Game 4: A 110–93 win over the Nuggets… featuring Foothills Frostbite Black IPA

A return to the Hive, a free NC beer, and a dominant win over my final NBA team to see. Yeah, that’s a good night.

No more of Pitbull’s Timber… now it’s Kanye’s Power for Hornets W’s.

We were lucky to have Charlotte Hornets season tickets for our first three years in the Queen City. We miraculously landed in affordable housing in Uptown in August 2014, and walking five blocks to Hornets games on a regular basis was too appealing to pass up, so we bought a full season package later that month. I’d sell half the games (including some of the big matchups… looking at you $400-profit Warriors night), make all of our money back (plus some), and essentially get paid to go to 20 games per season. It was wonderful.

And somehow, I was able to see every team in the NBA at the Hive… except for one.

This is our fourth year in CLT, and we’ve bought a house outside of Uptown so season tickets were no longer in the homeowner’s budget… but I was still able to snag a $6 ticket to sit in our old section (226) and row (J) for Wednesday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, the last team on my list.

And the game didn’t disappoint.

Charlotte dominated Denver on Wednesday night, leading by 20 throughout basically the entire game and by as much as 27 points midway through the 3rd. Frank came off the bench with 20, Malik Monk had his breakout game with 17 points and three 3-pointers, and Dwight pulled down a billion rebounds (and made free throws too!)… it was a great return to the Hive. Everything I could’ve asked for to start our fourth season as fans.

But even though I got to sit next to old season ticket friends and watch the Hornets win, I wasn’t about to pay $13.25 for a craft beer from the suuuper-authentic “Craft Beer Garden” to continue my 82 beers in 82 games commitment. Come on y’all. Who buys these? Suckers, that’s who.

Suckers, pre-game. At half, they line up and wait to be suckers.

I appreciate the commitment to “serving local” at Spectrum Center, but that’s brutal.

Instead, I found a local bearded gentleman peddling good-sized free samples of an assortment of Foothills Brewing beers. Not shady at all. Free samples > $13.25 beer… every. single. time.

So while Foothills is based in Winston-Salem, I’m going to make an exception here at BCB and make them the beer of the night. Winston’s close to Charlotte, right?

I drank a decent-sized sample (seriously, like 10 oz) of Foothills Frostbite Black IPA at the Hive on Wednesday night. I’m partial to the darker beers, as you’ll find out over the course of this season, and this one was really good. I’m not going to put it up there with the 9-Muggsy Mecktoberfest, but it came close.

The Foothills website markets it as “The official beer of Jack Frost. Skillfully blended barley and roasted wheat malts team up with a big blast of flavor and aroma from Pacific Northwest hops. The result? A Black IPA as refreshingly bracing as a cold winter day.

Well… okay. It had a little chocolate flavor, as a lot of the dark beers do, and the “Pacific Northwest hops” must’ve given it the pine flavor… or I was imagining things. That said, really enjoyable beer on a cold-ish night. I wouldn’t drink it at a summer tailgate, but I’ll look for it “from November-January,” when it’s apparently available (yes, it’s still October).

This is getting wordy. I’ll give the Frostbite Black IPA 8/10 Muggsys, my second highest ranking so far early in the 2017/18 Hornets season…

The Hornets are 2–2 now, but they face their biggest test yet on Friday night when the 4–1 Rockets come to the Hive. Houston added a few pieces in the offseason, but their biggest, Wake Forest’s CP3, was kept out of his game tonight with a knee injury, so we’ll see who suits up on Friday.

No matter what, when Dwight Howard and James Harden are on the floor at the same time…. It could be a fun one, and I’ve got an OMB Captain Jack for the occasion. Buzzzzzzzz.