North Carolina Beer, Chocolate Pie, and Lampposts Falling on Cars (Oh, My!)

Last Tuesday, April 12, marked the official launch of North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries by Erik Lars Myers. We started things off with a fun and fabulous launch party at Erik’s brewery, Mystery Brewing, in Hillsborough. More than 60 guests attended the launch, including such notables as Sebastian Wolfrum of Natty Greene’s in Greensboro; David Gonzalez, the pub brewer at Foothill’s in Winston-Salem; Tom Stevens, the mayor of Hillsborough; Vanessa C. Shortley of News of Orange County; and Daniel Bradford of All About Beer magazine and founder of the World Beer Festival.

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We John F. Blair folk were excited to catch up with Elizabeth Woodman of Eno Publishers (check out 27 Views of Asheville, the latest addition to Eno’s 27 Views series), and we enjoyed chatting with the Mystery employees and volunteers who made Erik’s launch such a fabulous success.

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The event was catered by Up in $moke, which served the best barbecue I’ve had since I moved here from Memphis, and the most outstanding pulled chicken and Alabama sauce known to man. Cup-a-Joe’s provided outstanding (and dangerous) chocolate pies, featuring a pretzel crust and made with Mystery Brewing’s chocolate breakfast stout, Six Impossible Things.

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Mystery Brewing released a new beer, brewed specifically for the launch of North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries and based on a historic recipe that Erik discovered while researching North Carolina’s brewing history for the book. Named Caswell, this dry beer contains molasses, ginger, wheat, rice, and North Carolina grown barley (and it smells like heaven). Five other Mystery brews were on tap at the party: Mosqueton, a Belgian-style Tripel; Gentlemen’s Preference Blond Ale; Queen Anne’s Revenge, a Carolinian dark that is reminiscent of a black IPA; Six Impossible Things, a chocolate breakfast stout (and, obviously, great with the chocolate pie); and my personal favorite, St. Stephen’s Green Dry Irish Stout. Mystery Brewing is a seasonal-only brewer, so visit the website for a peek into the future of what to expect next from one of the newest breweries in the state.

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It’s been (and will continue to be) busy times for Erik Lars Myers, who followed the launch party with the brewery’s debut appearance at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh on Saturday, April 14. Blair sold books at a booth next to Mystery at the festival, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the brewers and staff at some of my favorite Triangle breweries, including Lonerider (I love Lonerider’s Shotgun Betty and Sweet Josie Brown) and Triangle Brewing, who brews a terrific hefeweizen. (Speaking of fantastic hefeweizens, I was excited to discover that Mother Earth is canning their Sunny Haze!) My favorite newly discovered beer of the evening was Fullsteam’s Beasley Honey White, brewed exclusively for Beasley’s Chicken + Honey in Raleigh.

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Erik started this week off at Fullsteam in Durham on Tuesday, April 17, where the Regulator Bookshop handled book sales, and Fullsteam had Mystery beer on guest tap. Things went well until a lamppost fell on Erik’s car (frown). That definitely makes our top-ten list for what not to expect at an author event. (Sorry, Erik!)

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Wednesday evening found Erik at Bottle Revolution in Raleigh, where Erik reports they sold out of books! No worries; he had extra copies on hand. Ted at Bottle Revolution said they had a record night for draft beer sales; the Caswell keg kicked at 6:45 and Six Impossible Things kicked at 8:45. Wow!

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Erik’s author tour is now moving beyond the Triangle. He was at the Olde Hickory Taproom last night, and Mystery Brewing is pouring at Hickory Hops beer festival this Saturday. Erik has plenty more upcoming events scheduled at bottle shops, brewpubs, and bookstores across the state. Still to come are Asheville, Charlotte, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro. Check out our events page to find an upcoming event near you!

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