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Sierra Nevada/Asheville Brewers Alliance Tater Ridge
Where in Town: Safeway, 6500 Piney Branch Road NW
The dust has settled since Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America tour, a traveling beer festival that visited seven cities this summer and culminated with the grand opening of the California brewery’s new East Coast production facility in Mills River, N.C. As part of the celebration, Sierra Nevada invited 12 top American breweries to collaborate with them on a 12-pack mixer, released in mid-July. In what I’d call my best grocery store beer find ever, I happened upon one at my neighborhood Safeway and picked it up for a song—considering it was filled with one-offs from such sought-after brewers as New Glarus, 3 Floyds, Cigar City, and Russian River. (Never mind that it was two months old—luckily only a few of the bottles were hop bombs best drunk fresh.)
Vote Yes to Scottish Ale
One of the beers, Tater Ridge, was designed by John Stuart of Green Man Brewery and Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed Brewing, members of the Asheville Brewers Alliance. With the charge of putting North Carolina in a bottle, the duo chose a Scottish ale as a nod to the area’s Highland Scot ancestry and added a southern staple: sweet potatoes. The result is a tasty brew with just a hint of the root vegetable, as well as caramel and roasted nut flavors that become richer and sweeter with every sip. At 7 percent alcohol, Tater Ridge is medium-bodied, and thanks to Motueka and Mosaic hops, dry enough to be a perfect beer for the transition from summer to autumn. Dying to try some (but doubtful you’ll be as lucky as I was)? All 12 beer camp collaboration brews will be on draft at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown on Tuesday.
Photo by Tammy Tuck