I am going to the circus this Sunday. No, not the one with trapeze artists and elephants standing on stuff. I am going to the beer circus at Lagunitas. It is looking like fall travel plans may be muddled up with some new store openings and the like, so I am heading out to California for a little "work" in the spring. The beer circus was first held last year, and by all accounts, it was a blast. So I am meeting some friends out there for a weekend getaway. I will be in San Francisco on Saturday, Petaluma on Sunday (after having lunch at Russian River in Santa Rosa), and back to GA on Monday. I know, it's a short trip, but I have work to do. I mean, these people don't pay me to travel around and drink beer. OK, they do pay me to travel around and drink beer, but that is not all they pay me to do. The circus line-up looks pretty crazy (click image to enlarge), and Lagunitas definitely has a taste for the bizarre. I mean, what is Gabby Lala and when does the taco truck show up? I want answers to both of those things before the Bed of Nails guy gets started. Be prepared for pictures of all of these things, including the new and beautiful Beer Sanctuary at Lagunitas once I return. I am taking a full-sized suitcase for a two-day trip. How much beer can fit in a checked bag? I guess we will find out on Sunday, won't we?
Enough about me, now let's talk about you. You will be excited to hear about Atlanta Beer Week. It starts next week, and this is the first year of what hopefully turns into a tradition here like it is in Philly, San Fran, Charlotte, etc. We have an event Monday through Friday at one of our in-town stores. I know, not everyone lives in town. But, if this goes well this year, then next year we, along with other area beer spots, will expand things to the rest of metro Atlanta. So here are your events for ABW:
- Monday at Metropolis we will have head brewer Nick Nock (yes, that is his real name) from SweetWater to mingle with our guests while you drink '08 & '09 Festive Ale. Plus we have the now virtually extinct BSP Quad. In addition to that, there will be a special top-secret beer appearance that I guarantee 99.9% of you have never seen in a bottle. This is year-old strong ale that has not been seen since its release. We will be selling pint glass pours from 1 liter bottles until it is gone. Are you a Brewniversity member? Do you crave rare credits? Do you like to show off in front of others, "I bet you've never seen THIS before!"? Then this event is for you. Even the '08 Festive will be poured from 1 liter bottles, so it will be a distinct credit from the '08 drafts we drank last year.
- Tuesday at Prado there will be a keg of Widmer Prickly Pear Braggot. What in the hell is that? Well, I guess you need to come by and find out. (A braggot is sort of a mix between a mead and an al.e)
- Wednesday you will want to head over to Perimeter. They will be tapping a 2008 Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster and a 2008 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine. There are all kinds of cellared goodies in coolers all over Taco Mac-land. They will also have some Smuttynose Imperial Stout, Farmhouse Ale and the new and very rare Rouge d'Shire. Let me help you out with that: Rouge, like the make-up, not Rogue, like the brewery; d' pronounced "duh" and Shire like where the hobbits live. Rouge d'Shire. It is a Flemish-style sour beer, so don't expect a wimpy summer light beer.
- Also on Wednesday at The Fred we will be releasing Newcastle Summer Ale. Stop by to taste this year's batch and get a cool 16oz. schooner glass to take home. I will show you a picture of the glass next week if I don't forget. They are pretty sweet. You will want one.
- Thursday at The Fred we will have Left Hand owner Eric Wallace to chat with you while drinking a plethora of Sawtooth incarnations. Sawtooth is Eric's first and most beloved beer. We will have a cask of Sawtooth to tap plus the new Nitro Sawtooth. There will also be '06 and '08 bottles of Chainsaw, which is a double Sawtooth. We will be selling 11oz. pours from the big bottles of Chainsaw so that everyone can try both without going broke/getting totally hammered. Expect some other Left Hand beers to be....um...on hand.
- On Friday we will be pouring some Nogne-O drafts at Lindbergh. Let's pronounce this one now: Say "none-ya" like "This here ain't none ya business." These beers are from Norway, and they all rate 98 to 100 on www.ratebeer.com. Not easy to do. There should also be a keg of Ft. Collins Ctrl-Alt-Delete (an alt bier, duh). This thing is still coming into focus, but if you are looking for some rare beers next Friday, Lindbergh is your place.
Also be on the lookout for the SweetWater prize brigade coming to a store near you in June. They have a phone booth looking thing full of fake money. Basically you stand in it and there is a blower that makes money fly all over the place. For a $5.00 donation to the Save The Hooch program, you can get in and see how much money you can grab in like 30 seconds. Depending on how much you grab, you will receive SweetWater gear based on a printed prize structure. Sound like fun? It will be. It is hilarious, and fun for all ages and sobriety levels.
You folks have a great weekend. And if I don't run off with the bearded lady, I will see you when I get back from California.