Ales for Outlaws is the motto of the Lonerider Brewery (LRB) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Who ever writes copy for them is just a genius. There’s no two ways about it. LRB distinguishes its philosophy with lines like “Lonerider wears an air of mystery the way others wear cheap cologne.” They have a new IPA called Cowboy in Black.
I’ll be honest. Beer is really not my thing. During the summer or at the beach, it’s the only thing I want. But in a palette-suspended way. My finger’s are crossed and I’m hoping for inoffensive.
Recently, I had drinks with some beer enthusiasts. You know, the kind of crowd where the hoppier the better. I was won over by the adjectives. Beyond the hop, there’s a world of empirical experience to be had. There are notes of chocolate to pick out, and citrusy hues to identify. Beers can be malty, biscuity and autumnal. A beer can be juniper-like or grassy. And if it’s from a brewery like LRB, it can be called Shot Gun Betty.
Like LRB, Raleigh-Durham has a crop of micro-breweries that offer an excellent range for the beginner’s palette. They’re unpretentious affairs. And they’re perfect for Durham, summer weekends with friends.
We tried a bunch of local favourites: Shotgun Betty, a Hefeweizen (pictured in the poster below); Peacemaker, a Pale Ale; Sweet Josie, a Brown Ale; True Britt, an English Style Ale; and the brewer’s choice, a Weizenbock. My favourite is a saison called the Preacher. It is light and lively like a wheat beer, but it has a spicy kick. Though I probably wouldn’t order the Sweet Josie–it’s much too bitter for me–it has a burst of fantastic flavor, with notes of chocolate.
Thanks to my friend J., for her excellent company and fabulous beer imagination!