Friday, May 22, 2009

Careful With That Gas, Eugene



I am not, professionally, a meteorologist, as many of you know. I can however speak very authoritatively on how wet the month of May has been. Sure, it's been raining like crazy and nobody is complaining about it. Thanks to the drought, people are generally pretty accepting-and bordering on happy-about the rain. That is until it decides to pour throughout Memorial Day weekend. None of this bothers me. Anything that holds off the inevitable stifling Georgia heat is OK with me. If a freaking iceberg slid down Peachtree St., you wouldn't hear me complaining about it. Most people around here don't agree with me, but summer should not last from April to November. Summer to me means temperatures above 80. Anything above that starts to piss me off.

May's precipitate dampness has been an afterthought compared to the wetness of anyone's whistle who has been anywhere near me all month. No joke. There has been an awful lot of beer drinking going on this month. When I say an "awful" lot, I mean a great deal. I have drank very little awful beer lately, but one slips in there once in a while. May saw the Terrapin 30 Strong release, a special cask event with the T30S, a really good cask of Red Brick oaked Peachtree Pale, a Stone beer dinner with 2 crazy specialties, New Belgium beers launching, Bell's beers launching, and a handful of Lagunitas casks. All of this mixed in with Victory Hop Devil being beer of the month. I have two words for you: You're Welcome!

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.
The last thing I want to mention is that our old friend, the Weekly Beer Reporter, is being retired. It was offered an early retirement package after being replaced by a newer, more "efficient" process. I mean, he understands the challenges of this economy, but how can the WBR go home and explain that to his wife? What if he comes home early after cleaning out his desk and finds that his wife has already replaced him with a younger, more "efficient" companion. Maybe it's the guy the WBR hired to clean the pool?

"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.

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.