Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve!

New Year's Eve used to be a big deal for me, but now I am kind of an anti-climactic NYE celebrant. My plans to see a concert in San Francisco were shot down by the fact that I was broke from my whirlwind fall travels the previous 3 months. So tonight, it's all about taking it easy with a couple of friends. The fridge is packed with some interesting items, some of which are new for me. There are 3 Mikkeller beers; a coffee stout (Black Hole), an IPA (Stateside) and a Belgian style beer made with spice and cocoa (Santa's Little Helper). I have a Gouden Caroulus Noel 750 ml, a Smuttynose IPA from Maine, a Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel from Montreal (quite possibly the greatest stout of all time), various 1 & 2 year-old barley wines from Bell's & North Coast, and 2 De Dolle beers-an Oerbier and an Oerbier Reserve. Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Matt & I are working on the next few beer dinners next week. The menu for January's dinner with Duck Rabbit should be up on the web site tomorrow. President and brew master Paul Phillipon will be there. February will be Sierra Nevada, and the beer that I helped make in November will be featured. March is Allagash, and head brewer Rob Tod will be in town from Maine for that.

Let's get down to what beers are going in around Taco Mac land. There is a lot, so you need to plan on drinking a lot of beer this week. I know that you won't let me down.

  • Dark beer is great all year, but really gets a lot of attention in the winter. You can find Sweetwater Happy Ending at Dallas Hwy, Woodstock, Windward, Perimeter, East-West and Lindbergh. Terrapin Wake 'N Bake has arrived at Mall of GA, Windward and Dallas Hwy. The curiously delicious Holy Mackerel Mack In Black has gone on at Johns Creek, Peachtree City (they have the HM Belgian Gold as well), Decatur, Lindbergh. You can find Allagash Black at Johns Creek and Kennesaw. The Mall of GA store also has North Coast Old Rasputin, Victory Donnybrook and Duck Rabbit Wee Heavy for you dark beer lovers. Cumming has Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Stone Smoked Porter (a Fred favorite, also available at Kennesaw) and Red Brick Porter. Like beer in the morning (it's OK, I won't tell)? Then hit Lindbergh for Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout.

  • Just because you already opened your presents this year, that does not mean that winter seasonal beers are gone. Rogue Santa's Private Reserve is available in Decatur and Kennesaw, Breckenridge Christmas can be found at Woodstock, Cumming and Crabapple. The new Red Brick Winter (a dark Belgian style) is on at Perimeter, and V-Hi has Avery Old Jubilation (awesome beer). The rare and delicious Highland Cold Mountain is about to start flowing at the Mall of GA (heretofore referred to as G-Mall).

  • Can't get enough Belgian and Belgian-styled beers? Allagash Grand Cru is on tap at Kennesaw, Woodstock, Metropolis and G-Mall. Old Milton Pkwy and Kennesaw also have Ommegang Three Philosophers on draft. Hurry. Metropolis is pouring Delerium Nocturnum, which is out-of-this-world good beer. Woodstock has a keg of Maudite right now. I drank a year old bottle of Maudite the other day that was just about as delicious of a beer as you can get. Go buy some and put it in the fridge for a year. Wow. Don't miss the Jewbelation 12 at Dallas Hwy and G-Mall. Once it is gone, we are just going to have to wait for the Jewbelation 13 next year.

  • Are you just an old-fashioned hop head? We have beer for you too. Lagunitas Imperial Red (another 100%, satisfaction guaranteed, Fred favorite) is at Decatur and V-Hi. Decatur has Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, and G-Mall has Weyerbacher Hops Infusion. Haven't tried Left Hand Warrior IPA yet? Peachtree City and G-Mall are waiting for you. Metropolis has Avery Maharaja for the midtown hop heads. Ellard Village has DFH 90 Minute IPA. Don't forget about some of these old favorites that were new favorites a few years back. Those guys need your business, too. Did you like Sweetwater's "The Creeper"? G-Mall has Houblon Chouffe, which is the Belgian inspiration for "The Creeper." It is beyond awesome.

  • Last posting or two ago I mentioned some special Rogue kegs getting tapped. Windward, Perimeter, Cumming, Johns Creek and Metropolis are getting into theirs now. The rare Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yellow Pils is going on at Perimeter and East-West this week. Two kegs of Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale surfaced somehow. If you missed this beer the first time around, head over to East-West or G-Mall. During the hop shortage in '08, Sierra bought hops from New Zealand, which has a totally backwards harvest season from the USA, to make this beer. Pure genius. Last but not least, the Southampton Double White had some production issues, and the brewery is now scaling back distribution to our area temporarily. If you can find it, get one now. It may not be around again until spring.

I hope that everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous '09. I promise that I will learn how to put photos on here a little better, like this one of the barrel-aging room at Russian River Brewing C0. in Santa Rosa, and get some fresh material for you. Thanks for reading.