Neuse River Brewing Company offers a look at latest beers to friends and family

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One of the perks of having your own blog is getting that invite to special events. From getting to sample a slew of wine varietals along with the winemaker to then reflect your thoughts on paper, from being invited to attend annual beer festivals to take photos to post on your blog. It’s always a nice two-way street when it comes to bloggers and the people we write about.

So it was great when our friends Jennifer and Ryan Kolarov of Neuse River Brewing Company invited us, as well as a handful of other friends, local media and bloggers to an informal tasting event at the brewery.

Arriving at the brewery we made our way to the bar, where we were directed towards a back room through the brewery, which snaked around a sign marked “private event” displayed between two kegs. When we reached our destination, we were greeted by Jennifer Kolarov, who along with a few others, were putting the finishing touches on the food display.

A table was filled with delicious hors d’oeuvres which paired perfectly with the new beers we were going to sample. Different types of cheeses, meats and crackers were all waiting to be devoured by the twenty guests seated amongst the room.

“You really have to try the Stilton with apricots with the Streamside Mango,” said Jennifer, as she pulled a seat alongside us. “Or even the mango,” she adds. Which we did like the beer and mango pairing. “Almost all the food here pairs well with all the beers,” she says. Which was indeed true.

Our first beer sampled, the Table Saison, paired perfectly with the dates and figs at the table. This French-style Saison was brewed using Belgian pilsner malt and Saaz hops, having a crisp, tart taste. Our second beer sampled was one of the brewery’s flagship beers, Bobbi Brune, a smoked Belgian brown ale. That paired well with the blue cheese, but for me, everything pairs well with blue cheese.

We were then introduced to three new beers – Zephyrean, Saturday Morning and Trois. Zephyrean is a pale ale that poured with a very rich, amber color to the beer. Brewed using two-row malt honey and pacific ale yeast, this beer was malty and had a nice piney aftertaste. Saturday Morning is the brewery’s first attempt at the ever popular New England IPA.

If you know us, you know Jen isn’t a huge fan of any style of IPA, but she ended up enjoying this beer. Like most NEIPA’s you get that opaque look and an aroma of citrus. We actually thought this beer smelled similar to an Orange Julius. Which reminds me of a lot of NEIPA’s since it contains milk. The nice creamy finish of this beer made it one of our favorites.

Trois ended up being the perfect name for NRBC’s Belgian Triple that measured in at 9.5% ABV. If you love your Belgian beers, you’ll find this one is right up your alley.

The latest beers being released by Neuse River are to showcase co-owner Ryan Kolarov’s reign back as the head brewer. Saturday Morning, a hazy IPA, just so happens to be Kolarov’s first recipe since the departure of brewer Nathan Gastol. “It was so well received we decided to can it,” says Jennifer. “The cans will be released in April.”

Jennifer is also excited about the brewery’s first Kriek-style beer. “It will be a blend of a barrel-aged beer that has been aged for 2.5 years on cherries with a clean beer taste and more cherries. It will not be your traditional Kriek. It is our take on the beer and you can expect it to be sweeter with more residual sugar.”