Saturday, March 14, 2009

D.C./New Horizons/Symbiosis

OK, here is the scoop on the DFH Ale House near D.C.:

  • On tap was Shelter Pale Ale (a 5% ABV beer not sold in our area, but very tasty), 60 & 90 Minute IPA (combined they are called an "Ale House 75"), Chicory Stout (an all-time, top 10 Fred Favorite), IBA, Riason d' Etre, World Wide Stout, 120 Minute IPA, Aprihop, and the force to be reckoned with, Palo Santo Marron. You could also get a Black & Tan made with Chicory and 90 Minute.

  • I had a Shelter to start, and followed it up with a WWS. My brother had a Chicory and a PSM. The 12 oz. snifters of the WWS and PSM were $10.25, but worth every penny. Having never had the WWS before, I really appreciated the drinkability of a stout that high in ABV (14%, something like that). It was pleasant to drink, and not too oily and molasses-like as some other heavy duty stouts can be.

  • The food and service were very good. I had some fish and chips to go with my pale ale, and they were both clearly hand-made. The WWS was for after dinner. My sister-in-law was home by Sunday, and the kid was sick, so my brother and I had the evening to ourselves. I did not plan this, mind you. I totally planned on going on Saturday night and seeing what kind of action I could get with the ladies out of this charming 4 year old. I was not kidding, and told my brother as much. Once my nephew puked all over the car Sunday morning, I pretty much figured he was out as far as being a chick magnet went. Hey, when you gotta barf, you gotta barf. Let it out man.

I teased everyone a bit with the info on "The Ron Burgundy" last week. Here now, beer drinkers, is the nitty gritty:

  • Every corporate Taco Mac in GA will be pouring this 30th anniversary beer 30 days before Sweetwater's 420 Fest. What do all of those numbers mean? They mean that Friday (yes, this Friday), you can get your hands on it. Draft only. Each store is getting 3-5 kegs depending on the size of the location. This beer is a 1-time deal, so alert every man, woman and child over the age of 21, and get yourselves down to a Taco Mac posthaste. (For a definition of "posthaste", please refer to multiple appearances from C. Montgomery Burns on a popular TV show called The Simpsons. He likes to use archaic words because he is extremely old. If you needed me to tell you that, you need to get with the program. Mr. Burns is hilarious.) When it is gone, it is gone forever.

Did we learn anything about rare beer lately? Yes, we did. I truly apologize to anyone who was upset at Crabapple last Wednesday. Within 17 minutes of tapping the last Sierra Nevada Hop Secret 393, it was gone. Forever. We blew the keg in 58 minutes less that the previous record of 1 hr., 15 min. The lesson we learned it this:

  • Life is short, people. Strike while the iron is hot. He who hesitates is lost. Insert your own favorite adage about life's fleeting moments here! I had not even taken the first sip of my first glass of HS 393 on Wednesday before the keg kicked. True story. I was finishing a Sierra Nevada Pale draft, figuring I had at least 25-30 min. before I needed to get my 2nd HS 393. Woops. You know what I say about snoozers? Losers. I snoozed, and I will be dealing with those consequences until I either A.) die, or B.) Sierra makes that beer again.

  • I would like to recognize a few notable things regarding this 8 keg odyssey. First of all, major thanks to the brewery, its people in CA and GA, and all of their hard work and attention to Taco Mac and our clientele. Secondly, huge thanks to ALL of you who came out to be a part of something new and special. I hope that we met you expectations at least. Those of you who came to multiple appearances of this beer, it sure was fun, wasn't it? Charlie was at Windward for keg #1, and he got the last glass at Crabby. See, there is a sense of justice in the universe. Sometimes. Big Ron missed keg #8, but he was there in spirit. Lastly, I want to tell you that we will do something like that again some day. I don't know when, or whose beer we will have, but this was cool, and I am ready to fire it up again right now. I know that you all are too.

More 30th Anniversary beers for Taco Mac!

  • The release of Terrapin's 30th Ann'y beer (made with 30 ingredients!) will be in early May at all locations I am invloved with in GA (sorry, Chattanooga). We will be serving a special cask at our original location in Virginia-Highlands on Monday, May 11th. It will have a special 31st ingredient (1 more for good luck!) that is TBD. You can miss it if you want, but I wouldn't. Have you been around V-High on a spring day lately? Not a bad place to chill on a Monday.

  • Atlanta Brewing will have a TBD beer for our 30th, to debut on the 1st day of summer. That day is actually a Sunday, so we will probably bust it out the Friday before or the Monday after. It is a new recipe of something deliciously complex, yet suited for GA in the summer. Details will be coming as soon as they clear up.

Want something crazy? I knew that you did. So, 3 firkins of rare English beer are en route to the beer engine at Metroplis. The arrival date is up in the air. The beer is somewhere between Atlanta and a dock in England right now. I have never ever heard of any of these beers before. So, stay tuned.

Do the words "cask-conditioned" or "beer engine" get you excited? If so, a few Taco Mac locations have these items right now. Canton is pouring Victory Storm King Imperial Stout with their beer engine. The Victory Hop Devil they had at opening was fantastic. I bet the VSKIS is out of this world. I just had Rogue Shakespeare Stout from Decatur's beer engine today (twice!). Three words for you: phe nom inal. G Mall is installing their equipment currently, and Woodstock is next. We need to roll this program out slowly, because the availablity of these cask-conditioned beers is scarce right now. We basically have to pace the demand in step with the supply. Are you mad because your store does not have a beer engine yet? We need the beers first. Don't worry, we are on it. In addition, this equipment is not cheap, and they have been back-ordered for a month or so. True beer engines are not made in Tallahassee or Tuscaloosa. They come from England.

Last thing(s) before I have to split:

  • New Belgium Brewing Co. will be launching in Atlanta on Monday, 5/11. I do not have details on what will specifically be going on. They launch with 22 oz. bombers first, the draft in 30-60 days after that. If you do not know who this brewery is, they make a beer called Fat Tire. Apparently Fat Tire can allow people to attain spiritual enlightenment, cure cancer, will balance the debt, and restore the ozone layer. Just kidding, but a lot of people really seem to desire this beer, so get ready, because the wait is about to be over.

  • Bell's Brewing Co. from Kalamazoo, MI is going to be here, for sure, this spring/summer. I worked there for 7 years from '93 to 2000, and the beer is excellent. It completes me, like Mini-Me and Dr. Evil.

  • Another CO brewery, Ft. Collins Brewing Co., should be hitting Taco Mac shelves this week. I could only get them in TN until now, and I think that this line-up will find a good home here in Atlanta. "The Kidd" and "Z Lager" are my favorites. Do not expect the ordinary with these beers. I'm just

Thanks as always for reading, and drinking. Remember, if you stop doing what you do, we can't do what we do. Symbiosis.

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.