It’s Christmas in January — Craft Beer is almost everywhere
In the election last November, Haywood County voters made their parched voices heard, approving the sale of beer and wine county-wide. As a result, these comforting beverages are starting to show up on the shelves of local markets and on the menu in restaurants in places that had long forbidden them.
It’s about time.
For years, businesses like Sentelle’s Market in Clyde, which specializes in fresh seafood and fine meats, could sell everything from albacore tuna to wahoo, but not a bottle of wine or six-pack of craft beer to complete the meal. This both penalized the business and made shopping for dinner a multi-stop ordeal.
For instance, whenever my wife and I were shopping — whether in Asheville, Waynesville or Canton —once we exited the highway and descended into Clyde, are shopping options were greatly limited. If we wanted a bottle of wine, we had to head back up the hill and go out of our way.
Thankfully, that has all changed.
This past weekend, my wife and I had dinner at Ferrara Pizza and Pasta on Paragon Parkway in Clyde, and were delighted to see both beer and wine on the menu — even some local craft beer options. The following day, my wife stopped to pick up a few things at the Clyde Food Lion, and came home with a box of my go-to Malbec — on special. This is just the start, but a big step in the right direction.
Pondering this long-awaited change, the other morning I wrote a quick parody to the classic poem, “The night before Christmas.” I hope you enjoy it.
Just weeks after Christmas and I look around,
To inches of white stuff that covers the ground.
The cabin, still dressed in a bright Christmas green,
Is starting to feel like a dark prison scene.
The temperature outside is single degrees,
And cars are slip-sliding right into the trees.
It seems like I’m stuck in a long winter’s nap,
With my new Macbook Air glued right to my lap.
We still have our power; I will give you that —
But all of the snacking is turning to fat.
But just as I mutter, “Hey snow, go away!”
I wake up to find a sunshiny day.
I hasten to drive to the market nearby —
More milk, eggs and cheese for an omelet to try.
As I walk in, I see the stocked seafood case,
And the comforting look of a familiar face.
But something is different, so I glance to the right,
And before my eyes is a wonderful sight.
The coolers that lined the wall very near,
Now filled to the brim with all manner of beer
Not Bud, Coors, and Miller and some PBR,
But the finest collection craft beer by far.
From Green Man, Catawba and Highland, of course,
To Oskar Blues, High Wire, all locally sourced.
From Boojum’s Reward, to Frog Level’s Brunette;
So many beer choices I seem to forget.
That Sentelle’s has fresh fish, the choicest of meats;
Along with assortments of all kinds of treats.
So now when you come in for steak or some fish,
You can pair them with craft beer and wine if you wish.
So the voters have spoken, and Clyde is a winner —
For a six-pack to go, and a great seafood dinner.
And the winter that felt like it never would end,
Feels more like a springtime — just ‘round the bend.
With festivals filled with craft beers galore —
More reasons ever to go and explore.
And again I can say, Have a Happy New Year;
More places than ever to find good, craft beer.