Sunday, March 1, 2009


"My eyes are blind but I can see
the snowflakes glistening on the trees."

An obscure holiday nugget trotted back out to commemorate this random March blizzard? No, that's from the song Snowblind on Black Sabbath Volume 4. Who knew that Ozzy had a flair for such touching illustration? Somehow I don't think he was talking about the kind of snow that freakishly dumped on Atlanta all day today.

Here is how I am taking this unexpected (sorry, not a Weather Channel junkie) winter deluge: What a great opportunity to spend some quality time indoors, curled up with a good beer. In fact, I am looking at some winter seasonals in the fridge that were dangerously close to being overlooked during the 10 months of summer in GA. I knew that the 750 ml Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper, brewed with herbs and holiday spices, had been anxious to get out of the fridge. How can I say no, when my lips keep saying yes?

Lately I have been busy with the back half of the HS 393 tour and the Canton opening. Let's recap, shall we?

  • The beer dinner Tuesday with Sierra Nevada was a blast. Chad from Sierra went out of his way to make sure that Fat Tuesday festivities were multiple notches above our normal drill at beer dinners. Thanks, Chad, for all of the extra effort. I think I speak for the whole group. The 393 was a show-stopper, and was only upstaged by Matt's beef pairing with the Imperial Smoked Porter, depending on who you ask.

  • The Canton opening the following night was great. Thanks to all of those loyal folks who drove out there for the event, and thanks to all of the customers, new and old, who just got a Taco Mac in their neck of the woods. Imagine their relief. The beer selection looked great, and lots of new items were available to Passport Club members.

  • Thursday was the grand re-opening of our Chattanooga store. They were closed Mon.-Wed. for internal upgrades to the building, plus the installation of 14 new draft lines! They have even more beers on tap that we can't get here. I keep telling you folks to head up there one day and check it out. Dale and the guys have a really cool store on their hands, and it just got 14 new reasons for you to make the trip. Load up the Family Truckster (Arctic Blue or Metallic Pea?), buy some carpet in Dalton on the way up (do not, I repeat, do not drink and shop for flooring!), and pay the 'Nooga Mac a visit.

  • Friday we took the 393 Road Show to Newnan to show some love to the folks down there. What a great group of people. They really showed the love right back, and the keg lasted until just before 8 pm, and I only had 3! Thank you so much to all who turned out, and I really hope that you enjoyed the night as much as Chad and I did. He concurred that the turnout was extraordinary. Lots of homebrewers down there, and serious ones at that.

So, tomorrow (Monday) we pour keg 7 of 8 of the HS 393 at Kennesaw. Did anyone see Bob Townsend's article in Thursday's (2/26) AJC? If not, look through the recycle bin, because the article is about the 393, my trip to Chico, etc. Bob did a nice job getting the point across in a medium-sized format. I was OK with page 4 of Food & Drink, but next time, the front page of section A is what I'm shooting for. It's OK to dream. So, to all of those people who never thought I would get into any part of the newspaper besides the police blotter or the obits, I just have one thing to say: "In your face!"

The last bit of news is about the exciting things that I am hearing about for 2009. Georgia should get ready to expect Moylan's Brewing (Novato, CA), Bell's (Kalamazoo, MI-I worked at this brewery from '93-'00), French Broad (Asheville, NC) and New Belgium (they make Fat Tire in Ft. Collins, CO) to be in our pint glasses by May/June. The beer guys say sooner, but they are typically optimistic. I hope that they are right about their claims to have these items in April, but I am trying to be realistic.

The April beer dinner will feature some unusual beers that most of you have not seen before. The breweries are: Lion (Sri Lanka), Amacord (Italy), Michael Plank (Germany), and Magus Belgo (Belgium). It will be 5 courses (M. Plank will have 2 courses), and Matt will have the menu ready very soon. This is a bit of a departure form the 1 brewery format we normally use, but wait until you taste these obscure beers. I am very anxious to see everyone's reaction, because I remember mine when I first tried these. I immediately thought of the beer dinner format to bring these to market first. Stay tuned.

Thanks as always for reading. And if you turned out last week for an event, or even if you just stopped by a Taco Mac for a beer once or five times, thanks again. People thank me for what I do, but I can't do what I do without you. Keep up the good work out there beer drinkers. We're in this thing together.

Obscure Reference Or Not? You Decide- In National Lapoon's Vacation, when Clark goes to pick up his new car for the trip to Wally World, it is not the color he wanted. He specifically said that he wanted Artic Blue, but the salesman only had Metallic Pea for the Family Truckster. This is my recollection, which is unsubstantiated at this point. If there are any corrections to this, please advise immediately.