Jay Adams checking a batch of beer at Asheville brewing company. (photo submitted)

Taste ‘Pacolet Amber’ at Beer Fest

Published 3:39pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Created by beer enthusiast Jay Adams

Arlene Adams gave her husband a beer-making kit in the mid-80s.

In the mid-90s, Jay Adams was named North Carolina Brewer of the Year.

“My first batch was excellent. I was inspired. My second batch was horrible. I over-tinkered with it. It was a learning process,” said Adams.

At the Tryon Beer Fest, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Tryon Depot Plaza, patrons will be able to sample Adams’ artistry by tasting a sample of the 35 gallons of beer he has named ‘Pacolet Amber.’

“Pacolet Amber promises to be very good, and it was made with hops grown by Pete Viehman along the Pacolet River,” he said with a smile of satisfaction.

Learning is in his DNA. The Lake Adger resident grew up in Asheville and attended UNC Chapel Hill. An English major, Adams took an elective course in human genetics. The professor said it was the craziest exam he had ever given. The highest score was a 97. The second highest score was a 43. Adams got the 97. His professor then steered him to the University of Michigan where Adams received his PhD in human genetics.

While living near Washington, D.C. his wife inadvertently started Adams on a second ‘career,’ that of beer making. He joined BURP, Brewers United for Real Potables, now the largest beer club in America. There he refined his craft and was elected BURP’s Minister of Culture, a tongue-in-cheek yet prestigious club position.

Adams recalled when he entered three brews in a Washington, D.C. show. The judges were torn between what they considered the top two of all entries in the show, a straight Lambic (a Belgium beer) and a Flanders Red.

“They debated for a long time since winning Best of Show was a pretty big deal. Finally, they gave the blue ribbon to the Lambic and second place to the Flanders Red. The judges were pretty upset about the time spent in deciding who was the winning brewer when they found out that both beers were mine,” Adams said.

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