Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick Or Treat? That's An Easy Question.

Here are some beer events to keep you occupied while I am away. It's Halloween weekend, and the kids get to go nuts gobbling down more candy in a couple days than they are usually allowed to eat in a year. So why should the kids have all of the fun? I mean, what do they really contribute to society anyway? You're the one that brings home the paychecks and picks up all of their stuff. You drive them around everywhere and help them with their homework; hell, you paid for the damn costumes AND the candy for the rest of neighborhood kids.

So go ahead and treat yourself. There's nothing tricky about good beer: Open mouth, tip glass, swallow beer. No tricks, just treats. Here you go:

  1. Tomorrow (Friday the 29th) Prado has a firkin of Rogue Brutal Bitter. Such a great beer. They also have this year's Ommegang Adoration to tap. This was in pretty short supply last year, so if you missed it in '09, get it together please. People are counting on you.
  2. Tomorrow (I am not telling you tomorrow's date again) is the Newnan store's five-year anniversary. They have all kinds of crazy beers to tap: Founders Harvest Ale, Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter, Left Hand/Terrapin Oxymoron, French Broad Zeptember and Rogue Shakespeare (cask) to name a few (OK, most). There are also some SweetWater Festive '09 liter bottles for sale. Coooool.
  3. There is a firkin of Lagunitas Wet Hop Pale at Deckard's for the 29th as well. It was hopped with Amarillo & Simcoe. For those of you not paying attention, the 29th is tomorrow. 
  4. Thursday the 4th of November is The Prado's one-year anniversary. They will be pouring some '09 Allagash Curieux, '09 Avery Hog Heaven and '09 Corsendonk Christmas. Can you dig it? I thought so.
  5. Friday the 5th is The Fred's one-year anniversary. What can I say? Jason is going to bust out some gems that will be bordering on ridiculous. I am not going to go into detail about everything. If you are not aware of the caliber of beer selection there by now, well then welcome to planet Earth. Where have you been? Not to mention, all of these beers are in limited quantity, so if you like to drink amazing beer with like-minded people, you'll want to be there. I will be there for a few hours for sure. ETA is up in the air at this point.
  6. Also on Friday the 5th there is a cask-conditioned keg of Abita Vanilla Turbo Dog at Metropolis. Dark beer with vanilla? Sounds pretty Halloween-y to me. People have been raving about this beer since it arrived last week. Scott from Abita will be there with some give-away stuff. You should meet Scott, he's a great guy.
That is all for now. Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks also to all of those who turned out for the beer & cheese pairing Tuesday and the beer dinner last night. Two great events this week already. Bye.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Event Retractions & Changes!

The cask of Heavy Seas Winter Storm at Crabapple is tonight! I said it was next Friday, but I was wrong! (First time ever. And if you believe that, I have some swamp land....) I had next Friday confused with this Friday because I am unavailable both nights. Tonight I am going to see Daniel Tosh at The Tabernacle. If you don't know who that is, then you aren't watching Tosh.0 on Comedy Central. Funniest show on TV right now. Although I am not able to see season two of East Bound & Down because I don't have HBO. That might be the only thing on TV that could be funnier than Tosh.0.

The Lenny's 3 Ways at Canton may be getting moved. Why? Too many events stacked on top of each other. I will let you know when we get it figured out.

Sorry for the confusion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"My Hands Felt Just Like Two Balloons"


Short & sweet today everyone. I just have a few event updates for you, then I gotta get back to work. Write these down:
  1. Beer & cheese pairing at Deckard's on Tuesday the 26th has only 5 seats remaining. You can see the last post for details and a link to pay. At $25.00, this thing is a steal. Don't be cheesy--sign up!
  2. Fred & Peter's Scary Beer Dinner is next Wednesday the 27th in Duluth. Only 4 seats remaining. I had to make a last minute substitution to my roster. Founders Harvest got benched for Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Jack & Ken's. My bench player is fresh off a gold medal performance at this year's GABF, so sorry Founders, you need to sit this one out. Sometimes your best player may be on the bench. Tom Brady was riding the pine behind Drew Bledsoe. One is a future Hall of Fame-er, and the other is barely a, "Oh yeah, whatever happened to that guy?". Tom Brady happened to him, that's what. Jack & Ken's is a super hoppy black barley wine. What? Yes. On draft.
  3. Taco Mac at Crabapple has a cask of Heavy Seas Winter Storm set for Friday, 10/29. I will be in San Diego that day, but Kevin Fox from Heavy Seas will be there. He's a great guy, and the Winter Storm firkin is going to taste great. Can Crabapple come close to the 30 minute record it took Cumming to drain a LH Twin Sisters cask? Show up and find out. 
  4. That same day (10/29) our Newnan store has their 5th Anniversary. They are sitting on a cask of Rogue Shakespeare and a keg of the Founders Harvest (not to be confused with Drew Bledsoe, which is not a beer). They also have some 1 liter bottles of 2009 SweetWater Festive. Nice.
  5. The weekend of Friday, November 12th is looking pretty awesome right now if you live in the NW part of metro Atlanta. Kennesaw has their 2nd Anniversary, and there will be a firkin of Terrapin Moo-Hoo. Not familiar with Moo-Hoo? Well it isn't out yet, but it is a chocolate Milk Stout. I am not a gambler, but if I were, I'd bet the house that this thing is going to be incredible. We will also be doing an event on Saturday the 13th in Canton. It is called Lenny's Three Ways. We will have He'Brew Lenny's RIPA on draft, in a firkin, and on the beer engine from a cask-conditioned keg. They also have '09 and '10 He'Brew Rejewvenator kegs. Can you spell "des-ig-nat-ed dri-ver"? I can. We may offer some of these in an 8 oz. pour so that you can get the feel for everything without losing the feeling in your brain.
  6. Most likely we will be doing a book signing/meet & greet with Shmaltz Brewing Co. (He'Brew and Coney Island brands) founder and president Jeremy Cowan. He has an interesting story to tell (I mean, he got a book published about it, so...) and is a really engaging guy. And there will be special beers, of course. The plan right now is to do this on the 12th (Friday), with the location TBD. Depending on flight arrangements, we may need to move this to Thursday the 11th. Stay tuned.
In other news, there are a fair amount of things up in the air. That's not news, really. Things are always up in the air. Birds, for one. Well, I guess they are not always up in the air when you think about it. It is safe to say that at any time of day, any day of the year, somewhere in the world a bird is up in the air. But all birds? Doubtful. Maybe if there was a catastrophic disaster around the globe, like if--and this is a big if--all of the birds in the world would be up in the air at the same time. If a meteor struck the Earth, for example, shaking the entire planet violently and instantaneously, then all birds that were not dead would be up in the air at once, right? Except penguins. They can't fly. So...so much for that theory. Clouds are always up in the air. Right? Is fog a cloud? Does fog touch the ground or does the heat from the Earth keep the fog just above the surface of the planet? Rainbows are up in the air, but they aren't real. They're just refractions of light; hallucinations basically.

Well we can ponder what is or is not "up in the air all the time" all day if we want. And you can't say "outer space" is up in the air. I already thought of that, but there isn't any air in outer space, so that's disqualified. You can't be "up in the air" if you are just "up above the air". Big difference. OK, moving on.....But what about some sort of element that exists only is the stratosphere? Like ozone? Can or does ozone exist only up in the air and nowhere else? Not locked in some prehistoric rocks. Not trapped in a volcano or emitted by the ocean? Sorry, but I was asleep during most of my science classes at every level of learning. That shit is boring. My apologies to the scientists and science enthusiasts out there. Not my cup of tea.

So what kinds of beer stuff is up in the air? There is a second cask of  He'Brew Lenny's RIPA on the way,  casks of Lagunitas Wet Hop Pale Ale and Barrel-Aged Cappuccino Stout en route as well, plus a second Moo-Hoo cask. Details TBD once we get a little closer to the arrivals. We are also planning a huge, week-long event at 4 stores in December. For now all you need to know is that we will be tapping 8 different kegs on 8 consecutive days at 4 different locations, and all of the beers are special. The stores are evenly distributed to allow all of our customers outside the city to participate. No ITP stores are involved in these events. It is going to be something that you don't want to miss. Starting 12/1, clear your calendars for a while. Trust me on this one.

I hope to be in touch before I leave for sunny San Diego next Friday. If not, I will definitely return with a lot of great photos from Stone, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, Ale Smith, Ballast Point and Pizza Port. If you are watching the Chargers/Titans game on Halloween (4 pm EST) watch for me. I'll be the guy that looks like the guy whose picture is at the top of this page. In the meantime, there is a slide show from Boston at the top of the slide shows to keep you busy. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Cheap And Cheesy!

No, I am not talking about any particular person. Not directly at least. I am talking about a beer and cheese pairing event on Tuesday the 26th at Deckard's Kitchen & Kegs. Check out the line-up:


Deckard’s Kitchen & Kegs
Deluxe Beer & Cheese Pairing
with Dogfish Head, Victory & Stone
10/26/2010 @ 6:30 pm

Victory Prima Pils
Refreshing and crisp, with the lingering hoppiness you want. This is a beer perfectly suited for all occasions. Made with all German malts.
Emmi Cave Aged Gruyere
Fatty, hearty, earthy, this cheese is great by itself or on your favorite mac and cheese.

Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre
A deep mahogany beer made with beet sugar, green raisins and a Belgian yeast strain. The interplay of these ingredients inside an amazing beer is testimony to the brewer’s art.
Parmesan Reggiano
Salty, crunchy, sublime; The undisputed King of cheese.

Saison du BUFF
An herbaceous collaboration between these three amazing stalwarts of American craft brewing. Sit back, relax and explore....This batch was brewed at Victory’s facility in Downington, PA.
Sweet Grass Dairies Fresh Goat Cheese
Fresh local cheese; Grassy, citrusy, creamy and dreamy.

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous
A black IPA combines the dryness and roasted characteristics of the darkest malts with the spiciness of West Coast hops. Originally their 11th anniversary brew, it was just too good not to keep around.
Brillat Savarin
Made from cow’s milk, this triple cream cheese has a earthy undertone and a mushroomy creaminess.

Victory Baltic Thunder
Baltic Porter is a Porter’s bigger, badder brother. Hugely delicious and creamy with notes of toffee and a warming touch from the high ABV. This highly anticipated seasonal offering is worth the wait.
Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue
This “Best of Show” winner is aged 12 months. Its reminiscent of bacon in the morning or a char grilled steak at night. It opens up your tastes buds and dives right in.

Stone Arrogant Bastard
“This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth."
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk
Triple cream deliciousness. It may not smell good but it tastes good.

Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
A perfect dry stout in every way. Roasty, toasty and bitter. In addition to the chicory, there are coffee, oats and licorice blended with the malts and a big dose of Glacier hops.
Les 3 COMTOIS Morbier
This French cheese keeps the cows honest, milking in the AM then again in the PM. The milks are made into cheese then separated by ash.
 
Here is the skinny:
  • The Saison du BUFF is a rare collaboration between Stone, Dogfish Head & Victory. Need I say more? I will anyway. Read on....
  • Michael Saklad from Stone Brewing will be in town to do the presentation. He is somewhat of a cheese freak and an absolute expert in beer/cheese pairings.
  • The price is only $25.00! There is a link right here to pay for it if you want. Seats are limited, and a few people have already signed up. 
  • The other 6 beers (2 from each of the collaborating breweries) were specially selected for this event based on their compatibility with cheese.
  • If you have any more questions, just let me know.
I hope that some of you can take advantage of this great event. Also, don't forget that there is a cask of Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA getting tapped at Deckard's on Friday (tomorrow) as well. See you there.
Here is a picture from the Harpoon Oktoberfest party during my birthday weekend. That's my friend Mike. Looks like he is having a good time and making some friends. Can you say dirndl? Me either. That is what you call those outfits the girls are wearing. Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tapping The Twins!


OK, by now you may or not know about Deckard's Kitchen & Kegs. If you don't and are curious, go to www.kitchenandkegs.com. You really should, but not now. First I need to tell you what's going on, so just settle down over there. Geez. I say "kegs" and you're off just like that. I get excited for kegs too. I understand.

They will be pouring the last firkin in town of Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA. How good is this beer? We killed a firkin (10.8 gallons) in 31 minutes in Cumming on Wednesday. That is almost three pints a minute, which means that the tap was barely closed. Nice work people. Great turnout and better than great people. The firkin at Deckard's Kitchen & Kegs will be a little bit different because it will be getting pulled through a beer engine. What does that mean? Extra awesomeness. If you are interested in tasting this beer, and/or finding out why I am telling you about an event that is not at a Taco Mac location, you will have to show up to find out.

Did I say "event"? I meant events. There will also be a beer and cheese pairing at Deckard's Kitchen & Kegs on Tuesday, October 26th. It goes like this: three breweries named Victory, Dogfish Head and Stone made a collaboration beer called Saison du BUFF (Brewers United For Freedom), and there is a keg of it coming to Deckard's. This beer, along with two beers from EACH of those breweries (Yes, that makes seven. Congratulations, you can now advance to the second grade or something.), will be paired with a different cheese. Fancy cheese, not the shredded kind. There will be beer people in attendance, one of whom is the beer and cheese pairing guru from Stone. This guy is out of control when it comes to his passion for beer and cheese. You don't want to miss it. I won't. Actual listing and price will be available very soon.

Sorry that I don't have my Boston weekend pictures for you yet. I might get around to that this weekend, but I am pretty swamped. Big U of M game Saturday, then I am going to see Ron White at The Fox. Don't know who Ron White is? He's a comedian--you might say a foul mouthed one--famous from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. He's the one with the cigar, the scotch and the dirty jokes. Don't like dirty jokes? That's your business I guess. Do you know who invented dirty jokes? Cavemen. That's right, cavemen. They drew them on the cave walls and laughed their asses off until other cave-people came by and told them that they were childish. And when that jerk left, they asked each other if someone could please pull the stick out that Neanderthal's butt. Then they laughed at that for a while until someone drew another dirty joke on the wall. This went on for hours. True story. Look it up. It's called history.

Have a great weekend. Go Blue!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fred & Peter's Fright Fest


Thanks to all of the well-wishers who gave me a shout out on my birthday. That was very nice of everyone and I appreciated all of it. I will have a cool slide show of my trip in the next couple of days, but right now I wanted to get the upcoming beer dinner menu out to you. Our new chef, Peter, made a great looking menu (click there) and I picked some pretty awesome beers if I do say so myself. I think that you will agree, so take a look. The actual food and beers are on the second page.

The "theme" is Halloween, based on the Wednesday, October 27th date. This dinner will be at our Duluth store. Peter's menu has a fall/harvest theme, and everything sounds delicious. We chose seasonal beers in most cases, highlighting fall selections and some new releases. We have not entirely done away with dinners that feature one brewery, but we really like picking beers that are just plain good, and not always having to work within one brewery's portfolio.

I hope that you take a minute to look this over and consider attending. You need to treat yourself once in a while. C'mon,....you're worth it. You need to get out there and live a little. Life is too cheap to be short. Or something like that.

Thanks to some computer literate co-workers, I even put a link to the payment service below. How about that?






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.