Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Hate The Player, Mom. Hate The Game

There, you see what I did? I made Brett Favre mad, so he destroyed my beloved Cowboys last week. Not sure who's decision it was to throw that last touchdown, but that wasn't necessary. The game was already over for the most part, and it isn't very sportsmanlike to rub someone's nose in the fact that you kicked their ass. But whatever. We'll see if karma doesn't come back and screw the Vikings for that tomorrow. Truthfully, I am sort of rooting for Favre to win the Super Bowl this year now that Dallas in eliminated. Then maybe Favre will go away for good and stop un-retiring. That is getting to be a pretty worn out routine for a guy who is normally considered to have a lot of class. Enough about football. Now I just have to remember what it is that I do on the weekends once football is over.
The February beer dinner has recently been posted on the web site. The date is Tuesday the 23rd, and it is being held at Lindbergh. Instead of the single-brewery format, we have changed things up a bit for this one. Here is how it works:
  1. Instead of a half-hour reception with one beer and one passed hors d' oeuvres, we are going with a more lengthy reception. There will be four cheese and beer pairing stations set up across the mezzanine, and guests can move freely from one to the other. The pairings will surprise some that are unfamiliar with beer/cheese pairings. For example, I had no idea until recently that porters and stouts went well with blue cheeses. So this will be a great opportunity for guests to learn first hand what some great pairings are. You can look like a genius at your next dinner party using what you learn with us. Not that your standard wit are charm are getting tiresome, I'm just saying that maybe everyone has already heard all of your jokes. That could be why they aren't laughing at them. Or else you are not very funny, and in that case you should go with the cheese pairings from now on.
  2. Each of the next three courses will have cheese implemented into the dish somewhere. There will be an app/salad course, a main course and dessert. The cost is $65.
  3. The beers have beer hand selected by me based on the menu that Matt has put together. The beer selection is quite diverse, and I am extremely happy with this menu. The dessert "beer" is actually a beer cocktail that we serve at The Fred. It is mixture of 1/3 sparkling wine and 2/3 Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. It is a true Black Velvet that Larry Bell himself taught me to make in his home 15 years ago, and it is delicious. You should try it at your next dinner party, and give those knock-knock jokes a rest.
There were about 15 open spots the last time I checked, so if you are interested, you better get on it. We are only going to do about 6-8 of these a year, and each one will have a different twist. The old one brewery, five beers, five courses concept is getting done all over town. It was time to innovate. Wait until you hear about my plans for April......(top secret).

Last week was jam packed as usual. Hopefully you made it out to Metropolis on Tuesday for the Bell's event. If not, you missed a really good time. The beers and the people were an outstanding mix. It was the first time I had seen Larry in almost ten years. I left Bell's involuntarily in May of 2000 after working there for 7 years. As expected, he was pretty much the same guy I remembered, and we got to reminisce briefly over some old times and catch up on some old acquaintances. The Van Twee beer was exceptional, and the cask of Cherry Stout was great too.

Friday we tapped one of the best casks in recent memory at Metropolis, Left Hand Fade To Black Export Stout. Wow was that beer tasty. Great crowd too. That is Jen in the picture about to enjoy a big ol' mug of stout. The element of smoked malt came out more in the cask than it does in the bottle or standard draft. If you did not get to drink this beer I am truly sorry for you. Luckily we should be seeing for Left Hand casks this year. Stay tuned.

For those of you frustrated about all of these events being mainly in-town, I have good news for you. We have increased our inventory of empty casks, and are currently having 4 filled by Sweetwater. They will be going to Canton and Cumming for upcoming anniversaries, as well as Peachtree City and Metropolis. I am also in the process of sending 4 to Stone Brewing. Those will take a while to return, but I am sure that they will be worth the wait. They are going to be spread around the company geographically. I understand the frustration on this matter, but the situation that led those frustrations to arise is complicated. The important thing is that it has been fixed, and the cask program will be ongoing and show more diversity in the following months. I have no idea what Sweetwater is going to put in those casks at this point, but I am looking at a late February release date for now.

On another note, please take a look at the current All About Beer magazine. There is a big article about the Terrapin/Left Hand four city beer dinner tour that we participated in last year. There is a great photo of our own chef Matt Deckard in there. My feelings may have been hurt by not being included, but I will be appearing in a small article, with photo, in the March issue of Atlanta Magazine. We took pictures for it on Friday during the Left Hand FTB cask event. Mom will be so proud. Actually my mother is in the substance abuse rehabilitation field, so that poses an interesting family dichotomy.
"How are things going in the rehab world Mom?"
"Fine. How are thing going in the encouraging-to-get-people-drunk-all-the-time field, son?"
"Pretty good Mom. People really seem to like getting buzzed."
"And I suppose you think that's OK? That people ruin their lives with drugs and alcohol."
"Hey, I'm not telling anyone how to live their...."
"Are you baking cookies?"
"Peanut butter. I know those are your favorite."
I actually lose weight over the holidays because I don't drink. Anything. At all. As long as my mom is around. I eat cookies and cake and stuff with gravy on it, and I still drop a few pounds. I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true. I drink a lot of beer.

Some upcoming things of note are:
  • This week's cask is Heavy Seas Peg Leg Stout at Lindbergh. We are hosting a reception for the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting's participating brewers this Friday, so we will have that cask available for them, as well as for you. Expect it to get tapped around 7 pm. There will be many beer luminaries in the building, so if you like to meet those folks, they will be strolling around from time to time.
  • On Wednesday, February 10th we will have owner Jake Leinenkugel at our Prado store. He will be there to meet people, drink a few beers, and just hang out in Atlanta for a little while. I have met this guy before, and he is extremely cool and fun to talk to. Put that date on your calendar if you are interested in having a beer with that guy. It is a great excuse to check out The Fred bar downstairs. I will keep you posted on web site developments for The Fred, but it should be up in a week or sooner at
Thanks for reading folks. I hope you have a great week, and that you got your tickets for the Sweetwater Brew Your Cask Off event in March. I have sent in my entry, and we are very excited about everything relative to the BYCA tasting. Tickets are going to be scarce, to jump on 'em ASAP. Bye.