New Favorite: SouthEnd Brewing

A lot has happened since April. I got a new job, I joined a poetry critique group (thank god for them), and one of my best friends committed suicide.

So it’s a little weird to have stepped away from this blog for so long, even though I have plenty of reasons for doing so. Needless to say, I haven’t quit drinking (at least, not altogether), and I’ve been trying a lot of new beers and getting involved with a local homebrewers group that won the Gambrinus Cup this year. (That’s big news in the homebrew world!)

All I can say is — I’m back!

So let’s talk about beer. New favorites: Heist Brewing, Newgrass (esp. Fiddler’s Nightmare), Steinhaugen, 2SP, and SouthEnd Brewing.

SouthEnd opened in Greensboro, N.C., recently in the old Gibb’s Hundred spot downtown. They’ve done amazing work on the place. The new drywall makes the place more open and welcoming (in my opinion), and they left the back brick wall exposed. The wood slats that the beer names are written on remind me a lot of Gibb’s, but that’s about it.

Because they have an awesome new back patio with CUSHIONY CHAIRS.

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This is definitely what was missing. I love a good brewery or drinking spot with a place outside that doesn’t face a road, that is nice for kicking back and not worrying about other people’s kids. (Still a pet peeve of mine at breweries. Please, parents, follow your children around the brewery if you insist on letting them wander. There are outlets, ropes, places they shouldn’t go. No one here is your babysitter.)

But I’ve never seen a place with seats that aren’t either metal or beautiful handcrafted wood that still leaves your bum numb after a half hour.

So this place is special, and the beers are amazing. I loved the Belgian tripel (Skewed Perspective) and the double IPA (Zolka Bier). Both have high-gravity goodness, so a taster size of each is just right.

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The most popular so far are Aram’s Fault IPA and Flying Hyena pale ale. (I still haven’t figured out the naming scheme, but apparently they’re mostly inside jokes anyway.) Both were decent, and the pale in particular was uncharacteristically citrusy and delicious. I’d like to go back and try the other IPA (Intrepid Goat) and the stout (The Matriarch).

And I’m definitely gonna post up outside on the back patio again. Another bonus: Food. They’ve got some wings, pretzels and beer cheese, and other munchies that are perfect brewery food. It’s much more satisfying than the typical handcrafted beer nuts or popcorn or whatever measly snack food breweries tend to have, depending on what local businesses they’ve partnered with.

The grand opening is Nov. 1, which is First Friday. There’s also gonna be a huge block party on that side of town, so it should be a good time.

Check it out sometime, and let me know what you think!

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