Monday, July 26, 2010

Cask Mania 2010


OK FBP readers, sorry for that long hiatus, but I'm back now. Once I returned from a visit to my mom’s over the 4th of July weekend, I was immediately thrust deep into the run-up of our new store opening in Charlotte. Without boring you with the details, I basically had to re-price and reorganize our entire inventory for another state. How similar, organizationally, are beers aligned from state to state? Not much. Imagine a book that you very are familiar with. You’ve read it many times over, and virtually know it cover to cover. Then one day you open it and it is all in Chinese. Now unless you speak Chinese, that presents somewhat of a problem. Essentially I had to translate a long story (1000’s of products, package sizes, vendors and prices) into another language. The story is the same, but the words are all different. On top of that, there is quite a bit of beer up there that we don’t get here in GA, so I had to write a few new chapters in the book. The beer selection up there is going to look pretty sharp. Anyway, enough excuses, right?

Here is the important information that I promised you:

• Cask-Mania 2010 kicks off this coming Friday at Woodstock. How they managed to come up with a firkin of Heavy Seas Smoke On The Water, I have no idea. I do know that this beer, a lightly smoked porter, is awesome. The cask should be out of this world. We will be tapping it at 6:00pm. Maybe earlier if there are a bunch of thirsty people staring us down.
• CM’10 (that’s Cask-Mania 2010—pay attention! We have a lot to cover today & I need you to focus) keeps rolling along Thursday, August 5th at The Fred. We have a firkin of dry-hopped Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale to tap at 6:00pm. What is it dry-hopped with? Show up to find out. Why else would you care? I mean, if you didn’t drink it, why bother knowing all the sleazy details? Don’t you get geeky on me!
• Without barely resting (why start now?), CM’10 resumes the following night (Friday 8/6) with two—count 'em…TWO casks of Heavy Seas beers. If you go to Crabapple, Kevin Fox from the brewery will be there to tap a Hang Ten. That is a 10% ABV weizen-bock, and I love it. But I will be at Windward Pkwy tapping a Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA firkin. Haven’t had that yet? Then be there. These guys know how to do cask beer, and we have used Loose Cannon for many special events over the years. Want to try them both? These stores are only a few miles apart, so look at a map or something.
• On Wednesday the 11th CM’10 makes a stop at Metropolis with another of the Hang Ten Weizen Bock. I know, Wednesday is an odd day. You need to stay flexible people. Did the term “Cask-Mania” imply that this was going to follow some sort of orderly pattern? Here is the definition:

ma•ni•a
    [mey-nee-uh, meyn-yuh]
• –noun
1. Excessive excitement or enthusiasm; craze: The country
has a mania for soccer.


Soccer? I think America had a mania for soccer, but that was like a week ago. We have a lot of manias in this country though, mostly for TV shows where either strangers or celebrities sing and dance. But only celebrities who are not known for singing or dancing. I mean, why watch someone who is famous for something do what it is they are famous for? We want to see those people get caught with a prostitute or drugs or do something crazy (thank you Mel Gibson). Let’s watch the people not known for singing and dancing sing and dance. What….? Please explain this to me. I love watching football. But I do not have any interest in watching famous TV newscasters, for example, play football. I don’t really care to see Peyton Manning read the evening news either. He might be OK at it, and Katie Couric might throw a hell of a spiral, but that is not the point. The point is who cares if Katie Couric has a decent arm? She can’t throw the ball like Peyton Manning on his worst day, so why watch? And don’t get me started on the “singing nobodies” shows. They delivered Kelly Clarkson to us. That’s all I am going to say about that. Wait. One more thing: Kelly Clarkson sucks. Has she gone away or just died yet? No? Filthy career-ending sex scandal? Nothing? Just rotten, ear-piercing howling passed off on idiots and teenagers as “music”? Oh, she's still doing that. I see. Thank god there are things like firkins of high-gravity weizen-bock to drown out her caterwauling. Metropolis, Wednesday the 11th.

• OK, then on Thursday the 12th the Kelly Clarkson fan club is meeting at The Fred for a cask of Oskar Blues Old Chub. That’s right, the entire KCFC will be there. Both of them. Just kidding. She doesn’t have two fans. But a cask of Old Chub is a beautiful thing, so if you can find your way into The Fred on the 12th, this cask will be delicious. Anyone singing “Since You’ve Been Gone” will be asked to be, uh…gone. If you even hum it, you have to sit in the corner by yourself and nobody will bring you a beer. If you have it playing in your head, that’s your own damn problem. See if alcohol helps. I didn’t say that it would. I just said that you could try.
• The last thing I have for you event-wise is a rare keg of Rogue 21 Ale. This is a special barley wine to commemorate the 21 different beers that Rogue has made for the 21 consecutive Oregon Brewer’s Festival. Yes, they have made a new and distinct beer every year for this event. Two kegs are coming to Atlanta. One will be at The Fred on….the 21st. Get it. Rogue 21 on 8/21. It’s a Saturday and we open at 5:00. You can get the beer then. These are 11 oz. pours and there should be about 130 of them, so no need to camp out overnight outside the door. The beer was made with some Rogue-grown malts and hops, oats and also some brewer’s licorice. I can’t wait to taste it.
• Somewhere on the horizon there are firkins of Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA (4), Terrapin PumpkinFest and Hopsecutioner. Those may even arrive in August, or CM’10 could roll all the way into September. Who knows?

I do apologize for the long absence in posting something to my blog. But hey, at least I came back with some strong offerings beer-wise.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the Christmas In July calendar on the http://www.tacomac.com/ web site. We are going to keep that calendar posted and rename it once July is over. The link will say “Click Here For Great Beer”. It will contain all of these dates, plus others. Each store will be able to let you know when they are tapping certain notable kegs. Not all vintage dated things like in July, just certain less-than-common kegs that people like you might be interested in knowing about. If I can get a link to the calendar here I will. I know that it sounds simple, but it isn’t.
That is all I have for now. Here is picture of my mom’s lake from her deck. In case your only ideas about Michigan involve metro Detroit, there you go. My home state is getting a bad rap these days, but it has a lot to offer. If you ever go, let me make some recommendations. Have a great week everyone.

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.