The Perch Pub and Brewery, Chandler, AZ

I had heard that The Perch Pub and Brewery in Chandler, Arizona was different.  Well, that’s an understatement.  I’m not sure where to begin.  The rescued wild birds are fabulous to watch!  That alone in itself is worth the trip.  It’s like an exotic bird zoo.  Then there’s the food.  The fish tacos were the best I’ve ever had.  Then there’s the bartender.  E is the best bartender ever.  He’s awesome.  And the whole reason I stopped is the beer.  I had a flight: Paleyeah! is a solid pale ale / Desert Blossom Saison is very tasty – one of the best saisons I’ve had and possibly my favorite / Rosemary IPA – if you like rosemary – YES – if not – NO / Belgian Peach – delicious – sweet – peachy goodness / Velocirazter Gose – tart, salty, raspberry refreshing goodness / Stirabout Oatmeal Stout – a happy ending.  Very few flights are all good – this one was.  Excellent.

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Good People Brewing Company, Birmingham, AL

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I was with a Good Friend when I stopped in at Good People Brewing Company in Birmingham, Alabama.  In fact, my friend had just treated me to a gourmet lunch and had given me a grand tour of Birmingham.  I guess that’s what they mean by Good People.  We concluded our time together at the brewery and I enjoyed a flight, tasting a number of beers.  I started with the Bearded Lady American Wheat Ale which was the best wheat beer I’ve ever had.  I typically stay away from this style because wheat beers are not my preference.  But, this one had a hoppy flavor to it and I enjoyed it.  From there I moved on to the Pale Ale which was smooth with a slight hoppiness to it that I also enjoyed.  Next was the IPA which is a great go-t0 IPA; flavorful but not too hoppy.  I then tried the Brown Ale which was smooth but not too sweet or too malty.  And, finally I tried the Coffee Oatmeal Stout which had a rich coffee flavor.  In the past I had also had Snake Handler Double IPA, thanks to my friend, and this is also excellent – very hoppy.  In short, I enjoy all of these beers and would consider Birmingham as a possible relocation place in the future ;~)  The brewery is a really cool industrial/warehouse space.  Old extra-large electric wire spools are used for tables.  The bar is an huge circle.  And, our bartender was a really nice guy who was very informative.

Raleigh Brewing Company, Raleigh, NC

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I stopped with a group of work colleagues at the Raleigh Brewing Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.  We had arranged a brewery tour with the owner.  What an experience.  The owner and his wife started by hanging out in the tap room with us for an hour and sharing each and every beer on tap with us.  The House of Clay Rye IPA was very good, the Hidden Pipe Porter was very good, The Holiday Bash Spiced Winter Warmer was very good and the Miller’s Toll Imperial Oatmeal Stout was very good.  I recall all of the beers being very good but only noted those by name.  After our tasting, the owner took us into the brew house and gave us an hour long tour, sharing his experiences with the craft brewing industry.  Their business also includes a vibrant brewery supply business that covers the entire eastern seaboard.  If I were going to start a brewery, this is where I’d go for equipment.  The supply store also outfits homebrewers.  At the end of our tour we stopped back in the tap room for one last beer.  The tap room is a really cool space, semi-industrial and semi restaurant-feel.  It includes one good-sized private room for groups.  Although they do not serve food there are often food trucks in their parking lot.  Oh, and as we were leaving we purchased some growlers to bring back and share with co-workers.  A great time was had by all.

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