Let's start off with Carolina Beer Week at the Black Squirrel, where you can sample beers from five North Carolina breweries that are not regularly distributed in D.C. Since we're not too well versed on the beers, we checked in with Cafe Saint-Ex/Bar Pilar owner Mike Benson, who also owns a restaurant and bar called Southern Rail in Carrboro, N.C., just outside Chapel Hill. He recommended beers from Chapel Hill's Carolina Brewing Company (especially the Pale Ale), the Bad Penny Brown Ale, the Belgian Blonde from Raleigh's Big Boss Brewing Company, and just about anything from Asheville's Highland Brewing Company; the Squirrel has Gaelic Ale, St. Therese Pale Ale and Kashmir IPA available. The Tar Heel State is also represented by Boone Brewing Company's Blowing Rock High Country Ale and a selection from Raleigh's Lonerider Brewing Company. And to go with all this Carolina beer ... Carolina barbecue (chicken, pulled pork or baby back ribs), served with hush puppies and slaw. All the beers are limited stock, so if you're dying to try them, get there ASAP.
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