Chip’s: Get your favorite specialty craft beers while they last

By on March 27, 2018

By Laura Wayland

Last month we introduced readers to our sodas, many of which are geared to the younger set, as well as some mixers and the like.

But beer is a big part of our store and we thought this month we’d showcase some of the more popular offerings that our regular customers snap up or eagerly await as new releases land on the shelves.

We’ll start with Double Barley Brewing’s latest offering in their “Fight Series”, one of the most innovative methods we’ve ever seen a brewery use to introduce new variations of their brews.

The current bout featured in the series is the legendary Ali-Frazier ‘Thrilla in Manilla’, but Double Barley is playing it as the ‘Thrilla in Vanilla’, using 12 variations of vanilla in different beers.

Each monthly release is being billed as a “round” and voters can even cast ballots on their website to rate each round’s “champion.” At the time of our visit, the had a little bit of Round 8 left and had just received Round 9, ‘Vanilla Cake.’

Double Barley has the added benefit of being a North Carolina brewer, located in Smithfield.

Next up is a once-a-year limited release beer from Bell’s Brewery called ‘Hopslam’ Ale, a Double IPA featuring six hops, a touch of honey and a hefty 10% ABV.

Durham-based Fullsteam Brewery offers an iced coffee porter, Coffee is for Closers made with Muddy Dog Sumatran Coffee. Hints of chocolate, milk sugar and roasted coffee beans are present.

If your preferences run towards more traditional brewing styles, try Fortnight Vintage Ale, another Tar Heel selection brewed in Cary.

Fortnight is classified as an Old Ale, red in color and weighs in at 20 IBU’s and 9.2% ABV.

Sours are still hot, even as this Outer Banks winter has remained on the cold side throughout March.

Westbrook Brewing Gose, a German wheat-style sour is popular and unusual, with salty and coriander notes.

While not a North Carolina beer, Westbrook hails from the ‘other’ Carolina, located in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

A very different sour that was made only once is Tequilacerbus, a sour ale aged in, well, tequila barrels for several months. You can thank Colorado-based Avery Brewing for this unique take. This one may be gone by the time you read this, but other brewers are barrel aging many styles of beer in bourbon, scotch, even wine barrels so there’s plenty of other options to try.

Finally, one of our more popular brews is also one of the most unexpected.

On the heels of aging beer in liquor and wine barrels, our final showcased beer is another sour, this one coming from Lake Norman, outside Charlotte. D9 Brewery’s Strawberry Fields offers up strawberry, rhubarb and aged balsamic sea salt.

Thrilla in Vanilla will have you coming back to Chip’s for the championship rounds.

Many of the beers we’ve listed here are one-time offerings, meaning the brewery only made this particular flavor or style one time only. Others are seasonal offerings and some have limited production runs.

What this means is that the window to purchase these beers can be very short, even shorter than the time it takes to write and produce this article in the Voice — so it’s possible some of these varieties may be sold out by the time you read this.

But fear not.

Each week, more and more styles and offerings arrive, many similar or just as exotic as the brews featured here, and while this month we focused mostly on regional breweries, we carry goses, sours, IPA’s, porters, ales, and lagers from all over the nation and even the world.

As wine connoisseurs have long known, the best way to ensure you discover new, rare offerings or secure old, seasonal favorites is to stop by your favorite beer store often and check out the shelves and ask our staff about upcoming shipments of old favorites or new offerings.

We’ll even try to pair your favorite beer with something from our extensive and growing selection of cigars!

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  • scales of balance

    If you haven’t tried Fortnight beers, you need to get to Chip’s asap because you’re missing out.

    Wednesday, Mar 28 @ 9:17 am
  • Stuart Arnold

    Scales of balance, thank you for the kind words and for your business.

    Thursday, Mar 29 @ 12:16 pm