Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Hello, Liver? It's me, Fred. Listen, we need to talk."

I just want to apologize in advance to my liver for what I am about to put it through. As far as livers go, this one has been a champ, and I think it deserves to be thanked and appreciated for the hard it work it has put in so far. "I need you, little buddy! The next few weeks are going to be fun for me, but you my friend, may be putting in some overtime." I think it is only fair to warn those of whom you know are certain to be in harm's way.

All joking aside, I want to keep everyone updated on upcoming events, because these will not likely be repeated, if ever, for a long time. If you have people in your life who would appreciate these types of things, please let them know. I hate to hear from folks out there that they heard about these things too late. Reach out to your fellow beer lovers. If they truly love beer, then beer needs to know about it.


  • Monday (probably today unless you are reading blogs on Sunday) is the first tapping of the Sierra Nevada Hop Secret 393. If you do not know about this beer, please read previous posts, or just show up at Windward Pkwy Taco Mac anytime after 5 pm. I will be there with the Sierra guys, a video slide show, short movie and complete brewer's notes on this rare beer that I helped write the recipe for and make. Don't forget, nobody outside of CA has tasted this beer yet, and it was made with an experimental hop never before used. The reviews from CA are incredible. Only 35 kegs were made, and 8 are in GA. The rest are in CA, if there is any left. Want to hear the whole story, with visuals? See you Monday.

  • The second and 3rd tappings of this beer will be on Wednesday 2/11 at Perimeter and Friday 2/13 at East-West. If Friday the 13th scares you, imagine how a few beers will take the edge off of seeing a hockey-masked, plaid shirt-wearing axe murderer. If we get enough people in the bar, we should be safe. I will be at both of these events, along with the Sierra guys and the travelling media show.

  • Next week Hop Secret is taking a hiatus, except for an appearance on Friday 2/20 in Decatur. "Why, Fred? Why?" you must be exclaiming. Because Monday the 16th is the Guinness Perfect Pour Contest at Lindbergh Center. On Tuesday 2/17 we have 4 drafts from Smuttynose Brewing Co. in New Hampshire (not ME, thanks readers!) releasing for the first time in GA at Metropolis. Feeling shut out up north? The same 4 varieties of Smuttynose will be pouring the following day at Old Milton Pkwy on Wednesday 2/18. I will be at each of these, along with Kevin Love. Kevin is the nat'l sales manager from the brewery, and has been there from the beginning. The 4 beers are (drum roll maestro....): IPA, Robust Porter, Old Brown Dog and Small Batch #5 Schmutzig Hopfen-Weiss. Yes, that was a mouthful. So, 3 of their year-round flagship beers, and one rarity. There are only 2 of each of these kegs in GA, so if you want to try them, I will not even give you one guess as to where to find them. I just told you. Are you writing all of this down?

  • We resume the HS 393 juggernaut at Lindbergh on 2/24. This beer is featured as the 3rd beer in our 5 course beer dinner that night. So, the beer will not be available until 8 pm unfortunately. However, after 8, the Sierra guys will start working their way out of the dinner and onto the mezzanine to accompany the slide show, etc. I will be back and forth between the two. Remember, the visual accompaniment will only be upstairs on the 24th.

  • Our new store in Canton is scheduled to open the following Wednesday 2/25. I always have some tricks up my sleeve for a new store opening (hint: Passport Club members, I am saving new items for Canton. Pass it on!).

  • Feeling shut out down south? No way. Hop Secret is at Newnan on on Friday 2/27. In case you can't tell, we are moving this beer around the metro area (sorry NE ATL, you have a different distributor for Sierra, and we could not break up an 8 keg shipment). If you see us coming near you, it may be your only chance. The remaining HS 393 kegs (2) are going to be tapped at Kennesaw (3/2) and Crabapple (3/11). I will remind you about those as we get closer to March.

  • Sierra and Allagash beer dinners are getting a good deal of action. If you were planning on coming (brew master Rob Tod from Allagash-which is in Maine!-will be at the Duluth dinner in March), you should probably sign up soon.

If that does not sound like a month that calls for an advance apology to your liver, just remember 1 thing: This is what I do for a living. Sprinkle in a brewery tour, a Hawks game (What? They made the playoffs last year.), a concert at Variety Playhouse (guys from Cumming, remember we were going to get a beer in L5P), and dropping by the occasional pub after work, which I have been known to do. Let's just say most Saturdays and Sundays are spent on R & R. Oh, who am I kidding, I'm drinking a beer right now!

Thanks, and I hope to see as many of you as possible this month. If you neglected to write this all down, don't worry, I will try to remind you. But, as you can see, the potential for me to become "forgetful" in the next few weeks is, um, strong.

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.