Will Brinson is an NFL Writer for @CBSSports‘ @EyeOnNFL blog. However, as good as he is with the written word, Will is an even better meat eater. He’s quite the crafty veteran. The personal sacrifices this man would make to get his hands on some quality Q are astounding, and are chronicled in great detail below. Spoiler Alert: it involves subversive stealth ops. and some lies to his wife.
My wife is rarely wrong, but as we wrapped up lunch at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro last Friday, she’d never been more right.
“There’s nothing sadder than looking down and seeing the final bite of your barbecue sandwich,” she said despondently as we prepared for the final leg of our trip to the North Carolina coast.
This is even more true when you make the trek to Wilber’s. It’s not that far away, but let’s just say that when I volunteered for this assignment, I seeded the stop with my wife a few days in advance, took a different route than I normally would to the coast and timed our departure to coincide with lunch but just before the lunch rush. I’m not insane, I’m just hungry. I swear.
Stopping at Wilber’s, inconspicuously located just on the side of 70 just west of Goldsboro proper, is one of the few requirements when cooking tires between Raleigh and Morehead City. Be warned, though — if you’re not planning on pulling over, you could blow past it without thinking twice. Parking in the summer at lunchtime isn’t just difficult, sometimes it’s dangerous: you’ve got to manage a yank off the highway, navigate a few peach stands and then actually find an open spot.
Aside from all being things I curiously found in the front of my pants after waking up from a blackout on the kitchen table while my wife judgmentally shakes her head at me while making my child’s breakfast; they are your grilling mainstays.
When you decide to fire up the Weber, its almost a guarantee that one of those items will be aiding in your carnivorous desire. Nothing wrong with that at all. Hell, I’d eat one of each right now as an appetizer. But I have one question: where are the pork chops? Why the hell aren’t YOU grilling more pork chops?
I’ll tell you why…you have no idea how to prep and flavor them, and you’re panicking.
You’re scared; a timid baby bird just looking for your wings. Well, I want you to nestle up to Pappy Crane because I am going to whisk you off your feet and carry you to a land of pork chop pleasure. A place where you can happily and confidently prep, frolic, hug and cook a juicy hog chop.
When I think of Summer, a handful of things come to mind: wearing shirts with no sleeves, cooking delicious animals on the grill, drinking ice cold (hop-kissed) beer, swimming in varying bodies of water and smoking cigars socially without feeling my body succumb to the grips of frostbite.
Its a beautiful thing. So beautiful that I actually had to step away from writing this to try and calm down and stop the tears from flowing.
Now that I’ve composed myself, I would have to imagine that you enjoy these same pleasantries I speak of. After all, you are perusing this site aren’t you? Shit, we are practically cut from the same cloth! That’s why I am confident in recommending to you a bold summer smoke, the CAO La Traviata Maduro (I’ll refer to as LTM from here on out.)
When I first started smoking cigars, CAO‘s were my “go-to” brand (the Brazillia was my favorite.) I found myself enjoying each and every stick they offered. As time went on though, I began to stray from them. Not because their quality faltered or their brand switched hands, it’s that I yearned for more.
Much like the way my palette for beer evolved, my taste for cigars demanded something more, and CAO just was no longer doing it for me. Don’t get me wrong, they offer some great smokes, I just felt that they were “staying in the past” while many other companies were advancing, transforming and progressing.
Fast forward some time later and a friend of mine offered me a CAO La Traviata Natural. It was terrific; a great all around smoke. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a CAO product and began to get excited to see what they might have in store next. Well, it didn’t take long for them to take an already delicious cigar in the Natural, ditch the Ecuadorian Havana and wrap the sumbitch in a mega-dark Connecticut leaf. Thus birthing the La Traviata Maduro.
Before getting into the review, I just wanted to get something out of the way. When it comes to a cigar looks can be deceiving. A common misconception among people just getting into cigars is that the darker the cigar, the stronger the cigar. That’s a dated misnomer and not the case at all.
One of our favorite Craft Beer brewers on the market is Devils Backbone – that has an enormous presence across Virginia and permeating further. From upper tier fast food joints, nice restaurants, to large festivals, the varying brews emanating from DB are consistently a favorite among consumers, let alone ourselves.
We were happy to catch up with their CEO Steve Crandall about his life in Nelson County and all things Devils Backbone. Steve really did an excellent job expounding on the mentality, and mission statements behind the Devils Backbone model.
On the brew model itself, Devils Backbone Brewmaster Jason Oliver expanded on some of his thoughts on incorporating other styles into their mixes, and what is up and coming.
My fathers side of the family come from Wales and northern England so I naturally feel an affinity for the UK. But I also feel an affinity for the beer. My first brewing job was at the Wharf Rat / Oliver’s Breweries ltd in Baltimore and we brewed exclusively English-style ales using an English brewing system with open fermentation, the notorious Ringwood yeast, and English malt & hops. Much of my career had been specifically focused on Germanic brewing so it is nice to come back to ones roots. Expect to see the American Amber Ale I brewed with Adnams to be re-brewed at Basecamp as well as other UK inspired ales. Also, upon my return DB will start it’s cask ale program.
Wondering where that catchy name came from? Interesting story that Steve said we were absolutely not allowed to speak about on-air. Apparently, the land where the brewery was built upon was the staging ground for a rather acute military battle that took place during the mid ’80′s. I can’t say too much more, but it involved guitars and Ralph Macchio. I’m just saying what Steve told us in confidence! I am not sure I believe him either, but I certainly am not willing to call the man out on this.
If you haven’t noticed, lately there has been a large resurgence in bluegrass style bands becoming popular again.
Then again, if you simply didn’t notice this – there is a really strong chance you are what we affectionately refer to as a “dummy.” There are probably a lot of things we need to go over with you. No, snap bracelets aren’t cool again – and stop chewing on your pencil eraser.
Music with instruments is really catching on (who knew), and we were ecstatic to get the chance to speak with Jesse Langlais of Town Mountain about life, love, and just a dab of current events and politics.
Did you buy into that last bit? Hope not. We spoke exclusively about banjo, bluegrass, and booze. Alliteration at it’s finest. Jesse was also kind enough to give us some of his thoughts on some fine craft brews.
North Carolina’s, Town Mountain, is touring around their fourth album, Leave the Bottle…Based in Asheville, NC, Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, and Jake Hopping on upright bass…Leave the Bottle effortlessly covers a wide array of styles in the string band spectrum featuring the stellar in-house songwriting that has become the band’s trademark.
We’re going to see Jesse and the rest of Town Mountain LIVE at Fairfax County Summer Series Concert July 12th, until then you can catch our Cooler-side Chat below, along with a few of our favorite Town Mountain tracks, PLUS the free song download.