Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
But wait, there's more. This Friday, May 29th at our Windward Pkwy store we are going to feature 3 beers from the latest brewery to launch in Georgia. Moylan's Brewing Co. from Novato, CA has shipped kegs of their Tipperary Pale Ale, Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale and the beer-geek favorite: Hopsicle. All 3 will be pouring at 5 pm. This will be a great way to say hello to a new brewery in our market, and good-bye to a great month of beer events. I have heard excellent things about this brewery. It comes from just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco (if you needed me to mention the city adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge, please put your head in the oven and turn on the gas). Bad breweries don't survive in that region of the country. I expect great things. I will be on hand, along with the owner of the distributor that carries these beers. He has been bringing in some tasty new beers lately. Maybe we can convince him to let us in on some more new things he has on the horizon. He's got a lot of irons in the fire right now.
For those of you who have attained inner peace with the universe now that Fat Tire is here, only to have that tranquility shattered by the lack of draft, help is on the way. Kegs should appear mid to late June.
Other notable June events, with more to follow I imagine, are:
- Spaten beer dinner 6/16 at Lindbergh. The menu looks great. We designed this specifically to not only feature the great beers from Spaten, but to let Matt's German heritage loose on the food menu. Check it out.
- Duvel Green and Obamagang sneak previews at Johns Creek, Lindbergh, Metropolis and Old Milton. We will do the 2 in-town stores on Tuesday the 9th and the northern stores on Wednesday the 10th. Duvel Green is a reworked version of Duvel that can be poured on draft. It is only currently available in NYC and Philly. Obamagang (aka 2009 Inauguration Ale) is a blend of Ommagang Chocolate Indulgence and a kriek (cherry) lambic. Wow. If you are getting all hot and bothered about mixing politics and beer, settle down. They made a Sarah Pale Ale at the same time. If you still think that Obamagang is more than a clever name for a special release of an incredible beer, please do your best to get a life. There will only be about 50 11 oz. glasses of each per location, so if you like Belgian-style beers, put these dates on your calendar. I want to warn you now that these beers are expensive! I know that the economy is hurting everyone these days, so I am giving you more than 2 weeks notice. They are $9.00 each, so set $20 bucks aside right now, and you won't even miss the money by the time you drink the beers. It'll be like a present that you give yourself. You're worth it.
"Ramon, how could you? This explains why our youngest son is such a good dancer. And why my wife wanted to name him Ramon!"
Now where does the WBR turn? The AJC? Have you seen that thing lately? It's like they want you to not miss it once it finally dies completely. In two years:
"Man, I guess the newspaper is gone forever."
"So what? That thing sucked."
"Yeah, you're right. Good riddance."
"Personally, I like being illiterate."
"I agree. Who needs to know, like, stuff?"
"I hear there is news on the internet."
"True, but between YouTube and Facebook, who has time for the news?"
"Right. American Idol is on tonight."
"I watch wrestling."
"That explains a lot."
"I did watch the news on TV the other night."
"Really? What were they talking about?"
"American Idol mostly."
"Hey, why are our heads in an oven"
The new face of the WBR is going to be a store-specific Twitter account. More details will follow, and hopefully it will all be linked up through here eventually. That is the long-range plan. The current procedure was not able to provide you folks with real-time information that is 100% accurate. I was previously looking at what stores were requesting what buttons for their computers in order to sell new beers. Those requests could be for products that they may already have, hope to get, or mistakenly think that they will receive in the future. It was not providing you with what you want or need. Unfortunately, with the number of store we operate, my ability to communicate new product placements to you is simply unreasonable. I do actually have a job that requires me to do more than drink beer and write fake dialogue for my own (and occasionally yours, I hope) amusement. So, Twitter is the answer.
Kennesaw, Canton, Decatur and Metropolis have already been active for some time. Other stores are getting organized now and in the upcoming weeks. The idea is that you can subscribe to the stores in your geographic area. No longer will you have to scroll through my blog reading about beers available 2 counties away from where you live. If you are interested in reading about things at those stores occasionally, maybe you are on that side of town for some reason, you can quickly check out that store's Twitter. The managers responsible for ordering the beer for each store are responsible for keeping his or her readers up to date on the new beer arrivals. Don't worry! Only 140 characters are allowed per posting, so you can still waste your time reading my blog. The Twitter postings (called "tweets") are very short and sweet. If you are against this idea, I am sorry. The Twitter phenomenon has given way to the Twitter reality. It, or something like it, will be around until someone finds a way to ruin it. The service is currently free, so you have no excuse not to participate. Sure, you will still receive e-mails about special functions from us if you do currently, but this application is different. Talk to the managers in the stores that you frequent, and they can give you the info on the account if they are up and running. I will be posting a complete list each stores' account info as soon as everyone is operating. And, like I said, all stores' Twitter should be linked here eventually.
I really hope that this is viewed as a positive thing by you, my readers. If it isn't now, I am confident that it will be eventually. After plenty of initial hesitancy, we are embracing this thing wholeheartedly. Other than another 30-45 seconds on-line each day, it shouldn't take up too much of your time either. Just one less YouTube video of someone doing something stupid, that's all we ask. Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Remember, if your festivities get rained out, beer tastes great inside, too. Just be careful once you get a few beers in you and want to fire up the stove.
PS-Major bonus points if you know the song referenced in the title of this post.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
First of all, being called a boozer is not an insult. Not in my world. Remember the immortal words of Frank Sinatra:
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that is as good as they're going to feel all day." So true.
Or of W.C. Fields:
"If I had to live my life over, I'd live over a saloon. " Wise words indeed.
So, here are some photos from the cask event at V-High that I hope you didn't miss. It was awesome. This picture is of the cake Terrapin made for the event. The turtle shell is actually cake, not a big glob of frosting. Oh, and there's one of the casks they made for the event in the background. One cask was dry-hopped with Fuggles, and the second one with Perle. The beer was great, which we were prepared for. It was so smooth for being so strong, which some people were not prepared for. If you read this blog, you know one thing on this subject: I warned you! The second picture is Bob tapping the cask dry-hooped with Perle. Shannayl tapped the Fuggles cask. We had two b-days to celebrate that day, as if we needed a reason to get together and drink great beer on a balmy afternoon.
Picture three is of the bar area in full swing. If you look closely, you will see that there actually was a girl there. The attendees were a little skewed to the masculine side, so props to the photographer for finding a female and capturing that on film. But hey, for all you single ladies out there, maybe you need to show up at more of my beer events. Look at these studs!
Enough living in the past. Here's what's coming up:
- Tonight we have a cask of Stone Chipotle Smoked Porter and a keg of Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale for our beer dinner at Duluth. Around 8 pm, once we pull what we need for our beer dinner guests, the rest is for sale. These are rarer than rare. Get with the program boozers. The bell is ringing.
- Casks? Yes, more casks! Friday we have a cask of oak-aged Red Brick Peachtree Pale Ale at Metropolis. Tap goes in at 6 pm. Yes, normally it is Wednesdays at 5. Why the switch? To keep you from getting too comfortable. Stay sharp people! We have a pretty heavy spring on our hands here.
- Bell's are ringing? That's right. Bell's will be all over Atlanta starting next week. Want to get introduced to one of the country's premier craft breweries? On Tuesday, Kennesaw will be pouring Bell's Amber Ale, Oberon, Pale Ale, Porter, Expedition Stout and HopSlam. The last 2 are very rare and in short supply. Just wait. This brewery makes a ton of crazy beers, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Spring keeps getting heavier with Moylan's launching in the end of May, Harpoon Levithan Series Imperial IPA coming soon and a few surprises in early June as well. Stay tuned.
PS- Thanks to Terrapin co-owner John Cochran's wife for baking the cake. The personal touch was felt.
PPS- No, that is not O.J.'s lawyer Johnny Cochran. He's dead. He croaked in '05.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Don't forget about the casks of Terrapin 30 Strong at V-High tonight! The beer was great when I had 3 20 oz. mugs of it Friday. Watch out with this beer! Let's just say I was prepared to not be driving home before I got into a half-gallon of the stuff. I got a really sound sleep that night.
Also, Spike and the gang will be there to contribute to the revelry. As any reader here will tell you, I spend a little time with the Terrapin guys from time to time. Never a dull moment.
On Tuesday the 19th we are doing a release of some Bell's beers. For those of you who don't know, I worked at this brewery in Michigan for 7 years before coming to work for Taco Mac in 2000. Naturally, I have a deep seated fondness for what they produce there. We will be pouring their Amber Ale, Porter, Pale Ale and Oberon on draft, along with the rare specialties Expedition Stout and HopSlam. The Kalamazoo Stout will be available as well, but only in bottles. Come taste what caused me to stay in this business for life.
Don't forget about the 2 Stone drafts at Duluth on Wednesday. You will not see Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale or a cask of Chipotle Smoked Porter for a long time to come. Be there after 7:30-8:00 pm for these gems.
The Sweetwater Big Medlin DIPA is all over the place. Recently sighted at Kennesaw, PTC, Duluth, Lindbergh, Crabby, Newnan and Suwanee.
The Magic Hat Lucky Kat IPA is turning up at Lindbergh, Dallas Hwy and Crabby as well.
Those are some tidbits to get you started this week. It is going to be a busy one for me, so you may not hear from me for a few days. Well, I gotta start drinking now. Work, work, work.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
This weekend starts a wave of beer events that frankly just does not know when to stop. I hope that you are ready, because it is about to get heavy. If you are not prepared for this, then you may be excused now. OK, good. You're still with me. Here is the itinerary, and I don't want to hear any crying. "Oh my god, Fred! I can't possibly drink all of this beer! Oh, why do you plan so many fun things for me to do with so many cool people? Boo-hoo. I, like, have a life and stuff. I can't possibly be traipsing all over Atlanta from one drinking event to another." If that's you, then you should have left the room when I warned you. Because now you're in, and here's what we have cooked up for you:
- Friday every GA store starts selling the Terrapin 30 Strong. The above photo is the list of ingredients, in the brewer's handwriting. I don't know if you can expand that picture or not, but we will have those on hand for you to look at when you stop in for this awesome beer. Be prepared for a very drinkable, high-gravity beer. Careful. There, I warned you. Don't blame me when you wake up fully clothed (or totally naked-it's always one or the other) in a strange place.
- Monday we have 2 casks of this beer to pour at our Virginia-Highland store. It is a special day for us for a few reasons, so we are tapping these kegs of anniversary beer at our original store. Please come by and check it out if you can. These kegs have a special 31st ingredient in them. Terrapin people will be on hand to enjoy the festivities with all of us. It is safe to say that you will never see this beer again. Apparently it was a pain to brew, and we appreciate Terrapin's patience. You will too once you taste it.
- Monday also sees the launch of New Belgium's beers into Atlanta. We should be getting deliveries of Fat Tire 22 oz. bottles before lunch on Monday, and will ice it down to sell ASAP.
- Wednesday the Stone beer dinner in Duluth offers things for those who were not able to get into the event. We are serving Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale on draft, and it will be available to the general public after 8 pm. There is only 1 other keg of this incredible black IPA in Atlanta. We also have a cask of Stone Smoked Porter with chipotle peppers in it. You can start purchasing that around 8:30 pm. You will probably never see that again in this area. I really hope that you can try these beers if you did not get into the dinner. The owner/brew master from Stone will be there, so if you are hanging around in the bar, maybe you can meet him once we are done.
- Our Canton, G Mall and Decatur stores just received cask-conditioned kegs of Lagunitas IPA, Undercover Shutdown Ale and/or 2009 Correction Ale (new!). Those are getting tapped ASAP. All of those beers are Mega Fred Favorites. I received a bottle of the Correction in the mail recently. Get ready for a great hoppy beer that pulls back before plunging you over a cliff. I can't wait to try these from a beer engine.
- Sweetwater's latest Dank Tank beer, Big Medlin Double IPA is showing up all over town. Only about 30 small kegs remain. Don't be a snoozer. That would, by defintion, also make you a loser.
- Then the following Monday the 18th Bell's launches in Atlanta. We will be doing something at our Kennesaw store for that, probably on Tuesday the 19th. Put that on your calendar, and more details will follow. I am "working" on that tonight over a few Victory Hop Devils with the distributor.
- Look for Peak's Organic beers from Vermont to start popping up this month.
- Not enough for you? Moylan's Brewery from northern CA is going to debut this month as well. In case you just arrived on Earth, they make pretty awesome beer in California.
- Perimeter is tapping an '08 Duck Rabbit Wee Heavy this week.
- Kennesaw and Old Milton are both installing some of those new Pennichuck beers from New Hampshire.
- Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weiss (made at Schneider in Germany by Garret Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing) kegs are at Metropolis, Decatur, Perimeter, Duluth and G Mall. Rare and incredible.
- Johns Creek is picking up Spaten Mai Bock and the new Spaten Pils. Both are great, in case you forgot that Germans make quality beer, too. They also have keg of Brooklyn Blast, a new IPA that I have yet to taste. Go get one and give me a full report.
- Speaking of Brooklyn, East-West has their Pennant Ale coming in. They also have an Ommegang Rare Vos. This Belgian-style amber is mellow and easy to drink. An Ommegang is a big glass? That's right. (Psst! Also a Fred favorite.)
- Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, Decatur. Go!
- Allagash Confluence at Kennesaw. You need to go NOW! It will be gone quickly.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Apparently he is going to try to somehow tie a Queen song into a beer posting.
That's right people, Fat Tire (and believe it or not, the New Belgium Brewing Co. does make other beers besides this-I swear to god, I've seen them!) is about to be available in GA. Starting Monday, May 11th, it will be in 22 oz. bottles only. Draft and 12 oz. bottles will come around in a few months. Why? What do I look like, Google? No, seriously, it is the way they rollout in a new state. They did the same in TN about 6-7 months ago. It is a package size that works in all types of retail outlets, and gives their wholesalers 1 unit to focus on, instead of multiple units for the same beer. Speaking of focus, if you look closely, the banner at the top of the label has a special notation for the state of GA. This label will be on a few thousand introductory cases, and that's it. Nice gesture on their part. The wholsalers are going to try to deliver cold beer to all of our GA stores (except Philips Arena) on the 11th so that we can sell it soon after it arrives.
But before all of that goes on, don't forget about Ellard's Cellards. On Monday the Ellard Village store will have 5 cellared items for sale all at once. Draft will be: Allagash Black, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, He' Brew Jewbelation 12 and North Coast Old Stock-all from early 2008. In addition, they are breaking out their Stone Russian Imperial Stout bottles from '08. These beers all have a vintage designation, so if you are a Passport member looking for odd credits, this is for you. If you are a beer freak who can't seem to be satisfied these days, this is also for you. If you just like great beer, this is for you as much as anyone else. If you are single and want to meet other like minded singles in your area, try http://www.eharmony.com/. I think that is more up your alley.
Also don't forget the launch of the next 30th anniversary beer, Terrapin 30 Strong. It is made with 30 different-oh hell, if you don't know this by now, you must live in a cave. Get out next weekend and find out what all of the hooplah is about. Technical details will be available. You could also read any of the last 4-6 posting on this blog. I have not exactly been keeping this thing a secret.
Like Stone beers? May 13th we have a (sold-out) beer dinner in Duluth. Three of the beers are unusual drafts from Stone, and we will not need it all for the dinner. We will be releasing each of those beers to the public as soon as we pull off what we need for the beer dinner customers. The rest will be for sale to whoever shows up. Starting around 7:30, you can get a Cali-Belgique draft, followed by Sublimely Self-Righteous (1 of 2 kegs in GA), and then a cask-conditioned firkin of Smoked Porter with chipotle peppers added. That last one you will probably never see again. These are musts for beer lovers and ALL Passport members who like some unique items on their lists. Plus the owner of the brewery is going to be there.
And now, the weekly beer report!
- Boulder Mojo IPA draft is popping up these days. G Mall, Cumming, Decatur and Crabapple have it now.
- Magic Hat Lucky Kat IPA kegs got shipped to GA ny mistake. Look to Taco Macs on the west side of 400, and inside the Perimeter stores in Fulton Co. Only 1 distributor got them, and the territories are loosley based on that formula.
- Remember the Ft. Collins Barrel Licked Bock I told you about last week? I just tried it at EWC (East-West Connector), and it was awesome. Get over to EWC, Canton, Newnan, Old Milton or Metropolis to get one soon. Those are the only 5 kegs we get.
- There are some unusual Rogue specialty kegs coming around these days. including a Russian Imperial Stout, and Imperial YSB (no typo, it's YSB), and Morimoto Imperial Pilsner. Please ask at your local store to see which ones they are brining in. I see more requests for them than actual kegs in existence, and I am not sure where they will land at this point. The same is true with Great Divide Dunkle Weiss, Belgica and Saison. I see many stores requesting buttons for their computers, and I know the supply is limited. More are allegedly on the way.
- Look for the French Broad beers I mentioned last week as well. Duluth, Perimeter, Canton, Cumming and Newnan have them for sure.
- Pennichuck is a new line of fireman-themed beers coming from NH. Canton and Windward have them now. Try them before I do and tell me how they are.
- Suwanee is pouring a '08 Victory Storm King right now to help kick off the Hop Devil beer of the month. If you don't try this year-old imperial stout before it's gone, go cry to someone else. I warned you.
- Last but not least, if you are either A.) ready for summer or; B.) in love with wheat beers or; C.) think hefe-weizens are not your cup of tea, then you need to be in Buford ASAP. G Mall is pouring Ayinger Hefe-Weizen right now, which is the best (no, I don't want anyone else's opinion, my mind is made up) hefe that you can get.
That is all for now. Stay tuned for more exciting developments as May gets deeper. I will be somewhere for the 30 Strong rollout, but not sure where yet. There are only 64 of these kegs, so if each store sells 2 in the first 4 days, that means that there will only be 20 left city-wide by Tuesday morning 5/12. If you miss it, I did my part. If any man, woman or childish acting person over 21 years of age that you know, have known, or could potentially know in the future, misses out on this beer, it is your fault.
Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on the island of Zanzibar, of the coast of Tanzania, on 9/5/46. His parents were of Indian lineage, and moved to Zanzibar due to his father's work with the British government. Turns out the guy had a pretty interesting life before he became a rock star. My favorite story about him, however, involves a party during Queen's heyday where he hired dwarves to walk around with mirrors full of cocaine strapped to their heads. That way, any time a guest needed a little lift, they just had to ask the dwarf to stop for a second. Like I said earlier, the 70's were rough on a lot of people. Little people too. I don't advocate cocaine use, but what a totally crazy idea. "Hey, you. Go find me 6 dwarves, 6 mirrors-and they have to have straps about this long on them-and we're going to need about half a kilo." And what did his friends say when they came over? "What's up Freddie? Great place you got here man. Whoa, a midget! Wait. Does he have a giant pile of blow strapped to his head? Awesome!" He died in 1991. Surpisingly, not from an amphetamine-related heart attack.
Leotard- A one-piece, tight-fitting, sleeved or sleeveless garment that covers the torso: it is worn by acrobats, dancers, etc.
Unitard- A leotard that also covers the legs and, sometimes, the feet
Thank you Webster's. No mention of coked-up rock singers in there, but you get the picture.