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Friday, January 4, 2019

New Beer Friday, Angling in Asheville Edition (January 4)

Steve with a nice 'bow.
This past November Steve and Barb took a road trip through Kentucky and North Carolina. Go here, here and here to read about the first three legs of their journey.

By Steve Siciliano


In the morning the high regard we had for our Asheville accommodations ratcheted up another notch when we went downstairs and saw the complimentary breakfast that was laid out in the dining area adjacent to the lobby. It was a smile-inducing sight in view of our disappointing meal the previous night. After mollifying our hunger with scrambled eggs, sausage links, fried potatoes and fresh fruit we were ready for a day of fly fishing on the Laurel River.

During the half hour drive to meet up with our guide I kept one nervous eye on the sky and the other on the temperature. My wife loves fly fishing for trout almost as much as I do but she’s a self-avowed fair-weather angler. That early morning sky was threatening and the temperature was hovering around freezing.

When we pulled into a supermarket parking lot in a small burg northwest of Asheville we immediately spotted a silver pickup with rod racks suspended above the bed and a tall young man leaning against the tailgate. “That’s gotta be Paul,” I said to Barb.

Barb with a nice brook trout.
Paul Kisielewski from Southern Appalachian Anglers (SAA) is an excellent guide. On the drive to the river he told us that he began fly fishing at the age of three, has a degree in business administration from Appalachian State and has been guiding on the area’s rivers since forming SAA in 2003. After tucking his pickup in a clearing on the side of a winding mountain road, Paul rigged up the rods while Barb and I put on layers of clothing and slipped into our waders. “My wife’s a bit anxious in the water,” I whispered to Paul while we were walking down to the river.

“No problem,” he whispered back. “I’ll stay with her.”

Sometimes I think Barb feigns nervousness about wading so she can have the undivided attention of the guide.

As usual Barb started off fast, netting and releasing a twelve-inch rainbow and two nice brookies before I even had a strike and, as usual, I began fretting about getting skunked. But by the time we sat down for lunch at a table Paul set up beside the river, I had netted four nice fish of my own. It ended up being a pretty good day both fish wise and weather wise. By mid-afternoon the sky had cleared and the temperature had reached the mid-fifties. Between us we had landed fourteen nice-sized trout.

That night we Ubered downtown and had an excellent meal at The Blackbird. When we returned to our motel we watched Animal Planet and sipped our nightly nightcaps. The next day we were going brewery hopping in Asheville.

Shore lunch.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan Spruce IPA, $1.79/12oz - "This IPA is brewed with Sitka Spruce tips – a flavorful, Alaskan twist on the American IPA" (source).
  • Blackrocks BA Barbaric Yawp, $5.19/12oz - "A burly Scotch ale clocking in at 8.5% ABV and full of malty, smokey flavors. Pairs great with grilled meats and open flames" (source).
  • Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, $2.09/12oz - "IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE 2005 ST. PATRICK’S DAY MASSACRE and in commemoration of the 20-day suspension that followed, Lagunitas brewed this especially bitter ale. See, the ABC conducted an undercover investigation of our brewery, finding us guilty of operating a “Disorderly House.” We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights. Watch the full story below…" (source).
  • Southern Tier Samoa This, $4.09/12oz - "We’re well known for our affection for decadent, flavorful, dessert-like beers, which has put us on an endless quest to brew the ultimate indulgence. Our dessert beers are a fusion of flavors, making each of them a perfect pairing when one craves an exceptional stout full of personality. With booming notes of chocolate, caramel, and coconut, Samoa This is our interpretation of the famous seasonal treat. We went to great lengths carefully crafting each flavor, right down to the savory shortbread-like cookie base" (source).
  • Stone Tropic of Thunder, $2.19/12oz & $2.99/19.2oz - "Imagine you set sail for a three hour tour. Let’s say from the Port of Escondido (work with us here). The weather started getting rough. Your tiny ship (but not lunch, thankfully) was tossed. Long story short: You’re marooned on a remote island somewhere near the Tropic of Thunder. The good news is that the Capt. of the S.S. Stone and her brewing kit were among the small cast of colorful characters that survived the rough voyage with you. Mainstays Citra & Mosaic along with newcomer Cashmere hops are joined by their juicy tropical aromas of citrus, pineapple and coconut (try stringing all that together in a catchy tune). The rescue ship will find you all soon enough. For now, set aside the non-working cell phone and lack of social media (again, work with us here), kick back and revel in your moment of tropical island lagoon serenity" (source).

Video of the Week | Lagunitas


Available now at Siciliano's.

Cheers!

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