Name: Crank Arm Brewing
Location: Raleigh, NC
What you need to know: After making a good impression at their first SAVOR last year, Crank Arm is back for a second time. Crank Arm, which opened in downtown Raleigh in 2013, focuses on producing quality beer and supporting an active lifestyle through cycling. While Crank Arm produces a wide array of beer styles, their beers do have one thing in common – they are all unfiltered. Flagship beers (including last year’s offering at SAVOR, Rickshaw Rye and this year’s Whitewall Wheat) and rotating beers have won numerous state, regional and national awards.
Beer/Food Pairing #1: Valve Stem (Lager / 5.3% ABV) paired with Grilled Lamb with Peas, Mint, Feta and Pea Pesto
Notes/Thoughts: Valve Stem is Crank Arm’s classic take on a Vienna Lager, featuring noble hops that provide some earthy notes to a dry and refreshing beer. The clean, malty flavors should pair well with the lamb dish and give it plenty of space to shine. The beer itself could also pair well with a number of the other dishes, or be picked up on its own as a break between some of the bigger beers.
Beer/Food Pairing #2: Whitewall (Wheat / 4.4% ABV) paired with Cucumber Gazpacho with Cheese Crisp
Notes/Thoughts: Whitewall Wheat is a multiple time Great American Beer Festival medal winner, including a gold medal in 2018 for American-Belgo Style ale. The beer is brewed with a traditional wheat malt and Belgian yeast strain, but there are no additions of coriander or orange peel. Citra hops are used throughout the process to provide some of the same flavors that those additions would typically cover. The result is a light but flavorful beer that should be refreshing as SAVOR progresses. The gazpacho should provide light and refreshing flavors as well, and if that is the case, then the pairing should work.
Overall Impressions: Crank Arm was one of my pleasant surprises at last year’s event, and their offerings this year are another opportunity to impress. Both beers should present clean flavors and the food should elevate the experience. If you’re interested in lighter, classic styles that are less common on the Savor beer list, this table should serve you well.