Friday, January 30, 2009

What A Great Week, And It's Only Friday!

Monday's cask was outstanding. If it was too short of a notice for you and you did not make, I am really sorry. That's all I am going to say. No reason to live in the past. Tuesday's beer dinner was great as well. We sold it out and then some, and Paul from the brewery was as entertaining and gregarious as promised. Wednesday's 3-year Barley Wine vertical was well attended, and Paul was enthusiastic about meeting and greeting our guests for that event too. Suwanee still has some of each of those vintage dated drafts. My favorite was the '08 personally. Thank you to everyone who made the first half of the week very beer-tastic.

So yesterday was a little anti-climactic comparatively, as you can imagine. Tonight I am attending a reception for the brewers participating in tomorrow's Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting being held at Atlanta Brewing Co. (they make Red Brick beers). Last year there were 20-some casks, and the entries are judged, and awards handed out. This year there is more beer, and the crowd is teetering around 300. If you did not know about this, don't feel bad. It sells out every year based on nothing more than word of mouth. I did not even know about last year's ACAT until 2 days before it happened. This one is way over-sold, and I am already feeling claustrophobic-24 hours in advance.

Sort of a slow week for new beer placements though. Super Bowl Sunday is demanding a lot of attention from our managers right now. But, let's take a look anyway:

  • Breckenridge's 471 ESB is at Johns Creek and Perimeter. Not the 471 IPA, this high-strength ESB is my favorite beer they make. The Pandora's Bock is at Perimeter and Suwanee also.
  • If you are looking for a beer that you won't see at Taco Mac everyday, check out G Mall and East-West for Fuller's London Pride. It is a nice break if you are getting hopped-out, but still want fresh ale flavor. G Mall also has Scheneider Edel-Weiss. It is delicious, and organic I believe. They have Weihenstephen Dunkle-Weiss, too, if you really need to get your German beer thing going. I think the Wiehen. Dunkle is the best example of the style out there. The Polish beer Zyweic (pronounce "jiv-ic") is in Duluth, along with Gaffel Kolsch and Tommyknocker Rye Porter. All of those are relatively under-represented in most stores. So is the Sam Adams Boston Ale they have. No, not Boston Lager, every store has that.
  • Old Milton is pouring Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and ESB. Look for more stores to start picking up Sierra's Imperial Smoked Porter next week. I had one at Metropolis the other day, and it was great. Peachtree City has one now as well.
  • More Avery kegs! Find Fifteen at Johns Creek, Metropolis and Duluth, plus The Czar at Duluth.
  • If you have not tried a bottle of the collaborative holiday beer from Stone/Jolly Pumpkin/Nogone, get down to Newnan. This beer is very rare and complex. It is going to be gone soon, and probably for a long, long time.
  • If you are at Windward, make sure that you have a Stone Pale Ale. This brewery does not get enough credit for their basic beers, because of their fame for extreme beers. If you are into the extreme beers, they have Ruination as well, also from Stone.

February's beer of the month is Rogue Chocolate Stout. Prove the doubters wrong, and make this a great BOTM. Dark beer needs love too, and lots of it.

The schedule for Sierra's Hop Secret 393 will be worked on next week so, stay tuned. For those of you who do not know, this is the beer that I helped make and write the recipe for at the brewery in Chico last November. The reviews from the brewery range from "Awesome" to "F-ing mind boggling!" It got an A in its only Beer Advocate review. One of the other establishments that participated, The Bistro in Hayward, CA, went through 2 kegs in 7 hours, and it is a tiny place. I will send out a complete schedule of where and when we will tap these very soon. I will be at each tapping, with Sierra people, who are just now coming back from their annual meeting at the brewery. Expect the week after next (Feb. 9-15) to be the target week.

Have a great weekend everyone!