Friday, December 12, 2008

Holy Seasonal Beers!

'Tis the season to really step up your beer drinking. "But, Fred, I don't know if I can possibly drink any more beer than I already am!" you may be thinking. Nonsense. The stakes are way too high for that kind of thinking. Quitters never win.

We recently received a bunch of odd-ball Rogue kegs, and here is the scoop:
  • Love & Hoppiness- Kennesaw
  • Paul's Black Lager- Suwanee & Mall of GA
  • Brewer- Old Milton Pkwy, Dallas Hwy
  • Old Crustacean- Metropolis
  • Glenn- Woodstock, Metropolis, Crabapple
  • Yellow Snow- Suwanee, Perimeter
  • Latona- Cumming
  • Juniper- Peachtree City
  • Double Dead Guy- Duluth
These kegs ship out next week, and I have no idea when they will be getting tapped. I have never had 5 of these on draft before, and I am sure that these are rare to you folks as well, so check with the stores who have the beers that you are most interested in drinking for when they will be tapping.

Dank Tank? Yes, Sweetwater has a fermenter dedicated to weird offerings, and it is called "The Dank Tank." The first DT issue, a 10% ABV Belgian tripel called "The Creeper" is shipping out to all 21 GA area Taco Mac stores that I represent next week. Look for it soon, because it will be gone in a hurry.

Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yellow Pils is coming soon to Newnan, East-West, Perimeter and Kennesaw.

Victory's new Donnybrook Stout (nitro poured Irish style) is going to be featured at Old Milton, Duluth, Decatur and Newnan in the next week or so. Stay tuned.

Ayinger Celebrator draft is going in at Kennesaw and Lindbergh right now. SW Festive '07 is being poured at Dallas Hwy, and small kegs of He'Brew Jewbelation 12 (12 malts, 12 hops, 12 % ABV) are at Kennesaw, Suwanee and Peachtree City. The PTC store also has a Stone Double Bastard keg, as does Metropolis. Feeling like a stout? Hit Ellard Village for Victory Storm King and Rogue Shakespeare, or Crabapple for Great Divide Yeti, and PTC for Left Hand Imperial Stout. Ben and the gang are gettin' their hops on at Kennesaw. Grab a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, Gordon IPA or Left Hand Warrior Wet Hop. Lindbergh and Decatur are waiting for kegs of 3 Philosphers to come in next week, and multiple stores are praying for inventory of Houblon Chouffe to show up next week. Red Brick's Winter Ale is a Belgian-style now (the old Winter recipe is now a year-round Porter), and going in at Kennesaw and Woodstock. Johns Creek is putting in Victory Hop Wallop, Tommyknocker Rye Porter and North Coast Old Stock to warm you up. Decatur has the Hop Wallop now as well, plus Lagunitas Brown Shugga'. Our facilities manager is currently working on installing a beer engine in Decatur for cask ales to be available at all times. Hopefully that is operational by Jan. 1. If you never got to taste the Belgian tripel from Lagunitas, you can find 22 oz. bottles of We're Only In It For The Money at Newnan and Metropolis. It is the latest in the series of beers named for Frank Zappa albums. Cruisin' With Rueben & The Jets is next and should be in next week. It is a stout brewed with chocolate and white pepper. Hmmm.... If you love Lagunitas beers like I do (the back bar from their employee lounge is pictured above), head out to Woodstock for Lucky #13 on draft. While you are out that way, hit East-West Connector for Lagunitas Gnarly Wine and Left Hand Snowbound Spiced Ale. Then call a cab. Ouch. Mall of GA has probably the last keg of Terrapin Oak-Aged Big Hoppy Monster yet to be tapped in town. They will be getting into it this weekend. They have also brought in about 25 new bottled beers over the last few weeks. So if you are a Passport Club member looking for credits, dodge the craziness at the mall and treat yourself to some refreshments.

The week before Thanksgiving I was invited, along with representatives from 3 other beer-centric establishments (all from CA) to "Beer Camp" at Sierra Nevada in Chico, CA. The event was basically a seminar in beer making, beer culture and Sierra Nevada history. After a day of that, including an extensive tour of their facility, we were tested on the information we were given. The top scorer in the group (me) got to work with one of their brewers to develop a recipe for the pilot system. The following day we all helped to brew the beer, and when it is done, the batch will be split between all of the participants. So, keep your eyes peeled for Hop Secret 393 to show up around the first of the year. Why the funny name? There was a bale of experimental hops there that Sierra was given by one of their growers to play around with. It had never been used to brew beer with before, and did not even have a name. It was simply called "Hop 393." It smelled great, and the temptation to use it was impossible to resist. The beer is designed to showcase this hop (along with others) in a medium bodied red ale. Think Celebration Ale with more body, and the hops toned down a little. It should be interesting, and with the help of their employees, you know it is going to taste great. I will have a full recipe and technical specs when we roll out the beer. We should receive about 10 kegs, and I will be on hand with photos of the whole thing for each keg tapping. The Sierra staff photographer and archivist just sent me his pictures, and I will post some here very soon. Have a great weekend, and get out there and drink some beer already!