and so forth, with 5 or 6 rotating brands for each tap. That would be nice so folks could have a little variety. Of course the Harp, Guinness and Smithwick’s will remain on both levels, but the namesake pub beer may be in for some changes. Some people around town have suggested that they actually have mugs assigned to each member but I’m not sure if that’s the best way. When I paid my tab guess what? I received an actual paper tab and just paid it. Not sure if the iPad system is gone or just being revamped. It seems like a good idea, but the actual execution was a bit off. I’ll keep you posted about that’s going on. In the meantime…Laissez les bon temps...

BCBC wants to do a Blacksburg Pub Crawl – How about you?

The newly formed Blacksburg Craft Beer Club is considering doing a pub crawl through Blacksburg, starting at 622 North and working our way through town to the London Underground Pub. Six beers, twenty bucks. Are you in? Join the BCBC at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blacksburg-Craft-Beer-Club/217677585010633 or our meetup page at http://www.meetup.com/Fans-of-Craft-Beer-Blacksburg/ We will be posting details there as plans firm up. Tentative date is mid-September on a Sunday early evening. Laissaz les bon temps...

Huck's Beer Buzz

Why would a festival not provide beer choices to 80% of their attendees?

I recently attended a large music festival where the only beer available was craft beer. So that’s a great thing, right? Well, maybe… Since we got the BeeRV we are seeing a side of festivals that was previously hidden from our sight. At festivals where camping is allowed, specifically RVs, we group together around the power outlets and water supplies, much like the desert Bedouins gathering at the oasis each evening. We share food, alcohol, and of course, stories. Each story is better than the last. But I digress. The folks camping next to us saw my Huck Was Here stickers and banners, and we discussed craft beer and I gave them a taste of several I had brought. They really weren’t that interested. I noticed they had cases of Busch, Coors Light and other mainstream beers stacked up under the table and packed in coolers. One of them commented that he didn’t mind a craft beer, but if he was going to drink all day he preferred something a bit lighter. They were doing beer bongs, and of course I had to jump in and join them for old times sake. I got to thinking about it. Here were a large group of people who, when they went to the festival grounds, either had to smuggle beer in or not drink. There were a couple of craft Pilsner choices but no mainstream beers. When I pointed that there were craft pilsners, one of the group said  said that he didn’t like to have to chew his beer. There were comments about the high alcohol content of the beers.... read more

#BBC15, Another great Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference!

The 2015 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference was held in Asheville, NC the weekend of July 17th and 18th.  Strictly speaking, there was an expedition to Raleigh the night before, but I didn’t make that. Asheville welcomed us with open arms and excellent beer. The event was sponsored by a whole group of beer-minded people and organizations.  There’s a complete list here! I took the BeeRV and it performed like a champ through the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. The route was I-81 to I-40, which is both beautiful and scenic. Traffic was mild and the sun shone all the way there. My campsite was on the banks of the French Broad River. There’s also a French Broad Brewery. I based ourselves at the campground for the weekend there. It was called Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park and was just that. The river green-way ran literally through the middle of the park. It separated the two rows of sites. So many people were using it that I got motivated to jog on Saturday morning. It was fun even if I was bit sore later! Uber got me to downtown, where there’s a bunch of shops of every description. Of course, I started at Brusin Ales, a beer shop, and then headed to the south slope, where the Funkatorium awaited. At the Brusin I met up with the Beer Babe and Growler Fills. We joined Raise Your Pints and some other convention goers at the Funkatorium, where they barrel aged beers with fruit…lots of fruit. Brettanomyces  is added as well, and they do their little dance together and create some of the best... read more

Was there beer on the first BeeRV tour? There’s always beer in the BeeRv!

The BeeRV is celebrating its first birthday more or less. After all that beer I can’t really remember when we got it exactly. We’ve done a bunch of work on it – not done yet but progress has been made. For those of you interested in the renovation, I will explain that in a separate post later. Tab Benoit was playing at the Harvester in Rocky Mount at the “listening room.” The Harvester Performance Center has been booking some great acts for a while now. It has comfy seats and great acoustics. The downside is a limited food and beverage selection and an over-enforced four-drink limit. I’ve seen many people buy drinks for their friends or significant other and then find out they were out of “marks” and couldn’t purchase any more alcohol. The other odd thing is that most of the patrons sit quietly in their chairs, no matter what is playing. It’s kinda like people watching TV, except it’s live music. We parked at a friend’s, plugged in, and headed to the concert. They had some good beer from Chaos Mountain and  Parkway Brewing. Tab put on his usual great show and we had a good time as well. Afterwards, we had a good nights sleep in the BeeRv after hanging with our friends for a while. The next morning we headed over to Chaos Mountain Brewing since we hadn’t been there before. Even though they were having a bit of a crisis with the bottling line, they took time to give us a tour of the place, answered our questions and gave us a few samples... read more

Is there beer in Charlottesville, Virginia? Yep…

Charlottesville is a city I only get to occasionally, and I’m usually in a hurry. I had the opportunity to spend an evening there and decided to check out some places I haven’t been before. We all know there’s good beer at Beer Run and the Mellow Mushroom. I thought I would see where else there might be some. The first one that popped up on my phone was the Sedona Tap House. There’s also one of these in Richmond. The one in Chalottesville is behind Barracks Road shopping center, so it’s easy to get to and has plenty of parking. At least it did when I got there around 8pm on a Tuesday. When I walked up, there were a bunch of UVA looking people on the patio – you know the type, khakis and polo shirts. Lots of blue and orange… I felt a little out of place. Huckette, my lovely wife, graduated from there so no hard feelings… The interior is a bit more formal looking than most multi tap bars. Dark wood and extensive decorator touches throughout. The bar was not crowded, so I sat down and perused the beer list. I asked if they did samplers and was corrected, “What? We have flights!” Again, not feeling the love here. The beer list was ok, a little heavy on Virginia beer, which is fine, but Virginia doesn’t make that much great beer. Lots of good beer, but I would challenge you to name one that people have on their bucket list.. They served me and then disappeared. It seems that the slower the business is... read more

Huck's Home Movies

Who the heck is Huck?

Huck hails from Blacksburg Virginia in the Roanoke Valley. Huck travels for work which allows him to sample beer at various locales.

Huck  tries to document those places so that others can find the good places and be forewarned about the bad!

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Huck’s Beer Stuff for Sale

Why would a festival not provide beer choices to 80% of their attendees?

I recently attended a large music festival where the only beer available was craft beer. So that’s a great thing, right? Well, maybe… Since we got the BeeRV we are seeing a side of festivals that was previously hidden from our sight. At festivals where camping is allowed, specifically RVs, we group together around the power outlets and water supplies, much like the desert Bedouins gathering at the oasis each evening. We share food, alcohol, and of course, stories. Each story is better than the last. But I digress. The folks camping next to us saw my Huck Was Here stickers and banners, and we discussed craft beer and I gave them a taste of several I had brought. They really weren’t that interested. I noticed they had cases of Busch, Coors Light and other mainstream beers stacked up under the table and packed in coolers. One of them commented that he didn’t mind a craft beer, but if he was going to drink all day he preferred something a bit lighter. They were doing beer bongs, and of course I had to jump in and join them for old times sake. I got to thinking about it. Here were a large group of people who, when they went to the festival grounds, either had to smuggle beer in or not drink. There were a couple of craft Pilsner choices but no mainstream beers. When I pointed that there were craft pilsners, one of the group said  said that he didn’t like to have to chew his beer. There were comments about the high alcohol content of the beers....

#BBC15, Another great Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference!

The 2015 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference was held in Asheville, NC the weekend of July 17th and 18th.  Strictly speaking, there was an expedition to Raleigh the night before, but I didn’t make that. Asheville welcomed us with open arms and excellent beer. The event was sponsored by a whole group of beer-minded people and organizations.  There’s a complete list here! I took the BeeRV and it performed like a champ through the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. The route was I-81 to I-40, which is both beautiful and scenic. Traffic was mild and the sun shone all the way there. My campsite was on the banks of the French Broad River. There’s also a French Broad Brewery. I based ourselves at the campground for the weekend there. It was called Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park and was just that. The river green-way ran literally through the middle of the park. It separated the two rows of sites. So many people were using it that I got motivated to jog on Saturday morning. It was fun even if I was bit sore later! Uber got me to downtown, where there’s a bunch of shops of every description. Of course, I started at Brusin Ales, a beer shop, and then headed to the south slope, where the Funkatorium awaited. At the Brusin I met up with the Beer Babe and Growler Fills. We joined Raise Your Pints and some other convention goers at the Funkatorium, where they barrel aged beers with fruit…lots of fruit. Brettanomyces  is added as well, and they do their little dance together and create some of the best...

Was there beer on the first BeeRV tour? There’s always beer in the BeeRv!

The BeeRV is celebrating its first birthday more or less. After all that beer I can’t really remember when we got it exactly. We’ve done a bunch of work on it – not done yet but progress has been made. For those of you interested in the renovation, I will explain that in a separate post later. Tab Benoit was playing at the Harvester in Rocky Mount at the “listening room.” The Harvester Performance Center has been booking some great acts for a while now. It has comfy seats and great acoustics. The downside is a limited food and beverage selection and an over-enforced four-drink limit. I’ve seen many people buy drinks for their friends or significant other and then find out they were out of “marks” and couldn’t purchase any more alcohol. The other odd thing is that most of the patrons sit quietly in their chairs, no matter what is playing. It’s kinda like people watching TV, except it’s live music. We parked at a friend’s, plugged in, and headed to the concert. They had some good beer from Chaos Mountain and  Parkway Brewing. Tab put on his usual great show and we had a good time as well. Afterwards, we had a good nights sleep in the BeeRv after hanging with our friends for a while. The next morning we headed over to Chaos Mountain Brewing since we hadn’t been there before. Even though they were having a bit of a crisis with the bottling line, they took time to give us a tour of the place, answered our questions and gave us a few samples...

Is there beer in Charlottesville, Virginia? Yep…

Charlottesville is a city I only get to occasionally, and I’m usually in a hurry. I had the opportunity to spend an evening there and decided to check out some places I haven’t been before. We all know there’s good beer at Beer Run and the Mellow Mushroom. I thought I would see where else there might be some. The first one that popped up on my phone was the Sedona Tap House. There’s also one of these in Richmond. The one in Chalottesville is behind Barracks Road shopping center, so it’s easy to get to and has plenty of parking. At least it did when I got there around 8pm on a Tuesday. When I walked up, there were a bunch of UVA looking people on the patio – you know the type, khakis and polo shirts. Lots of blue and orange… I felt a little out of place. Huckette, my lovely wife, graduated from there so no hard feelings… The interior is a bit more formal looking than most multi tap bars. Dark wood and extensive decorator touches throughout. The bar was not crowded, so I sat down and perused the beer list. I asked if they did samplers and was corrected, “What? We have flights!” Again, not feeling the love here. The beer list was ok, a little heavy on Virginia beer, which is fine, but Virginia doesn’t make that much great beer. Lots of good beer, but I would challenge you to name one that people have on their bucket list.. They served me and then disappeared. It seems that the slower the business is...

Urban Camping in Roanoke, what’s the deal?

We headed up to Roanoke, Virginia this weekend to try Urban Camping the BeeRV. What is Urban Camping? Well, you set up the old RV, or BeeRV if you have one, in a parking lot downtown right across from Elmwood Park where the concerts are held. We signed up online through this Facebook page.  It takes you to a ticket page unique for each date. They started this last year and had a couple of dates. The last one last year was actually cancelled, but that was due to reasons beyond their control. There’s a bunch of government red tape to be cut to get it off the ground, and they couldn’t get all the t’s crossed. This year they have booked all four dates in advance, and that problem has been solved. The dates this year are: May 23, 24, 25: Festival in the Park; August 7 and 8: Microfestivus; October 9 and 10: Blues Festival. It’s $35 a night or $70 a weekend. That may sound a bit high, but you are right across the street from the event. What’s that worth? So, what’s it like camping in downtown Roanoke? Good question! I’ve been a camper all my life. That’s about 60 years… In the modern era, we started in tents and a pick-up truck camper cover. We’ve camped all over the country, from the mountains to the beaches and everywhere in between. We moved from the tent to a popup and finally to a self contained RV (BeeRV). We have seen all sorts of campgrounds, from the amazing to the bearable. But camping is always fun! At least in retrospect…...

If you like Maryland craft beer, Alewife Baltimore has the event for you!

On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Alewife Baltimore will be featuring 40 taps of Maryland beer all day. The event will include the Jacob Panic Trio starting at 2:00 pm, oysters, other wonderful food selected by the chef, and of course, plenty of Maryland craft beer. There’s also going to be six casks on the upper level of the restaurant, and if I know my Maryland beer, I’m sure one or more will be from Heavy Seas. Other notable Maryland breweries include: Flying Dog, Jailbreak, Brewers Art, DuClaw, Union, and Evolution. For a more complete list, see Wikipedia here. Alewife is one of my regular haunts when in Baltimore. They have 40 taps of all craft beer. The staff is knowledgeable about the craft beer industry and willing to point you to the best beer to suit your tastes. The food is eclectic. The menu includes Cajun Pot Pie and Wild Bore Sliders, and their burger selection, which is very popular in the city. They once had Snakehead Fish as a special. I declined… If you go in looking for one of the more popular brands of beer (read Bud, etc.),  you will be politely told this is not the bar you are looking for! Every time I go there I find a delicious beer that I have not previously had. Usually many more than one and in all the styles; there seems to be no bias towards particular types of beers. The place used to be a bank or insurance company and the old vault still is in place. There’s a giant round  safe in front of the building if...

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