Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When You Wake Up, Don't Blame The Viking




Don't miss the Metropolis 1-year anniversary tonight. Donald is opening up the cellar and letting some real gems out. I am leaving the office early to be there at 5. Work, work, work.

I hope everybody thoroughly enjoyed their weekend. If you were not where I was, I just want you to know that I had enough fun for the both of us. If you were there, you know what a spectacular day we all had at the Terrapin anniversary party in Athens. The weather was gorgeous, the crowd was just the right size (over 1000 people), and the quality of the company in attendance was incomparable. Did I mention the beer? Oh there must have been 20-24 taps spread out among 4 serving stations located throughout the brewery and adjacent grounds. Live bands were playing, frisbees were being thrown, and that bean bag tossing game was going on. They call it "corn-hole" for some reason, but you are not going to catch me telling anyone that my friends and I went to Athens overnight and played corn-hole. That implies Burt Reynolds with real hair, crazy rednecks, banjos and Ned Beatty squealing like a pig. None of that happened. But back to the beer. All of the usual Terrapin suspects were being served and tasting great, and the cask tent was serving firkins of an oaked Rye Pale, the new 90 Shelling, an oaked Monk's Revenge and an oaked IBA. They were all delicious. Get ready for the 90 Shelling when it gets released, it is another home run for the Side Project series.

Somewhere along the way, the guy in the viking helmet gave us a tour of the brewery. I don't know if anyone could really hear him over the steel drum band playing inside the plant, but we know how a brewery works. He was funnier than his hat, which could not have been easy. The big news is that after the tour we got to taste the Terrapin 30 Strong, which is their anniversary beer for Taco Mac. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to adequately describe how good this beer is. Thank you, Spike. Thank you, Terrapin Beer Co.

"But Fred, what kind of beer is it, Fred? I am dying to know!"
A strong ale.
"Not giving me much to go on here...."
It has 30 different ingredients. It's hard to describe.
"Aaarrrggghh. I need something tangible to satisfy my curiosity!"
I guess you had to be there.
"You're really starting to piss me off here, Fred."
Listen. I had a transcendental experience on Saturday. I no longer feel the need to define everything according to what society wants it to be. Don't put the beer in a cage man. Just let the beer be itself. Accept it for what it is, and fit into its world. Don't make it fit into your world. No joke, this stuff is 9%. You mess with it, and, well, you might fall 6 feet off a fence and go face first into the sidewalk. That didn't happen to me, but let's just say I was there when it happened to someone else. All that Zen BS comes to an abrupt halt when blood starts squirting out of someone's face. But, when you wake up in the morning covered in scabs and band-aids, don't blame the viking who was pouring your beer. He didn't put you on top of that fence.

All kidding aside, we had a great time, albeit with one bloody mishap. It had more to do with open-toed shoes, and less to do with strong ales. The Terrapin 30 was the talk of the day, and all of the local beer freaks who got in on the sneak tasting were blown away. This beer launches Friday, May 8th. We have less of it than we did of the Ron Burgundy so don't mess around and miss it. When you do get your hands on some, for god's sake be careful, and don't wear sandals!

I hope you enjoy the photos. Once my buddy sends me his (these are from brewery personnel), I will see if any of those are interesting. If you ever see the viking guy, that is Dustin, and he is charge of sales and marketing for Terrapin. Great guy and a good friend. They really hooked it up on Saturday, and we will be talking about it for a long time. The next time these guys invite the world to their place, you need to get up there.

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.