Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pre-Race Festivities

I realize that yesterday’s post was a little long-winded, but I guess that was from my leftover race excitement. I’ll try not to go on too long today (unless that’s why you come here.) I’ve mentioned before that I get nervous before every race, but this one was different. Since it was the first race of the season, I was a wreck; mentally and probably physically too. I have high expectations for myself for this season, since I’ve made great strides in my racing ability. Also, I have sponsors to represent, so there is extra pressure. To calm my nerves, the fam and I decided to take a small road trip on Saturday to help with my pre-race jitters.

What better to calm my nerves than some beer, right? We took off and headed up to Mooresville, North Carolina to visit one of our fine local breweries. The Carolina Beer Company makes a lot of tasty beers, and some of them are very high on my list of favorites. Carolina Blonde, Little Miss Sunshine’s favorite, is also brewed there. We walked into the tasting area, which resembled a bar (of course.) They even have soda and other non-alcoholic beverages for the kids, so Lunchbox could sit and have a drink too.

It was a nice, relaxing atmosphere, and just what I needed. It was great to get out with the family just to hang out. Sure, we did some other running around that day, but hanging out at a brewery and sampling different types of beer was a nice treat. When you arrive, you belly up to the bar and tell them you want to sample some beer. You get what looked to be about a half pint-sized glass, and five tokens.

You hand the barkeep a token, and tell them what kind of beer you want to try. They even had live music, and some lady outside grilling some sort of meat tube thingys. We just hung out and sampled a few beers; that’s it.

Little Miss Sunshine was enjoying a nice Strawberry Blonde.

I was having a Cottonwood Endo IPA, my favorite from there.

After using a few of the tokens (we didn’t go through all of them), we decided it was time to head out. No need to get piss-drunk and drive back to Charlotte, right? Before we left, we decided to fill up a few Growlers with some tasty beer, so we could enjoy it at home. Little Miss Sunshine bought one from Carolina Beer Company, which of course had their logo on it. She promptly filled it up with Strawberry Blonde. I on the other hand, brought two of my own to fill. The one liter growler was filled with a nice Irish Red Ale (ironically I just brewed the same thing at the house.) I then grabbed my big fancy two liter Growler and filled it with the Cottonwood Endo IPA.

When I busted that thing out I must have looked like some kind of beer snob (well, I am a little bit of one I guess.) One guy asked me where we got it, and LMS informed him of this great invention called the Internets. His eyes grew wide in amazement when he started thinking about all of the things he could find on there. They even have some sort of Internets portal that will deliver the goods right to your home or place of business. Wow.

On the way out, we took a peek at some of the beer-brewing equipment, since it was right out in the open. It is much bigger than the operation I have going on at the B-43 Headquarters, so I must say that I was impressed. I snuck a few photographs for your brewing, uh I mean viewing pleasure.

While I do enjoy beer very much, it was nice to enjoy it in a place that actually makes, bottles, and distributes it. You can get most of their fine products at grocery stores and other retail establishments here in the Charlotte area, but that wouldn’t be as fun now, would it? If you are anywhere near Mooresville, NC, then I suggest you head on up and sit a spell. The tasting happens every Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., but the magic of beer making happens all the time. I had so much fun that I will probably go back this weekend. I’m sure my growlers will be empty by then anyway.

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