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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Finding Gold in a Silver Mine - Koi Pond Brewing Company Rocky Mount.

Wow, it is so nice to find gold in a silver mind as the song goes (sort of). Rocky Mount is a Medium size town. It's not Atlanta or Raleigh but its not a small itty bitty town either. To be honest, I spend most of my time in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. But I found a great spot right here in Rocky Mount.

I was out a couple of weeks ago in Rocky Mount NC giving a visiting worker from Oklahoma a quick tour of the town. As I drove them around, I took them past the old Cotten Mill which has been closed for a long time. There are also some houses that I and others have wanted to go look at and photograph and a group of Raleigh photographers may have an interest in but there were fenced off. No More! (More about the other houses in a different post. This solely about Koi Pond Brewery.)

I found Koi Pond Brewing Company, a micro-brewery right her in Rocky Mount!! Woo-Hoo!

Koi Pond is part of a development in the old cotton mill area and is the first micro brewery in Rocky Mount. There are four owners, I met Eric and his wife Ann, both great people. The atmosphere is great and you can count on seeing me there fairly often.When I went there it was their second weekend and everything was running smoothly.


If you are from Rocky Mount, head to the old cotton mill and you will find it. For everybody else:
Take Hwy 64 East (Future I-475) and get off at Exit 468 Peachtree St and turn right at the bottom of the ramp onto Peachtree St. Follow Peachtree to West Elm st. and turn left and one block over you will see Koi Pond Brewing on the left. Go through the intersection and turn into the parking lot behind it.

Koi Pond is both an pub and brewery. They have a wide selection of brews they offer which change periodically.

There hours of operation initially are as shown in the image to the left. 

Here is the selection for the day. I like the way they clearly label the alcoholic content (3 Monks is 8.1% ! No wonder I liked it so).

They serve 10oz, pints Growlers, and Flights.

So what a Growler and a Flight?

Here is a "Growler" and how it works. You pay a $5 deposit on the bottle and buy whichever beer you want. Return the bottle for your deposit back (unlikely) or get a another bottle filled without a deposit (very likely).

Then there is the question of what do I want to get? There are a lot of choices so they have "flights". A flight is four beers of your choice. You will have to write them down. I asked why not simply have a list to check off and the reply is their available beers changes all the time. I found some references identifying the other beers and it is quite a list. Based upon what I experienced, I am looking forward to trying the rest. 

So I tried a flight of four. (I would have tried more but I was running on an empty stomach and had been shooting photography all afternoon so I played it safe.) My choices? 

1. VooDoo Wit - A Witbier w Spices. I loved this, it was not overpowering on the spices and was what I would call a good not heavy beer. 

2. Pomplamoose - A grapefruit Saison. I tried this one as I could not image a grapefruit beer. (Hint when you get a flight, be bold and courageous, don't get what you know you will like). It was better that the VooDoo Wit. The grapefruit is not like drinking grapefruit juice but very pleasant hints. Very good. 

3. Rising Coffee Stout - If you hate getting a beer with Coffee or some other distinct flavor and not finding the flavor when you take a sip, then don't be a pessimist, you won't be disappointed with this one. It isn't an overpowering coffee taste but it is there and that is what you want. The balance was just right.  

4. 3 Monks Tripel - a Belgian Ale. This one is a little sweet, not too sweet but it does have a slightly sweet taste and again, I loved it. Definitely try it. 

You might notice I didn't try any IPA's. Generally I don't like them although I have found a few I like so when I return (definitely doing that!) I will try one as everything I tried was excellent. 

The atmosphere inside is very nice. (Love those lightbulbs)There are TVs but not so loud that you can't have a nice conversation with your friends (unlike some places you can't hear across the table). 

There is some freebie popcorn with all sorts of flavoring to nibble on back by the bar. (I missed it at first) 

There are some light snacks like Pimento Cheese sandwiches, etc. (This isn't a restaurant. Its a micro brewery with a great place to drink beer.)

Now, how about the Brewery part you ask. Well here are the 3 fermenting tanks. (Hope I got that correct) Eric said it takes all 3 to make a load of beer. 

Here are the Brewing tanks and they keep them filled with different beers as it takes about 6 weeks to make a batch so what you see is what is coming in the weeks ahead. 

Finally, here is the final tank that processes the beer. I will go back and get the name. (After the flight on an empty stomach and a 1.5 weeks to get this written, its no wonder I don't remember the name.)

So we have a great micro brewery with great beer and a great atmosphere. The place is great. If you are in Rocky Mount, north Carolina, you really owe it to yourself to drop by and check it out.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ships of Baltimore

Ships of Baltimore 

OK, everybody told me to see the ships and I posted it last. Hey the best for last right? Well, not sure, the ships were great butt so was the rest of Baltimore. To me at least the main thing is the USS Constellation but there were many other noteworthy ships also.

Because there are so many images of the USS Constellation I am posting it last. So if you want, just scroll down to get to it. 

The visitor Center at the harbor is well worth going to, and not just because the temp is about 38 and it is open and heated but it has a ton of good information in it and the people were great.

First a little history of shipping.  

Now for the ships 

The Lightship Chesapeake isn't as exciting as a warship but it was important none the less.

Faithfully served for 40 years.

Liked the erie solitary red light glowing from the bridge. 

And now is a good time to transition from the Lighthouse ship to the submarine, the USS Torsk. 

I wish I knew what the things sticking out from the hull were. Seems like they would create a lot of drag as they sailed underwater. 

 Yes, it had a wooden, not metal deck. 

 And for those who didn't want to get on big ships, there were little ones also!! Laughing

And there were the birds. 

Beginning bombing run.

And now for the USS Constellation 

See that little sign sticking out from behind the rudder? No? Well let's look closer. 

Yeah, the USS Constellation is in a Fire Lane No Park/Docking Zone!! I want to see them tow it off!!

There is the ship and sign. (Obviously meant for other watercraft when the Constellation is not there. I heard they do take it out on occasion.

I was standing on the second floor balcony of a closed restaurant to get this and the next image.

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