Appalachian chefs, restaurants compete for James Beard Awards

James Beard Award

Appalachian chefs and restaurateurs are well represented among the list of James Beard Award semifinalists announced yesterday. Fifteen different Appalachian region chefs and restaurateurs made the cut.

Damian Heath of Lot 12
Damian Heath of Lot 12 Public House in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is a James Beard Award semifinalist for the ninth year in a row. He is competing for Best Chef, Southeast region. He is one of 5 Appalachian region chefs named as semifinalists in the Southeast category. Photo: Facebook

The James Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in the United States.  Eight Appalachian chefs and restaurants became semifinalists in 7 of the 11 national categories. Seven more made the cut for Best Chef in their respective geographic regions.

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Hop Hunter IPA takes aim

HopHunter-01
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s new Hop Hunter IPA takes aim on creating a whole new category of fresh-hop-essence enhanced beers. It was released in January.

The release of Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA shows the brewery could be on to something big. It’s great to see a brewery in the Appalachian region participating in a potentially groundbreaking development.

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Appalachian Distillery adds flavors

Appalachian Distillery new flavors
Appalachian Distillery keeps bringing us new flavors of its Appalachian Moonshine. Pictured are Caramel Apple, Strawberry Lemonade, and Peach.

One fun thing about good mountain moonshine is that it can serve as a base for many other flavors.

Appalachian Distillery in Ripley, West Virginia, is one moonshiner that has been busy experimenting with quite a few natural flavoring ingredients for its blends. Continue reading “Appalachian Distillery adds flavors”

Small breweries shine at NC winter festival

At the recent Winter Warmer Beer Festival in Asheville, NC, a bunch of the newer small breweries from the southern Appalachian region were quite impressive.

WinterWarmer-01A good gauge of the craft beer industry’s viability is the number of new breweries that you find popping up in the hinterlands, small towns and villages across the region. Local beer festivals such as this allow tiny breweries to have a stage equal to the Sierra Nevadas and New Belgiums of the region. Continue reading “Small breweries shine at NC winter festival”

B&D Gastropub supports beer community

B&D GastropubWith so much focus on craft breweries and their latest and greatest brews, it is easy to overlook the important contribution to craft beer made by our restaurants and taverns. We owe buckets of appreciation to our favorite on-premise proprietors who help keep the masses up to date with the big bad world of craft beer. Continue reading “B&D Gastropub supports beer community”

WV governor calls for regulatory relief on craft brewers

In his annual State of the State Address given to the state Legislature this evening, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin called for regulatory relief on the state’s craft brewers.

Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia Governor
Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor of West Virginia

“We must encourage the same innovation we ask of all of those investing in our state and allow our state’s entrepreneurs to put their skills to work without the burden of unnecessary state restrictions,” Tomblin said. “That’s why tonight I am proposing legislation to give our craft brewers increased opportunities to succeed as part of our state’s growing craft beer industry. Continue reading “WV governor calls for regulatory relief on craft brewers”

Greenbrier Valley Brewing adds cans

Mothman 6 pack
Canned six-packs of Mothman Black IPA will soon hit West Virginia retailer shelves. It marks the first time a WV-made and canned six-pack has appeared since 1971. Photo credit: GVBC.

Six-packs of West Virginia-made canned beer will soon be hitting retailers’ shelves for the first time since 1971. This is really big news for the state’s craft beer scene. Heck, it’s huge news for WV beer period. Historic!

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