Friday, January 9, 2009

Chillin' In Chatanooga

I am in Chattanooga, Tennessee today doing some training at our store there. I will not be able to "See" Rock City, ride the Incline Train, or take in the sights from Lookout Mountain. I will however, be drinking some beers that we do not get in GA. Work, work, work. New Belgium and Ft. Collins Brewing Cos. from Colorado are some notable selections. If I have enough time, maybe we'll see what those Pyramid and Boulevard beers have to say for themselves. Then the GM here and some of his regulars are going to show me around some old pubs and pool halls downtown. Good thing we get a good rate on hotel rooms up here. It is a cool, funky little town with some kitschy tourist attractions, all about 2 hrs from Atlanta. Passport Club members should make the trip just to rack up some credits that they can't find back home. Not to mention, the staff up here is a really pleasant bunch of people. Check it out.

Don't miss the 3 year vertical tasting of Duck Rabbit Barley Wine at Suwanee on 1/28! The brew master will be there to answer questions, and he is a really cool guy. He has a master's degree in Philosophy at the University of Michigan for god's sake. The '07-'09 vintages will be served in the usual 11 oz. size, as well as a special 6 oz. taster for $2.50. The 6 oz. will be a unique Passport Club credit for 1 day only. I will be there around 5 pm. Snoozers are losers!

Here comes the beer report!

  • Ever heard someone speaking Flemish? It sounds like a German person gargling while speaking French. I think I figured out why. Belgian beer is so good, these people are half to completely ripped all the time. Here are some Belgian and Belgian-style beers going in right about now. Avery Collaboration is at Perimeter, Allagash Curieux is at Duluth and Johns Creek, Allagash Grand Cru can be found at Dallas Hwy and Cumming, Lindergh is in the mood with Delirium Nocturum (also at Metropolis), N. Coast Brother Thelonious, and St. Bernardus Abt 12. Mall of GA has Allagash Four and Dogfish Head Raison d' Etre.

  • Strange or unusual offerings what you are looking for? Schneider Aventinus is going in at Duluth. If you have never experienced a dunkle wheat dopple bock, this one invented the style, and is still the best ever. A close approximation, Heavy Seas Hang 10 is at Lindbergh and Peachtree City. N. Coast Old Stock is at Decatur, along with Lagunitas Gnarly Wine for barley wine lovers. Metropolis is serving the 2007 vintage of Duck Rabbit's Barley Wine. Ever had Ayinger Celebrator on tap? if not, our Decatur store can complete you like Mini-Me completes Dr. Evil. Rogue "Glen" is a rare installment of the John's Locker Stock series that Crabapple is pouring. The best beer, in my opinion, that Samuel Adams makes, is the hardest to find. Hit Old Milton Pkwy to find their Boston Ale on tap. No, not Boston Lager. This one is different, and really good.

  • Are you looking for dark beer to console your winter doldrums? Most stores have installed the latest batch of Sweetwater Happy Ending, and Decatur & Metropolis have the 2007 vintage. Wow. Duluth has a Whiskey-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog. It is awesome. Stone Smoked Porter is new at Woodstock, and is quickly becoming a Fred favorite. Look for Sierra Nevada's Imperial Smoked Porter in a few weeks. I can't wait. Cumming just put on N. Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout poured with nitrogen. It is a great way to experience a huge beer like that with the edges smoothed out.

  • True hop heads are never satisfied. That is well-documented. However, Lagunitas' Imperial Red (at Cumming & G Mall) and Hop Stoopid (Metropolis) should give them something to chew on for a minute. Maybe a Gordon IPA at Johns Creek or Decatur will be just what the doctor ordered. Otherwise, Duluth is the most recent store to install Houblon Chouffe. If you are still unaware of what this beer is like, come taste the beer that created a new style. There are more "Belgian IPA's" coming out, and this is the one they are emulating and paying homage to.

That is it for now. There are many, many other beers getting tapped this week all around Taco Mac land. Too many to mention here today. Get out there and see what I am talking about. Our managers are doing a great job these days brining in new items constantly, and you are doing a great job drinking them. Keep up the good work, and I will talk to you soon. Oh yeah, and Yuengling draft comes out the week of 1/19 for you people who have been on pins and needles for that. All stores will have it as early as we can get deliveries that week. Happy new year everyone!

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.