Saturday, December 26, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Bell's Two-Hearted Ale firkin at Old Milton last Wednesday? Killed it in 1 hour, 3 minutes. Great showing by the Alpharetta/Milton area folks. I am scanning the horizon for another cask for that general area in the next month or so. Probably not go back to that exact store, but we have a lot of properties and a lot of customers in that part of town, so we'll find a place that they can all get to comfortably.
- The invite-only event at The Fred on Saturday was a huge hit. We were featuring the Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head collaboration beer called Life & Limb. We only had two small kegs of this beer, which was made with hops grown on the Sierra estate grounds in Chico, CA, and maple syrup from (DFH owner) Sam Calagione's family farm. This dark strong ale (10% ABV) was naturally carbonated using birch syrup from Alaska. It was outstanding. The alcohol was hidden by the rich, malty flavors and steady hop background. You could really pick up on the different aspects that each one of these breweries is famous for. Since we were only going to get 100 or so 11 oz. pours from these kegs, we invited all the Brewniversity members over 750 beers. Once they all had a chance to RSVP, I invited some beer lovers from my personal contact list. We packed The Fred with around 75 people, and it was a perfect fit. Once everyone had a chance to have a Life & Limb, we also had a 2008 Sierra Bigfoot, Sierra Brown Saison, Sierra Celebration (I had 2!), DFH Burton Baton, Midas Touch and Chicory Stout ( a perennial Fred Favorite) on draft. A good time was certainly had by all. With most of these beers weighing in around 9% ABV and higher, it was quite an attitude adjustment for a Saturday afternoon. It was raining and crappy outside, but the people in attendance stayed in great spirits quite easily. Thank you to everyone who came, and yes, we will do it again soon.
- And for those keeping score, our company holiday party was last Tuesday, and virtually everyone behaved properly. I cannot accurately express how disappointed I was. I mean, really people. I need some material here. Get drunk and act stupid already! These are restaurant people, and if you know restaurant people, then you know two things about them immediately: They work really hard, and typically party harder. There was an enormous bottle of Jagermeister, and if that is not the international symbol for trouble brewing, I don't know what is. That thing was huge. Speaking of Jagermeister, as many of you who know me may have observed, I am fond of it. OK, "fond" may be a bit of an understatement. I have been know to deride people behind their back for obscuring the peculiar deliciousness of Jager with abominations like Red Bull. That's like putting ketchup on a steak people. Ugh. Nasty. Hey, if you don't like the taste of Jager, why do you drink it? You can drop plenty of other bland or fruit-infused liquors into your energy drink and get the same effect without offending people with actual taste. And I don't think you need a doctor to tell you that mixing a depressant with stimulant is a bad idea. You know, if you want to get drunk quickly with no regard for your health, they have a name for that: it is called a bum. See also "hobo", "wino" and the always delicate "street person". Hang out with some of them for a while and see how you like it. Hey, maybe hepatitis is your thing. But, back to the matter at hand......Jager is awesome, but I stopped drinking it two weeks ago. An actual sales person who represents the green bottle in which the devil resides refused to tell me how many calories are in a shot of Jagermeister. Ever wonder what makes it so thick? Hint: It's not the herbs. If you guessed sugar, you're our big winner. So not only will Jager help you get falling-down drunk, arrested and/or butt naked in an inappropriate place, it will give you diabetes. Mmmmm......diabetes. Any way, I switched to Bulleit Bourbon instead. Just in case some of you thought I was getting soft.
Tonight is the big Matt & Fred's All-Star Holiday Extravaganza beer dinner. Tomorrow I will be back at The Fred for the release of the New Belgium Fall Wild Ale and La Folie drafts. It looks like every store should be pouring both of these tomorrow with three exceptions: the Virginia-Highland store will be pouring one tomorrow and the other one when that runs out (their draft system has 24 taps, vs. around 50 or more everywhere else), and it looks like the distributor that handles Newnan and Peachtree City is going to be a week behind. Sorry folks. I just heard about this yesterday. I will be at The Fred with some glassware if anyone wants to stop by. First come, first served. There are only about 50 glasses to go around, so 1 per customer will be the house rules as always.
Next week we will be featuring the new Terrapin Side Project called "The Dark Side". This is a Belgian-style stout that comes in at around 8.5%. The beer may debut at some stores late this week, but we will have a special cask of it aged on cherry wood at The Fred at 6 pm on Tuesday the 22nd. We will also have the regular Dark Side for a taste comparison, plus Spike the brewer from Terrapin and some of his guys will be on hand, etc. However, there is one requirement to get your hands on the secret stash: a 'stache. You must have a moustache, real or fake (you too ladies!) to partake in the cask. No exceptions. Does a goatee count? I will have to check the rule book on that one. You goatee wearers may need to trim the chin for a special beer. We will need someone to physically tap the cask. Show up early, and it could be you. Show up early with an especially unique or unusual 'stache, and you definitely will be able to say to all of the people enjoying this beer, "Yeah, I tapped that." Rick did a good job on the Two Hearted last week. He might have been a little nervous, but who wasn't a little nervous their first time?
Also, for those of you who are particularly organized, you can add Tuesday, 1/19/10 to your calendar. The owner and brew master of Bell's, Larry Bell, will be at our Metropolis store for a meet & greet with folks like you. We will have some special Bell's beers available, plus some surprises from Larry's personal stash. No facial hair will be required for this event.
That's all for now. Hope everyone has a great week. Talk to you soon. Happy holidays, now stop playing that god-awful Christmas music before someone goes totally mental and shoots a bunch of innocent people. Did I say that out loud?
Monday, December 7, 2009
- Wednesday @ our Old Milton Pkwy location we are tapping a firkin of Bell's Two Hearted Ale around 6 pm. As stated last week, we may tap it earlier if anyone is there (most importantly the guy with the special tap we need!). This beer is going to be great, unless classic, well-hopped, cask conditioned American IPA's aren't your thing.
- The holiday beer dinner next week is full. I am very sorry to anyone who did not sign up that wanted to come. Get ready for our next dinner in February at Lindbergh on 2/23 though. It will feature an extended reception that will be a multi beer-and-cheese pairing (4 different "stations"), followed by a 3-course meal. The beers will be hand selected by me from a variety of breweries. The educational aspect will be more on beer and cheese pairings that on the beers from one particular brewery. If that bums you out, consider this: the beers will represent the pinnacle of each style that we are pairing with the cheeses and 3 seated courses. Stay tuned for more info as it develops.
- Next Wednesday the 16th we are going to be tapping into New Belgium's Fall Wild Ale and La Folie (see previous post regarding "foeders" to see La Folie's wooden fermenters). Some stores with smaller draft systems may choose to pour one at a time, whereas others will pour them both at once. Call your home store for details on what their plans are. Or just show up. I will be at The Fred with Chip from New Belgium. He will have some glassware to give out. I don't know how many he will bring, so don't get bent out of shape if you show up 2 hours late and there aren't any glasses left. I have no control over these things.
- Be on the lookout for some special Harpoon kegs coming around. They have a new UFO Unfiltered Pale Ale hitting some stores that is nice, their Winter Warmer is back in ATL after 5 + years' absence, and the 100 Bbl. Ginger Wheat is rolling out this week. There is also a keg of the 100 Bbl. Glacier Wet Hop coming to The Fred soon.
- Lastly, get the Metropolis store in your GPS stat! Donald has been sending firkins all over the place to get filled. Starting first of next year he is going to be pouring cask conditioned versions of Left Hand Fade To Black, Wyerbacher Hops Infusion & Dbl. Simcoe (same day, side-by-side) and something from Smuttynose's big beer series. These will all be on Fridays at 6 pm. Exact dates TBD, but these are going to be special. More to follow as well.
I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I was out of communication Saturday because I was finishing my Christmas shopping. Oh yes, it feels great to be done by 12/7. Don't hate on me. Then I watched the SEC Championship game like the rest of the southeast. I am sorry, but whose fault is it that Tim Tebow's swan song did not live up to expectations? He was crying because everyone told him that the movie was not going to end that way. The hero always rides off into the sunset a winner right? No, sorry pal. You know why the first Rocky was such a good movie? Rocky loses in the end. It's real. It's not contrived Hollywood schlock. Sure, Rocky II-VII or whatever sucked, but the first one? Oscar winner for Best Picture and Best Director 1976. Look it up. It beat out Taxi Driver, undoubtedly one of the greatest movies and most incredible performances by any actor in any era (if you don't know who, I'm not telling you-you need help). So suck it up Tebow! Welcome to reality, where life kicks you in the crotch sometimes and fairy tales don't come true. You got your ass beat, now go be a millionaire in the NFL. What are you crying about? Rocky didn't cry did he? No, he came back with a sequel, and the Eye Of The god-damned Tiger, didn't he. "Risin' up, straight to the top. Took my time, took my chances....." You knew he wasn't going to lose once you heard his anthem. Either way, I felt bad for the guy (Tebow, not Rocky-he isn't real). He got beat by a superior team who kept him off the field, so I understand his frustration. He had to sit back and watch his dreams erode in front of him, and there was nothing he could do about it. That's rough.
Have a great week, and get out there and drink some beer already!