Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Back & Don't Miss This Cask!

Loyal Readers!

Thanks to Patrick, the Albequerque Beer Geek, for helping with the legibility of my blog's heading. What an improvement.

I apologize for my recent absence. The Thanksgiving holiday was nice in regards to having a little time off, but it put me behind in my administrative work something fierce. You may be asking yourself, "What kind of 'administrative' work does this guy do? He drinks beer for a living!" Well, I have been hard at work putting a ton of new beers into the computer system. Our IT department is handling their end of this procedure today, and a plethora of new beers, vintage-dated cellar items and casks are going to be available. I have also just finished placing a handful of special/rare Rogue kegs around to our stores.

The main thing that I have been working on however, has been in-store training. 3-5 days a week I have been in a store teaching our employees about beer and administering tests. The results have been positive in most cases, and hopefully the general level of beer knowledge continues to improve. The difficult thing is to try to get people to be passionate about something that they normally are only casually concerned with. Now I know what anyone who ever tried to teach me math or science felt like.

I will be giving you a list of new beers that are getting tapped around town as soon as I sort through all of the e-mails from the last 2 weeks. But, in the meantime, try to get down to the Metropolis store on Wednesday for a very special cask tapping. We have an Oskar Blues Old Chub, aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels. It is going to be awesome. Stranahan's is made in Colorado from the mash from the Oskar Blues beers (Dale's Pale Ale). They used to use Flying Dog mash, but Flying Dog recently moved all brewing operations to Maryland. The whiskey is very mellow, and compares closest to bourbon, but does not have any corn or wheat in the mash, so it has a fuller mouthfeel, and less smokiness than bourbon. I have met the distiller, Jess Graber, and this is a real Colorado mountain guy, dusty cowboy hat and all. I really like the whiskey, and I think that it will enhance the taste of the Old Chub perfectly. We will have a bottle of Stranahan's on hand for tasting purposes as well.

I will be back this week with a beer update, as well as with photos and stories from Beer Camp at Sierra Nevada (entrance pictured above) last month. It was a blast, and the beer we made at camp should be here just in time for the new year. More on that later.

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse
This is the top floor of the brewhouse, with buckets of fresh hops about to go into the kettles.