Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sour Attitude

Zwanze Day, September 23rd, 2017. So close I can almost taste it. Except that nobody has actually tasted the Zwanze 2017 yet. (I suppose the people at the brewery in Brussels have probably tasted it.) For those of you that don't know, Zwanze Day is a day (duh) where a special Cantillon lambic is poured at some of the top beer bars in the world. "What's that, you ask? Clarify 'the world'?" OK, how about this: 66 places in 18 countries, from the Pacific, throughout Europe and Scandinavia, all the way to the US, including Hawaii. It literally wraps around the world, and it is all about the greatest lambic producer in the world, Cantillon.

"But I can get the beer later if I want it, right?"
No. It will all be gone on one day.
"But surely you mean that just the draft will be gone. I can go down to the store and get a bottle next week, right?"
No. Apparently you don't know very much about Cantillon, my friend. And don't call me Shirley. Bottles are even more scarce than draft. Plus, if a brewery is going to do an international event on a single day across the globe with a coordinated toast from the brewmaster himself, they better have a damn special beer to generate that much hype. Cantillon Zwanze is that beer.

Stateside, the beer will be available in just 28 places across 19 states and the District of Columbia. So yeah, the beer is rare. One keg per location. If you live in one of the 30 states not getting this beer...bummer. Actually, don't feel bad. This is the first year that Georgia has ever had a Zwanze Day, and Atlanta is a pretty major metropolitan area. Maybe our beer scene has finally made the big time. Maybe who really cares why, let's just enjoy it.

So how do you get to be a part of Zwanze Day 2017? It's easy (not really). Just be one out of 100 people to get to The Porter Beer Bar early enough to claim your Zwanze ticket. However, if you are just now getting your plans together to be a part of the festivities, be advised that people--a lot of people--are going to line up early to ensure they get in the door. In addition to the single keg of Zwanze 2017, there is a tremendous lineup of Cantillon (and other beers) available that day. Need the details? Click here. Suffice it to say that most of us are going to make an entire day out of it, antacids will be needed after all that sour beer, and Uber is going to be busy this Saturday.

So what is Zwanze the beer? Well, each year it is different, and getting something "different" from a brewery that is so deeply steeped in tradition as Cantillon is pretty damn exciting. But in addition to that, each year's Zwanze is very unique and, well, can be a little odd. This year, for example, it is a blended lambic with Oolong tea leaves added. Apparently the brewmaster's son just turned 18, and to commemorate that he got to contribute some ideas as to what direction to take this year's brew. That means that Zwanze Day 2017 is the only chance to taste a one-of-a-kind lambic from the world's king of lambic producers, using an ingredient that is very much outside the canon of lambic traditions. In addition, the beer is clearly dear to the heart of its maker, with his son, Sylvain, being invited to take part. Apparently he likes tea quite a bit. Based on the label artwork, we can guess what kind of TV the young man likes to watch as well. If an Oolong tea lambic sounds gross to you, well, again, you don't know very much about Cantillon. They know what they're doing. Beer lovers around the world have 09/23/2017 on their calendars for a reason (or 23/09/2017 if you live anywhere but the US).

If you need more info on other beer happenings around the metro Atlanta area this weekend, I recommend you poke around and find some Tired Hands kegs out there. These are also a rarity, especially in Atlanta, and no one knows when we will see this beer in Atlanta again. Fingers crossed that it's soon. Kegs went to Argosy, Brick Store, Leon's, Midway, and Square Pub this week. They will know when those kegs are getting taped. Might be gone already, might be pouring as we speak for all I know.

In addition, start looking for Hourglass Brewing out there. This Florida brewery has some outstanding stuff that's worth seeking out. Saison du Sablier is my favorite, but that's just me. Everything they make is top-notch.

That is all I have for you right now folks. Have a great weekend, and be sure to drink a lot of beer.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Liberating Experience

This ought to be fun. At least I hope it is. You see, I need a new blog for my new job, but thought maybe I should just resurrect my old one instead. It looks like there are still followers here, and very few of you look to be ill enough in your profile photos to have passed away since I let this thing fizzle out a few years back. So what the hell, let's see if y'all are still out there craving fun stories about beer drinking.

Let's start with the explanation for why Fred's Beer Page fizzled out.

  1. I left Atlanta in late 2013, where pretty much all of my readers live(d). 
  2. My job at the time did not really lead to a lot of fun, crazy beer adventures like my old one did. 
Nobody wanted to hear about me going to work Monday through Friday and sitting behind a desk. Turns out I didn't really want to live that life any more than you wanted to read about it, so I flew the coop. Now I am back in Atlanta, working for a distributor that has the sexiest beer line-up around. It is run by a few of my friends, who asked me to join the party. Joining parties is something I have been known to do, so I did.

Here's the thing about a distributor though: Most of them are pretty much behind the scenes. You go to beer events at bars, in parks, wherever, and the distributor is nowhere to be seen. They dropped off the beer, picked up a check, and split. We are going to do things a little differently. The stuff we sell is higher end, rarer, and a little more exclusive. See the logo? "We deliver the bomb". No kidding. These beers are badass. People need to know that when the Liberator guys roll up, it is a pimp ass event, and you want to be there. So the plan is that we are going to be sure people know when and where the Liberator events are happening. Also, most of these breweries don't have salespeople in the area, so we are it. You think someone from Estonia is in town repping beer? Do you even know where Estonia is? (Go ahead and look. I bet you it's not where you think it is.)

I enabled the comments for this blog now. God help us. Please, if you are a troll or a hater, keep your stupid comments to yourself. If you make me disable the comments, I will make sure everyone else knows who ruined it for them. Remember: beer should be fun. If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong. If you want to comment and say, "I am still here. Don't start a new blog. This one is fine by me.", I would appreciate it. If you want to use the publicity of the comments section to get any other point across, please be aware that nobody cares what you think. They subscribed to this for one reason: beer. Let's stick to the topic at hand, shall we?

It feels good to be back. If you're out there, let me know about it. If not, I hope you are still able to find delicious beers without me. I am sure you can. Cheers.

PS - You can follow Liberator Distributing on Instagram at thebeerbombarbiers. We will be dropping bombs all over Georgia, so get ready. Shit's about to get real.

Monday, March 17, 2014

C'Mon Man!

First of all, I am not a fan of malls. This is no secret. Bad music, bright lights, obnoxiously strong perfume, and tons of people whose sole purpose for being there seems to be to stroll aimlessly around in front of me. Seriously this your idea of a good time? Wandering around like a zombie pushing a stroller? You may not have anything better to do today, but I do. Move to the right. Or better yet, just move faster. I do not go to the mall to shop. I go to buy. The internet is for shopping. Stores are for buying. All I need is to get around the stroller zombies, find the items I want to purchase, complete the transaction and get the hell out of there. I bought a new laptop computer. Took me ten minutes. Five minutes to get assistance, and then five more to decline all of the add-on bullshit they try to sell you and then swipe my card. It took me twenty minutes to drive there, ten to find the store I wanted, ten to make a purchase, and twenty more to drive home. One hour and I had a brand new computer. Why people seem perfectly content to slowly amble through a mall, staring blankly at everything until some of it accumulates in bags that they drag around is beyond me. If that is what "Saturday" becomes for me, will you please do me a favor and kill me? Attention authorities: I have given my readers permission to take my life under strict circumstances. Do not prosecute them if I am found dead a midst bags full of tightly fitting clothing, heavily scented body lotions, and iPhone accessories. I asked for that. It was a mercy killing.

And then there is this guy....I was parked in front of his truck. I thought he was just taking his time straightening it out, but no. He just decided that he need two spots, because he was that important.
OK, I get it. There was plenty of parking. No one needed that extra half a spot he took, but that is not the point. He didn't need it either. And he got out of his car and looked at me like, "What?", as if it is no big deal to be such a self-important jackass that you take more than you need and tell the rest of the world to go to hell. When you're at the gas station and there is a penny cup, you don't just pour them all in your pocket and walk out. You take what you need, and you leave the rest. Sometimes you even contribute to it. Not this guy. But I guess if you're an uneducated, inbred hick, you don't care if people think you're a jerk because you're too stupid to care. As if I wasn't dreading the mall already, this is the kind of fellow American I had to deal with on my way into the god-awful place.
C'mon man! Try not to be a dick just once.
Luckily there are some good people out there though. People who either have a sense of humor and share it freely, or maybe just people who are crazy and don't mind if you laugh at them. Later in the week I was walking around my neighborhood in Baltimore, enjoying a beautiful spring day, when I came across this spray painted sheet. I gave it a glance and walked on, smiling a little at the humor in it. Not so much the message, which is funny for multiple reasons, but the fact that some people took the time to spray it on a purple sheet in metallic paint and hang it off their porch. Maybe it's simply for the amusement of friends and strangers alike. Maybe it is to keep friends and strangers alike from bothering them during a particularly heavy acid trip, who knows? Either way, I don't understand binary code, so your guess is as good as mine as to what it says to the robots in their own language. If it is binary gibberish, well, that's just going to piss the robots off, and that's not going to be a good idea. No reason to add fuel to the fire that is the Robot Apocalypse.

Resistance is, after all, futile. 
I don't have much else for you today folks. I am off to Atlanta on Wednesday, so if you see me down there, don't freak out. It's really me, not a mirage. I'll prove it. Just buy me a beer and watch me drink it. A mirage can't do that. Until then, enjoy yourselves this week. And if you're name is Spring, you are welcome here in Baltimore any time. Whenever you are ready, so are we.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Coming Soon To A Fred Near You

Hello Readers! I am in the middle of spring cleaning, literally and figuratively. I have a ton of new things to tell you about, so stay tuned for some fun posts as soon as I get settled. I am headed to Atlanta this Wednesday, and it is my first trip back since I moved away in November. I lived there for thirteen years, so naturally I am excited to return. You guys chill out for a while, and I will be back in touch soon with stories galore. Until then, keep your eyes on the plants and trees. Spring is quite awe-inspiring, but it happens very fast. Don't miss one of nature's glories while you have the chance. It only happens once a year. Bye for now!