Monthly Archives: July 2013

New Holland Brewing – White Hatter

~If you want to read real beer snob reviews, check out Beer Advocate. Those people are super serious about their beers and you can learn a WHOLE lot from them. ~

~Disclaimer number two: I don’t like ALL beers. That doesn’t mean that a beer I dont care for isn’t a good beer. Here is the deal. We all have different palates. Some palates take time to develop as well. 4 years ago you couldn’t pay me to drink a stout. Now I LOVE them. I’m going to talk about beers that I like, that rate like crap on Beer Advocate. I’m going to say I don’t care for some beers, that are probably ranked really high.  This is my blog. It’s here to hopefully entertain. Maybe educate. And simply my goal is for you to go out and TRY new beers. Simple. as. that. ~~

I picked up a 6 of the New Holland White Hatter for two reasons. One, its touted as a Belgian Pale Ale and Belgians are one of my favorite styles of beers. Two, I loved the label. I don’t know the history of the Hatter Series (yes, i looked. i havent found anything yet). But here is a link to  the Hatter Beers as a series: http://newhollandbrew.com/hatter-day-hatters
LOVE the labels.

Anyway, Pale Ales and Imperial Pale Ales (IPA’s) are my lest favorite beer styles. I was kind of hoping for more Belgian, less PA. That being said, it IS nicely done. It’s a pretty dark yellow, light orange color. With an aggressive pour, only produced a small head but even 20 minutes later there was nice carbonation going on and really nice lacing on the glass. (go ahead. say it . . .)

Its got a nice citrusy, hoppy, floral smell to it. I tend to like the way PA and IPA’s smell more than how they taste.  It tastes like a nicley done, mild Pale Ale. A little hoppy, a little citrusy, with a bit of bitter bite on the back end. New Holland makes great beers and I can safely say if you like Pale Ales, you should give this one a try. But I probably wont pick up another of the White Hatter for myself. Image

Outer Banks Brewing Station

flight

Back in June my family and I traveled to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for vacation. The OBX holds a special place in my heart and has been our go-to spot for a few decades now.

This year the kids and I joined my parentals and my sister and her kids and we all took up residence in one of the summer rentals on the beach. Of course what was one thing on my to-do list for vacation? Visit the local breweries of course!

Outer Banks Brewing Station was the third of three I was able to get to over the course of 6 days and it was by far the knock out winner on all counts.

When we first pulled into the parking lot, I knew we were going to be in for a solid wait. It was packed! It was high noon the first solid week of summer vacation and the tourist season was definitely in full swing. We put our name in with the friendly host and decided to wait out back for our table. The back of the brewery hosts a huge garden/outdoor entertainment area. There are plenty of picnic tables and what looks to be a place for bands to play outside. The kids stayed entertained on the wooden ship structure which I thought was ingenious. Probably my favorite part of the back area was the way they integrated the vegetable and herb gardens as part of the landscape. There were rosemary plants as big as large bushes and not only did it look really cool, it smelled fantastic.

Finally it was time for our party of 10 to be seated. The interior was charming! Big vaulted ceilings with a variety of oriental rugs hung from the ceiling, dampening the noise. There was a lot of hustle and bustle but it didn’t feel chaotic, it felt festive.
obb
The menu was pleasantly surprising. I’ve found that at a lot of breweries the food goes one of two ways. It’s either completely underwhelming, or very well done and super pricey. This was perfectly in the middle. Fresh menu options with really interesting choices and the pricing was very reasonable, especially located in such a high tourism area. Since I’m not a foodie and that’s not what this blog is about I’ll leave you with a link to the menu http://www.obbrewing.com/menus/ and tell you I had the Fried Green Tomato Caprese and it was awesome.

On to the beer. Since it was lunch time, I decided to go with a lower ABV beer and frankly, the one that sounded the most interesting. The Lemon grass Wit. Both my mother and my sister, who had tried other beers with me along the way, ordered it as well.

The LGW pours a beautiful cloudy lemon yellow with a pillowy white head. The smell of wheat and lemongrass were there, and not overwhelming. Perfectly balanced. And oh my gawd delicious. I couldn’t find fault with this beer. From the smell, body, look, taste and finish . . I really wanted another but we had more driving to do. It should be noted that my sister and mother both really enjoyed the beer as well!

I bought a t-shirt and made a note to come back. And I didn’t wait long. I talked my sister into going back that very evening. It was our last evening on the island and I really wanted to try the rest of their beers.
sister
The evening crowd seemed to be a larger mix of locals and tourists but the place was no less busy. We scored some seats at the bar and I ordered a flight. The flight prices at $7.50 were extremely reasonable for 4, 5 oz pours. Since at the time of vacation I hadn’t planned on starting a blog, I didn’t write down what I had, but I do know that the stout was amazing. I love a good stout and am super picky about them. Theirs was very flavorful and not watery, which is my bigget pet peeve with some stouts. The service was once again spot on, the servers all seemed very knowledgeable about what they were serving and were plenty attentive.

I did grab a growler of the LGW. It traveled 779 miles in the trunk over two days. And on the 3rd day it got re-chilled and opened. And it was still, fantastic. I don’t advocate beer abuse, but it held up well!
growler

Once I got home I read about the history of OBB, and the history of their wind turbine. The story behind the founders and how OBB got started in the first place is very interesting and very well written on their site. To be honest, I fell a little more in love with them than I already was just by visiting.
http://www.obbrewing.com/about-the-pub/restaurant-and-brewery-wind-powered/

I don’t get to the coast as often as I’d like, but knowing OBB is out there gives me one more reason to go visit and enjoy one of my very favorite places.