Next up, various North Carolina brews and smoked wieners. Why? Because I realized lately that I’ve been dropping more North Carolina brews than Sr Walter Raleigh loses colonies.
Plus, shortly North Carolina brewers Natty Greene’s and Mother Earth will be distributing to Northern Virginia. Yay, more beer selection.
Several of the brews came from a friend of mine whose family just moved here from Charlotte. He had to take a trip back, and he volunteered to mule some NC beer back up here.
The other brews were brought over by the Sports Glutton during a collaborative blogging effort between the Glutton, beerbecue, and dangermenparenting. The Glutton wanted to do a DC-themed half-smoke with chili for his MLB Recipe Series. So, I supplied the smoker. Dangermenparenting lugged over beers. And the Glutton brought over stuff to make chili, a couple Natty Greene’s beers, and some half-smokes and tequila marinated sausages purchased from Eastern Market.
Of course, this afforded me the opportunity to say things like, “Wow, these wieners are are softer than the other ones”, “I haven’t seen this many wieners since…”, and “Who wants to insert the temperature probe into this wiener?”
Now, I have only smoked sausage once. I used store-bought, and I smoked at the usual BBQ temps. But upon further research, the consensus seems to be that sausage is to be smoked at a pretty low temp (160F) so the fat doesn’t melt and drip out. Also, if you’re stuffing your own wieners, you’re apparently supposed to include cure so you don’t get botulism. That sounds complicated. I guess you could roll the dice, and end up with redneck Botox.
Even stranger though, I also read that after smoking, the sausage should be dipped in cold water to avoid shriveling and shrinking. This flies in the face of all I thought knew about sausages and cold water.
We smoked at around 210 and we didn’t dip in cold water. Despite the higher temp, they were nice and juicy. I will admit, however, they did shrivel a bit by the time the wieners were inserted into the buns. The half smokes and Sport-Glutton’s chili turned out great. Now, enough wiener entendre…on to the beers.
NODA Hop Drop and Roll – This was the best of the group. An IPA with some serious citrus hop character. It’s got late addition Citra and Amarillo, and it had a little tropical fruit character, but the Amarillo seemed to be really kicking off some grapefruit.
Foothills Hoppyum – A solid IPA. Some citrus and pine and fairly bitter, but not overly so. Just enough for a hophead’s fix, with a nice carmel malt backbone.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Captain James Jack Pilsner – A rock-solid pilsner. Drinkable, smooth, snappy, floral and spicy noble hops, and biscuity malt. I don’t often sing pilsner praises. This is definitely one.
Natty Greene’s Wildflower Witbier – I’ll be interested to try this again after my tastebuds have not been ravaged by drinking copius amounts of Port City’s Maniacal IIPA. But there didn’t seem to be much there on this one. I think the Glutton claimed to catch some of the camomile, however, I take pride in not knowing what the hell camomile tastes like.
Natty Green’s IPA – This could fly as a big pale ale, and I would have been happy enough. There’s some citrus and pine there, but it comes across with lots of malt and a fair amount of bitternes (I’m looking at you, Chinook hops). I look for a little more hop flavor and aroma in my IPAs. I would be willing to give it a second shot, but I wasn’t crazy about it.
The Haybag: Ahh, yes. The chili collaboration in the blazing heat of August. You forgot to mention beerbecue daycare’s crack childcare effort, when you left our 1.0 and dangermenparenting’s 1.0 alone in the house to “make potions” with our spice rack in the bathroom sink and unload every single item from the closet onto the floor. Good fun.