After visiting Against the Grain in Louisville, KY, we made the short drive over to Apocalypse Brew Works. Co-founders Bill Krauth, Leah Dienes, and Paul Grignon opened up the taproom (which they call “The Fallout Shelter”) on May 11, 2012 with the 3 1/2 barrel system they are using today. We spoke to Leah, the head-brewer, while sampling their brews and learned all of the information found below – including the fact that Leah is an active BJCP judge. Between the three co-founders, there is over 40 years of homebrewing experience which helped them open the taproom with 10 beers on tap and maintain that number since. Also, if you happen to be in the area when the world gets taken over by zombies, keep in mind that the brewery makes for a nice Apocalypse bunker since they can lock the razor wire laden gates to keep the zombies out; hence their motto “Drink Beer Til the End.”
During our time in Lexington, KY, we received multiple recommendations to check out Blue Stallion Brewing company. We originally made our way over there on Saturday night and then went back the following day to speak with co-founder Jim Clemons. Blue Stallion is currently the only brewery in Kentucky distributing lagers, which became a focus of head brewer Nico Schulz after getting his brewing start in Germany and then attending the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. Blue Stallion has a principal focus on traditional German lagers and English ales featuring traditional and proper glassware to pair with each style; they do not make any American styles. The taproom features a bar taller than any we have experienced in a space that used to house an old iron working studio. We had an incredible time there both days and thoroughly enjoyed all of the beers we got to try, including a collaboration they did with Against the Grain called All Funked Up Berwynnerweisse.
On the morning of Saturday 3/8/14 we woke up to a beautiful view of the Currituck Sound in the northeastern corner of North Carolina. After a hearty breakfast at a roadside café that just so happened to be the home base of the popular monster truck, Grave Digger, we drove just a few more miles south to the oldest microbrewery in the state, Weeping Radish Farm Brewery. If you have been paying attention to our travels, you know that NC has a booming craft beer scene and it all started here with the work of a Bavarian native, Uli Bennewitz. After moving to America he had a vision to share the delicious beers he had grown up with and decided to open up a traditional German style brewery and restaurant in NC’s popular Outer Banks. So he went to work and ordered brewing equipment to be shipped from Germany, later finding out that his grand vision was an illegal one. At that time it was against the law in NC to sell a brewery’s beer directly to consumers (a 3rd party distributor was required) so in 1985 Uli spearheaded changing those silly laws with a local senator and won, finally opening up his brewery in Manteo on July 4, 1986.