Tag Archives: d9 brewing

Tasting Notes: D9 Kingsbridge Barleywine

Does how we perceive a brewery or its staff alter our perception of their beer? Or, does the name on the bottle affect whether you consider a beer good?

Every craft beer fan has a brewery blind spot. Sometimes a brewery will use a house yeast that doesn’t particularly fit your palate. Sometimes the brewer concentrates on styles your palate does not naturally gravitate to. This is a people business. One night you and the head brewer met at a bar didn’t like each other. That could affect your perception of the beer. It could be as simple as you do not like the packaging for their beers.

Whatever the reason, you are predisposed to dislike their beers.

One of my blinds spots is in my own backyard with D9 Brewing out of Cornelius, NC. I have no animosity towards anyone who works there. In fact, I like everyone I’ve met from the brewery. Yet, I am not a particular fan of their beer. I don’t hate their beer, I look forward to their Systema Naturae sour beers releases every year. Yet, outside of those beers, I normally don’t find their beers appealing. That makes this review of the Kingsbridge Barleywine interesting.


D9 Kingsbridge Barleywine
Photo by Ryan Moses

Kingbridge pours a clear amber color with a thin head with a short retention span.


A bready malt and dark fruit sweetness is the primary aroma. There is also leather, clove, and hints of vanilla present. Alcohol also comes through on the nose, but it is not overwhelming.

In fact, the alcohol is the first flavor you perceive on the taste. It provides a little heat, but nothing too intense. The rest of the taste is a good sweet malt showcase. There is a breadiness followed by a vinous and pruny sweetness. It coats the mouth, but the taste doesn’t cloy or linger. The taste ends with a classic barleywine taste of honey and sherry.

This is a quality offering from a brewery whose style and quality has grown since I first encountered them. I look forward to their beer and my palate growing and evolving side by side as I continue to try all of their offerings.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 7/18/15

I like days when I have to cut stories out to get it down to the five I think are the most interesting.  Today is one such day.  Here are the five this Saturday.

  • This is written about Vancouver, but it could be any mid-sized to large city in North America. I see the same thing in Charlotte.  I see the same thing when I go to Asheville.  I certainly see it in Denver.  I hear the same thing from people coming into the bar from Raleigh, Charleston, etc.  There is a culture developing that spans across the continent.
  • I think the writer is correct here. Partnerships and mergers like this are going to happen with more frequency in craft beer.  There are so many breweries now that it is getting harder to get shelf space and onto tap walls.  Mergers, buyouts, and closings are going to become more numerous.
  • “The more diverse everything is, the richer everything becomes.”  Andres Araya isn’t just talking about beer when he says that. This is the joy of craft beer: brewers making things their own.   I do hope more brewers take note of that.  While having 10 different choices of IPA is good, I would like to see more choice in general when you walk into a bar.  Walking into a place where you can choose from hoppy beers, malty beers, fruit infused beers, etc. is better than walking into a place where you choose only from different variations on the same theme.
  • I picked this article simply because I have always loved the concept of European style beer garden. This isn’t quite what I imagine those are, but it gets somewhat close.
  • I had been hearing that D9 was looking around for a statewide distributor ever since they announced they were bottling Viking Fraoch. Now they have signed an agreement with Mims.  I find it interesting that they went with a distributor based out of Raleigh and not one of the distributors closer to Charlotte.

Growler Taste Test: D9 Brewing Froggy Night IPA

20141107_093756When I was in college and my craft beer education was beginning, I purchased a book called America’s Best Beers:  A Complete Guide To The More Than 350 Microbreweries and Brewpubs Across America.  I happened upon this book last night looking for something else and started flipping through it.  The section on North Carolina contains, 6 breweries (none of which are Weeping Radish, NCs oldest craft brewery started in 1984).  Of those only one still exists and that is Spring Garden Brewing Company which now goes by Red Oak.  By the way, I actually went to Spring Garden when it was a brewpub on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro.

Anyway, a lot has changed in craft brewing, particularly in North Carolina, since this book was published in 1994.  Depending upon your definition of the Charlotte area, Charlotte has 21 breweries alone.  One of those is D9 Brewing which began in 2009.  D9 has a full line up of beers and now has its brewery tap room in Cornelius about a 25 minute drive north on I77 from uptown Charlotte.

20150608_162832The D9 Froggy Night IPA pours with a good pale golden color and off-white fluffy head.  The aroma comes across as fruity particularly grapefruit and pineapple and a bit piney.  There is also a mellow malty sweetness to the aroma.

The taste starts with a medium body and mild alcohol flavor. Again the hops come across as citrusy and piney.  You also get a nice malt sweetness mixed with a pineapple flavor.  This is a very balanced IPA with the hops at the forefront but not overly dominate.

Froggy Night is an easy drinking American IPA. It isn’t quite at the low ABV officially to be a session IPA, but it is very drinkable and at 6.5% you can have a couple or three pints and not get into too much trouble.

Did you think this play list was going to start with any other song?  We are going deep 70s soft rock.  We have your organs, fuzzy bass lines, and the most un-bluesy guitar solos in the history of music.  Behold and enjoy. This is simultaneously the best and worst playlist I’ve ever created.   I’m going to go and watch WKRP In Cincinnati now.

Growler Taste Test: D9 Southern Tea American Wheat Ale

Sweet tea isn’t a drink, really. It’s culture in a glass. Like Guinness in Ireland. Or ouzo in Greece. – Allison Glock, Sweet Tea:  A Love Story, Garden & Gun July/August 2008.

Sweet tea is a part of the South.  There is a line somewhere around Northern Virginia where sweet tea isn’t expected nor always offered.  That’s when you know you have left the South.  (Right now, I know the South is in the news for a history that hasn’t always been dealt with honestly.  If you want to find places that talk about that history in all its beautiful and painful glory go to Bitter Southerner or the Southern Foodways Alliance.)

There are a few tea inspired beers out on the market and at least a couple of tea inspired brews from Charlotte area breweries alone.  Unknown Brewing has Hospitali-Tea, an amber beer that tastes remarkably like a glass of sweet tea.

IMG_20150622_162528Another version of a tea inspired beer from the Charlotte area comes from D9 Brewing out of Cornelius called Southern Tea.  This is a slightly different take then the one from Unknown.  Southern Tea is an American Wheat Ale instead of a naturally sweeter amber.

First, it pours a pleasant hazy gold color giving it a nice inviting wheaty look.  Along with a sweet breadiness and yeasty fruit sweetness you also get the aroma of black and orange teas.  In other words it smells like a glass of sweet tea with lemon.

One thing it doesn’t get from sweet tea is the sugary stickiness.  A good sweet tea should coat your mouth and make your teeth hurt with sugar.  Southern Tea does not do that, thank goodness.  The alcohol taste is rather mild as is the hop taste which bends mostly towards herbal and citrus.  The malt and the yeast provide a sweet platform for the black and orange teas used in the brewing.  The tea taste is especially apparent on the backend.  Making a good refreshing summer beer that avoids being a bad imitation of a lemon infused sweat tea. Instead, tasting like a sweet tea with lemon which is perfect for porch sitting.

I could not come up with a good and interesting angle on a playlist, so I just put together ten songs I like that should be good to drink beer with.